The New Theory of Strategic Voting
AbstractThis is an analysis of strategic voting under qualified majority voting. Existing formal analyses of the plurality rule predict complete coordination of strategic voting: a strict interpretation of Duverger's Law. This conclusion is rejected. Unlike previous models, the popular support for each option is not commonly certain. Agents base their vote on both public and private signals of popular support. When private signals are the main source of information, the uniquely stable equilibrium entails only limited strategic voting and hence partial coordination. This is due to the surprising presence of negative feedback --- strategic voting is a self-attenuating phenomenon. The theory leads to the conclusion that multi-candidate support in a plurality electoral system is perfectly consistent with rational voting behaviour.
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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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