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Hearts, Minds, and Tulips: The Contribution of Active Intelligence in Understanding Dutch Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification - 7 - preference and candidate characteristics on how citizens make choices also constitutes one of the dominant puzzles in the Dutch political environment. As I argued earlier and will demonstrate empirically, the analysis of Marcus et al. (2000) provides a possible solution, by justifying when and how citizens make use of different types of considerations. A point to consider however is that when borrowing theories developed with certain political systems and electorates in mind, one faces a challenge of applicability. There are two important differences between the American and Dutch political environment that can influence the findings of affective intelligence theory. One is the role of partisanship and the other is the conditional significance of candidates in the Dutch political scene. Party and Candidate considerations in the United States and the Netherlands Partisanship represents a routine voting decision in favour of a particular party, and a sense of psychological identification with the party. In the United States, voters have long held dispositions towards the Democratic or the Republican parties, but with increasing attention paid to political candidates, political science scholars predicted a decline of the importance of party identification in the seventies. However, using data from the American NES from 1952 through 1996 Bartels (2000) shows that partisan voting is back on the rise in all elections (presidential or congressional), nationwide and for both Democrats and Republicans. Marcus et al. (2000) agree that partisanship is a widely used heuristic among the US electorate. The theory of affective intelligence examines party attachments in the context of anxiety. In a two party system, where the electorate is polarized between two choices, and party identification bonds are strong, voters remain attached to their party, even when they experience anxiety towards their party or its leader. McKuen et al. (2006) show that one third of American voters who support a particular party, cast a vote that is faithful to their party identification, even when being dissatisfied with the party leader. Partisan attachments, commonplace in American political behavior, are less rigid in multiparty systems founded on coalition governments, like the Netherlands, where the ideological distances between the parties are smaller. The numbers of undecided voters are also greater, and citizens move their vote more frequently between parties.

Authors: Capelos, Tereza.
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Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification
- 7 -
preference and candidate characteristics on how citizens make choices also constitutes
one of the dominant puzzles in the Dutch political environment. As I argued earlier and
will demonstrate empirically, the analysis of Marcus et al. (2000) provides a possible
solution, by justifying when and how citizens make use of different types of
considerations. A point to consider however is that when borrowing theories developed
with certain political systems and electorates in mind, one faces a challenge of
applicability. There are two important differences between the American and Dutch
political environment that can influence the findings of affective intelligence theory. One
is the role of partisanship and the other is the conditional significance of candidates in the
Dutch political scene.
Party and Candidate considerations in the United States and the Netherlands
Partisanship represents a routine voting decision in favour of a particular party,
and a sense of psychological identification with the party. In the United States, voters
have long held dispositions towards the Democratic or the Republican parties, but with
increasing attention paid to political candidates, political science scholars predicted a
decline of the importance of party identification in the seventies. However, using data
from the American NES from 1952 through 1996 Bartels (2000) shows that partisan
voting is back on the rise in all elections (presidential or congressional), nationwide and
for both Democrats and Republicans.
Marcus et al. (2000) agree that partisanship is a widely used heuristic among the
US electorate. The theory of affective intelligence examines party attachments in the
context of anxiety. In a two party system, where the electorate is polarized between two
choices, and party identification bonds are strong, voters remain attached to their party,
even when they experience anxiety towards their party or its leader. McKuen et al. (2006)
show that one third of American voters who support a particular party, cast a vote that is
faithful to their party identification, even when being dissatisfied with the party leader.
Partisan attachments, commonplace in American political behavior, are less rigid
in multiparty systems founded on coalition governments, like the Netherlands, where the
ideological distances between the parties are smaller. The numbers of undecided voters
are also greater, and citizens move their vote more frequently between parties.


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