Scientific article
Open access

Can't buy me votes?: campaign spending and the outcome of direct democratic votes

Published inWest European Politics, p. 1-25
Publication date2021

Recent American studies that investigate the influence of money on the outcome of direct democratic votes find campaign spending effective for both supporters and challengers. Taking advantage of Switzerland's far-reaching experience with direct legislation, this article tests the role of money in a ‘harder' context, where government plays an active role in direct democratic processes. It assesses the impact of campaign spending on 323 federal votes, and on a subset of 60 votes, offering finer-grained cantonal-level data. On the one hand, the results highlight the crucial role of the partisan coalition supporting the government for the outcome of votes; on the other hand, campaign spending is effective for both government and challenger camps, yet more so for the latter. Furthermore, the effects of government camp spending vary depending on the expected vote outcome and the difference in spending between both camps.

  • Campaign spending
  • Direct democracy
  • Switzerland
  • Government coalition
  • Initiatives
  • Referendums
Citation (ISO format)
JAQUET, Julien Matthieu, SCIARINI, Pascal, GAVA, Roy. Can’t buy me votes?: campaign spending and the outcome of direct democratic votes. In: West European Politics, 2021, p. 1–25. doi: 10.1080/01402382.2020.1852374
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0140-2382

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