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By R. Jankowski

Participants have little incentive to vote, gather political details or give a contribution crusade money, simply because their vote has little or no likelihood of affecting the result of an election. Jankowski bargains an evidence and facts for political participation in accordance with the truth that most people are weakly altruistic.

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Extra resources for Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies: Individual Participation in Government

Sample text

In presidential election years, voters elect a president, a House representative, and periodically, a Senate member. In off-year elections, they elect a House member, and, with the same frequency, a Senate member. Hence, their probability of affecting legislation is highest in presidential election years because of the extra office (the presidency) that individuals vote for. Turnout should be highest during presidential elections, next highest in off-year elections, and lowest in state and local elections.

And weak altruism is captured by Q#3. My interpretation of which questions reflect weak versus strong altruism is supported by the percentages of individuals espousing strong 28 Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies agreement with the question. One would expect that the weakest form of altruism would have the broadest base of support, and we see that happens here. 2 percent of the respondents strongly agree with its sentiment. 6 percent support level. 6 percent of the respondents. These survey questions try to ascertain the respondents’ altruistic values.

It has been argued that Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” played a major role in the Republican Revolution, by increasing Republican turnout. This seems to be reflected in the difference between Republicans and Democrats in perceived difference between the parties. 36 Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies But, if we compare perception of party difference in 1994 with 1992 and 1996, the “Contract with America” impact on perceived difference between the parties is not confirmed. As noted, Republican perception of party differences was 61 percent in 1994, compared with 47 percent by Democrats.

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