Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The lesser evil: executive accountability with partisan supporters

By Gerard Padro i Miquel and Erik Snowberg

Abstract

We develop a model of electoral accountability with primaries. Prior to the general election, the supporters of each of two parties decide which candidates to nominate. We show that supporters suffer from a fundamental tension: while they want politicians who will faithfully implement the party's agenda in office, they need politicians who can win elections. Accountability to supporters fails when supporters fear that by punishing or rewarding their incumbent for her loyalty or lack thereof, they unintentionally increase the electoral prospects of the opposing party. Therefore, accountability decreases with the importance that supporters assign to the elections, and it breaks down in two cases. First, a popular incumbent safely defects as she knows she will be re-nominated. Second, an unpopular incumbent defects because she knows she will be dismissed even if she follows the party line. These behaviors are labeled impunity and damnation, respectively, and are illustrated with case studies

Topics: JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0951629811420895
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:40806
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://jtp.sagepub.com/ (external link)
  • http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/40806... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.