Why citizens don’t vote for Europe  Chris Aalberts HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Why citizens don’t know  what they vote for in Europe  Chris Aalberts HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Rational model of politics <ul><li>People will…  </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the media </li></ul><ul><li>Get more knowledge <...
Following the media <ul><li>Which sources of information do citizens use?  </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of information is o...
Four strategies HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Information Enter- tainment Niche audience General audience
News media <ul><li>Newspapers, television news, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>General audience </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li...
Popularization <ul><li>Television talk shows, infotainment, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>General audience </li></ul><ul><li>Ente...
Festivals <ul><li>I Vote Europe, European Bus Tour, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Niche audience </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment ...
ICTs <ul><li>YouTube, Twitter, Hyves, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Niche audience </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><l...
Which sources are most important? HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Information Enter- tainment Niche audience...
Knowing politics <ul><li>Citizens will…  </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the media… </li></ul><ul><li>But they do not offer so mu...
Knowledge about the EU HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Information before the referendum HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Short quiz <ul><li>Mention five European Commissioners (out of 27 Commissioners) </li></ul><ul><li>Mention five members of...
Developing opinions <ul><li>Citizens will…  </li></ul><ul><li>Follow media that do not offer much information </li></ul><u...
Satisfaction with European democracy HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Perceived effects of the EU HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
Experiment (1) <ul><li>Survey question (Saris, 1997) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the European Parliament becomes more powerfu...
Experiment (2) <ul><li>Let’s change the question slightly:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many problems are international. For exa...
Experiment (3) <ul><li>Question without extra information (no. 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not know 24.5% </li></ul></ul><...
Becoming active <ul><li>People will…  </li></ul><ul><li>Follow media that do not offer much information </li></ul><ul><li>...
Turnout HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
European messages <ul><li>Two dimensions:  </li></ul><ul><li>For Europe - against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to underst...
Four strategies HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Against Europe In favor  of Europe Easy to understand Diffic...
PVV: For Holland <ul><li>Against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><...
D66: Europe, Yes! <ul><li>In favor of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul>...
PvdA: strong and social  <ul><li>In favor of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main point...
Christenunie/SGP: ?  <ul><li>Against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li><...
Who wins? HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Against Europe In favor  of Europe Easy to understand Difficult to...
Conclusion (1) <ul><li>Citizens do not vote </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens do not know for whom to vote </li></ul><ul><li>This...
Conclusion (2) <ul><li>Can we blame someone?  </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens: not interested </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists: to...
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Europa Verkiezingen

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Presentatie aan studenten van de Haagse Hogeschool over de Europese verkiezingen en waarom burgers hierbij nauwelijks geinformeerd kunnen stemmen.

