Diskin, Abraham, Eschet-Schwarz, Andre and Felsenthal, Dan S.
Homogeneity, heterogeneity and direct democracy: the case of Swiss referenda.
Canadian Journal of Political Science, 40
The general question addressed in this study is whether voting behaviour in referenda conducted in a pluralistic society tends to reflect more the heterogeneous or the homogeneous characteristics of the society. In order to answer this question we investigated, mainly by means of factor analysis, all 538 federal referenda conducted in Switzerland since the foundation of the Swiss Confederation in 1848 until the end of 2005. Based on the extensive Swiss experience, the answer to our question seems quite clearly to be that the use of referenda as tools of direct democracy in a pluralistic society tends to reflect much more the homogeneous characteristics of that society than its heterogeneous ones.
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