Ow, my brain. Below is the actual title of a publication referenced by Springerlink. While the title seems ridiculous, there is a valid point. The paper says it is from:
The Centre for Voting and Parties (Center for Valg og Partier, CVAP) is a research centreattached to the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.
For those who don’t know:
International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, is a celebration of the international labour movement. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups commemorating the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.
Of course, May Day goes back much further than that, and is a traditional ‘Spring Holiday’ in many countries. Some claim the earliest May Day celebrations appeared before the time of Christ. Here is the title:
It’s the weather, stupid! Individual participation in collective May Day demonstrations
We investigate the possible explanations for variations in aggregate levels of participation in large-scale political demonstrations. A simple public choice inspired model is applied to data derived from the annual May Day demonstrations of the Danish labor movement and socialist parties taking place in Copenhagen in the period 1980–2011. The most important explanatory variables are variations in the weather conditions and consumer confidence, while political and socio-economic conditions exhibit no robust effects. As such accidental or non-political factors may be much more important for collective political action than usually acknowledged and possibly make changes in aggregate levels of political support seem erratic and unpredictable.
The number of participants taking part in political demonstrations is usually seen as an indication of the extent of popular support for the cause addressed by the demonstration. If there are many, ―the people‖ supports it, and if there are few they do not; if there are more than last time a comparable demonstration took place, popular support is on the rise, and if there are fewer it is waning.
Or so the popular logic would seem to go. However, demonstrations are instances of large -scale collective action where the participation of the average supporter will make no difference for the outcome, and where the benefits produced by the demonstration itself constitute a ―public good which will be shared by all sympathizers, irrespective of whether they themselves take part or not.
In contrast, the costs of participating in the demonstration will be concentrated and private. So, why should rational individuals demonstrate, when they know that there at least some personal costs involved and when their own participation will have no discernible net-effect on the outcome? Public choice theorists have been asking such questions for more than five decades…
In the present study we shall try to tackle this in a new way and with a novel type of data, namely by looking at May Day demonstrations such as those organized by labour unions and socialist parties in many countries each year on May 1st since the late 19th century.
These share the rather unique feature that they have been taking place regularly, over long time periods, organized by groups with basically very similar ideological beliefs, under the same set of symbols, at the exact same time of the year, and often at the same locations. What vary then are the socio-economic and political contexts, as well as the more accidental circumstances that may affect individual participation.
The conclusion says:
The most important factors for the explanation of turn-out seems to be whether the weather is sufficiently pleasant for people to fight for what they believe is a better and more just society.
h/t to Dr. Richard Tol.
Weather has been a political force for years. It affects election turnout, wars (Battle of Leningrad and Invasion of Normandy for example) and many other variables. So, weather may very well affect weather you get turned onto being a socialist at a May Day celebration.
CLIMATE, WEATHER, AND POLITICAL BEHAVIOR by Alexander H Cohen