Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Bray Theory Workshop
Minority Party Influence in Competitive Partisan Legislatures (co-authored with Keith Krehbiel)
Alan E. Wiseman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
We define and formally characterize competitive partisan legislatures in terms of the distribution of procedural rights or transferable resources to a minority party and a majority party leader. Procedural rights determine (among other things) which party or parties may propose legislation or amendments to it. Transferable resources enable party leaders to attempt to influence the voting behavior of specific targeted legislators. Two competitive-partisan models are compared to a widely-endorsed baseline model in which the majority party monopolizes both agenda-setting rights and transferable resources. Comparisons of equilibria highlight the strategic behavior that accounts for counteractive minority party influence. A small increment in the minority party leaders rights or resources result in equilibrium policies that are significantly more moderate than they would be without these minimal strategic assets.