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Indraneel Sircar and Bjørn Høyland, "Get the Party Started: Development of Political Party Legislative Dynamics in the Irish Free State Seanad (1922-36)," Party Politics, 16 (January, 2010), 89-110. [Available at]

First paragraph:
An influential body of scholarship argues that parties espousing 'radical' positions have a strong incentive to moderate their positions once they operate as vote-seeking electoral parties with centrist and accommodative platforms. This process facilitates sustainable democratic transition and contributes to democratic consolidation. Historical examples include the socialist parties of Western Europe in the twentieth century. The moderation theory is also relevant in evaluating the prospects of democracy in many Muslim majority countries where Islamist opposition groups have broad appeal.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Seanad 1922-1928
Figure 2. Seanad 1928-1936
Figure 3. Ideal point estimate distributions

Last Paragraph:
The Irish experience provides additional evidence for the claim that parties have an independent effect on members' voting behaviour beyond the individual ideological convictions. Party-dominated legislatures are associated with more stable voting coalitions than legislatures with weaker parties. We have shown that this is the case even when the legislature and a large proportion of its members are identical. Jenkins (1999, 2000) showed the relationship between political parties and voting behaviour by comparing two similar legislatures. We are able to better isolate the 'party added' effect by focusing on one legislature in which members of parties joined after a certain period while voting rules remained the same. However, we also find more stable voting coalitions with the emergence of political parties.

Last updated January 2010