Advertisement

Economics of Governance

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 363–392 | Cite as

To dissent or not to dissent? Informative dissent and parliamentary governance

  • Indridi H. Indridason
Original Paper
  • 62 Downloads

Abstract

Legislative dissent has detrimental effects for both party and legislator, i.e., legislators depend on their party label for re-election, which value in turn depends in part on the party’s reputation of cohesiveness. Commonly dissent has been attributed to “extreme” preferences. I provide an informational rationale for dissent. Costly dissent allows the legislator to credibly signal information about his constituency’s preferences to the Cabinet. As a result the Cabinet can better calibrate its policies with the electorate’s preferences. Dissent is shown to depend on policy preferences as well a the legislators’ electoral strength, electoral volatility, and the cost of dissent. Finally, the results suggests that parties may sometimes benefit from tolerating some level of dissent.

Keywords

Dissent Parliamentary government Intra-party politics Cabinets 

JEL Classification

C72 D72 D82 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Argyres N, Mui V-L (2005) Rules of engagement, credibility and the political economy of organizational dissent. ManuscriptGoogle Scholar
  2. Beniers KJ (2005) Party governance and the selection of parliamentarians. Tinbergen Institute. Discussion paperGoogle Scholar
  3. Caillaud B, Tirole J (2002) Parties as political intermediaries. Q J Econ 117(4): 1453–1489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carey JM, Shugart MS (1996) Incentives to cultivate a personal vote: a rank ordering of electoral systems. Elect. Stud 14(4): 417–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Castanheira M, Crutzen B, Sahuget N (2005) Party governance and political competition with an application to the american direct primary. Center for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper No. 4890Google Scholar
  6. Cowley P (2002) Revolts and rebellions: parliamentary voting under Blair. Politico’s Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Crowe EW (1980) Cross-voting in the British House of Commons: 1945–1974. J Politics 42: 487–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Dios MS (1999) Parliamentary party discipline in Spain. In: Bowler S, Farrell DM, Katz RS (eds) Party discipline and parliamentary government. Ohio State University Press, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  9. De Winter L (1995) The role of parliament in government formation and resignation. In: Döring H (eds) Parliaments and majority rule in Western Europe. St. Martins Press, Frankfurt/NewYorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Denver D (1998) The government that could do no right. In: King A, Norton P, McLean I (eds) New labour triumphs: Britain at the polls. Chatham House, Chatham, pp 15–48Google Scholar
  11. Judd KL (1998) Numerical methods in economics. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Kam CJ (2002) Parliaments, parties, and MPs: A comparative perspective on backbench dissent, party discipline, and intra-party politics. Ph.D. Thesis, University of RochesterGoogle Scholar
  13. Landier A, Sraer D, Thesmar D (2006) Optimal dissent in organizations. ManuscriptGoogle Scholar
  14. Lucy R (1993) The Australian form of government (2nd edn.). Macmillan, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  15. McKelvey R, McLennan A (1996) Computation of equilibrium in finite games. In: Amman H, Kendrick DA, Rust J (eds) Handbook of computational economics. North-Holland, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  16. Mitchell P (1999) Coalition discipline, enforcement mechanisms, and intraparty politics. In: Bowler S, Farrell DM, Katz RS (eds) Party discipline and parliamentary government. Ohio State University Press, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  17. Montgomery KA (1999) Electoral effects on party behavior and development: evidence from the Hungarian National Assembly. Party Politics 5(4): 507–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mughan A (1990) Midterm popularity and governing party dissension in the House of Commons, 1959-1979. Legis Stud Q XV(3): 341–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Norton P (1975) Dissension in the House of Commons: intra-party dissent in the House of Common’s division lobbies, 1945–1974. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Norton P (1978) Conservative dissidents. Temple Smith, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Norton P (1985) Behavioral changes: backbench independence in the 1980s. In: Norton P (eds) Parliament in the 1980s. Basil Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Norton P (1987) Dissent in the British House of Commons: rejoinder to Franklin, Baxter, and Jordan. Legis Stud Q XII(1): 143–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Palmer MSR (1995) Towards an economics of comparative political organisation: examining ministerial responsibility. J Law Econ Org 11: 164–188Google Scholar
  24. Saalfeld T (1995) On dogs and whips: recorded votes. In: Döring H (eds) Parliaments and majority rule in Western Europe. St. Martin’s Press, New York, pp 528–565Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Department of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations