Delia Baldassarri Hans M.A. Schadee

Il fascino della coalizione. Come e perché le alleanze elettorali influenzano il modo in cui gli elettori interpretano la politica

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The changes in the electoral and party system at the beginning of the '90s had clear consequences on attitudes and behaviour of Italian ordinary citizens. By looking at the feature of political competition through the analysis of several public opinion surveys, three main results can be shown. First, with respect to the self-placement on the left-right dimension, Italian voters "discovered the right". Second, party locations on the left-right continuum became an unsettled aspect of the electoral competition: in particular, citizen perception of party placement changed according with the overall pattern of their alliances. Finally, several cues suggest that a new political entity appeared on the Italian political landscape: the coalition. From the voter perspective, center-left and center-right alliances (including their candidates) turned out to be among the main actors of the electoral competition. At least a fourth of Italian voters made use of a judgment criterion based on an "amicus/hostis" logic. Hence, we concluded that the (perceived) fight between party coalitions is exploited as an easy shortcut for electoral choice.


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