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The personal vote and party cohesion: Modeling the effects of electoral rules on intraparty politics

Carroll, Royce and Nalepa, Monika (2020) 'The personal vote and party cohesion: Modeling the effects of electoral rules on intraparty politics.' Journal of Theoretical Politics, 32 (1). pp. 36-69. ISSN 0951-6298

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Conventional wisdom suggests that parties in candidate-centered electoral systems should be associated with less cohesive policy preferences among legislators. We model the incentives of party leaders to achieve voting unity without relying on discipline, showing that candidate-centered systems have the counterintuitive effect of promoting party agreement on policies and preference cohesion. These implications derive from the degree of control over list rank held by leaders for cohesion under open lists (OLPR) and closed lists (CLPR). Because discipline is costlier in OLPR due to leaders' lack of control over list rank, leaders seeking voting unity propose policies that promote agreement between members and leadership. Under CLPR, however, leaders can more easily achieve voting unity by relying on discipline and therefore lack incentives to promote internal agreement. We then extend the model to allow the party leader to replace members, showing that preference cohesion itself is greater under OLPR. Further, our baseline results hold when allowing legislative behavior to affect vote share and when accounting for candidates' valence qualities. We interpret our results to suggest that candidate-centered systems result in stronger incentives for developing programmatic parties, compared to party-centered systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electoral systems, party cohesion, personal vote, proportional representation
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 09:49
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:19

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