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Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections

May 1, 2015 Comments off

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections (PDF)
Source: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Studies show that the vast majority of people have no problem voting for a woman and that when women run they win as often as men, yet female representation remains startlingly low in the U.S. Women are 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for merely 19.4% of the 535 seats in Congress, 24.5% of statewide executive positions, 24.2% of state legislatures, and 17.6% of mayors in cities with populations over 30,000 (Center for American Women and Politics 2015).

There is certainly much research dedicated to gender and politics. But what is missing from current literature is an organized compilation of relevant research that can be easily used for practical purposes. While many books and articles have been written on various pieces of this puzzle, there is not a comprehensive manual for practical use drawing from a range of research. I intend to build on existing literature by organizing it in topical categories and presenting the findings of current research with some practical implications. My hope is that it can serve as a reference guide tailored to both researchers and practitioners.

Assessing the Political Impact of Immigration as the United Kingdom Heads to the Polls

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Assessing the Political Impact of Immigration as the United Kingdom Heads to the Polls
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigration has featured early in the opening week of the United Kingdom’s general election campaign, which officially began on March 30, 2015. Prime Minister David Cameron was pressed on the issue in a televised interview and the Labour Party was criticized for producing campaign mugs emblazoned with pledges to control immigration.

As voters head to the polls on May 7, it remains to be seen how central the often-roiled debate over migration will be in what is a deeply unsettled election year. Immigration is a key political issue, brought about through major changes in immigration patterns over the past two decades, significant policy changes that have failed to reassure the public, and the rise as a political force of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)—which has pressed for a temporary ban on new immigration. Paradoxically, immigration may have less visibility during the general election, given the issue is now political poison for the major parties.

Above all, this election cycle will determine the next stage in a long-running political fight: the question of the United Kingdom’s continued membership in the European Union and a possible voter referendum on the matter. Immigration and Europe have now become entangled in voters’ minds and it is likely that the issue of free movement within the European Union could be the determining factor for many voters in any such referendum.

This article briefly reviews the politics of immigration in the United Kingdom since 2010 before examining whether immigration will impact the election and exploring how immigration politics will develop in the future, particularly in regard to the United Kingdom’s place in Europe.

Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu’s Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?, CRS Insights (March 24, 2015)

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu’s Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Israeli Knesset elections held on March 17, 2015, were a subject of significant interest for the United States. The leading candidates openly differed on how to manage disagreements with the United States and the international community on various matters, though how that might have translated into substantively different policy stances is unclear. The timing and manner of official Israeli statements and actions influence regional and international attitudes and developments, and may shape how the Obama Administration and Congress work together and with Israel on these issues.

African Leadership Transitions Tracker

March 30, 2015 Comments off

African Leadership Transitions Tracker
Source: Brookings Institution

The African Leadership Transitions Tracker (ALTT) is an interactive feature that factually recounts and visually presents changes at the head of state level in every African country from independence or end of the colonial period to the present. The interactive application aims to start a broader conversation about leadership transitions and what they mean for the region and beyond.

The ALTT does not intend to validate the nature of transitions. However, it looks at the process of competition and the contestability of transitions over time in order to highlight key trends.

For example a multiparty election is defined in the tracker as one in which “two or more political parties have affiliated candidates competing in an election.” Only military coups that lead to a change in leadership are presented.

Partisan Differences in the Distributional Effects of Economic Growth: Stock Market Performance, Unemployment, and Political Control of the Presidency

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Partisan Differences in the Distributional Effects of Economic Growth: Stock Market Performance, Unemployment, and Political Control of the Presidency
Source: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

This article examines the differences in the distributional effects of economic growth. While all incumbents are incentivized to create economic growth in order to win reelection, they use a diverse variety of policies to achieve this growth. These policy choices are often congruent with the demands of the core constituent groups of the respective parties. This suggests that economic growth is not equally shared by all, but that some groups are more or less benefited from the sets of policies chosen by the incumbent parties to stimulate growth. We test this proposition by investigating the effects of economic growth on stock market performance and unemployment. Our results show that economic growth under Republican presidents has a stronger effect on stimulating stock market performance, while economic growth under Democratic presidents has a stronger effect on reducing unemployment. Overall, these results highlight the partisan differences in macroeconomic policy and illustrate one of the causal mechanisms behind the substantial and rising economic inequality in the USA.

CRS — Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns (March 3, 2015)

March 16, 2015 Comments off

Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Congress is faced with determining whether it wants public financing of presidential campaigns to continue and, if so, how. The 113th Congress and President Obama chose to eliminate part of the program—public funding for nominating conventions—in April 2014 via P.L. 113-94 (H.R. 2019). Barring a change in the status quo, the 2016 conventions will be the first entirely privately financed since 1972. Public matching funds and grants remain in place for candidates who choose to participate. There is, however, a consensus even among supporters that the presidential public financing program is antiquated and offers insufficient benefits to attract the most competitive candidates. No major candidate accepted public funds in 2012. In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama became the first person, since the public financing program’s inception, elected President without accepting any public funds. For some, these developments signal an urgent need to save the public campaign financing program that has existed since the 1970s; for others, they suggest that the program is unnecessary.

Israel’s politics in the run-up to the elections

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Israel’s politics in the run-up to the elections
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

In December 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called early national elections, scheduled for 17 March 2015, after dissolving the coalition arrangement underpinning the government formed after the January 2013 elections. Differences on Palestinian issues and budgetary matters, between Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud party, and centrist parties in his coalition, reportedly contributed to the decision. Israel’s positions on a host of regional security and socioeconomic issues could be influenced by the election results.

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