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Prospective Proximity-based Voting and the Type of Democracy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Burlacu



It has often been argued that various features of what Lijphart (1999) calls consensus democracy, such as proportional representation, multiparty systems, coalition governments, and significant opposition influence on legislation promote party–voter linkages based on policy and ideology, while probably undermining accountability for performance in office. The latter, in its turn, is often thought to be promoted by features like majoritarian electoral rules, two-party systems, single-party governments, and executive dominance over the legislature. In this chapter we examine these propositions using the extensive empirical evidence provided by Module 2 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and a new set of measures for Lijphart’s political system variables provided by Adrian Vatter and Julian Bernauer for the purposes of this volume and described in Chapter 2. We depart from an important thread of the prior literature that found that executives and legislatures are slightly more representative of citizen preferences under proportional than majoritarian systems (see eg Powell 2000; Golder and Stramski 2010). Instead, we focus on a causally prior factor, namely the incidence of policy-based voting, or, to put it in a way that is conceptually both more accurate and better linked to macro phenomena, the responsiveness of aggregate election returns to shifts of policy preferences among citizens. Sections 4.2 to 4.4 discuss our dependent variable, theoretical expectations, and statistical models, respectively. Section 4.5 presents the empirical analysis and section 4.6 concludes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burlacu D, Toka G

Editor(s): Jacques Thomassen

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Elections and Representative Democracy: Representation and Accountability

Year: 2014

Pages: 60-78

Print publication date: 03/07/2014

Online publication date: 03/07/2014

Acceptance date: 17/09/2013

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Place Published: Oxford


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780198716334