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Joaquín Artés, "Do Spanish politicians keep their promises?," Party Politics, 19 (January, 2013), 143-158. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue1/ ]

First paragraph:
In this article we analyse the fulfilment of economic pledges contained in the electoral manifestos of the two main Spanish parties, PP and PSOE during the four electoral cycles that took place between 1989 and 2004. We provide two main contributions. On the one hand, we test the mandate model for a country other than the US or Britain, which has scarcely been done to date. On the other hand, we provide evidence on fulfilment rates for government structures other than absolute majorities or coalition governments, which is also rare in pledge research.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Electoral results: Seats obtained by each party
Table 2. Election pledges by economic field. PSOE.
Table 3. Election pledges by economic field. PP
Table 4. Election pledges by type of pledge. PSOE
Table 5. Election pledges by instrument. PP
Table 6. Fulfilment. PSOE
Table 7. Fulfilment. PP
Table 8. Fulfilment by government structure
Table 9. Bounding excercise. Pesimistic estimate of Fulfilment by Government Structure
Table 10. Bounding excercise. Optimistic estimate of Fulfilment by Government Structure

Last Paragraph:
The results presented in this article leave many interesting questions unanswered. Regarding minority governments, future research should investigate further the theoretical reasons behind the result that governing parties under minority governments attain similar fulfilment rates than single party majority governments, and should extend the analysis to other countries to confirm the generalizability of that conclusion. In addition, future research should also focus on the theoretical analysis of the links through which opposition parties benefit from minority governments in terms of programme fulfilment. Finally, and at a more general level, future research on pledge fulfilment should investigate further the disagreement between popular opinion regarding the irrelevance of electoral pledges, the differences in parties' ideology as shown in electoral pledges compared to their ideology according to other content analysis methods and compared to government actions, and the extent to which 'important' pledges as opposed to all pledges are acted upon. The role of opposition parties, mass media and interest groups on publicizing and magnifying non-fulfilled pledges may be the answer to many of these questions and should also be investigated.

Last updated December 2012