John M. Carey is professor of government, Dartmouth College, Silsby Hall, B6108, Hanover, NH 03755 (john.carey@Dartmouth.EDU).
Competing Principals, Political Institutions, and Party Unity in Legislative Voting
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2007
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 92–107, January 2007
How to Cite
Carey, J. M. (2007), Competing Principals, Political Institutions, and Party Unity in Legislative Voting. American Journal of Political Science, 51: 92–107. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2007.00239.x
For comments on earlier drafts, thanks to Eduardo Aleman, Jim Alt, Octavio Amorim Neto, Jose Antonio Cheibub, Gary Cox, Brian Crisp, Scott Desposato, Jorge Dominguez, John Gerring, Jeanne Giraldo, Simon Hix, John Huber, Mark Jones, Burt Monroe, Kathleen O'Neill, Alejandro Poire, Peter Siavelis, and Steven Swindle, as well as seminar participants at the University of California (Berkeley), Chicago, Duke, George Washington University, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Vermont, and the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico. In addition to comments, thanks for assistance in locating and gathering data go to Christopher Kam (Australia, Canada, New Zealand), Fernando Limongi, Carlos Pereira, and David Samuels (Brazil), Elena Mielcova and Daniel Munich (Czech Republic), Andres Mejia (Ecuador), Evic Voeten (France), Reg Todd (Guatemala), Itai Sened (Israel), Jeffrey Weldon (Mexico), Cynthia Sanborn (Peru), Sheila Espine-Villaluz (Philippines), Jacek Mercik and Wieslaw Dobrowolski (Poland), Thomas Remington (Russia), and Scott Morgenstern (Uruguay). Thanks for research assistance to Anne Bellows, Adam Bookman, Justin Brownstone, John Bunyan, Anabelle Gallegos, Seth Goldberg, Clara Luz Juarez, Doron Navot, Alba Ponce de Leon, Gina Reinhardt Yanitell, Connor Raso, and Sarit Smila. Research for this article was supported by National Science Foundation Grant #SES-9986219 as well as funding from the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College.
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2007
Almost all legislators are subordinate to party leadership within their assemblies. Institutional factors shape whether, and to what degree, legislators are also subject to pressure from other principals whose demands may conflict with those of party leaders. This article presents a set of hypotheses on the nature of competing pressures driven by formal political institutions and tests the hypotheses against a new dataset of legislative votes from across 19 different countries. Voting unity is lower where legislators are elected under rules that provide for intraparty competition than where party lists are closed, marginally lower in federal than unitary systems, and the effects on party unity of being in government differ in parliamentary versus presidential systems. In the former, governing parties are more unified than the opposition, win more, and suffer fewer losses due to disunity. In systems with elected presidents, governing parties experience no such boosts in floor unity, and their legislative losses are more apt to result from cross-voting.