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Europa Verkiezingen

  1. 1. Why citizens don’t vote for Europe Chris Aalberts HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  2. 2. Why citizens don’t know what they vote for in Europe Chris Aalberts HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  3. 3. Rational model of politics <ul><li>People will… </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the media </li></ul><ul><li>Get more knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Develop their opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Become politically active </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  4. 4. Following the media <ul><li>Which sources of information do citizens use? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of information is offered? </li></ul><ul><li>Two dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>Information - entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>General - niche audience </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  5. 5. Four strategies HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Information Enter- tainment Niche audience General audience
  6. 6. News media <ul><li>Newspapers, television news, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>General audience </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>European elections are not a major issue </li></ul><ul><li>News in the last week only </li></ul><ul><li>2004: one story on RTL Nieuws </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  7. 7. Popularization <ul><li>Television talk shows, infotainment, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>General audience </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Europe is generally not a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Less emphasis on the content </li></ul><ul><li>More emphasis on personality, image, etc. </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  8. 8. Festivals <ul><li>I Vote Europe, European Bus Tour, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Niche audience </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Organized because of the elections </li></ul><ul><li>Attracts a very specific audience </li></ul><ul><li>More or less information </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  9. 9. ICTs <ul><li>YouTube, Twitter, Hyves, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Niche audience </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Image building of politicians </li></ul><ul><li>Attracts a very specific audience as well </li></ul><ul><li>More informative than festivals </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  10. 10. Which sources are most important? HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Information Enter- tainment Niche audience General audience ICTs Festivals News media Popularization
  11. 11. Knowing politics <ul><li>Citizens will… </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the media… </li></ul><ul><li>But they do not offer so much information… </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of knowledge do citizens get? </li></ul><ul><li>Some statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Short quiz </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  12. 12. Knowledge about the EU HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  13. 13. Information before the referendum HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  14. 14. Short quiz <ul><li>Mention five European Commissioners (out of 27 Commissioners) </li></ul><ul><li>Mention five members of the European Parliament (out of 785 members) </li></ul><ul><li>For both groups </li></ul><ul><li>What are their portfolio? </li></ul><ul><li>What are their most important policy proposals? </li></ul><ul><li>Where these good proposals? Why? </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  15. 15. Developing opinions <ul><li>Citizens will… </li></ul><ul><li>Follow media that do not offer much information </li></ul><ul><li>Not really get much knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of opinions do they develop? </li></ul><ul><li>Some statistics </li></ul><ul><li>A short experiment </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  16. 16. Satisfaction with European democracy HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  17. 17. Perceived effects of the EU HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  18. 18. Experiment (1) <ul><li>Survey question (Saris, 1997) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the European Parliament becomes more powerful, this will make the national parliament less powerful. Do you think that the European parliament should become more powerful? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not know 24.5% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, give them more power 33.3% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No, do not give them more power 42.2% </li></ul></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  19. 19. Experiment (2) <ul><li>Let’s change the question slightly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many problems are international. For example, 50% of the avid rain in the Netherlands comes from abroad. These problems can only be solved by international policies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the European Parliament becomes more powerful, this will make the national parliament less powerful. Do you think that the European parliament should become more powerful? </li></ul></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  20. 20. Experiment (3) <ul><li>Question without extra information (no. 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not know 24.5% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, give them more power 33.3% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No, do not give them more power 42.2% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Question with extra information (no. 2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not know 23.8% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, give them more power 53.5% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No, do not give them more power 22.7% </li></ul></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  21. 21. Becoming active <ul><li>People will… </li></ul><ul><li>Follow media that do not offer much information </li></ul><ul><li>Not really get much knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Not really develop stable opinions </li></ul><ul><li>What effect does this have on participation? </li></ul><ul><li>Turnout </li></ul><ul><li>Party preferences </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  22. 22. Turnout HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  23. 23. European messages <ul><li>Two dimensions: </li></ul><ul><li>For Europe - against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand - difficult to understand </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  24. 24. Four strategies HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Against Europe In favor of Europe Easy to understand Difficult to understand
  25. 25. PVV: For Holland <ul><li>Against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>The EU has been very negative for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>The EU is too expensive </li></ul><ul><li>The EU has too much influence on everything </li></ul><ul><li>There is just too much immigration </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  26. 26. D66: Europe, Yes! <ul><li>In favor of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>Europe has been very positive for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>International problems can only be solved by the EU </li></ul><ul><li>Holland is stronger because of the EU </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  27. 27. PvdA: strong and social <ul><li>In favor of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>Europe is positive… sometimes </li></ul><ul><li>And sometimes… not </li></ul><ul><li>Many different ‘small’ issues </li></ul><ul><li>Example: gender is passports is discriminatory for transsexuals </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  28. 28. Christenunie/SGP: ? <ul><li>Against Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on strong supporters who always vote </li></ul><ul><li>No clear public campaign </li></ul><ul><li>No clear opinions </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  29. 29. Who wins? HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl Against Europe In favor of Europe Easy to understand Difficult to understand D66 PVV PvdA PvdD VVD CDA GroenLinks SP Christenunie/SGP
  30. 30. Conclusion (1) <ul><li>Citizens do not vote </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens do not know for whom to vote </li></ul><ul><li>This is not surprising </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens do not have opinions on Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens are uninformed </li></ul><ul><li>Media do not provide them with enough information </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
  31. 31. Conclusion (2) <ul><li>Can we blame someone? </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens: not interested </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists: too much emphasis on ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians: not willing to explain Europe </li></ul>HEBO: European elections www.chrisaalberts.nl
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