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Voter Survey Question on Turkish Accession
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Posted 12/6/2008 09:23 (#45)
Subject: Voter Survey Question on Turkish Accession

New user

Posts: 2

Suggestion for Voter Study
I would like to suggest including a question to the EES Voter Survey that taps into voters` opinions towards the accession of Turkey to the European Union (EU). This question is already employed in several National Election Surveys, such as the recent German survey.

In recent years Turkish accession to the EU has become a hot debated issue in national and European politics. Recent studies show that voters` opinions towards Turkish to the EU is one of the main driving forces behind growing Euroskepticism among European publics (see for example McLaren, 2007). Moreover, a recent study by Schoen (2008) in Electoral Studies shows the importance of issues relating to Turkey and the EU when explaining vote choice in national elections. This increasing contestation can be partially explained through the fact that the Turkish question does not only relate to voters` and elites' opinions towards Europe, but also taps into their stances on immigration and integration of immigrants.

Question wording
In order to guarantee some degree of comparability with existing surveys, I suggest using a question wording similar those employed in existing National Election Surveys on issues relating to the deepening of the European integration process. For example:

Thinking of Turkish accession to the European Union, which of the following statements would come closest to your own view?

1 Definitely join as soon as possible
2 Join if and when the country complies to conditions set by the European Commission
3 Stay out for at least the next decade or so
4 Rule out joining on principle

Catherine de Vries (Leiden University)

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Posted 16/7/2008 17:13 (#107 - in reply to #45)
Subject: RE: Voter Survey Question on Turkish Accession

Posts: 26
Location: University of Oxford, UK
Dear Catherine,

Thank you for submitting this proposal to the Open Forum. The PIREDEU Steering Committee met at the end of June to evaluate each of the proposals. We assessed them on the basis of whether they met the following criteria:

* An explicit argument about why the proposed question/coding category merited inclusion in one or more of the PIREDEU data components.

* An explicit argument about the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the question/coding category.

* An explicit case for how the question/coding category facilitates integration and linking of several data components. The PIREDEU Steering Committee preferred proposals that allowed for conceptual integration across the five data components (i.e. voter survey, candidate survey, media study, manifestos and contextual data).

* An explicit consideration of how the proposed question/coding category linked with questions/coding categories in past data collection efforts.

The PIREDEU Steering Committee favoured proposals that ensured over time and across instrument comparability. Moreover, given that the voter and candidate surveys can only contain a limited number of question items, priority was given to proposals with succinct question formats.

On this basis we ranked each question in the proposal as follows:

(1) The proposed item will be included in data collection instrument
(2) High priority proposal that will be included if space and time constraints permit
(3) Proposal can only be included if additional funding is secured
(4) Proposed item is not a priority

The item(s) from your proposal received the following ranking(s):

Instrument: Voter Survey

Thinking of Turkish accession to the European Union, which of the following statements would come closest to your own view?
Ranking: 2

Rationale: A revised version of this question, with a list of possible future candidate countries, will be included in the final voter survey.

Thank you again for your participation in this process. We hope that you will continue to use the Open Forum to comment on the questionnaires/codebook that will be posted online on the Forum in the autumn.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Franklin
Chair of the PIREDEU Steering Committee

Sara Hobolt
Deputy Chair of the PIREDEU Steering Committee

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