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Exploiting VAA-generated Data to Explore and Compare Programmatic Structuring Within EU Party Systems

Comparative Politics
Elections
Political Parties
Voting
Campaign
Fernando Mendez
University of Zurich
Fernando Mendez
University of Zurich
Jonathan Wheatley
Oxford Brookes University

Abstract

Programmatic structuring often seen as an essential component of liberal democracy. In terms of the relationship between voters and parties this implies that: 1) voters are able to distinguish between parties and their political orientation, 2) voters of a given party need to share similar orientations and 3) they must vote for parties on the basis of party programmes, rather than out of admiration for the party leader or calculation of material gain. The EUvox VAA, not only asked its users to position all main parties and themselves on three ideological scales (economic left-right, liberal-conservative and pro/anti-EU), but also elicited from them their reason for voting for their party of choice.