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Bicameralism and Government Formation

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Working Papers 01/2004; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.312149
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT There is a vast empirical literature on the allocation of corporate PAC contributions in Congressional elections and the influence that these contributions have on the policy-making process. The attention given to PAC contributions is far in excess of their actual importance. Corporate PAC contributions account for about 10% of Congressional campaign spending and major corporations allocate far more money to lobbying or philanthropy than their affiliated PACs make in contributions.

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    Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 11/2012; 6(S2).
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    ABSTRACT: emocratic governments come in two pure forms—presidential and parliamentary systems. The main distinction lies in the relationship between the executive and the legislature; a separation of pow- ers characterizes a presidential system, while in a par- liamentary system, there is a fusion of the executive and the legislature. The majority of democracies in the world use some variation of a parliamentary sys- tem (Lijphart 1999, 118). In these nations, where multiple parties compete for power, the electorate determines the membership of the legislature, which in turn chooses the executive (composed of the prime minister and the cabinet). The legislature also typi- cally maintains the power to dismantle the govern- ment via a vote of no confidence. The executive thus must garner the support of enough of the legislators so that the legislature does not vote (usually by a majority) to decompose the cabinet in favor of another government. In most cases, this requires a coalition between various parties that control, or at least are tolerated by, a majority of the legislators. In many ways, research on coalition behavior in parliamentary democracies exemplifies progress, generating path-breaking theoretical models (e.g., Riker 1962; Baron and Ferejohn 1989), documenting near-perfect predictive relationships (e.g., Browne and Franklin 1973; Warwick and Druckman 2006), and melding theoretical and empirical work (e.g., Diermeier and Stevenson 2000; Martin and Stevenson 2001; Skjæveland, Serritzlew, and Blom- Hansen 2007). Yet, a well recognized but largely unresolved problem plagues the bulk of extant stud- ies: they are static. The typical research study explores a single coalition process at one point in time with limited attention to dynamics external to coalition politics. The alternative is to have dynamic studies that explore interactive processes (e.g., with feedback) over time. Even the earliest scholars of coalition politics rec- ognized the importance of developing dynamic stud- ies (e.g., Leiserson 1970, 271; Bueno de Mesquita 1975; Browne and Dreijmanis 1982, 340; Laver 1986, 33-34; Laver and Hunt 1992, 74-75). Laver (1998, 22) explains, "The absence of these (dynamic) features from government-formation models is not because theorists regard them as unimportant. The reason is more prosaic—it is very difficult to incor- porate them in a rigorous manner." Incorporating dynamic elements into coalition theory would represent substantial progress. Indeed, the presumed goal of the research is to understand which coalition forms, how long it lasts, and how it shapes governing decisions and policy. It seems fairly obvious that processes of coalition formation, governance, and duration relate to one another and also to other political and economic dynamics. Under- standing how coalition politics works and isolating causal mechanisms then requires a consideration of these dynamic relationships—something that is still lacking.
    Political Research Quarterly - POLIT RES QUART. 01/2007; 61(3):479-483.

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