This is somehow a followup of this answer about vote meaningfulness.
According to this article, "Overall, people living in countries with more liberal policies reported higher life satisfaction than those in countries with less liberal policies, irrespective of their own political views". So, I will define democracy quality to how liberal that democracy is.
By liberal, I am referring to the definition from Wikipedia:
[...] fair, free, and competitive elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, and political freedoms for all people.
I am also assuming a country with a fair amount of liberal democracy (like in most Western countries): multiple political parties, separation of powers, protection of human rights. So, dictatorships are ruled out.
To make things even more specific, I am talking only about countries that are considered liberal democracies according to this source.
My assumption is that higher vote turnout correlates to the quality (as defined above) of the democracy. So, compulsory voting correlates to a high quality democracy.
I have an example from Romania:
Presidential elections in 2014 - voter turnout 53% in the first round and 64% in the runoff. Result: a pro-EU, pro-NATO, pro-US, pro-fight against corruption president
Romanian legislative elections in 2016 - voter turnout 39.5%. Result: the socialists with a satellite party have simple majority within the Parliament and start eroding the democracy by decriminalizing official misconduct.
A list of countries using compulsory voting can be found here.
Question: can one assume that compulsory voting within a republic democracy is correlated with high quality democracy? Or are there too much factors to be taken into account to obtain a high quality democracy?
[EDIT] I will try to improve the question by providing more examples. Using information from here:
- Liechtenstein, Cyprus and Belgium have a form of compulsory voting and all seem to have a balanced Legislative
- Romania, Bulgaria and Albania do not have compulsory voting , and thus lower voter turnout and have polarized Legislative (one big party dominates the Parliament).
I could not find a top dealing with "how liberal a democracy is", but I could find statistics for European Union. The first three are better when it comes to freedom of the press, economic freedom and perception of corruption.