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May 22, 2024
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Politics Romanian News

Romania: Enforcing Mandatory Democracy

More than 60% of Romanians agree with compulsory voting, arguing that a higher turnout can improve things; according to a survey conducted by INSCOP. 10 years ago, this percentage was almost 20% lower. This is when a decision to enforce mandatory democracy in Romania could be taken. Four European states enforce democracy by mandatory voting: Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and Luxembourg.

62.2% of Romanians agree with mandatory voting because they think that things can improve if more people come to vote (compared to 44.6% in 2014). On the opposite pole, 35.6% are against compulsory voting because they think the current political class cannot improve things (compared to 41.7% in 2014). The share of non-responses is 2.2% (compared to 13.6% in 2014).

Those who agree with mandatory voting are especially PSD-PNL (social-liberals) voters, young people under 30, those with primary or secondary education, inactive potentially active, rural residents and those with a lower income. ADU (The United Right Political Alliance) voters, people with higher education, residents of large urban areas and state employees are against compulsory voting in a higher proportion than the other population categories.

The democratic deficit fueled by the low voting attendance rates produced changes in the attitude of Romanians towards the hypothesis of the introduction of compulsory voting. If ten years ago, less than half of Romanians (45%) agreed with compulsory voting, today almost two-thirds of the population (62%) support the introduction of compulsory voting in the idea that if more people come to vote, they can change things for the better. It is a significant increase that reflects a higher interest in democratic processes, as well as an understanding of the fact that without a high voter turnout, the legitimacy of leaders and progress in society is impossible. PSD-PNL (74%) and AUR (68%) voters are more enthusiastic supporters of compulsory voting and, to a slightly lesser extent, ADU voters (58%). Also, somewhat surprising and dissonant compared to the lower voter turnout rates, young people aged 18-29 support compulsory voting in higher proportions (68%) compared to the other age categories.

Remus Ştefureac, director of INSCOP Research

INSCOP Research carried out the opinion poll at the behest of News.ro Press Agency. The data were collected between April 12 and 20, through the CATI method (telephone interviews), through the questionnaire.

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