We Want a Republic, God Save the Queen: An Australian Case Study in Democratic Choice
25 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2002
Date Written: March 2002
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.
Keywords: Referendum, Constitution, Voting
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation