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Why is Swiss Politics so Stable?

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  • Peter Moser
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    Abstract

    Applying rational choice approaches of politics, I analyze why major policy changes are unlikely to occur in the Swiss political system. Legislative decision rules create durable policies by the combination of the bicameral system with the optional referendum. In contrast to normative conceptions, legislative acts tend to be more difficult to change than constitutional provisions, in spite of the qualified majority rule and the single issue requirement for constitutional amendments. Furthermore, the dominance of conservative groups in Swiss politics can be explained by the optional referendum. It is an instrument suited only for conservative groups. However, I show that this instrument is beneficial for voters.

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    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/1996-I-2.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 132 (1996)
    Issue (Month): I (March)
    Pages: 31-61

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    Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:1996-i-2

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    Cited by:
    1. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004. "The Role of Direct Democracy in the European Union," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200423, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Moser, Peter, 1999. "The impact of legislative institutions on public policy: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2000. "Direct democracy, political culture, and the outcome of economic policy: a report on the Swiss experience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 287-306, June.
    4. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2002. "Auswirkungen der direkten Demokratie auf die öffentlichen Finanzen: Empirische Ergebnisse für die Schweiz," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(IV), pages 411-426, December.
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2008. "Direct democracy: obstacle to reform?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 81-93, June.
    6. Klaus Zimmermann & Tobias Just, 2000. "Interest Groups, Referenda, and the Political Process: On the Efficiency of Direct Democracy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 147-163, June.
    7. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.

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