Didn't vote? You may be doubting your wisdom of choice

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2017 14:45 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 23 (ANI): A study has recently revealed that the people, especially older adults, who vote during elections are happier about their choices than non-voters.

The findings indicated that out of approximately 20,000 people, 97 percent voters were glad about voting, while only 60 percent of non-voters were glad they abstained.

"This is an encouraging result for those who are concerned with the recent turnout decline that has been observed in most western democracies," said political scientist Andre Blais from Universite de Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

Blais added that this is consistent with the presence of a social norm, according to which every citizen has a moral duty to participate in elections; at least some of those who do not follow the norm have doubts about the wisdom of their choice.

The team looked at 22 election-period surveys done in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland between 2011 and 2015.

They also showed that people, who are interested in politics, who feel that they have a moral duty to vote in elections, and who feel close to a party are more prone to be satisfied with their decision to vote and to be dissatisfied if they choose to abstain.

Older voters, especially, are happy they cast their ballot.

"At every election, people must decide whether to vote or not," the researchers wrote.

The fact that older respondents feel more positive about their decision suggested that there is indeed a learning effect and that people correct the mistakes that they possibly made in the first elections. This may very well be one of the reasons why turnout increases over the life cycle, the authors stated.

The research appears in Party Politics journal. (ANI)