low turnout = health

Justin Schwartz jkschw at hotmail.com
Wed May 23 20:37:49 PDT 2001

This is an old theory: Berelson and Lazerfield wrote a book after the 1952 US elections called Voting, in which they tried to reconcile the fcat of voter apathy and ideological conbvergence with the idea of democracy as self-rule. They couldn't do it. In a very interesting theoretical chapter, they detail the divergence between the American system and classical democracy and smll-r-republican ideals, and then conclude (this was 1952, after all) that because whatever we have in America must by definition be Democracy, that it is a new kind of democracy, better than the other sort, in part because it mutes class conflict and allows elite rule without a lot of nasty plebian interference. The book is still taught in political theory, or at least the chapter is, or was, when I was in grad school at Michigan in the 1980s. I recommend the chapter for undergrads; it promotes healthy discussion. --jks

>Fro> Gallup explains why low voter turnout is good: an end to class
>conflict and a convergence of the parties: .
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