political science 345 the legislative process class 11 parties n.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Political Science 345: The Legislative Process Class 11: Parties

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 24

Political Science 345: The Legislative Process Class 11: Parties - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Political Science 345: The Legislative Process Class 11: Parties. Professor Jon Rogowski. Collective decision-making is difficult. Collective action problems Arise when benefits are collective but costs are individual Cycling Lack of information About each other’s preferences

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Political Science 345: The Legislative Process Class 11: Parties' - casey

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
collective decision making is difficult
Collective decision-making is difficult
  • Collective action problems
    • Arise when benefits are collective but costs are individual
  • Cycling
  • Lack of information
    • About each other’s preferences
    • About what constitutes “good” outcomes
these problems are particularly acute in legislatures
These problems are particularly acute in legislatures
  • Discrete, nested jurisdictions
  • Staggered elections
  • An inattentive public
    • Not very informed
    • Unconstrained policy views
    • Short time horizons
one solution parties2
One solution: Parties

Party: A group of citizens who (a) hold in common substantial elements of a political doctrine identified, both by party members and outsiders, with the name of the party; (b) choose candidates, either from within the group or by selecting outsiders, for political office with the objective of carrying out this doctrine; and (c) organize the members of their delegation to the assembly of the political unit where the party is active. (Hinich and Munger 1994)

three part parties
Three-part parties

Party organization

Party committees, leaders, activists

Citizens who identify with the party

Party candidates and public officials

Party in the electorate

Party in government

traditional theories of parties
Traditional theories of parties
  • Parties as diverse coalitions
    • In a diverse republic, the problem is the opposite of majority tyranny (Madison)
    • A major party aggregates many diverse interests to form a majority
  • Responsible party thesis
    • The party as a collective enterprise, organizing competition for the full range of offices, provides the only means for holding elected officials responsible for what they do collectively
    • Parties unify fragmented institutions (across branches, layers of government, etc)
  • Parties and electoral competition
    • Parties seek the benefits of office
    • Formulate policies to win elections rather than winning elections to enact policies (Downs)
    • Competition between parties harnesses ambition of parties of promote desires of citizens
parties in the legislature
Parties in the legislature
  • The organization of the two parties is interwoven with the organization of Congress.
  • Every major leadership position in Congress is a partisan position.
  • Majority party
    • Determines Speaker of the House
    • Manages floor action in the Senate
    • Chooses chairs of all committees in both houses
    • Hires and fires committee staff
    • Disproportionately dominates committees
party leaders vs committee chairs
Party Leaders vs. Committee Chairs
  • Seniority rule directed that the most senior member of the majority party automatically became chair.
    • Members could win chairs even if they didn’t support the party leadership
  • Democratic caucus revised seniority rule in the mid-1970s.
    • Caucus can challenge and depose chairs by secret ballot.
    • Fundamentally changed power structure in favor of party leaders
the gingrich revolution
The Gingrich Revolution
  • 1995: In order to fulfill the Contract, Republicans needed strong party leadership and discipline.
  • Seniority rule set aside; Gingrich allowed to appoint committee chairs.
    • Party loyalty trumps seniority.
  • But when Republicans lose seats in midterm elections, Gingrich forced to resign.
    • Hastert retained strong powers, but exercised them more judiciously.
    • Pelosi leaned more toward seniority.
    • Boehner and Tea Party freshmen
methods of party influence
Methods of Party Influence
  • Lots of carrots, a few sticks
  • Parties can offer
    • Committee assignments
    • Pork
    • Information
    • Electoral resources
  • Party leaders are chosen by members (delegation) and can be removed.
  • MCs can vote against the party without fear of losing their jobs.
party leaders balancing act
Party Leaders’ Balancing Act
  • Party leaders need the power to twist arms of marginal MCs to win roll calls.
  • But asking MCs to vote against constituent interests often and/or on big issues risks losing the seat altogether.
  • Strategic use of party power means picking fights and controlling the agenda.
    • Often the best tactic is to keep issues that divide the party off the agenda altogether.
    • Focus on feasible, desirable policy changes.
  • For this reason, party leaders excuse some disloyalty on substantive issues but demand complete loyalty on procedural issues.
parties as procedural coalitions














Parties as Procedural Coalitions



positive and negative agenda control
Positive and Negative Agenda Control
  • Parties use negative agenda control to keep losing or divisive issues off the agenda. Thus we may never see the party lose a vote, even when it is internally divided.
  • But parties can do much more than block. Parties coordinate agendas:
    • Facilitate logrolling across committees
    • Broker deals across Houses of Congress and with the White House
party unity in congress
Party Unity in Congress

Source: Keith Poole, http://www.voteview.com.

congressional party polarization
Congressional Party Polarization

Source: Keith Poole, http://www.voteview.com.

when are parties most unified
When Are Parties Most Unified?
  • On organizational issues
  • On the president’s proposals
  • On issues central to party brand name
  • Does competition promote party unity?
    • At the level of the individual legislator, close races encourage greater sensitivity to constituency
    • At the level of the legislature as a whole, close party competition tends to increase party voting.
where s the party
Where’s the party?

“The crucial question has to do with individual legislators’ policy preferences. In casting apparently partisan votes, do individual legislators vote with fellow party members in spite of their disagreement about the policy in question, or do they vote with fellow party members because of their agreement about the policy in question?”

- Krehbiel 1993, 238

party effects in congress
Party Effects in Congress

Source: James M. Snyder, Jr. and Tim Groseclose, 2000, “Estimating Party Influence in Congressional Roll Call Voting”, AJPS.