Chapter

From Representative to Responsive Government?

Jean Charlot

in Elitism, Populism, and European Politics

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198280354
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599422 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198280351.003.0005
 From Representative to Responsive Government?

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Despite the rise in electoral abstention, decline in party identification, and lack of trust in political elites, representative democracy is not in crisis, although the economic policies of governments have been frequently ineffective. European leaders have used opinion polls, which are effective in reaching more than the active minorities, to remain in touch with what the electors desire. Between elections, public opinion, as polls reveal it, as the media present, and as the politicians respond to it, exerts increasing pressure on government decision‐making.

Keywords: abstention; elections; government decisions; opinion polls; party identification; political elites; public opinion; representative democracy

Chapter.  5162 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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