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Elitism, Populism, and European Politics$
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Jack Hayward

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198280354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198280351.001.0001

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From Representative to Responsive Government?

From Representative to Responsive Government?

Chapter:
(p.88) 4 From Representative to Responsive Government?
Source:
Elitism, Populism, and European Politics
Author(s):

Jean Charlot

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198280351.003.0005

Despite the rise in electoral abstention, decline in party identification, and lack of trust in political elites, representative democracy is not in crisis, although the economic policies of governments have been frequently ineffective. European leaders have used opinion polls, which are effective in reaching more than the active minorities, to remain in touch with what the electors desire. Between elections, public opinion, as polls reveal it, as the media present, and as the politicians respond to it, exerts increasing pressure on government decision‐making.

Keywords:   abstention, elections, government decisions, opinion polls, party identification, political elites, public opinion, representative democracy

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