Primaries and Legislative Behavior

Authored by: IndriÐi H. IndriÐason , Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson

Routledge Handbook of Primary Elections

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138684089
eBook ISBN: 9781315544182
Adobe ISBN:


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Interest in more inclusive methods of nominations seems to be spreading in parliamentary systems, which traditionally have relied primarily on relatively exclusive nomination methods. Parliamentary government, as Sartori (1994, 193) put it, “implies party supported government; a support that in turn requires voting discipline along party lines.” The temptation to open up the candidate nomination process appears to be spurred by voters growing increasingly skeptical and distrustful of political parties and party elites. Greater openness and broader participation is seen as ways to aid in regaining voters’ confidence. But as parties in most parliamentary systems have rather little experience of such nomination methods, there is limited knowledge or understanding of how they actually work. A central concern here is the question whether inclusive nomination methods are compatible with the idea of responsible party government, i.e., do inclusive primaries create havoc within political parties and undermine responsible government or can they be made to work in an orderly fashion within the framework of disciplined party government?

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