Partisanship Among the Experts: The Dynamic Party Watchdog Model of IFE, 1996-2010

25 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2010 Last revised: 16 Oct 2010

See all articles by Eric Magar

Eric Magar

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Political Science Department

Federico Estévez

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Guillermo Rosas

Washington University in St. Louis

Date Written: September 22, 2010

Abstract

We use a dynamic item response theory model (Martin and Quinn 2002) to investigate ideal point drift and stability in IFE's Council General, charged with federal electoral regulation and composed of non-partisan experts selected by Congress. Results indicate that stability has predominated, but that several council members drifted over time to distinct positions as revealed by their propensities to vote with or against other councilors. We present evidence about some of the factors generating such movements, highlighting two sets of countervailing influences. One set, important for the relative stability of voting patterns, is the persistent bias introduced by partisan selection of council members, particularly pronounced during election season, when the council has weak control over its agenda, but also reflecting sponsors' long-term strategic imperatives in electoral regulation. Another set of influences is related to IFE's institutional set-up, especially its committee system and the need for cooperation among councilors with divergent party sponsors. The gains from trade may be strong enough to offset partisan segmentation of the council, as was arguably the case during a five-year spell for the Woldenberg council, but not the remaining nine years examined.

Keywords: Delegation, Representation, Roll Call Votes, Ideal Point Estimation, Dynamic Model

JEL Classification: D71, D72, C11, C15

Suggested Citation

Magar, Eric and Estévez, Federico and Rosas, Guillermo, Partisanship Among the Experts: The Dynamic Party Watchdog Model of IFE, 1996-2010 (September 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683498 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1683498

Eric Magar (Contact Author)

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Political Science Department ( email )

Rio Hondo 1
Col. Tizapan San-Angel
Mexico City, D.F. 01000
Mexico
525556284079 (Phone)
525554904674 (Fax)

Federico Estévez

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
Mexico

Guillermo Rosas

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

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