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Democracy Transformed?Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies$
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Bruce E. Cain, Russell J. Dalton, and Susan E. Scarrow

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199264996.001.0001

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Making Elections More Direct? Reducing the Role of Parties in Elections

Making Elections More Direct? Reducing the Role of Parties in Elections

(p.44) 3 Making Elections More Direct? Reducing the Role of Parties in Elections
Democracy Transformed?

Susan E. Scarrow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role political parties play in elections in established representative democracies, and asks whether new institutions and procedures are reducing parties’ traditional role as political mediators. It traces the growing adoption and use of devices of direct democracy, the low usage of non-partisan elections, and the trend towards direct election of municipal executives. Taken together, these changes are indicative of a trend towards expanding citizens’ opportunities to have a direct say in policy decisions and in the selection of political leaders. However, the magnitude of the shift is small, and political parties still dominate most political decisions within these countries.

Keywords:   political parties, representative democracies, direct democracy, non-partisan elections

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