Major Parties (major + party)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Anti-drink driving reform in Britain, c. 1920,80

ADDICTION, Issue 9 2010
Bill Luckin
ABSTRACT Aim The goal of this report is to provide a framework for understanding and interpreting political, scientific and cultural attitudes towards drink driving in 20th-century Britain. Exploring the inherent conservatism of successive governments, Members of Parliament (MPs) and the public towards the issue during the interwar years, the contribution seeks to explain the shift from legislative paralysis to the introduction of the breathalyser in 1967. Design Based on governmental, parliamentary and administrative records, the report follows a mainly narrative route. It places particular emphasis on connections between post-war extra-parliamentary and parliamentary movements for reform. Setting The paper follows a linear path from the 1920s to the 1970s. Britain lies at the heart of the story but comparisons are made with nations,particularly the Scandinavian states,which took radical steps to prosecute drinking and dangerous drivers at an early date. Findings The report underlines the vital post-war role played by Graham Page, leading parliamentary spokesman for the Pedestrians' Association; the centrality of the Drew Report (1959) into an ,activity resembling driving'; the pioneering Conservative efforts of Ernest Marples; and Barbara Castle's consolidating rather than radically innovative activities between 1964 and 1967. Conclusion Both before and after the Second World War politicians from both major parties gave ground repeatedly to major motoring organizations. With the ever-escalating growth of mass motorization in the 1950s, both Conservative and Labour governments agonized over gridlock and ,murder on the roads'. Barbara Castle finally took decisive action against drink drivers, but the ground had been prepared by Graham Page and Ernest Marples. [source]

Devolution, equity and the English question,

ABSTRACT. Following devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, does England need a stronger political voice and/or constitutional changes to safeguard its identity and interests? (the ,English question'). Polling and other evidence suggests that it does, albeit more to redress inequities associated with voting in parliament (the ,West Lothian question') and the distribution of public spending (the ,Barnett formula') than to safeguard its identity. Although campaigners for English devolution have had little impact, and alternative institutional responses to the English question are all problematic, it would be imprudent of the major parties to do nothing. The least difficult course would be adoption of English votes on English matters and reform or replacement of the Barnett formula. [source]

How Electoral Systems Can Influence Policy Innovation

Salomon Orellana
This paper argues that in certain areas of policy, electoral systems can influence policy innovation (how early countries will adopt certain policies). Electoral systems influence the number of parties that win representation and thereby influence the diversity of perspectives included in the policymaking process. It is argued here that this diversity facilitates elite and public consideration of new issues and ideas, and consequently, it leads to earlier debate and action on these issues and ideas. This dynamic is particularly relevant to controversial issues and ideas that major parties may be hesitant to address and that minor parties may be more incentivized to promote. In this paper, two issues/ideas are considered: extending rights to same-sex couples and making material sacrifices to protect the environment. I show that countries with more proportional electoral systems tend to act earlier to protect the environment and that they tend to be early adopters of civil union legislation. These results are also supported by World Values Survey data showing public preference patterns that support these policy outcomes. [source]


POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 4 2000
John W. Swain
This research looks at redistricting in terms of the partisan competitiveness of U.S. House election districts by creating a measure of partisan competitiveness based on the 1988 presidential election results for the two major parties. Nationwide, regional, and state means of district partisan competitiveness are computed for pre- and post-1990 congressional districts, and changes in those means are analyzed. This method holds constant all other factors besides redistricting. Post-1990 districts are less competitive between the two major parties than pre-1990 districts, despite predictions to the contrary. A regression model, predicting states' change in mean district partisan competitiveness, shows that states required to preclear their election districts under the Voting Rights Act and states gaining from reapportionment decline in mean district partisan competitiveness to a statistically significant degree. Surprisingly, one-party control of redistricting is associated with increased competitiveness to a statistically significant degree. [source]

The Electoral Costs of Party Loyalty in Congress

Jamie L. Carson
To what extent is party loyalty a liability for incumbent legislators? Past research on legislative voting and elections suggests that voters punish members who are ideologically "out of step" with their districts. In seeking to move beyond the emphasis in the literature on the effects of ideological extremity on legislative vote share, we examine how partisan loyalty can adversely affect legislators' electoral fortunes. Specifically, we estimate the effects of each legislator's party unity,the tendency of a member to vote with his or her party on salient issues that divide the two major parties,on vote margin when running for reelection. Our results suggest that party loyalty on divisive votes can indeed be a liability for incumbent House members. In fact, we find that voters are not punishing elected representatives for being too ideological; they are punishing them for being too partisan. [source]

Prospects for the Two-party System in a Pluralising Political World

Andrew Norton
Political commentators argue that the major political parties are in decline. This article sets out evidence for this view: minor parties and independents securing 20 percent of the vote at federal elections, declining strength of voters' party identification, and issue movements playing a large role in setting the political agenda. Possible causes for these trends range from the political, such as policy failure, undermining traditional constituencies, and ignoring public opinion, to sociological forces, such as postmaterialism, individualism and serious disaffection. However, the article argues Labor and the Coalition will be the dominant political players for the foreseeable future. In most lower houses, the electoral system favours the major parties which on balance is a good thing. The major parties have taken concerns of interest groups into account, while balancing these against majority opinion. They simplify choice for an electorate only moderately interested in politics, and can be held accountable in a way minor parties and independents cannot. [source]

British policy towards Northern Ireland 1969,2000: continuity, tactical adjustment and consistent ,inconsistencies'

Paul Dixon
This article argues that British power in Northern Ireland has been subject to considerable constraints throughout the conflict and its policy has been marked more by continuity than is usually acknowledged. The survival of bipartisanship is an indication that such constraints affect governments of both major parties and result in a tendency towards continuity in government policy between the parties. There have been changes and short-term shifts in policy, or ,tactical adjustments', but the trajectory of British policy has been relatively consistent since at least 1972. Since the collapse of the Sunningdale Agreement in 1974, the thrust of British policy towards Northern Ireland has been directed at reconstructing that settlement. The continuity of British policy is also apparent in the consistency of its apparent ,inconsistencies and contradictions'. These ,contradictions' arise, first, out of the recognition of Northern Ireland's exceptional position in British politics and, secondly, out of the perceived requirements of the ,propaganda war' that has been waged over the conflict. [source]

Roll-Off at the Top of the Ballot: International Undervoting in American Presidential Elections

POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 4 2003
Stephen Knack
Every four years, more than two percent of voters fail to cast a valid vote in the U.S. presidential contest. The 2000 election highlighted the fact that many intended votes are voided because of voter confusion associated with complicated ballot designs or voting equipment. Using survey data, this study provides estimates of the proportion of voided presidential ballots that do not represent errors but rather intentional undervotes. Voters who are older, poorer, and who do not identify with either major party are more likely to intentionally refrain from casting a presidential vote. Differences between African-American and white voting patterns are very minor, implying that racial disparities in the rate of voided votes cannot be attributed to a stronger tendency among African-American voters to intentionally skip the presidential contest. [source]