|Budget Amount *help
¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1991 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1990 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
This study was based on a mail-out panel survey conducted in Midori-ward of Yokohama City in February-March 1991 and in November-December 1991. Of the original sample of 1, 006, 523 responded on the first wave, and 364 answered on the second wave.
The purpose of this study was to examine nature of political independents in Japan, with special focus on independents who conscientiously or deliberately reject partisanship. For this purpose, this study tested two types of new measurement of partisanship.
First, feeling thermometer scale toward political independents was created, and was asked, together with conventional feeling thermometer scales toward major parties, on the first wave survey. The results of a principal component analysis of these thermometer scales showed that three separate dimensions appeared : the conservative-progressive dimension, the middle-of-the-way parties dimension, and political independent dimension. Therefore, in the respondents' minds, political independents a
re regarded as an independent entity.
Second, a series of questions to probe the voters' independent orientation were asked on the second wave survey. The conventional measurement of partisanship has been to ask respondents if they have partisanship. Then, those respondents who do not have partisanship are categorized as independents. In other words, the residual category of partisans has been operationally defined as "independents". However, in this study, the respondents were first asked if they have any attitudes or orientation toward political independents. Only those respondents Who answered negatively would be asked about their partisanship. The comparison of the data based on this new partisan measurement and the conventional measurement indicates that the percentage of political independents is much higher on the new method (63.7%) than its percentage on the conventional method (31.2%), implying that the conventional measurement of partisanship might have underestimated the size of independents in Japan. Less