In ‘The Politics of Voter Presence’ (International Political Science Review), Malkopoulou and Hill draw on theories of political presence to defend the act of voting. In doing so, they shift the focus of such theories from the composition of legislatures to the presence of voters at the polls. They argue that high turnout improves representation both descriptively –by making a wider array of political interests and perspectives bear on electoral results– and substantively –by making politicians responsive to such a wide and diverse array of views.
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In a second article titled ‘Compulsory Voting and Right-Wing Populism’ (Australian Journal of Political Science), Malkopoulou lays out the mechanism through which high participation rates impact negatively on the electoral performance of populist right parties. With more people voting as a result of a universal legal obligation, the mobilizational force of populist claims is neutralized, as is their claim to represent the underrepresented. In addition, socio-economic grievances that fuel support for populism are less pronounced, because when everyone votes policy outcomes tend to be more egalitarian.
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