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The Art of Political Manipulation [William H. Riker] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In twelve entertaining stories from history and current. View Notes - Lecture Notes 5 - Art of Political from ECON at The University of Hong Kong. Art of Political Manipulation William H Riker. The Art of Political Manipulation. By William H. Riker (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, xi, p. $, cloth; $, paper).

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In twelve entertaining stories from history and current events, a noted political scientist and game theorist shows us how some of our heroes we as well as. PDF | 2 hours read | - | ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists. as the art of political manipulation. He distinguishes it from rhetoric, and quirkily. Heresthetics is an art, not a science. There is no set of scientific studying the use of political manipulation in global collective bargaining. 1 Byman and Pollack .

It is quite obvious that I am not the person who can pretend to undertake, with any chance of success, to perform this task. In Scott v. I will not draw it, but leave it to the reader's imagination. The Great Victorian Realignment 87 5. The General Election of was not a Liberal landslide the Liberals won

Judson —07 James Bryce —08 A. Charles A. Beard —26 William B. Munro —27 Jesse S. Reeves —28 John A. Fairlie —29 Benjamin F. Willoughby —32 Isidor Loeb —33 Walter J. Shepard —34 Francis W.

Coker —35 Arthur N. Brooks —40 Frederic A.

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Ogg —41 William Anderson —42 Robert E. Cushman —43 Leonard D. White —44 John Gaus —45 Walter F. Spencer —48 Quincy Wright —49 James K. Pollock — Peter H. Odegard —51 Luther Gulick —52 E. Key Jr. Taylor Cole —59 Carl B. Swisher —60 Emmette Redford —61 Charles S. Hyneman —62 Carl Joachim Friedrich —63 C. Lane —71 Heinz Eulau —72 Robert E. Ward —73 Avery Leiserson —74 J.

Austin Ranney — Wahlke —78 Leon D. Epstein —79 Warren Miller —80 Charles E. Shklar —90 Theodore J. Lowi —91 James Q. Wilson —92 Lucius J. Barker —93 Charles O.

Robert Jervis —01 Robert D. Katzenstein —09 Henry E. Brady —10 Carole Pateman —11 G. Hero —15 Jennifer Hochschild —16 David A. Lake —17 Kathleen Thelen — Rogers Smith —present. But, French or no French in later years, Faucher was set in translation , this was no soft option. The only point on which I would now fault the Peel Special Subject was its failure to focus attention on the Duke of Wellington and the House of Lords. Peel's administration grappled with subjects that mostly seem striking in their modernity—bank independence, utility regulation, factory safety, protection or free trade, social control, and famine.

To understand where they succeeded and where they failed, students had to understand the subject-matter. It was a sharp lesson in social science as well as in history. A historian might immediately condemn these remarks for anachronism. The past is another country; they do things differently there. Yes, that is true and must never be forgotten. But all historiography is selective. There is no harm in selecting events for study that are of enduring interest, so long as one remembers that contemporary actors approached them with different mentalities to ours.

And while mentalities differ, rationality does not. Therefore, it is worth studying events in political history through the lens of rational choice, which has powerfully illuminated many actions in contemporary society.

Cox political history. Some of these raids are discussed in detail in this book. To a historian, the failing of the rational-choice raids is typically that they are too selective in their use of evidence. To a political scientist, the characteristic failing of political history is that it lays too much stress on the accidental and contingent.

Historians are interested in the unique; social scientists in the repeatable, in modelling, and in observable implications from the case being studied to other cases King, Keohane, and Verba Both are valid perspectives, and I have tried to see the world from both in this book.

My transition from historian to political scientist was gradual. My doctoral thesis, although submitted to a sub-faculty of Politics, was essentially historical, and it brought me face to face with another larger-than-life actor in this book, David Lloyd George. My detailed acquaintance with the other subjects of the book is more recent. William Ewart Gladstone I only started to see in any complexity when a co-author and I investigated a minor act of his—his regulation of the railways under Peel see McLean and Foster But it is impossible to study any act of his, however minor, without becoming fascinated and intimidated by his huge and terrifying personality.

So Gladstone, although he does not have a chapter to himself, stalks through all the middle chapters of this book. I have never met either except across the room at public meetings, but my fascination with them is widely shared. What do the characters in this book have in common? Each of them faced a unique set of political circumstances. But each stood out from the general run of politicians for the way that he or she controlled events.

