Comparing Losers' Assessments of Electoral Democracy

Christopher J. Anderson, André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan and Ola Listhaug

in Losers' Consent

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276387
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602719 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Comparing Losers' Assessments of Electoral Democracy

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Examines losers’ evaluations of electoral democracy. The data show that more losers are satisfied with the functioning of democracy than dissatisfied, an overwhelming majority believes that the most recent election was fair, and more losers say that parties care what ordinary people think than the opposite. We also find that losers’ evaluations of satisfaction and fairness are lower but evaluations of responsiveness higher in non-established democracies. We also find that losers evaluate all three aspects of electoral democracy more positively in countries with more proportional electoral systems. Moreover, our results indicate that losers in more developed countries are more satisfied with democracy but less positive in their assessments of the fairness of the most recent election. The analyses further indicate that supporters of losing parties that have never been in government are the most critical of representative democracy, while supporters of the major losing party that formed the government at the time of the election feel most positive.

Keywords: democratic transitions; development; election outcomes; elections; fairness; incumbents; legitimacy; losers; political institutions; responsiveness; satisfaction with democracy; system support; winners

Chapter.  8905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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