Electoral Reform and the Fate of Factions: The Case of Japan's LDP

42 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Gary W. Cox

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Michael F. Thies

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 10, 1998

Abstract

For years, scholars and pundits have blamed Japan's single, non-transferable vote (SNTV) electoral system for the factions that divide and organize the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In January 1994, Japan abandoned SNTV, and the first election under the new rules occurred in October 1996. If SNTV did in fact sustain the factions, it makes sense that the factional structure ought to weaken under the new rules. In this paper, we provide an informal model of what the old factional exchange between leaders and followers was like and investigate the extent to which the terms of this exchange, and hence the characteristics of Japanese factionalism, have begun to change under the new rules. We expect and find the largest decline in factional leaders' role in the area of nominations, and the slightest changes, at least in the short run, in the allocation of posts. On the other side of the exchange, we find that followers appear less willing to march to their leaders' tunes in LDP presidential elections.

Suggested Citation

Cox, Gary W. and Rosenbluth, Frances McCall and Thies, Michael F., Electoral Reform and the Fate of Factions: The Case of Japan's LDP (March 10, 1998). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158648 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1158648

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-4278 (Phone)

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5256 (Phone)

Michael F. Thies (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States
310-825-1976 (Phone)
310-825-0778 (Fax)

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