Furthermore, each appreciated that politics could operate in more than one spatial dimension. This concept is explained in Chapter 1 and its use by each of the politicians in the book is the main subject of the chapters that follow.

They are not the only outstanding politicians in Britain since That is another term I explain in Chapter 1. It denotes a particular sort of manipulation—the art of making people believe that the world is as you say it is, in order to get your way.

Britain's greatest twentieth-century Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, does not have a chapter to himself in this book because it is not about how to win a world war. But he does have a cameo role as one of the British negotiators of the British—Irish Treaty of Aside from Churchill, however, my selection of leading politicians accords with the current historical consensus on which politicians have controlled events rather than let events control them.

A word on sources and methods. Political scientists may be surprised that I use them at all. An explanation to both is needed.

To the historians. Throughout this book, I stress politicians' private motivations, not their public explanations. Therefore, I have deliberately minimized my use of the UK public records. I have used the Irish public records for —2, because the Irish leaders' private debate on whether or not to ratify the Treaty of is recorded there. As to my politicians' private papers, they fall into four classes.

Those of Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher are not yet available to scholars. At the other extreme, some are so widely available in print, in reliable editions, that nothing would be gained from consulting the manuscript rather than the printed version.

This applies to Peel and Gladstone. Disraeli and Salisbury are intermediate cases. Had I but world enough and time, I would have consulted their private papers for myself. But I have only one life, so I decided, regretfully, to depend on their biographers. Both have been well served. The six-volume Life of Disraeli by Monypenny and Buckle sparkles with his letters.

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As for the moderns, Blake on Disraeli and Roberts on Salisbury each stands well clear of the pack. Finally, there is a class of my subjects where the private papers add the most value.

These are Wellington, whose role in —6 has been severely underestimated; Joseph Chamberlain, whose standard multi-volume Life is too partisan to be trusted; and Lloyd George, who unlike Gladstone has not yet found the biographer to match the subject. Balfour's private secretary were most illuminating. To the political scientists.

Archives matter, and we do not use them enough, especially when we try to construct analytic narratives such as those in this book. It is too easy to ascribe plausible motives to the dead who cannot contradict us.

What politicians say is evidence. What they say in private is better evidence than what they say in public. Authors of analytic narratives should test their narrative and their analysis against the available evidence. In a sense, this book has been in the making since , although I did not realize it then.

Many people have commented on drafts and presentations, supplied me with data, or pointed me towards sources. Draft chapters were tried out at several conferences and seminars. Thanks to the organizers of the conferences on the work of W. The nicest phrase I picked up from them was The Santa Monica Revelation for my sudden conversion to belief in the centrality of the House of Lords.

The staff of many libraries were unfailingly helpful. I would like to thank the editors and publishers of Wellington Studies III and Political Studies to reuse material on Peel and Wellington which has previously appeared in these journals: Hartley Institute , —56, and I. McLean and C. I would also like to thank the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford for providing two black and white photographs for Figure 2. My family have uncomplainingly put up with my long hours and absences.

This book is dedicated with love and affection to Duncan, who was not born last time I had a chance to do this. Introduction 1 2. Irish Potatoes and British Politics: Variables Used in the Rollcall Analysis 55 3. Dishing the Whigs: Disraeli, Salisbury, and the Relaunching of the Tory Party —86 57 4. The Great Victorian Realignment 87 5. The Failure of Imperialism: Joseph Chamberlain and Enoch Powell Appendix 5.

Did he win the February General Election for Labour? Lloyd George: Supreme Tactician and Ambitious Strategist 7. The Patriot Game: Preference Orderings Appendix 7. The Irish Decision Sequence, 5 December 8. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair 9. Bivariate analysis: Tory votes only 49 3.

UK General Elections — 88 4. UK General Elections — 92 4. Dodgson matrix. Or, Lord John in Peel's Clothes. John Tenniel's comment on Disraeli's acquisition of the Suez Canal shares. And it is about politicians who play veto games. So, what is a political dimension? And how many of them are there usually? And what is a veto game? A dimension is a way of organizing opinions. Both politicians and voters need some way to evaluate them. A simple measuring rod is money.

If I like health care to be publicly funded, then, other things being equal, the more money politicians promise to spend on public health care, the better.

