Previous Chapter Chapter 11: Consequences of Elections

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Consequences of Elections
Consequences of elections
G. BinghamPowell, Jr.

Many of the chapters in this book discuss elections. In a book about comparing democracies this is understandable. Competitive elections in which citizens choose their policymakers play a critical role in contemporary democracy. Democracy means government by the people. The election of representative policymakers is the essential institution that systematically induces policymakers to take account of what the people want in national policymaking. If a country has no elections, such as Saudi Arabia or Myanmar, or no elections at the national level, as in China, we do not consider the country to be a democracy, however important it may be or whatever other virtues it may have. Moreover, to qualify as democratic, the election must be competitive and ...

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