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Voting as Veto

Michael S. Kang

Emory University School of Law

June 29, 2010

Michigan Law Review, Vol. 108, No. 7, 2010
Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-64
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 10-104

This Article introduces an alternate conception of voting as veto - based on "negative preferences" against a voter’s least preferred outcomes - that enriches voting theory and practice otherwise dominated by a conception of voting as a means of expressing a voter’s ideal preferences. Indeed, the familiar binary choices presented in American political elections obscure the pervasiveness of negative preferences, which are descriptively salient in voting under all types of circumstances. Negative preferences have been overlooked, despite their theoretical and practical importance across many domains, leaving important questions unexplored in the literature. The Article develops a normative and positive account of voting as veto that identifies the costs, benefits, and critical tradeoffs in the formal recognition of negative preferences.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: voting, veto, elections, negative preferences, alternative voting, recall, voir dire, filibuster, negativity bias, racially polarized voting, direct democracy

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Date posted: July 1, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Kang, Michael S., Voting as Veto (June 29, 2010). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 108, No. 7, 2010; Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-64; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 10-104. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1632438

Contact Information

Michael S. Kang (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
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