Election pledges, party competition, and policymaking

Mansergh, L and Thomson, Robert (2007) Election pledges, party competition, and policymaking. Comparative Politics, 39 (3). pp. 311-329. ISSN 0010-4159

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Election pledges are made on important issues and on the policy themes parties emphasize most. Pledges made by parties that enter the government after elections are more likely to be enacted than those made by parties that do not. Substantial differences in rates of pledge enactment can be found among majoritarian, coalition, and bicameral systems. New evidence on elections in Ireland, where coalition governments are common, is compared with the Netherlands, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and Greece. Ireland and the Netherlands are crucial cases for theories of cabinet governance that feature the coalition agreement and the allocation of ministerial portfolios.