Political change—whether in the individual or in the mass electorate—will seldom be provoked by a single issue, standing on its own. Most voters have attitudes towards many issues, and these may fall into discernible patterns. Such patterns could obviously have a bearing on the sources of electoral change. Indeed, one of the most familiar frameworks for interpreting change—the schema of left and right—assumes that the public sees a number of political issues in terms of an ideological spectrum and responds to leftward and rightward movements of the parties along this spectrum. But this sort of ideological framework may not be the only source of pattern or structure in attitudes towards issues. We might, for example, suppose that many voters would simply adopt the pattern of issue positions contained in their party’s policies.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Labour Party Party Preference Stable Opinion Ideological Distance
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.H.D. Henderson The Nation, November 5, 1927, quoted in T. Wilson, The Decline of the Liberal Party, London, 1966, p. 124.Google Scholar
- For a brief account of the origins of the terms and their introduction into British political parlance see S. Brittan, Left or Right: Bogus Dilemma, London, 1968.Google Scholar
- Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy, New York, 1957, pp. 114–41.Google Scholar
- James M. Buchanan, “Democracy and Duopoly: A Comparison of Analytical Models,” American Economic Review, 58 (1968), 322–40.Google Scholar
- For interesting efforts to extend such models to more dimensions than one, see Otto A. Davis and Melvin Hinich, “A Mathematical Model of Policy Formation in a Democratic Society,” in Joseph L. Bernd, ed., Mathematical Applications in Political Science, II, Dallas, Texas, 1966, pp. 175–208.Google Scholar
- Gordon Tullock, Toward a Mathematics of Politics, Ann Arbor, 1967.Google Scholar
- 7.The standard work on the semantic differential technique is C. E. Osgood, G. J. Suci and P. H. Tannenbaum, The Measurement of Meaning, Urbana, Illinois, 1957.Google Scholar
- 10.See E. Deustch, D. Lindon and P. Weill, Les Familles Politiques, Paris, 1966.Google Scholar