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Electoral Responsiveness, Party Government, and the Imperfect Performance of Democratic Elections

  • G. Bingham Powell
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter works from the premise that in a democracy, the laws are supposed to correspond to the “preferences and will” of the citizens and investigates whether, to what extent, and under which conditions we can expect elections to produce such outcomes. It begins by considering normative ideals of the electoral connection (majoritarianism vs. proportionality) and then turns to political institutions (electoral rules and constitutional design) and the outcomes they generate in terms of government composition, legislative outputs, and actual public policy. The chapter also discusses the sensitivity of decision-making structures to electoral sanctions. It concludes by highlighting differences in evaluating the results normatively from majoritarian and proportional visions of democracy and identifying empirical conditions that tend to make elections perform imperfectly

Keywords

Accountability Majoritarianism Proportionality Responsiveness 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of RochesterRochesterUSA

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