segunda-feira, janeiro 22, 2007

Leituras

Muito recomendáveis no momento actual:

1. Um número especial do European Journal of Political Research (volume 41, nº 6) sobre referendos;

2. Lawrence LeDuc, "Referendums and Elections: How do Campaigns Differ?" (.pdf)., um paper que depois veio a aparecer depois, adaptado, neste livro. Duas citações potencialmente interessantes:

"The dynamics of a referendum campaign can often be harder to anticipate than those of an election, and the breadth of participation of the electorate cannot always be assumed. It follows, therefore, that the outcome of many referendums is not easily predictable, even in some cases where the distribution of public opinion on the issue of the referendum is well known. The short term perceptions of the referendum question on the part of voters, the images that they may hold of the groups and individuals involved, or their reactions to the discourse of the campaign, can be as important to the voting decision as their opinions or beliefs on the fundamental issue itself. While longer term factors such as partisanship or ideology may also be important, the short-term impact of campaign strategies and tactics can often make a substantial difference in determining referendum outcomes. A referendum presents a somewhat different set of choices to the voter than does an election. No political parties or candidate names appear on the ballot. In a referendum, unlike an election, voters must decide among alternatives that are sometimes unfamiliar and perhaps lacking in reliable cues. One might therefore expect a greater degree of volatility and uncertainty in referendum voting behaviour than is typically found in elections."

"A second type of dynamic occurs when a referendum on a reasonably well known issue begins to take on a new direction over the course of the campaign. Often this takes place when opposition groups are successful in changing the subject of a referendum, or raising doubts about the issue that is really being discussed. D'Arcy & Laver (1990) documented this type of campaign in their study of the 1986 Irish divorce referendum, coining the term opinion reversal to describe the dynamic. Prior to that campaign, public opinion polls had shown substantial support for a change in the laws governing divorce, and there was initially little organized opposition to the referendum. But the campaign took on an unexpected direction as non-party groups became involved and began to refocus the debate in terms of the rights of women and the integrity of family life. Support for the proposed change in the divorce law declined rapidly. Within a few months after the referendum, however, public opinion polls had returned to a normal reading on the issue of divorce. But the rapid shift in the discourse over a short campaign had been enough to defeat the proposal."
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