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Elections, Parties, DemocracyConferring the Median Mandate$
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Michael D. McDonald and Ian Budge

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199286728.001.0001

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Choices Parties Offer

Choices Parties Offer

Chapter:
(p.61) 5 Choices Parties Offer
Source:
Elections, Parties, Democracy
Author(s):

Michael D. McDonald (Contributor Webpage)

Ian Budge (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199286728.003.0005

Parties and their programmes form the alternatives electors vote for under modern representative democracy. A precondition of mandate theory, as opposed to convergence theories of democracy, is that parties offer clear choices. This chapter asks — Are there choices? Are the choices gently graded or sharply polarised? Are the policy alternatives on offer clear? Do the specific issues within the parties’ bundles fall along a Left–Right continuum correlated with each other, and with the overall party position.

Keywords:   party policy, choices, mandates, convergence, divergence, leapfrogging, polarisation, Left–Right, specific issues

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