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When Moderate Voters Prefer Extreme Parties: Policy Balancingin Parliamentary Elections




This work develops and tests a theory of voter choice in parliamentary elections. I demonstrate that voters are concerned with policy outcomes and hence incorporate the way institutions convert votes to policy into their choices. Since policy is often the result of institutionalized multiparty bargaining and thus votes are watered down by power-sharing, voters often compensate for this watering-down by supporting parties whose positions differ from (and are often more extreme than) their own. I use this insight to reinterpret an ongoing debate between proximity and directional theories of voting, showing that voters prefer parties whose positions differ from their own views insofar as these parties pull policy in a desired direction. Utilizing data from four parliamentary democracies that vary in their institutional design, I test my theory and show how institutional context affects voter behavior.

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  • Kedar, Orit, 2005. "When Moderate Voters Prefer Extreme Parties: Policy Balancingin Parliamentary Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 185-199, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:02:p:185-199_05

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    Cited by:

    1. Mostapha Diss & Eric Kamwa, 2019. "Simulations in Models of Preference Aggregation," Working Papers hal-02424936, HAL.
    2. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2018. "The Power of Parties: Evidence from Close Municipal Elections in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(1), pages 3-30, January.
    3. Francesco, De Sinopoli & Giovanna, Iannantuoni & Valeria, Maggian & Stefania, Ottone, 2018. "A Two-Party System under the Proportional Rule is Possible: Strategic Voting in the Lab," Working Papers 381, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 16 May 2018.
    4. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo.
    5. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2016. "The Influence of Party Affiliations on Representation of Voter Preferences in Majoritarian vs. Proportional Systems," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145705, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Jim Granato & Melody Lo & M. C. Sunny Wong, 2010. "A Framework for Unifying Formal and Empirical Analysis," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(3), pages 783-797, July.
    7. Paul Mitchell & Geoffrey Evans & Brendan O'Leary, 2009. "Extremist Outbidding in Ethnic Party Systems is Not Inevitable: Tribune Parties in Northern Ireland," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 57(2), pages 397-421, June.
    8. Olle Folke, 2014. "Shades Of Brown And Green: Party Effects In Proportional Election Systems," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1361-1395, October.
    9. Matias A. Bargsted & Orit Kedar, 2009. "Coalition‐Targeted Duvergerian Voting: How Expectations Affect Voter Choice under Proportional Representation," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(2), pages 307-323, April.

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