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Richard Rose and William Mishler, "A supply-demand model of party-system institutionalization: The Russian case," Party Politics, 16 (November, 2010), 801-821. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
Democratic elections are about the popular choice of accountable representatives. Parties aggregate the preferences of millions of voters so that they can be represented in government (Aldrich, 1995; Kitschelt et al., 1999). In a new democracy, the minimum requirement for voters to hold their representatives accountable from one election to the next is that a party system is institutionalized. Huntington (1968: 12) defines institutionalization as a process in which organizations demonstrate the ability to maintain their independent existence over many decades (cf. Mainwaring and Torcal, 2006). Wessels and Klingemann (2006: 13) conclude that the consolidation of the institutions of a party system is of central importance for the consolidation of democracy itself (see also Lipset, 2000). A party system is institutionalized on the supply side if elites maintain the same parties at one election after another. Supply-side volatility occurs when a party that won votes at one election disappears from the ballot and new parties appear. Voters cannot hold politicians accountable by reaffirming or withdrawing their support from one election to the next and may be attracted to 'flash' parties which have no record on which they can be judged. A high level of supply-side volatility creates a 'floating system of parties' (Rose, 2000). O'Donnell's (1994: 61) requirement that 'representation entails accountability' is not met. Independent candidates unaccountable to a party can use electoral victory to introduce 'populist authoritarianism' (Wigell, 2008: 244).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Contestants in single-member Duma districts
Figure 1. Number of elections fought by Duma list parties
Table 3. Durable and transient influences on Duma voting
Table 4. Durable and transient influences on presidential voting
Table 2. Parties contesting Duma proportional representation list seats, 1993-2007
Figure 2. Supply and demand volatility in Duma elections

Last Paragraph:
(first paragraph of last section) Russian parties met a minimum criterion for institutionalization in the 2007-8 elections by collectively winning 100 percent of the Duma vote and 99 percent of the presidential vote. However, the party system is not institutionalized. The turnover in the supply of parties has made it impossible for voters to form durable commitments to a party that they can hold accountable. Competitive elections without institutionalization by political elites has resulted in a floating system of parties.

Last updated October 2010