Elections as Instruments of Democracy: Majoritarian and Proportional Visions
Yale University Press, 2000 - Political Science - 298 pages
In this book, a leading scholar of comparative politics explores elections as instruments of democracy. Focusing on elections in twenty democracies over the past quarter century, G. Bingham Powell, Jr., examines the differences between two great visions of democracy--the majoritarian vision, in which citizens use the election process to choose decisively between two competing teams of policymakers, providing the winner with the concentrated power to make public policy; and the proportional influence vision, in which citizens use elections to choose political agents to represent their views in postelection bargaining, thereby dispersing power. Powell asks crucial questions for modern democracies: Which vision best serves as an instrument of democracy? What are the reasons and conditions under which each vision succeeds or fails?
Careful analyses of more than 150 democratic elections show that each vision succeeds fairly well on its own terms in responsively linking election outcomes to policymaker selection, although advantages and limitations must be traded off. However, Powell concludes, the proportional influence vision and its designs enjoy a clear advantage in creating policy congruence between citizens and their policymakers--a finding that should give pause to those who are attracted to the idea of the decisive election as a direct tool for citizen control.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Elections as Instruments of Democracy
Constitutional Designs as Visions of Majoritarian
Connecting Votes Governments
Identifiability and Majority
A Alternative Approach to Effective Representation
Responsiveness in Selecting Governments
Connecting Citizens Preferences
Decisive Elections Governments
Representing the Median Citizen
o Overview of Elections as Instruments of Democracy
Other editions - View all
alternative analysis assume Australia Austria average chap chapter citizen median clarity of responsibility close committee system congruence constitutional designs countries create decisive Denmark discussed distance Duverger's Law effective representation elec election rules electoral electoral threshold empirical ernment expect failure figure Finland France future governments governing parties government formation grand coalition Greece ideal identifiability incumbents instruments of democracy Italy left-right scale legislative majority legislative median legislative seats legislature majoritarian and proportional majoritarian systems majoritarian vision majority status mandate median citizen median legislator median voter ment minority governments Netherlands normative Norway number of parties OO OO OO opposition parties parliamentary systems party system percent plurality party plurality vote winner political parties position postelection bargaining preelection coalition problem processes proportional influence vision proportional representation proportional vision representatives scale points seats share shows single-member district single-party majority Sweden threshold tion two-party vote-seat voting choices Zealand