Mechanisms of Issue Congruence: The Democratic Party Mandate

Abstract

Issue congruence between voters and parties can be achieved if voters and parties follow the party mandate model. A central requirement of this model is that parties fulfil their electoral mandate. This article studies collective party mandate fulfilment by comparing parties’ election manifestos with the parliamentary speeches of their politicians in two countries: a typical consensus democracy, the Netherlands, and a typical majoritarian democracy, the United Kingdom. The central question is whether a difference in collective mandate fulfilment exists between these two types of democracy. Contrary to previous findings, this study finds that such a difference does not exist, at least not with regard to the two countries analysed. This can be explained by the way in which the party mandate is conceptualised. The article also analyses the development of party mandate fulfilment over time and finds no evidence for the idea that collective mandate fulfilment is declining.

Publication
West European Politics 35(6), 1249-1271
Date