Patterns of Competition: ICE, Part 3

Left: Professor                    Center: Student                       Right: Gadfly

  1. In Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability (ICE); 1990,[1]
  2.      Part IV explores competition and identity.
  3. I’m going to highlight the parts I find meaningful, see;
  4.      What I say should allow you to create a new paper for me…
  5.             To co-author, to publish—indeed!
  6. The number of parties is the first and most important,
  7.       Determinant of electoral instability level absorption.
  8. After it comes the proportionality of the electoral system,
  9.       And then the changes in the electoral system therein.
  10. Followed by high turnout and enfranchisement.[2]
  11. Causal links between the former can get complicated quickly.
  12.      I mean, an increase in disproportionality,
  13.             Causes an increase in electoral instability.
  14.      However, it also reduces the number of parties,
  15.             Which has a negative impact on electoral instability.
  16. ICE, in general, does think that the golden age,
  17.       Of Western European party-system stability,
  18.             From 1945-1965 existed profoundly!
  19. After comparison to other phases amongst institutional factors;
  20.       The appearance or absence of certain institutions matters!
  21. For they claim, in this golden age, that “institutions come to represent
  22.       The only real motor for change.”[3]
  23. A student looked dismayed,
  24. Turns to a specific page,
  25. And claims:
  26. But a few pages after that powerful quote,
  27. We see in a summary,
  28. “there is a growing electoral instability which cannot be,
  29. Attributed to institutional factors and which reduces,
  30. Their predictive capacity
  31. (the obvious exception is the number of parties)…”[4]
  32. And there is cross-national variation to consider,
  33.      For a large models may quite horribly predict a country’s aspects,
  34.             Such as France, whom ICE does give special attention.
  35.                   For France has uniformly high levels of volatility.
  36.                         Meaning, the model doesn’t explain France’s,
  37.                                     Exceptional deviation from order and stability.
  38. One with thick curls states:
  39. So France is in need of a new model?
  40. Absolutely.
  41. Now class, for most of the countries, this model[5] is of great use.
  42.      Because you can identify which factors are important,
  43.             In a country’s election, and so deduce:
  44.                  You can specifically predict salience advantages.
  45.      A major change in turnout will create much more impact,
  46.             In the Netherlands, for instance;
  47.                  But not so much in Sweden.
  48. ICE creates a parsimonious electoral instability model,
  49.       By adding algebraically standardized values as the information.
  50. ICE is able to reduce the number of independent variables,
  51.       So creating a more meaningful theoretical connotation.
  52. As if caught in a wave,
  53. She could not help but say:
  54. Throughout the book, Professor,
  55. ICE located important variables,
  56. In political science,
  57. Which do not impact electoral instability;
  58. And thus ICE ignored them,
  59. In the model they form.
  60. Yes. None of the four different measures of policy distance,
  61.      Or changes in policy distance, for instance,
  62.             Of electoral instability predicted.
  63. The model creates general indices:
  64.       There is an index of cultural segmentation,
  65.          “ethno-linguistic plus religious heterogeneity”
  66.               As both impact electoral volatility negatively.
  67.       There is an index of political organizational density,
  68.           “party-membership rate plus trade-union density”
  69.               As both together work as a better predictor.
  70.       There is an index of institutional change,
  71.            “occurrences of franchise elections plus
  72.              occurrences of change in the electoral system”
  73.       There is the party-system format,
  74.             “number of political parties”[6]
  75. These determine the indices of the model for electoral instability.
  76. The one with grey hair,
  77. Felt the need to air,
  78. Erratic short-term influences,
  79. To make them clear:
  80. Yet some factors cannot be measured independently,
  81. Such as specific issues, perceptions of candidates,
  82. Unexpected and special events;
  83. This sporadically intervening substance!
  84. The model does reveal the dynamics,
  85.      Of mass politics in Western Europe,
  86.           Through two influences on electoral behavior,