But of course, other things are not equal.

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Politicians have to decide not only how much to spend, but how much to tax. And when they spend, they have to decide not only how much to spend on health, but how much on defence, education, roads, police, statues of famous men, and all the other things that governments spend taxpayers' money on. The commonest way to make sense of this is to arrange possible policies along some line from the most extreme in one direction to the most extreme in the other. Voters are less well used to the terms, but a wealth of evidence from surveys in many countries shows that they are comfortable with the line, or dimension, and that they are able to locate themselves, and the political parties, on such a line.

For contemporary evidence from Britain see the successive reports from the British Election Survey: Heath et al. A left-wing policy is one that gives priority to high spending, and a right-wing policy is one that gives priority to low taxation. Politicians and voters alike make more subtle distinction.

People and politicians of the left give priority to health, social services, and overseas aid. People and politicians on the right give priority to defence and security. What about businesses that are believed to undermine community morals? Maximizing freedom to take, and trade in, drugs is viewed as a left-wing policy, but maximizing freedom to drive, and trade in, expensive cars is viewed as a right-wing policy. This matters to political philosophers. It need not matter to political scientists, or to historians.

What matters is whether bundles of policies, which may have no objective coherence, have subjective coherence to politicians, or to voters, or both. It is hard to judge how voters view bundles of policies. Only since the s is there any survey evidence on how voters perceive policies and politicians; only since the s have the surveys been sophisticated enough to give reliable information.

For the rest of the period covered by this book, we have to guess. At least we know how politicians appealed to voters, which appeals seem to have succeeded, and which seem to have failed.

For politicians, the problem is a little more tractable. It can be tackled using both statistical and literary tools. The main statistical tool is roll-call analysis.

This book uses it for the chapter on the s, and in the background of the chapter on the s, but not for the later chapters, because it has not been done on British data since then. Roll-call analysis examines the votes cast in a legislature—in our case, the House of Commons.

How MPs vote on divisions is recorded, and this may open a route into understanding the ideologies of the dead. It can be shown that some votes are correlated, and others are not. For instance, how MPs in the Parliament of —7 voted on the Corn Laws is correlated with how they voted on Ireland. It is not correlated with how they voted on factory reform.

Those who wanted to keep the Corn Laws usually wanted to repress Irish unrest with force. Those who wanted to repeal the Corn Laws tended to be slightly more open to Irish dissent. But knowing where an MP stood on either of these sets of issues does not help us predict whether he favoured or opposed greater regulation of factories. Factory reform did not. Roll-call analysis is very big in American political science. It is almost invisible in Britain and, as it happens, what there is has mostly been done by Americans.

But it is due more to party discipline. Since the s, most Commons division lists tell us nothing except which Members belonged to which party. Ideologies are constrained by party, and roll-call analysis tells us nothing. Where roll-calls are uninformative, we have to look at what politicians actually did and said.

Usually, the latter is more important. Of course, politicians, like anybody else, sometimes lie. So we need to ask ourselves all the time To whom is he saying this? How likely is it to be true? Most of the arguments of this book are built on what politicians privately said to one another, and to their friends rather than their enemies. I have assumed that politicians lie to their friends less often than to their enemies.

Perhaps the most reliable evidence of all is what they say to their mistresses. But only two of the politicians at the heart of this book have had mistresses.

Is British politics since , then, one-dimensional or multidimensional? The evidence is that normal politics is more or less unidimensional. Note that I am not claiming that most people can identify how left-wing or right-wing they are. That is false, and unnecessary for my argument. If politics is unidimensional, we can always draw a graph such as Fig. In Fig. The vertical, y-axis measures the number of people who like each policy the best. Thus the higher the line AB at any opinion point, the more people hold that opinion.

Therefore I have deliberately drawn Fig. Given the way in which Fig. This line cuts the area under the curve into two areas of exactly equal size. Now let us suppose that there are two parties trying to win power by means of a national election. Suppose, further, that each of them regards ideology as only a means to an end.

Then each of them will put forward an identical platform, which will coincide with what the median voter wants. In that event, K will get the majority of the vote, and win the election. It is time for a reality check. How far have conditions in Britain since corresponded to the simplicities of Fig. First, it is obvious that there have been parties that do not seek nationwide power.

