Title

Parties Without Brands? Evidence from California's 1878-79 Constitutional Convention

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2017

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x5575b0426800)

Abstract

Why do legislative parties emerge in democracies where elections are contested by individual candidates, rather than national party organizations? And can parties survive in the absence electoral pressure for their members to work on shared political goals? In this article, we examine the emergence and maintenance of party discipline in an atypical legislative context: California's 1878-79 constitutional convention. The unusual partisan alignments among the delegates at the California convention provide us with a unique empirical opportunity to test election- and policy-based explanations for legislative discipline. Our study combines a careful reading of the historical record with a statistical analysis of roll call votes cast at the convention to show how leaders of the "Non-partisan" majority held together their disparate coalition of Democratic and Republican members in the face of conflicting preferences, ideological divisions, and well-organized political opponents. Our findings provide evidence that cohesive parties can exist even in the absence of broadly shared electoral pressures or policy goals.

Publication Title

Studies in American Political Development

Volume

31

Issue

1

First Page

68

Last Page

87

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1017/S0898588X17000025

ISSN

0898588X

E-ISSN

14698692

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