The Dynamics of Electoral Accountability in Two-Party Systems
by Jos R Argueta (9783639065190)

The Dynamics of Electoral Accountability in Two-Party Systems
Jos R Argueta
Release Date: 01 August 2008
Format: Paperback
Pages: 176
Category: Political Science
Publisher: VDM Verlag
ISBN: 9783639065190
ISBN-10: 3639065190

It has been argued that strong national parties, with somewhat deep roots in the society, are necessary for electoral accountability. In such settings, citizens with varying combinations of societal characteristics would be better able to identify which party represents their cleavage-generated interests and vote for them, or vote them out of office if they fail their mandate. However, cleavage-based partisans are much more likely to develop a strong, affective attachment to their party. Because of that, they would also be more inclined to vote for the same party election after election. For electoral accountability to occur, a considerable segment of the electorate must be composed of independents and moderate partisans, without any strong, affective attachment to a party. This research found that the mechanisms through which electoral accountability came about were mainly independents voting for different parties in subsequent elections and moderate partisans abstaining from voting for their party. Thus, voting abstention may not necessarily be an undesirable voting behavior, nor should independents be overlooked, since they might actually decide the winners of elections.

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