By far the most important of these have been the Irish Party and its successors. Already when our story opens, most people in Ireland were hostile to the Union of , which had incorporated the whole of Ireland into the United Kingdom. The Repealers weakened in Parliament, though not out of it in the s and s.

But, starting in , the Irish MPs became a cohesive nationalist bloc. By , all the seats in Catholic Ireland were held by the Irish Party, which sought concessions for Ireland from a British Government of either party. It was not interested in governing a United Kingdom of which it did not approve. However, parties that do not wish to form the government of the UK have remained.

The Ulster Unionists have been such a party or parties ever since In a seminal work of comparative political science, Lipset and Rokkan The Industrial Revolution is familiar. They argue that it generated class politics along the familiar left—right dimension.

The National Revolution, they argue, set nation-building elites in the centre against those who resisted them in the periphery.

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Religion could in principle provide yet another dimension, although they argued that in many cases it aligned with the centre—periphery cleavage—the central elites belonged to one religion, and the resistant periphery to another. Furthermore, they argue, there is a lag between the development of cleavages dimensions, in our terminology , and the development of party systems.

Once a party system comes into existence along some dimension, there is a tendency for it to freeze up. The existing parties would rather adapt themselves to politics in the new dimension than allow new parties to come in and imperil their access to power. Therefore, old parties of centre and periphery may be more powerful, and new parties of class less powerful, than the issues of contemporary politics may lead one to expect.

Lipset and Rokkan's book appeared in , at a time when all British political scientists accepted Peter Pulzer's Their idea that the centre—periphery dimension, although overlain by the left—right dimension, was still there started to gain acceptance with the relative decline of the Labour and Conservative parties and rise of peripheral parties in the s.

But it has never been as fully accepted as it should have been. Political scientists and historians are so used to looking at the British past through a retrospectoscope that they have tended to see things that were not there and missed things that were. They greatly exaggerated the importance of class in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British politics at the expense of religion and centre—periphery politics.

The centre wanted to extend British power all over the Empire. Religious divisions strengthened the centre—periphery dimension and weakened the left—right dimension. The established churches—the Church of England and the Church of Scotland—were the churches of the centre. All the other churches were churches of the periphery.

Catholicism had been a badge of Irish identity ever since the seventeenth century. Scotland had its own religious divisions, little understood by English politicians. Struggles over church disestablishment and recognition—in Scotland in , in Ireland from to , and in Wales from to —were as much centre—periphery politics as religious politics. In another seminal study by a non-Briton, Kenneth Wald showed that as late as religion was a better predictor than class of vote in Britain.

In normal times, the politics of centre and periphery could be bundled with the politics of left and right. As stated above, MPs in the s had attitudes to Ireland a centre—periphery issue that lined up with their attitudes to the Corn Laws a rural—urban issue generated by the Industrial Revolution. But the potential for disruptive changes of alignment was always there.

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At one level, the very presence of the Irish Party and its successors ensured that. The Irish Party did not seek power in the UK. But it held the balance in the House of Commons from to , from to , and from to Its successors as parties of the periphery the Liberals, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish Nationalists, and the Ulster Unionists between them held the balance of power in , from to , and from to The presence of a potential second dimension enabled politicians such as Peel and Lloyd George to make the imaginative leaps discussed in the chapters that follow.

However, since , or at the latest since , there have been three parties in Parliament which have wanted to share in the government of the UK. Since then, there has never been any doubt but that it sought to govern, even if in and again in that prospect seemed extremely remote. The struggle between the Liberal and Labour Parties to form the opposition to the Conservatives lasted from to ; the Labour Party won, and the Liberals were driven back to the periphery, where they have continued to win most of their seats.

Duverger The electoral rule is that the candidate with the highest vote is elected, regardless of whether that candidate has won a majority of the vote. It is well known that the plurality system squeezes any candidate who is commonly believed to have little chance of winning locally.

Since the s, this position has mostly been held by the Liberals, although in a few times and places it has been the Labour Party's turn to suffer, and in an even smaller number the Conservative Party's. These odd local situations account for the survival of the Liberals in the Commons from to Nevertheless, unless the centre—periphery dimension is prised apart from the left—right dimension, they may collapse on one another.

