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The conditionality of the trade-off between government responsiveness and effectiveness: the impact of minority status and polls in the Canadian House of Commons

Pickup, Mark and Hobolt, Sara B. (2015) The conditionality of the trade-off between government responsiveness and effectiveness: the impact of minority status and polls in the Canadian House of Commons. Electoral Studies, 40. pp. 517-530. ISSN 0261-3794

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.electstud.2015.07.003

Abstract

There is an extensive literature on the relative virtues of different electoral systems in producing more responsive and effective governments, but far less attention has been paid to role of dynamic factors. This article examines how government minority/majority status and popularity shape the trade-off between government responsiveness and effectiveness. We argue that minority governments face legislative constraints that incentivize them to be responsive to the public, but that this comes at the expense of legislative effectiveness. This trade-off between responsiveness and effectiveness is, however, conditioned by the government's standing in the polls. The more popular a minority government is in the polls, the less responsive and the more effective it becomes. These propositions are tested using original time-series data on public policy preferences, government popularity, legislative output and public expenditures in Canada from 1958 to 2009. Our findings demonstrate that minority governments are more responsive to the median voter but less legislatively effective than majority governments, and that these effects are moderated by the popularity of the government.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02613...
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2015 10:36
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 11:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/64237

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