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Marcus Kreuzer, "Electoral Mechanisms and Electioneering Incentives: Vote-getting Strategies of Japanese, French, British, German and Austrian Conservatives," Party Politics, 6 (October 1999), 487-504.

First Paragraph:
Elections are among the most regulated activities in politics and the writings on electoral voting procedures, campaigning regulations and political finance laws have investigated the different ways in which institutions and laws constrain electoral politics. This article integrates these three heretofore very separate research areas and analyzes how electoral mechanisms structure the vote-getting strategies of politicians. Using a rudimentary rational-choice approach, it argues that voting procedures, campaigning regulations and political financing constrain two basic activities of all politicians -- career prospects and resource mobilization -- and thereby determine the extent to which they will seek a personal vote or a more collective party vote.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Electoral mechanisms and career uncertainty
Table 2: Physical district sizes (average number of voters per district)
Table 3: Campaigning regulations
Table 4: Public finance regulation
Table 5: Private finance regulation

Last Paragraph:
The sort of theoretical synthesis attempted here also reveals certain methodological difficulties in pursuing this line of inquiry further. One obvious next step would be to move from demonstrating the causal relevance of institutional factors to evaluating their impact on personal vote-seeking relative to each other. For example, how much variance in personal vote- seeking could an open ballot account for relative to restrictive political finance regulations. Increasing the number of cases and using a quantitative research design provides one possible solution. Such an approach, however, faces certain problems. It would be difficult to establish reliable, quantitative measures of personal vote-seeking across a large number of countries. Currently, I am aware of the availability of such measures only for the USA, the UK and Canada. Furthermore, increasing the number of cases will invariably increase the number of independent variables. Often, it is the more minor electoral mechanisms such as ballot structures, transferability of votes or ballot formats that affect vote-getting strategies most directly. And since these mechanisms vary especially widely across countries, it is easily conceivable that there will be insufficient cases for many electoral mechanisms, campaigning regulations or financing laws to make valid inferences about their impact. Finally, the effects of political finance regulations will be particularly difficult to assess, since compliance with the letter let alone the spirit of the laws varies so tremendously. While some of these methodological obstacles are more intractable than others, they should not stand in the way of theoretically integrating literatures that devote themselves to the different legal and procedural constraints of electoral politics.