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Cox: Electoral rules and electoral coordination

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Cox. 1999. Electoral rules and electoral coordination. ARPS (2):145-61.

In Brief

Electoral coordination occurs at two levels: (a) at the district level and (b) at the national level. We know quite a bit about (a) (see Cox 1997), but far less about (b). (There is also a third level: coordination to distribute porfolios (in the cabinet or committee chairmanships), but Cox decides not to discuss that.)

COUNTING THE NUMBER OF PARTIES AND MEASURING LINKAGE:

These are all based on ENPP:

To measure linkage (b), use an inflation factor to measure how much higher ENPnat is than ENPavg. If I = 10, then about 10% of the size of ENPnat can be attributed to poor linkage (i.e. localized parties). Perfect linkage would have I = 0:

(a) THE DISTRICT LEVEL: Two distinct M+1 rules.

STRATEGIC ENTRY:

This is where most of the action is: Parties, factions, and groups must decide who will run candidates--and how many each faction will run. They will coordinate in a Duvergerian manner (using Cox's M+1 rule) when three conditions hold (illustrated in a first-past-the-post district, but true elsewhere):

  1. Everyone agrees that only two (M+1) parties have a realistic chance of winning. If we think that an extra party has a good chance, then there will be too many candidates.
  2. Everyone agrees about which parties have the most realistic chances of winning.
  3. We have short-term, instrumental preferences. If one party is trying to develop itself over the long term, it might run even if it knows it can't win right now.

STRATEGIC VOTING:

If parties don't regulate entry (i.e. they overnominate), then voters are likely to channel their votes primarily to the top candidates using the M+1 rule. Assumes that voters are instrumental and interested in short-term victories.

(b) THE NATIONAL LEVEL: LINKAGE

Use "I" (inflation factor--see above) to measure degree of each state's linkage. Linkage (Y) varies in response to two variables:

Evidence for X1 and X2:


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Tags

Cox, Gary (author)Political ScienceComparative PoliticsElectionsElectoral RulesCoordinationPartiesParty SystemsLinkage

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