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Ruling Majority and Opposition: How Parliamentary Position Affects the Attitudes of Political Representatives

Journal article
Authors Mikael Gilljam
David Karlsson
Published in Parliamentary Affairs
Volume 68
Issue 3
Pages 555-572
ISSN 0031-2290
Publication year 2015
Published at School of Public Administration
Department of Political Science
Pages 555-572
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsu007
Keywords parlament, parlamentarism, majoritet och opposition, politiker, politiska representanter, partier, kommuner, kommunforskning, vänster-höger, ideologi, attityder, Kommun- och landstingsfullmäktigeundersökningen, KOLFU
Subject categories Political Science, Public Administration Studies

Abstract

The question posed in this article is how parliamentary position affects the attitudes of political representatives: Do attitudes towards democratic game rules and policy content differ between members of the ruling majority and the opposition? And if there is such an effect, what could be the possible causal mechanisms? The data derive from a unique survey of all 13,044 councillors in the 290 municipalities in Sweden. The results show that, within all political parties, opposition members are more positive towards participatory democracy, while majority members favour representative democracy. Furthermore, being in office de-radicalises representatives on the left–right scale, while being out of office has a radicalising effect.

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