Read e-book online Congress: The Electoral Connection PDF

By David R. Mayhew

ISBN-10: 0300105878

ISBN-13: 9780300105872

In this moment version to a publication that has now accomplished canonical prestige, David R. Mayhew argues that the central motivation of legislators is reelection and that the pursuit of this aim impacts the way in which they behave and how that they make public coverage. In a brand new foreword for this variation, R. Douglas Arnold discusses why the booklet revolutionized the learn of Congress and the way it has stood the try out of time. The booklet additionally includes a new preface through the author.

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At the same time individual voters became more consistent in their voting habits over time. In a study of thirteen boroughs between 1761 and 1868, Phillips and Wetherell conclude that partisanship was close to random before 1832—that is, the chance that someone would vote the same way at consecutive elections was almost the same as the chance of voting differently. But after 1832, constituencies experienced ‘extreme increases in consistency’, with the chance of partisan voters shifting allegiance falling to 2 in 10.

True, the majority of county seats still went uncontested at any given General Election, but the trend was clear. As in the larger boroughs, it seems likely that one important factor here was the growing influence of the press, both national and countybased, which encouraged the further penetration of national issues into local politics, and made it easier for aspiring politicians to float a possible candidacy. ¹⁴ But if an emergent ‘public opinion’ was beginning to reshape electoral politics in the first decades of the nineteenth century, it was during 28 john bull at the hustings the great reform crisis of 1831–2 that it became a transformative force.

But as memories of ‘dangerous’ physical force radicalism began to fade, so self-consciously popular leaders such as Cowen and John Bright gradually became more willing to speak to large, outdoor audiences. Contemporaries had no doubt that what was at stake here was the class politics of public john bull at the hustings 41 space—taking politics out of doors meant taking them to the poor and excluded. Hence when the radical trade union leader George Potter travelled to Dewsbury in 1868 to speak for Handel Cossham, the beleaguered official Liberal candidate, he was roundly condemned by local Radicals who declared that ‘he should have given his address in the open air, not in the rich man’s chamber [the town’s Theatre Royal]’.

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Congress: The Electoral Connection by David R. Mayhew

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