Home

Erik Moberg ã:
A Theory of Democratic Politics
 
 

27 - SUMMARY

In this summary I will present the main hypotheses derived in the discussion above. First there are some hypoteses about the nature of the main actors, and about their interaction.
 
Parliamentary, proportional Parliamentary, majoritarian Presidential, proportional Presidential, majoritarian
Type of main actors? Only party main actors. Party main actors dominate. Both party main actors and individual main actors. The president is an important individual main actor. Only individual main actors. The president is a particularly important main actor.
Number of main actors? Around five to ten. Very few, perhaps only two. Possibly around hundred. A few hundred.
Are political careers party careers? Yes Yes Yes for the legislators, but not necessarily for the president. Not necessarily for anyone.
Are the voting patterns stable? Yes, possibly over the whole election period. Yes, possibly over the whole election period, and disregarding some individual main actors. No, they may change from decision to decision. No, they may change from decision to decision.
Does the voting follow party lines? Yes Yes, disregarding some individual main actors. No, not necessarily, although party voting may sometimes be important. No
Are the winning coalitions usually minimal? Yes Yes No, not necessarily. No
Is it easier to form a blocking constellation than a decisive one? Only if there are two houses in the legislature. Only if there are two houses in the legislature. Yes, and in particular if there are two houses in the legislature. Yes, and in particular if there are two houses in the legislature.
Are the main actors mainly working for special interests, or mainly for general interests? Mainly for special interests. Could be both. Individual main actors may however work for regional special interets. The president may be working for general interests. The main actors in the legislature are likely to work for special interests. The president may be working for general interests, and so may some of the legislators. Legislators may however also work for regional special interets.
Is there any main actor representing more than partisan interests? No Possibly Possibly the president. Possibly the president and possibly some legislators.
Is an organized opposition likely to form? No Yes No No
Is the political process continous or a batch process? Essentially a batch process - most policy decisions are taken when the coalition executive is formed. Could be both. A continous process. A continous process.
Is blocking for its own sake - that is blackmail - likely to take place? Yes, possibly by small ideologically free parties in the coalition formation process. Hardly, but possibly by individual main actors sometimes. Yes, very likely. No

Then there are some hypotheses about the relations between the main actors and the voters.
 
Parliamentary, proportional Parliamentary, majoritarian Presidential, proportional Presidential, majoritarian
What kind of relation will the main actors have to the voters? Instruction - the instructions may to a large extent be specific. Instruction - the instructions may to a large extent be general. To some extent delegation - in particular regarding the president - bot also instruction. Delegation will dominate.
Is the electorate likely to be segmented so that the main actors can identify their friends and enemies? Yes, to a large extent. Yes, to a large extent. Possibly Only to a very limited extent.

Finally, there are a number of hypotheses about lobbying.
 
Parliamentary, proportional Parliamentary, majoritarian Presidential, proportional Presidential, majoritarian
Is the lobbying process concentrated or dispersed? It is very concentrated. The leaderships of the party main actors are the main targets. It will occur in closed rooms and is therefore hardly visible. It is cheap. It is very concentrated. The leaderships of the party main actors are the main targets. It is likely to be dispersed. All targets are individual main actors. The process will therefore be dispersed in the extreme and highly visible. It is expensive.
Are the lobbyists likely to form permanent coalitions with political parties? At least they are able to do so. At least they are able to do so. Perhaps No
Are the lobbyists likely to achieve changes in status quo, or can they just, at most, hope to defend the status quo? They may very well achieve changes in status quo. They may very well achieve changes in status quo. They may, to a large extent, be restricted to defending status quo. Defending the status quo may very well be their main activity.
Will the lobbying organizations form before, or after, favorable decisions? To a large extent before. To a large extent before Both patterns are possible. To a large extent after the decisions.
What will the main actor get in return for yielding? Votes Votes and/or money. Votes and/or money. Money
Is lobbying likely to be a highly rewarding enterprise for the lobbyist? Yes Perhaps Perhaps No