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Democracy and the Market

  • Terence H. Qualter

Abstract

From the instrumental point of view, the key to liberal democracy is some system of voting. Democracy and electoral competition are regarded as virtually synonymous, with interparty competition being definitionally vital. Free elections are more than just a prerequisite of democracy, they are democracy, so that authoritarian regimes may be said to be ‘democratised’ when they introduce multi-party elections. Ostensibly non-ideological, the instrumentalists focus exclusively on the machinery of the election process. As from this understanding, liberal democracy is less about governing than about the selection of governors, the mechanics of that selection are clearly critical. The conditions for ‘free’ elections may extend beyond the range of choices available, or the procedural matters described in the previous chapter, to include the consequences of exercising that choice (i.e., would a vote against the party in power be likely to attract the attention of the secret police?).1 Scores of ‘applied’ studies therefore set out to explain democracy in terms of an electoral contest and a strategy of campaigning.2

Keywords

Rational Choice Liberal Democracy Political Campaign Election Campaign Marketing Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Terence H. Qualter 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence H. Qualter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooCanada

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