  87.    It’s the bonds and incentives the model answers!
  88.      The bonds are measured through mass society:
  89.             The extent of cultural heterogeneity, and,
  90.             The degree of organizational density.
  91.      These are forces which sustain and reinforce political identity.[7]
  92.      The incentives arise from institutional and systematic context:
  93.             The institutional change and party format.
  94.      These are parameters for political choice mindsets.
  95. Oh, this one with socks and sandals:
  96. I still haven’t realized,
  97. A new paper topic to fully capitalize.
  98. The professor widely smiles:
  99. This model explains nearly 50 percent of the variance,
  100.      Of electoral instability across the measured countries,
  101.           And the phases—the variants.
  102. In this model, cultural segmentation is an independent determinant,
  103.      Of electoral instability, and, strongly influences two other determinants.
  104.             It cultivates party-system fragmentation.
  105.             However upon organizational density we find,
  106.                    A negative influence.
  107. Organizational density “exerts a substantial negative impact
  108.      On the format of the party system.”[8]
  109. Perhaps the social networks authorize encapsulation,
  110.       Which limits the need for political organizational intervention?
  111.             Or maybe the prodigious strength of the organizational intervention,
  112.                   Stabilizes the format and workings of the party system?
  113. Thus you young researchers, here,
  114. If an absence of cultural heterogeneity appears,
  115.    Find if there is an absence of encapsulated political forms—
  116.         Please do pioneer.
  117. Do you see the complex conception of aggregate electoral behavior?
  118.      Aren’t national electorates torn ‘tween stability and instability?
  119.             There are bonds of organizational affiliations and cultural identity.
  120.             Stimuli are produced by the systematic environment.
  121.             Change is inevitable in the institutional context.
  122.             There is constant opposition between socio-organizational bonds
  123.                  And institutional incentive calls.
  124.             Cultural heterogeneity and organizational density,
  125.                  Force societal constraints on the masses.
  126.                        Thus the electorate is tied down,
  127.       For some, change is like molasses.
  128.             ‘Tis never allowed, so,
  129.                  Electoral availability is stymied.
  130.             Yet the format of the party system,
  131.     And changes in the institutional environment,
  132.         Creates conditions for growth.
  133.             So explore.
  134.     Don’t electoral change and instability form through phases?
  135.          And won’t there will be another plateau,
  136.             For you to research? What’s politically contagious?
  137. Now is the break,
  138. When the students collaborate,
  139. And argue about a new paper to write.
  140. Today’s break was long,
  141. 18 minutes before the plurality of voices died down.
  142. Airing questions and their stance,
  143. Remanding research weaknesses to become strengths.
  144. Now after a minute of deafening silence,
  145. The Professor resumes the class.
  146. ICE’s last chapter is on socio-organizational bonds,
  147.      Institutional incentives, and political markets.
  148. I’ve heard you talking, so I’ll try to shed light on,
  149.      Some further content for your research hypothesis.
  150. Voting is a mechanism to open the political market,
  151.      And without a market, there cannot be competition.
  152. Electoral competition is the quantity of mobile voting,
  153.      Thus an analysis of electoral instability towards completion.
  154. As ICE says, “electoral competition defined in terms of electoral availability,
  155.      Can be considered as a necessary but not sufficient condition,
  156.           For both of these aspects of competition.” Meaning,
  157.                 Quantity and electoral availability.[9]
  158. ICE finds that mass politics of the twentieth century,
  159.      InWestern Europe majorly stabilized,
  160.          Regardless of the “seductive imagery of transformation,”[10]
  161.              Which pervades Western European interpretations,
  162.      In the long term, the electorates are encapsulated,
  163.           There are political identities and alignments,
  164.               ICE observed significant resilience.
  165. Indeed, there is a “fundamental bias towards stability.”[11]
  166.      For ‘tis more stable phase by phase—see the mean,
  167.      Total volatility around the means are retreating,