In that case, politics is unidimensional, and that is how British politics has appeared for most of the time since In unidimensional politics, it follows from the median voter theorem that parties will normally try to align themselves with the median voter. To do anything else is to risk catastrophic defeat. In Labour lost whatever reputation for competence at managing the economy it had had, as did the Conservatives in These factors account for the landslides of and for the Conservatives and for Labour.

These cases involved manoeuvres around towards, away from the median voter rather than heresthetic moves into new dimensions. But chaos is always possible.

Whereas unidimensional politics is strongly stable around the position of the median voter, multidimensional politics is intrinsically unstable.

Since it has been known although often forgotten that, whenever there are at least three voters and at least three options, option A may beat B by a majority, which beats C by a different majority, which likewise beats A. This is called a majority-rule cycle. If not, then there is no median and majority-rule cycles are likely to be pervasive. This situation is shown diagramatically in Fig. Issue Space in Two Dimensions: These terms may be used only with the repeated health warning that they have no objective meaning.

The former was represented by the Republican-Democratic, later Democratic Party founded by Thomas Jefferson in , and refounded by the frontiersman President Andrew Jackson in The latter was represented by a succession of relatively unsuccessful parties—Federalists and Whigs.

There is an important difference of notation between Fig. The x-axis is the same. But in Fig. A politician is assumed to have a favourite point—such as the positions A, B, C in Fig. Spreading out from each agent's favourite point are a set of indifference contours.

One is shown around each of the points A, B, and C in Fig. An indifference contour links all the points in two-dimensional space among which the agent is indifferent. Supposing that I am agent A, say, the further a set of policies is from my optimum point A, the less I like it. Consider the three politicians whose ideal positions are point A, B, and C in Fig. If points A, B, and C were in a straight line, the situation could be reduced to that of Fig.

From that we would know that voter B, whose optimum was B, was the median voter, and that position B was unbeatable. It might seem intuitively obvious that there is a similar stability if the three points are not in line. There is not. To illustrate this, look again at the three indifference contours drawn on to Fig. The point Q where all three intersect, is the status quo: Similarly, Q would lose to any point in the petal QR, by a 2—1 vote with A and C in the majority, or to any point in the petal QS, by a 2—1 vote with B and C in the majority.

Therefore a majority of the electorate prefer it, therefore it is chosen. A diagram similar to Fig. I will not draw it, but leave it to the reader's imagination. Obviously, each of the petals is now larger. Therefore, the majority choice may wander yet further away from the original starting place. There is no bound to this process. Therefore, a sequence of majority decisions could take society arbitrarily far from its starting point. Nor is this book the place to prove or expound them—for that, see any intermediate or advanced social choice text such as Mueller or Saari The purpose of this little excursion into the geometry of social choice is to try to convince the reader that chaos is a real possibility whenever politics goes into two or more dimensions.

But politics is normally structured so as to hide them. Sometimes, however, it is in politicians' interest to bring them to the surface. In William Riker's canonical example, the Republican Party, created in , deliberately revived the issue of slavery in US national politics in order to split the hegemonic Democratic Party into its northern and southern wings.

In that, he claims, they completely succeeded, although at a heavy price. In the Presidential election of , there were four candidates. Under most plausible electoral systems, the northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglas would have won. Riker built a great deal on this case—something for which he has been frequently criticized see especially Green and Shapiro , Mackie I am willing to concede a lot to the critics without conceding Riker's central point.

In particular, I no longer accept Riker's claim that popular preferences were probably in a cycle among three of the four candidates Lincoln, Douglas, and John Bell.

Actually, most of them probably preferred Douglas to Bell, and with that switch Riker's cycle disappears. The chaos theorems are not quite as wide-ranging as they were believed to be when Riker , wrote, and conditions for stability are a little more generous than he believed them to be.

But his central insight remains valid. On critical occasions—however rare they may be—politics goes seriously multidimensional. When that happens, outcomes are extremely unpredictable. Given one set of rules, Lincoln won the election. Given most other sets of rules, Douglas would have won.

The American Civil War might have had a very different course, or a different outcome, or perhaps not happened at all. The fate of slaves in the southern states might have been very different. We return to Riker's story in section 1.

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Rhetoric and Heresthetic Rhetoric is the art of verbal persuasion. Heresthetic is the art and science of political manipulation. All politicians use rhetoric; some use heresthetic. In order to make this book manageable, I am concentrating on some specialized sorts of political rhetoric. All politicians use rhetoric to praise their own side and its policies and to denounce the other and its policies.

