Research Questions for Comparative Investigation

Michael D. McDonald and Ian Budge

in Elections, Parties, Democracy

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286720
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603327 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Research Questions for Comparative Investigation

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This chapter describes the data and the way thse are deployed operationally in the subsequent analysis. The data falls into three main categories: aggregate voting results for post-war national elections over 21 democracies with the resulting distribution of seats in parliaments and places in cabinets; policy preferences stated by all significant parties in each election in their published policy programme (their manifesto or platform); party policy preferences can also be weighted if they are in government by their share of cabinet seats. The research questions asked with these data are how far policy outputs compare with preferences on an election-to-election and government-to-government basis. More importantly, how policy relationships evolve over time canbe examined, and equilibria both for policy and preferences can be established and compared.

Keywords: voting results; parliamentary seats; elections; policy preferences; party policy; manifesto; platforms; Left-Right scale; median voter preference; median parliamentary party

Chapter.  4102 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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