Democracy

Download PDF by Roger D. Congleton: Improving Democracy Through Constitutional Reform: Some

By Roger D. Congleton

ISBN-10: 1461350689

ISBN-13: 9781461350682

ISBN-10: 146150421X

ISBN-13: 9781461504214

Do constitutions subject? Are constitutions easily symbols of the political instances at which they have been followed, or do they systematically have an effect on the process public coverage? Are the coverage crises of failing democracies the results of undesirable success or of primary difficulties linked to the most important and minor constitutional reforms followed in the course of their contemporary histories?

The function of the current learn is to handle those questions utilizing a mix of thought, heritage, and statistical research. The Swedish event offers a virtually excellent laboratory during which to check the results of constitutional reform. up to now two hundred years, Swedish governance has shifted from a king-dominated method with an unelected four-chamber parliament to a bicameral legislature elected with wealth-weighted vote casting in 1866, after which to a brand new electoral method in keeping with proportional illustration and common suffrage in 1920, and eventually to a unicameral parliamentary process in 1970. a majority of these radical reorganizations of Swedish governance have been finished peacefully utilizing formal modification techniques tested through past constitutions.

By concentrating on constitutional matters instead of Sweden's political historical past, this publication extends our realizing of constitutional reform and parliamentary democracy commonly.

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28 A person's ideology differs from many personal rules of thumb because of its broad sweep and because, in most cases, an individual's ideology is not, and perhaps cannot be, based entirely on direct personal experience. Much of personal knowledge is a synthesis of opinions expressed by persons deemed to be experts and by one's immediate family, friends, and neighbors. Most of us believe in many facts and theories-the ice age, Antarctica, Aristotle, subatomic particles, chemistry, quantum mechanics, evolutionwithout significant direct knowledge or experience with them, because others 28 Herbert Simon's 1978 Nobel Prize in economics was awarded in large part for his effort to understand better how individuals, especially within firms, use rules of thumb, heuristics, and other decision rules to make decisions.

Suffrage was very limited in Sweden during the first two major constitutional reforms. However, policy and constitutional revolutions were accomplished in Swe32 Micheletti (1995, pp. 33-44); Milner (1989, pp. 56-57). See Congleton (1991b) for an analysis of how economic and ideological interest groups compete with each other to influence voters who are open to persuasion. 33 Some threat of mob action evidently occurred in the period before the 1920 electoral reforms that ended weighted voting and extended the vote to women, although it is not clear whether it influenced parliamentary deliberations significantly.

In 1957, for the first time in many years, the nonsocialists held a majority (119) in the second chamber, but the Social Democrats maintained control of government through their first chamber dominance (with 79 members). After 30 years, the political "shoe" was now on the other foot, as the first chamber, fonnerly the stronghold of the nonsocialists, became the redoubt of the Social Democrats. This state of affairs was used by the nonsocialists to urge additional reform of parliament. They argued specifically for a unicameral government and new constraints on governance.

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Improving Democracy Through Constitutional Reform: Some Swedish Lessons by Roger D. Congleton


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