Unlike the previous literature on mass policy feedback, the present paper argues that a negative message embodied in public policy may foster or dampen political participation depending on social group affiliation. The policy change we use to examine the effect of biased policy (a negative message) on political behavior is the removal of elected mayors that were replaced by an appointed committee in a large number of Arab and Jewish municipalities in Israel which was skewed significantly towards Arab municipalities. We show that Arab voters in intervened municipalities are more likely to show up in the ballot boxes in national elections and they tend to vote more for Arab parties. In contrast, the political participation of Jewish citizens is lower in municipalities with an appointed council without noticeable effect on vote choice.
policy feedback political participation vote choice