Joe Cannon and the Minority Party: Tyranny or Bipartisanship

Stanford GSB Research Paper No. 1858

38 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2004

See all articles by Keith Krehbiel

Keith Krehbiel

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Alan E. Wiseman

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

The minority party is rarely featured in empirical research on parties in legislatures, and recent theories of parties in legislatures are rarely neutral and balanced in their treatment of the two parties. This paper makes a case for redressing this imbalance. We identify four characteristics of bipartisanship and evaluate their descriptive merits in a purposely hostile testing ground: during the rise and fall of Speaker Joseph G. Cannon, a.k.a., the Tyrant from Illinois. Drawing on century-old recently discovered records now available in the National Archives, we find that Cannon was anything but a majority-party tyrant during the important committee assignment phase of legislative organization. The findings underscore the need for future, more explicitly theoretical research on parties-in-legislatures.

Keywords: legislation/regulation, politics, political parties

Suggested Citation

Krehbiel, Keith and Wiseman, Alan E., Joe Cannon and the Minority Party: Tyranny or Bipartisanship (July 2004). Stanford GSB Research Paper No. 1858, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=577861 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.577861

Keith Krehbiel (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Alan E. Wiseman

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science ( email )

VU Station B #351817
Nashville, TN 37235-1817
United States

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