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Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975

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  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter

Abstract

All democratic systems are theoretically open to so-called election inversions, i.e., instances wherein a majority of the decision makers prefer one alternative but where the actual outcome is another. The paper examines the complex 1975 Danish government formation process, which involved five rounds of negotiations and at least five competing alternatives. We demonstrate that in terms of party preferences the final outcome was not the Condorcet winner but rather one that could have been beaten by at least three other government alternatives in head-to-head comparisons. The Danish procedural system of “negative” parliamentarism combined with simple plurality rule to produce the electoral inversion.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49682.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49682

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Keywords: Social choice; voting paradoxes; election inversions;

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  1. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2001. " An Empirical Example of the Condorcet Paradox of Voting in a Large Electorate," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 107(1-2), pages 135-45, April.
  2. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
  3. Elinor Ostrom, 1986. "An agenda for the study of institutions," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 3-25, January.
  4. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2011. "Election inversions, coalitions and proportional representation: Examples from Danish elections," MPRA Paper 35302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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