Tag Archives: party government

Formal and Perceived Leadership Power in U.S. State Legislatures

Perhaps formal leadership powers have one set of effects, whereas perceived leadership power has a different set of effects. Those who study Congress have engaged in long arguments about the importance (or lack thereof) of Congressional leaders in influencing outcomes. Among others, see Cox and McCubbins 1993 and 2005, Krehbiel 1993 and 1998, Binder 1996, […]

Party Power or Preferences? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from American State Legislatures

Cox, Kousser, and McCubbins want to show that agenda control matters. They did. But without meaning to, they also showed that persuasive leaders and party cohesion matter even more. Consider why some bills can get through a legislature but others can’t. Perhaps (1) legislator preferences are all that matters; liberal legislators vote for liberal bills […]

The Electoral Costs of Party Loyalty in Congress

Voters dislike partisans more than ideologues. Yesterday, I wrote about Ansolabehere and Jones’s article in AJPS showing that voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting record in Congress. On the very next page in AJPS, we find another article on the same theme. But Carson et al. want to change the […]

Partisan Polarization and Congressional Accountability in House Elections

It may have been true 20, 30, or 40 years ago that members of Congress could evade accountability for Congress’s overall activities, but rising polarization has enabled voters to punish or reward Representatives for Congress’s collective performance. Shortly before the 2008 Congressional elections, only 36% believed that most members of Congress deserved reelection. These numbers […]

Does the Citizen Initiative Weaken Party Government in the U.S. States?

Democratic governments tax the most; Republicans tax the least; divided governments are in the middle. But here’s the rub: these relationships disappear in states with direct democracy. When Progressive reformers first championed adoption of the citizen initiative and other direct democracy institutions, a major reason was to limit the ability of political parties to pursue […]