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Political Cynicism, Public Interest Blackballing and Voter Turnout: The Case of South Korea's 2000 National Assembly Elections

  • SUNWOONG KIM (a1) and KISUK CHO (a2)

Abstract

In the South Korea's 16th National Assembly (NA) elections held on 13 April 2000, there was widespread speculation that the Citizens Alliance's (CA's) public interest blackballing campaign against ‘unfit’ candidates increased voter cynicism and decreased voter turnout, as it was the lowest ever for NA elections. We empirically evaluate this speculation by conducting logit analyses of individual voter survey data as well as regression analyses on district-wide aggregated data on turnout. Although we find that cynical voters are likely to be more sympathetic to CA's blackballing campaign, we do not find any evidence that the campaign decreases voter turnout. These findings are consistent with Kahn and Kenny (1999) who argue that voters respond well to the negative information if it is presented in an appropriate manner.

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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Conference organized by Korean Political Science Association, Aug. 22–24, 2001, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. The comments and suggestions by the conference participants, Eric Browne, Shale Horowitz, Eui Hang Shin, and anonymous referees are gratefully acknowledged.

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Political Cynicism, Public Interest Blackballing and Voter Turnout: The Case of South Korea's 2000 National Assembly Elections

  • SUNWOONG KIM (a1) and KISUK CHO (a2)

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