For instance, in the years leading up to the General Election campaign, discussed below, the Conservatives made a powerful rhetorical link between imperialism and xenophobia: They don't want to see the honest Britisher turned out by these scourings of European slums.

But the Radicals said, No! By obstruction, the radicals caused the postponement of the Government bill, which safeguarded British Workers.

Next Session, the Government will bring in the Bill again. Quoted in McKenzie and Silver Liberal election agents even turned xenophobia to their advantage by putting a warm, freshly baked British Big Loaf next to a stale Continental rye-bread Little Loaf in committee room windows. Taking the period from to as a whole, therefore, neither side clearly gained the battle of xenophobic rhetoric. There are, though, some cases in our period when one side gained a rhetorical advantage.

The most clear-cut was during the battle between the Peers and the People—as one side called it—from to Nobody in our period could match Lloyd George at his peak: Another will be, who ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made 10, people owners of the soil, and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth.

He wished to infuriate the Tory peers so much that they would reject his budget. They did, playing into his hands. At a deeper level, rhetoric consists of persuading everybody that the world is the way you say it is.

It is usually quite easy to persuade your own side of this. Persuading the other side takes more skill. Sometimes you can cloak your argument in religion.

Unfortunately for rhetoricians, there has been no agreed religious truth in Britain during our period: Religion could be a powerful weapon to rally your side, but not to persuade the other side to see the world as you saw it.

Economics is more promising. Especially if Keynes's famous saying is true: Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. Keynes Classical economics was contested ground in the s. Although Ricardo and his contemporaries argued passionately against the Corn Laws, it was not their voices that Peel who was not mad heard in the air.

But by the s, classical economics held an intellectual hegemony among British politicians that was not seriously dented until Keynes. That is not to say that all British politicians agreed with the classical prescriptions of free trade, cheap money, and low taxes. It is to say that those who disagreed were on the defensive. They started at a rhetorical disadvantage. During her Prime Ministership she evolved a novel economic policy that marked a radical break with the Keynesianism that had dominated British policy-making since She did not only say that the previous policies had failed.

She said that There is no alternative to the policies she put in their place, and dumbfounded the critics within and without Young She said it so often that for a while her enemies nicknamed her Tina. He was opposed to the extension of slavery although not, in , to the institution of slavery itself. Militant abolitionists who did want to extirpate slavery from the South backed him.

Lincoln's election led directly to the South's secession, led by South Carolina, and to the Civil War—by far the most destructive war in the history of the United States, in which many more Americans died than in either World War, Korea, or Vietnam. It also led to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which wrote the abolition of slavery and civil and voting rights into it.

Lincoln won with the lowest share of the popular vote1 achieved by any winner in US presidential history—just under 40 per cent. That was enough to give him a comfortable victory in the Electoral College. Each state has as many Electors as it has representatives in Congress. As every state has two Senators, this rule means that it has two Electors more than the number of its seats in the House of Representatives.

Lincoln and the Republicans had driven a wedge into the previously dominant Democrats, helping them to split into their northern and southern wings. Lincoln posed the following killer question to Douglas in At Freeport, Illinois, 27 August Holzer However, it was not just the words themselves, but the setting, that honed this question stiletto-sharp.

But it was harder to evade. Douglas was damned if he said Yes and damned if he said No. The people of a Territory have the lawful means to admit it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere unless supported by local police regulations.

Then, when they were judged to have a large enough population, Congress could vote to admit them as states. The slave states had almost half of the population, and almost half of the seats in both houses of Congress. Despite this, it soon became clear that population was growing faster in the non-slave than in the slave parts of the country.

So, in due course, the balance of seats in the House of Representatives, which are apportioned by population, would gradually swing to the disadvantage of the slave states. In the Senate, however, with two Senators per state regardless of population, the slave states could retain their block for longer Weingast Between and , nine Territories were awarded statehood.

Four were not Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Vermont. In a bill to admit Missouri was offered. A Representative from New York moved an amendment to prohibit slavery in Missouri. Both sides recognized the issue as momentous. The year-old Thomas Jefferson wrote: I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed indeed for the moment.

