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

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Party Governance and Party Democracy

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

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Notes

  1. 1.

    However, we do not know whether this absence of statistical difference in spending responsiveness is a consequence of the complexity of the statistical model, the time lags, the measurement issues, or differing sensitivity to anticipated sanctions as discussed below.

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Correspondence to G. Bingham Powell .

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Powell, G.B. (2013). Electoral Responsiveness, Party Government, and the Imperfect Performance of Democratic Elections. In: Müller, W., Narud, H. (eds) Party Governance and Party Democracy. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6588-1_5

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