A Unified Theory of Party Competition: A Cross-National by James F. Adams, Samuel Merrill III, Bernard Grofman

By James F. Adams, Samuel Merrill III, Bernard Grofman

The authors clarify how events and applicants place themselves at the Left-Right ideological measurement and different factor dimensions. Their unified theoretical method of voter habit and celebration concepts takes into consideration voter personal tastes, voter's partisan attachments, anticipated turnout, and the positioning of the political establishment. The process, validated via wide cross-national research, comprises reviews of the plurality-based two-party contests within the U.S. and multiple-party festival in France, Britain, and Norway.

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Extra info for A Unified Theory of Party Competition: A Cross-National Analysis Integrating Spatial and Behavioral Factors

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2. 2; that is, they assume that voters evaluate the candidates entirely on the basis of their positions along important policy dimensions. This implies that voters 1 An alternative to quadratic utility is linear utility, in which the utility of a voter i for candidate k is given by Vi (k) = |xi − sk |. It is difficult to distinguish empirically whether quadratic or linear utility (or some other function of distance) better represents voters’ relative evaluations of candidates. There is evidence that linear utility gives a better fit to thermometer scores interpreted as utilities, such as those solicited from respondents in the American National Election Studies and other national election studies (Westholm 1997: 876; Merrill and Grofman 1999: 173–5; Berinski and Lewis 2001).

Heretofore we have attempted to explain parties’ strategies by assuming only their responses to voter behavior. xml CY518/Adams 14 0 521 83644 1 March 2, 2005 A Unified Theory of Party Competition Britain the parties’ actual policies are similar to, but more dispersed than, their vote-maximizing positions as computed in our model. We account for this discrepancy in part by including in the model of two-party competition the policy-seeking motivations of the parties, as well as a valence advantage7 of one of the candidates and uncertainty about the extent of that advantage.

For simplicity, we speak about candidates, not parties, although the model applies equally well to party-centered elections. We assume that voters and candidates are located at ideal points on some continuum, representing their preferred positions along a single issue or ideological dimension. While the measured range of variation along this continuum may, in principle, be either finite or infinite, we will normally employ a finite interval from 1 to 7 (or a similar finite interval) in order to conform to the options presented to respondents in many national election studies.

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