We Want a Republic, God Save the Queen: An Australian Case Study in Democratic Choice

25 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2002

See all articles by Sinclair Davidson

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University

Tim R.L. Fry

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kelly Jarvis

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

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

Davidson, Sinclair and Fry, Tim R.L. and Jarvis, Kelly, We Want a Republic, God Save the Queen: An Australian Case Study in Democratic Choice (March 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=304881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.304881

Sinclair Davidson (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Tim R.L. Fry

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kelly Jarvis

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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