Electoral Supply, Median Voters, and Feelings of Representation in Democracies<sup>*</sup>

Christopher J. Anderson

in Citizens, Context, and Choice

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599233
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595790 | DOI:
Electoral Supply, Median Voters, and Feelings of Representation in Democracies*

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This chapter examines the determinants of feelings of electoral representation in cross-national perspective. Based on CSES data from thirty-four democracies around the world, it argues that a country's macro-political context in the form of electoral systems and the menu of choices on hand at election time plays an important role in shaping people's sense that their views are represented by political parties, leaders, and in elections generally. It shows that countries' macrolevel electoral institutions and supply of choices together with individuals' predispositions interactively shape citizens' sense that their views are represented. While voters who locate themselves in the political middle generally have more negative views about representation, the gap in feelings of representation between voters located in the middle of the political spectrum and away from it is larger in systems that provide polarized partisan choices and smaller in countries with proportional electoral systems.

Keywords: representation; legitimacy; system support; median voter; electoral system; electoral supply; polarization; party system; CSES

Chapter.  9401 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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