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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

(p.61) 5 Choices Parties Offer
Elections, Parties, Democracy

Michael D. McDonald (Contributor Webpage)

Ian Budge (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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