• Is Electronic Voting a Panacea for Low Election Turnout? Examples of Estonian e–Elections and Swiss e–Referendums

    Author: Magdalena Musiał–Karg
    Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland)
    Year of publication: 2012
    Source: Show
    Pages: 428-443
    DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2012021
    PDF: ppsy/41/ppsy2012021.pdf

    One of the most apparent signs of the crisis of the democratic system is a systematically decreasing turnout level in national and supranational elections and referenda. In reports and analyses concerning the level of political participation, experts more and more frequently notice a decreasing tendency of the citizen’s involvement in numerous types of elections. As Ola Pettersson points out, “according to the sources, less and less citizens appear at the ballot boxes”. Jacek Raciborski indicates that one of the most signifi cant consequences of the low citizen’s participation at the election procedures is the considerable legitimacy deficit. A number of countries attempt to prevent these phenomena from happening by undertaking various actions aimed at increasing the level of citizens’ involvement in political life (notably by increasing their participation in elections). That would infl uence the growth of the legitimacy level of the undertaken political decisions. It is worth noticing, that apart from the commonly used ways of increasing election attendance (such as correspondence voting, mobile ballot boxes), over the last few years politicians in many countries have had numerous discussions aimed at the implementation of electronic voting (e-voting). Its followers claim that thanks to e-voting, election and referenda turnout may be increased, as this method enables disabled people and people who are abroad to take part in elections. Furthermore, a considerable advantage of e voting, compared to traditional voting in polling stations is of greater convenience than the former. The aim of the following text is to attempt to provide an answer to the question whether electronic voting can be treated as a panacea for low election turnouts, whether this form of voting may be a warranty of a higher level of voter’s attendance than before. In the article, the author bases on the experience connected with e voting in two European countries – Estonia and Switzerland, which can be referred to as the pioneers in the use of e voting.

  • Polityka Szwajcarii wobec Unii Europejskiej

    Author: Marek Żejmo
    Year of publication: 2014
    Source: Show
    Pages: 144-165
    DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ksm201412
    PDF: ksm/19/ksm201412.pdf

    Despite the fact that Switzerland does not formally belong to the European Union, it has always been strongly associated with the above organization at various levels. At first, after World War II, the contact was established with considerable caution which resulted from economic and trade contacts of Swiss government with Germany and Italy maintained during the war. First international contracts were related to the economic sphere and later on expanded by addressing the sphere of social issues such as legal system, culture, charity, science and education. At present, due to bilateral agreements, Switzerland has been integrated with the European Union even more than its newest Member States, i.e. Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, which confirms the significant flexibility of this Community as well as its great possibility to adapt to each of its Members.

    According to the Swiss, the greatest obstacle preventing this country from joining the EU is the upholding principle of eternal neutrality, although the importance of which has decreased over the years, it has been deeply rooted in Swiss mentality. Moreover, another factor preventing Switzerland from joining the EU is its strong economy as Swiss membership would result in the need to pay relatively higher contributions than that of other Member States of the Community. Although the contacts between the EU and Switzerland have been significantly intensified, the prospect of membership still seems relatively remote, all the more as bilateral agreements as well as participation in the Schengen area since 2008 make both parties satisfied and for now none of them intends to seek new solutions.


    Author: MAREK ŻEJMO
    Year of publication: 2015
    Source: Show
    Pages: 185-209
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/hso150210
    PDF: hso/9/hso910.pdf

    Since 1933, when Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, to the end of World War II the independence of Switzerland was constantly threatened. Nazi propaganda from the beginning talked about the unification of the German peoples under the banners of the Third Reich. However, Swiss neutrality gave the Germans such great material benefits that it ultimately stopped them before the execution of the annexation plans.

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