Representation as Process

Ian Budge, Hans Keman, Michael McDonald and Paul Pennings

in Organizing Democratic Choice

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741685 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Representation as Process

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Traditional treatments of the party mandate – indeed of the representative process in general – have tended to see it as operating one election at a time. This book innovates by viewing representation as a continuous process over a series of elections. This simplifies conditions for its fulfilment, and makes it easier for democracy to function. All that needs to happen is a) for parties to take up positions on both sides of most electors, i.e. ‘bracket’ them b) governments and policy targets to alternate reasonably frequently c) policy to be effected rather slowly. These conditions will ensure reasonable election by election congruence between popular preferences and public policy: avoidance of long-term bias: and good responsiveness of policy to preferences. Subsequent chapters test these hypotheses against a wide variety of evidence from 16 democracies 1945-1995, using advanced statistical techniques and computer simulations.

Keywords: representation; congruence; bias/neutrality; responsiveness; bracketing; policy inertia; alternation

Chapter.  7251 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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