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Cohesion in Legislatures and the Vote of Confidence Procedure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

Daniel Diermeier
Affiliation:
Northwestern University
Timothy J. Feddersen
Affiliation:
Northwestern University

Abstract

We present a framework to analyze the effects of constitutional features on legislative voting with respect to cohesion and the distribution of payoffs. We then apply this framework to parliamentary democracies and show how a prominent feature of decision making in parliaments, the vote of confidence procedure, creates an incentive for ruling coalitions to vote together on policy issues that might otherwise split them. The key feature that creates cohesive voting is the fact that votes on bills are treated as votes on who controls floor access in future periods. As a consequence, legislative majorities capture more of the legislative rents from the minority in parliamentary democracies than in nonparliamentary settings.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 1998

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