William H. Riker

Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. The printed version in Peterson The knell was hushed by the Missouri Compromise, according to which Missouri was then admitted as a slave state, but balanced by Maine as a free state. As each state had two Senators, this meant that the balance of free and slave votes in the Senate remained undisturbed.

The free states' share of US population, and hence of seats in the House of Representatives, had been growing rapidly through immigration. But a resolution to abolish slavery would have to pass both houses. It could not pass the Senate while the Missouri Compromise reigned. From to the Missouri Compromise ensured the stability of the Union. In it broke down. California was admitted alone as a free state, and the South could foresee the end of its blocking vote in the Senate.

The Wilmot Proviso —8 had already threatened it. The Wilmot Proviso attempted to add a rider to resolutions voting money for war with Mexico, to stipulate that any territory gained as a result of that war should not permit slavery. Wilmot, like the promoter of the Missouri amendment in , was a Representative from a northern district hundreds of miles from the nearest slave.

He was moved by the concerns of his own district—to protect working-class whites from increased competition from blacks for jobs. However, to southerners, the whole point of war with Mexico was to gain territory in which slavery would be permitted, and therefore potentially more pro-slavery votes in the Senate. So the Wilmot Proviso was lethal for them. But the proviso itself could never have passed in the Senate. The admission of a free state without a balancing slave state was much more dangerous to southern interests.

The war with Mexico led to a huge swathe of territory—modern New Mexico, Arizona, and California joining Texas, which had already declared its independence from Mexico—falling under United States control.

That unreliable guide hindsight sees the slide to war as inevitable from the breakdown of the Missouri Compromise. They hoped to give the South a credible commitment to balancing California by admitting Kansas as a slave state. Their Kansas—Nebraska Act of ruled that those territories, which were rapidly gaining enough settlers to qualify as states, should decide for themselves whether to permit slavery.

This led to a miniature civil war between slave and free forces in Kansas. Meanwhile, the southern-dominated Supreme Court destabilized the situation from the other side. In Scott v. Sandford ; 60 US , a slave, Dred Scott, had been brought to a state where slavery was illegal and then returned to Missouri, where it was legal.

Scott sued, claiming that residence in a free state had freed him. The Court held that, according to the Constitution, blacks were not and could not be citizens of the United States, and federal law could not override the Constitution and make them so. This threatened to prevent any future federal attempts to outlaw slavery in Territories that were not yet states. Nevertheless, the Congressional Democrats came very close to securing a vote in both houses, in , to admit Kansas as a slave state.

Those who know their Huckleberry Finn will recall that the plot turns on Huck and Jim missing Cairo, Illinois in a fog as they run away on a raft drifting down the Mississippi, so that they are carried deeper and deeper into the slave South. The constituency in which Douglas was running expected him to answer Yes; as the author of the Kansas—Nebraska Act he would be doubly embarrassed if he did not. But the campaign for the Senate mattered to Douglas not only for itself but also for his intended campaign for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in To satisfy the nationwide constituency of Democrats with a voice in choosing their presidential nominee, Douglas would have to answer No.

He could not credibly evade the killer question. He answered Yes and won the Senate seat. When he ran for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in , his campaign was so divisive that the party split down the middle. The Democrats had a rule that their presidential nominee must gain two-thirds of the vote at their nominating convention.

This was designed to ensure or at least had the effect of ensuring that every Democratic presidential nominee had the support of both northern and southern Democrats. In the circumstances of , it had no chance of securing unity. No Democrat, northern or southern, would be able to get two-thirds of the votes at the convention.

The southern Democrats nominated John C. The fourth candidate, John Bell, represented the southern wing of the old Whig party whose northern successors were the Republicans. According to the county election returns analysed by Lipset Lipset interprets this to mean that higher-status voters in the South continued to support the candidate whose former party had had most upper- class support. Lincoln and Breckinridge were the extreme candidates. So it is safe to guess that almost everybody who voted for one of them ranked the other last.

They were also strongly regional candidates—Lincoln of the Midwest but with a strong following in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region as well , and Breckinridge of the South. Supporters of the two non-extreme candidates, Douglas and Bell, had regional, class, and slavery interests that pulled them in cross-cutting directions. It is true that Douglas's answer is ingenious. Good politicians must be good rhetoricians, and both Lincoln and Douglas, in their set-piece debates, were good rhetoricians.

