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Captives No Longer, but Servants Still? Contract Parliamentarism and the New Minority Governance in Sweden and New Zealand
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 21:28 authored by Tim Bale, Torbjörn Bergman
Recent years have seen the institutionalization of minority governance in Sweden and New Zealand. Large, historic social democratic labour parties enjoy comparative security of tenure thanks to smaller, newer parties with whom they have signed long-term, detailed support agreements covering both policy and process. This trend toward ‘contract parliamentarism’ owes much to party-system dynamics, but also to the accretion of experience, to cultural norms and to institutional constraints – all of which, along with electoral contingency, explain why the trend has gone slightly further in one polity than in the other. While the trend seems to favour the left in general, its implications for the support or ‘servant’ parties, and – more normatively – for democracy itself, may be less favourable.
JournalGovernment and Opposition
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