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Choice Democracy

  • Olivier Ledoit

Democracy is defined by two core tenets: voice and pluralism. Within these constraints, a wide variety of regime types can be designed. We show that the only new, untested form of democracy is when every citizen is governed by the political party of his/her choice. Multiple full-fledged governments would coexist in the same national territory at the same time, each one sovereign only over the people who chose to vote for it - hence the name: "Choice Democracy". Choice Democracy can be regarded as pure polyarchy, the broadest form of political competition, and a robust mechanism for disciplining government agencies. We argue that this system makes democracy more stable by reducing the risk of revolutionary and financial crises. We develop a theory for the optimal number of governments per countries, where the answer is determined by a trade-off between cooperation and competition. We also provide evidence indicating that Choice Democracy would be viable in the real world.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 038.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:038
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  1. Cederman, Lars-Erik & Warren, T. Camber & Sornette, Didier, 2011. "Testing Clausewitz: Nationalism, Mass Mobilization, and the Severity of War," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 605-638, October.
  2. Ryan Murphy & Amnon Rapoport & James Parco, 2006. "The breakdown of cooperation in iterative real-time trust dilemmas," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 147-166, June.
  3. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  4. Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "FOCJ: Competitive governments for Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 315-327, September.
  5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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