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Do voting power considerations explain the formation of political coalitions? A re-evaluation

By Vincent C. H. Chua and Dan S. Felsenthal


In this paper, we view the party charged with forming a governing coalition immediately following an election as attempting to put together a coalition that will, with some compromise, promote its ability to implement its legislative agenda and to influence the legislative outcome in this direction. We thus view the problem of the coalition leader as one of maximizing its influence as measured by the Penrose measure of absolute voting power and subject this hypothesis and three variants to empirical testing using election data from nine countries. Two variants, namely: restricting the maximization process to the set of closed winning coalitions, or likewise but with a further requirement that the winning coalition selected be of minimal range, achieved levels of predictive success comparable to the Leiserson-Axelrod minimal range theory, suggesting that a closer examination of the role of a priori measures of power in political coalition formation may be useful

Topics: JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Accedo Verlag
Year: 2008
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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