Picking a Loser? A Social Choice Perspective on the Danish Government Formation of 1975

24 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2013

Date Written: September 5, 2013

Abstract

All democratic systems are theoretically open to so-called election in-versions, i.e., instances wherein a majority of the decision makers prefer one alternative but where the actual outcome is another. The paper examines the complex 1975 Danish government formation process, which involved five rounds of negotiations and at least five competing alternatives. We demonstrate that in terms of party preferences the final outcome was not the Condorcet winner but rather one that could have been beaten by at least three other government alternatives in head-to-head comparisons. The Danish procedural system of "negative" parliamentarism combined with simple plurality rule to produce the electoral inversion.

Keywords: Social choice, voting paradoxes, election inversions

JEL Classification: D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, Picking a Loser? A Social Choice Perspective on the Danish Government Formation of 1975 (September 5, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2322740 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2322740

Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Dept. of Political Science
Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5, P.O.Box 2099
Copenhagen, DK-1014
Denmark
+45 35 32 37 98 (Phone)
+45 35 32 33 99 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kurrild-klitgaard.net

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