[EM] Democratic Electoral Methods
jms346 at georgetown.edu
Mon Jan 9 10:32:57 PST 2017
The Gilens and Page study is compelling.
I am trying to account for the adoption, use, and repeal of PR in American
cities. In that project, I have found that partisanship and party
factionalism are useful frames for organizing facts.
Elsewhere I have found that partisanship explains outcomes in other
I make no claims about whether this is good or bad.
Ph.D. Candidate in Government
202-681-5225 (Google Voice)
On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 11:40 AM, Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke at verizon.net> wrote:
> Good Morning, Jack Santucci
> Have you had an opportunity to read the 2014 study by Martin Gilens at
> Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page at Northwestern University?
> They concluded that "America's claims to being a democratic society are
> seriously threatened." They point out:
> "... the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other
> Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories. When the
> preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized
> interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the
> average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero,
> statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
> Is that not a natural and inevitable result of party politics?
> It certainly bears out Robert Michels finding, described in his 1911 book,
> Political Parties, that "... the oligarchical and bureaucratic tendency
> of party organization ... serves to conceal from the mass a danger which
> really threatens democracy."
> You note on your site that you care about all levels of American
> government and are broadly interested in party and institutional change.
> Would your interests include consideration of non-partisan alternatives to
> party-based systems? Ought not the discussion on an Electoral Methods site
> include thoughts on a democratic bottom-up political process that lets the
> people actively participate in the conduct of, and impress their moral
> sense on, their government? Should we consider the rejection of the
> established political parties in the 2015 elections in Frome in the U.K. an
> indication that non-partisans need the ability to limit the excesses of
> party-based systems?
> Fred Gohlke
>  Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest
> Groups, and Average Citizens. Martin Gilens and Benjamin
> I. Page
>  Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical
> Tendencies of Modern Democracy
> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
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