  168.      The lengthy elections of instability are receding,
  169.             This is the trend,
  170.             In most elections,
  171.               Volatility remained in single digits.
  172. Of particular salience, as cleavages are encapsulated,
  173.       And become wholly institutionalized,
  174.             It becomes institutions that ought instability explain,
  175.                   Decline.
  176. Marxists should, as we have seen throughout this semester,
  177.       Subside.
  178. For ICE finds a serious level of stability in class-cleavage tempers,
  179.       Class-cleavage volatility is almost nevermore high.
  180. An American major tried to deride:
  181. What if the movement on Wall Street: Occupy
  182. Is meant to instill institutional memory,
  183. As an additional strength to the class-cleavage design?
  184. One hypothesis down.
  185. 11 more.
  186. Please do sound.
  187. It’s true that class-cleavage is a profound domain of identification,
  188.      But it has rescinded almost completely as a dimension of competition![12]
  189. ICE explains carefully that class-cleavage is strengthened, [not weak],
  190.       It’s just that class isn’t a volatile issue in elections, so to speak.
  191. There are “institutional incentives” capable of enlarging the market,
  192.      Creating more space and paths for electoral competition.
  193. Again, cleavage strength can be measured by two dimensions,
  194.      Cultural segmentation and organizational segmentation.
  195. Both propel “socio-organizational bondedness”—see party systems,
  196.       Which does restrict electoral competition availability in the market.[13]
  197. Thus socio-organizational bonds and institutional incentives,
  198.      Are good places to start a research hypothesis.
  199. Both are determined to be powerful ‘structural’ determinants,
  200.      Of electoral availability, and, check congruence with the populace.
  201. The first has been seen to depress electoral availability,
  202.      The latter has been observed accelerating it.
  203.  ICE thus opens the gate to study political markets.
  204.      Does the impact arise from issues of salience?
  205.          Or particular candidates or special events?
  206. Now I’ve neglected spatial distance throughout our analysis,
  207.      So let me say, “Space matters in cases of low or medium bondedness,
  208.           Whereas it has little or no impact in strongly bonded party systems.”[14]
  209.       In this manner, helpful research should examine,
  210.           Areas of weak [issue, candidate, special events] identification,
  211.           Along with the paths where incentives for change have a hand in,
  212.                 Causal indications of electoral manifestations.
  213.       So a spatial analysis can tell me more about what motivates,
  214.           A voter to change their preferences!
  215.           Record the political phenomena from today!
  216.           Measure the levels of bondedness and incentives!
  217.       And remember, spatial distance observances promote stagnancy,
  218.             In levels of electoral volatility.
  219. Yes. This professor was excited!
  220. What ICE studies is patterns of competition,
  221.       Under polarized pluralism and consociational democracy;
  222. Is there electoral instability or fragmentation?
  223. Is the class cleavage available for the political market?
  224.             How do parties sustain in a polarized environment?
  225.             What happens with mass electorates and extreme multipartism?
  226.             What about the observance of anti-system parties advancing,
  227.                     Competitive agendas for new governance?
  228.             What is the extent of pillarization?[15]
  229. The students in the class,
  230. Began to close their laptops.
  231. Can we post our hypothesis,
  232. As an online discussion?
  233. Certainly.
  234. Collaboration is the key,
  235. To increase knowledge, so please;
  236. Everyone propose something by next week.

[1] I use the edition published by the ECPR Press in 2007. By the way, ECPR stands for European Consortium for Political Research.

[2] Enfranchisement can cause much instability. But it happens and then is done.

[3] Page 241.

[4] Page 241-244.

[5] See chapter 10.

[6] Pages 255-256.

[7] Page 256.

[8] Page 257.

[9] Page 261.

[10] Page 262.

[11] Page 262. Italics in original.

[12] See Table 11.2. Page 265.

[13] Page 267. Italics in original.

[14] Page 269.

[15] Pages 271-276.

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One thought on “Patterns of Competition: ICE, Part 3

  1. Pingback: Poli-Sci “Parties” Poetry Book « Political Pipeline

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