Issue competition in the 1993 Norwegian national election

  • Stuart Elaine Macdonald
  • George Rabinowitz
  • Ola Listhaug


We investigate the role of issues in the 1993 Norwegian election. We are interested in comparing two spatial models of issue evaluation, the directional model and the familiar proximity model. The directional model implies that voters ask two questions of parties: Are you on my side? and Can I trust you to be responsible? This contrasts with the classic proximity question: How close are your positions to mine?

Prior analysis of Norwegian voters has favored the directional model. The empirical story in 1993, however, features a traditional centrist party, the agrarian Center Party, running quite strongly, which on the surface, at least, challenges the directional model, and presents an interesting case to observe. We also extend our analysis to examine more generally the impact of issues on the election. This unrestricted analysis adds texture to our understanding of the role of issues, while its results dovetail with the analysis of the specific models. When people evaluated parties on the basis of issues in Norway in 1993, the directional model describes that dynamic well.


None None Directional Model American Political Science Review Labor Party Directional Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Elaine Macdonald
    • 1
  • George Rabinowitz
    • 1
  • Ola Listhaug
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Political ScienceNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyDragvollNorway

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