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/
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
- 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
- Figure 3. Partisan use of immigration frame,
- Table 3. Mean of Likud's immigration frame usage by
- Table 4. Testing the curvilinear usage of immigration
frame by Likud.
- Figure 4. Frame usage by Likud, September 1989 to
- Table 5. Intervention analysis model results.
- Figure 5. Partisanship of immigration frame, Likud
and dovish parties.
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.