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Turkish Voters and Losers' Consent

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This paper tests four hypotheses of “losers' consent”—that is, the extent to which evaluations of democratic governance are shared by citizens who voted for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the winner at the 2007 Turkish elections, and those who voted for the opposition parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). It uses survey data about governance evaluations from the 2007 Turkish Election Study. The evidence rejects the idea that losers withhold consent, creating polarized pluralism. It gives some support to a winner's effect. It finds a substantial degree of similarity in views of governance across party lines. Differences between voters for the two losing parties are sometimes greater than differences with the AKP. Regardless of dissatisfaction with some features of governance, there is an overwhelming consensus rejecting a change of regime to military or Shari'a rule.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Aberdeen, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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