October 12, 2022
menti.com code 8542 1834
(to the board)
In two party district with majoritarian rules, and voters must choose a candidate (no abstention), then…
What happens in this model when there are ethnic political parties?
ethnic party is a political party that:
This is a type of institutional separation
In contrast to non-ethnic parties, ethnic parties…
Ethnic parties face “centrifugal” pressures - away from the middle (Horowitz 1985):
Ethnic parties face possible/actual competition from other ethnic parties for the same ethnic votes.
Taking a moderate position…
If ethnic parties are too moderate:
Catholic (Nationalist) Parties
Protestant (Unionist) Parties
Ethnic outbidding does not require that ethnic parties start out as extremists
Horowitz suggests ethnic parties can drive conflict:
Emergence of ethnic parties can drive vicious cycle toward conflict
Ethnic outbidding has unclear relationship to conflict:
Horowitz (1991) considers ways to limit ethnic extremism.
Says we want electoral institutions that:
Worst institutional design?
First past the post: single member districts, plurality winner (Canada, UK, US, etc.)
proportional representation: many variants, but, generally: multi-member constituencies, seats allocated in proportion to votes won
What is the problem with PR (according to Horowitz)?: difference between vote-pooling vs. seat-pooling:
vote pooling: political parties try to collect votes from multiple ethnic groups in advance of the election. This drives parties to propose moderate policies that are palatable to ethnic moderates in both groups.
seat pooling: political parties representing different ethnic groups form a ruling coalition after the election. May not be very stable.
Alternative Vote: single member districts, rank order candidates
Why? Moderate ethnic parties can beat extremist ethnic parties with second preference votes from other ethnic group.
dispersing power from central government to regional/local governments can reduce the costs of losing
Conflict, in part, result of strategic interests facing elite actors (ethnic parties/political parties)