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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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Research Questions for Comparative Investigation

Research Questions for Comparative Investigation

(p.49) 4 Research Questions for Comparative Investigation
Elections, Parties, Democracy

Michael D. McDonald (Contributor Webpage)

Ian Budge (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the data and the way thse are deployed operationally in the subsequent analysis. The data falls into three main categories: aggregate voting results for post-war national elections over 21 democracies with the resulting distribution of seats in parliaments and places in cabinets; policy preferences stated by all significant parties in each election in their published policy programme (their manifesto or platform); party policy preferences can also be weighted if they are in government by their share of cabinet seats. The research questions asked with these data are how far policy outputs compare with preferences on an election-to-election and government-to-government basis. More importantly, how policy relationships evolve over time canbe examined, and equilibria both for policy and preferences can be established and compared.

Keywords:   voting results, parliamentary seats, elections, policy preferences, party policy, manifesto, platforms, Left-Right scale, median voter preference, median parliamentary party

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