We Want a Republic, God Save the Queen: An Australian Case Study in Democratic Choice
Sinclair Richard Davidson
RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing
Tim R.L. Fry
affiliation not provided to SSRN
University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
The failure of the "Republic Referendum" in November 1999 highlights some issues that can be described as being paradoxical. Opinion polls indicate that most Australians favor a republic, however, the republicans lost the vote. This paper investigates whether voters employ a loss-minimization rule as opposed to a value-maximization rule when making political decisions. Based on the predictions of each rule, political strategies are devised and compared to the actual strategies employed by republicans and monarchists during the period preceding the vote. In addition, empirical work relates voting outcomes at both the electoral division level and the individual voter level to factors that are likely to be correlated with political risk aversion. The results are consistent with the notion that voters do not employ value-maximization rules.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Referendum, Constitution, Voting
JEL Classification: D72working papers series
Date posted: March 24, 2002
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