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Democratic Challenges, Democratic ChoicesThe Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies$
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Russell J. Dalton

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268436

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268436.001.0001

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Policy Preferences and Political Support

Policy Preferences and Political Support

(p.128) 7 Policy Preferences and Political Support
Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices

Russell J. Dalton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether a growing ideological gap between citizens and their government is a significant source of decreasing trust in government. There is a perception that governments are becoming more distant from the policy preferences of individual citizens. New incumbents are elected, but in a few years dissatisfaction with their performance increases, almost regardless of their policy record. The chapter argues that the increased fragmentation of policy making, the rise of single issue groups are a source of this dissatisfaction. Governing in a complex world means that no party program can make most people happy most of the time.

Keywords:   Left idealogy, Right ideology, policy differences, representation gap, political parties, single issue groups, policy making, fragmentation

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