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Eitan Tzelgov, "Damned if you do and damned if you don't: Rhetorical heresthetic in the Israeli Knesset," Party Politics, 20 (November, 2014), 964-982. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue6/ ]

First paragraph:
Opposition parties have few strategic levers. The accepted image of parliamentary affairs is that, absent a successful vote of no confidence or a critical government crisis (Huber, 1996), majority parties control the legislative agenda. The main proponents of this view are Cox and McCubbins (2005), who demonstrate that coalition parties enjoy negative agenda powers, which prevent majority-splitting bills from reaching the legislative agenda. Under this view, opposition parties can use some parliamentary tools such as committee memberships (Döring, 2001) to exert influence over the agenda, but these are limited. Thus, we might think that the legislative opposition accepts its fate and waits for the next election.

Figure 1. Public opinion data on the two main parties' positions on security and territories.
Table 1. Survey questions: Views of Labour and Likud on security issues, 1981-1992.
Figure 2. Right and left words on security.
Table 2. An example of a 10-topic model characteristic words.
Figure 3. Partisan use of immigration frame, 1989-1993.
Table 3. Mean of Likud's immigration frame usage by sub-period.
Table 4. Testing the curvilinear usage of immigration frame by Likud.
Figure 4. Frame usage by Likud, September 1989 to January 1992.
Table 5. Intervention analysis model results.
Figure 5. Partisanship of immigration frame, Likud and dovish parties.

Last Paragraph:
This article offers a way to operationalize Riker's heresthetic. Heresthetic is about changing the dimensions of debate so that the opponent cannot win, no matter the strategy he chooses. This important phenomenon requires a specific context, as the Israeli example illustrates. In this regard, this work combines case-specific insights with broad institutional theories regarding the stability of political coalitions and the relevance of the multidimensionality of political agendas as a weapon in opposition-coalition political games.

Last updated November 2014