Universality in voting behavior

author: Marija Mitrović, School of Science, Aalto University
published: Dec. 4, 2013,   recorded: November 2013,   views: 1714


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Statistical physics provides a conceptual framework for studying large-scale social phenomena. Elections represent a valuable area for quantitative study of human behavior. In proportional elections with open lists, the performance of the candidates within the same party list, has the same distribution regardless of the country and the year of the election. The study of election data sets from different countries with openlist proportional systems confirms that nations with similar election rules belong to the same universality class. Deviations from this trend are associated with differences in the election rules. Our analysis reveals that voting process is characterized with dynamics that does not depend on the historical, political or economical context where the voters operate.

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