Informing The Electorate Summary

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In the article “Informing the Electorate? How Party Cues and Policy Information Affect Public Opinion about Initiatives” by Political Scientists from the University of California Cheryl Boudreau and Scott A. MacKenzie discuss their research question and analyzation of whether citizens of democracies differ when selecting a candidate or making policy decisions by manipulating the influences of party cues, policy information, both, or of neither kind. They also take into account the relevance of the notion when exposing citizens to both party cues and policy information it is easier for them to ignore the policy information and follow their party. Boudreau and MacKenzie hypothesize when these types of influences are presented separately citizens…show more content…
For example, separate effects are highlighted by a table demonstrating the effects of party cues and policy information on support for initiatives. The results show the effects of policy information depend whether it gives a reason to either support or oppose particular incentives or if it’s balanced. For combined effects a bar graph highlights the measures of support for initiatives with different types of information. The results of “party cue and policy information” treatment group goes in the contrary of other models that citizens ignore policy information when party cues are present. To understand politically knowledgeable and strong partisan respondents a bar graph measures the support for initiatives by high and low political knowledge and the strength of partisanship as weak or strong. Lastly, to measure prior attitude strength a bar graph is used for the initiatives involving weak versus strong prior attitudes with only reinforcing and conflicting information in relation to Democrats and Republicans. Their method to separate all effects provides a clear and accessible way to highlight evidence. Each effect brings similar results directing towards a common conclusion for Boudreau and MacKenzie. They reach to the conclusions instead of blindly following their party citizens will shift their opinions away from their party’s position when policy…show more content…
The normative implication is that Boudreau and MacKenzie study demonstrates instead of abdicating their responsibility for policy decisions citizens process and use policy information to form opinions about initiatives. An important note from this implication derives from the book Party Politics in America by Marjorie Hershey how individual’s voting decisions are affected by two forces: “the strength of their party ID and the power of the short-term forces, the attractiveness of the candidates and issues in that campaign” (Hershey 120). Similarly, it is not new to know “the strongest partisans are the most likely to vote, to pay attention to politics, and to become politically active” (Hershey 120). Under this implication an important caveat is citizens must actually receive policy information during the election. The results proved citizens don’t need it because if they had received the policy information there wouldn’t be the need to observe the difference of control vs treatment

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