Douglas gets around the objection that Dred Scott forbade such action by saying that the legislature of a Territory could simply fail to police the fugitive slave laws if it wished to outlaw slavery in practice.

Holzer does not mention the Democratic nominating convention's two-thirds rule cf. Weingast , which is probably crucial. Lincoln and the Republicans needed only to ensure that Douglas could not command two-thirds of the votes at the convention.

Nobody could. Because he beat Douglas narrowly all over the North, while winning no votes at all in the Deep South, he was able to convert under 40 per cent of the popular vote into an absolute majority of the Electoral College.

It is not uncommon for extreme candidates, loathed by some and loved by others, to win multi-candidate elections in electoral systems like those in Britain and the USA. But the case is extreme. Mackie Why did Duverger's Law not operate? There are several reasons, but one important one is that the US presidential election system is more complicated than we have admitted so far.

If no candidate wins more than half of the votes in the Electoral College, the election is thrown into the House of Representatives, where each state casts one vote. The ultimate default if even that fails was, in , the Senate, because under the Twelfth Amendment the Senate chose the Vice-President if the electors failed to elect one.

This procedure was changed again by the Twentieth Amendment Therefore, the centrist groups, especially John Bell and his backers, had an incentive to run. If the election went to the House or the Senate, the border states, where Bell was most strongly backed, could broker an outcome. Something like this had happened in the last election which went to the House, that of But, with the two extremist candidates available, the centre collapsed and Lincoln won in the Electoral College.

Veto Games and Credible Commitments I have spent time on the Riker—Weingast—Mackie story of the origins of the American Civil War, although it has nothing directly to do with the British crises that occupy the narrative chapters of this book. This is not just because it is a good story, but also because of the models and methods that it points to. Gould's criticism is aimed at those biologists who tell a story that unlike Kipling's might be true, but which he thinks is too neat.

Things could have happened that way, but they could also have happened in lots of other ways. The same criticism is often levelled against Riker and other tellers of analytic narratives. One acid test of an analytic narrative is: In my view, the Riker—Weingast account passes that test. It explains all the facts about the origins of the Civil War that the standard political or economic accounts do, but also some facts that they do not.

It also explains why Democrats from Jefferson onwards reacted with such fear and alarm at the attempts. It explains why so much of federal politics was concentrated on the apparently trivial issue of slavery in the Territories. Most of the Territories were very infertile ground for a slave economy, and nobody including slaveholders had any serious intention of introducing slaves to such places as Arizona or New Mexico.

But if Territories were slaveholding, then future states would be slaveholding, and if future states were slaveholding, the balance rule for the Senate, introduced as the Missouri Compromise, could continue. And, given the rules for the passage of legislation through the bicameral Congress, the southern block on the Senate was absolutely central to preserving the peculiar institution in its heartland of the Old South.

In a word, the analytic narrative constantly recurs to the importance of institutions. Riker's version of it also lays great stress on heresthetic. Abraham Lincoln is celebrated as the greatest rhetorician in American political history. Historians and literary critics remain fascinated by how he could craft the lapidary phrases of the Gettysburg Address while regarding it, and himself, as rhetorical failures. But Riker makes a plausible case for him as a heresthetician as well.

He and others forced the dimension of slavery back into federal politics against the Democrats' increasingly desperate attempts to suppress it. And he blighted Douglas's future with his killer question at Freeport. It is now clear that Riker's attempt to portray each of the crises that led to the Civil War especially the Wilmot Proviso and the election result as an instance of cycling is unsuccessful.

But his basic point remains sound. The underlying cycles that would lead outcomes to be unstable are suppressed because legislatures and constitutions are written in a certain way. The US Senate has a veto over all legislation not exclusively reserved to the House, and over all constitutional amendments. The two-Senators-per-state rule was therefore utterly crucial in the course of events leading to the Civil War. It distorted the slavery issue into an issue about the Territories.

Other institutions that turn out to have been vital include the Democratic Party's two-thirds rule in its nominating convention; the practice not a constitutional requirement that most states give all their Electors to the party which wins a plurality of the electoral vote in the state; and the Twelfth Amendment's rules for dealing with the case where no presidential candidate gets a majority of the Electors' votes.

We need to understand veto players, extensive-form games, backward induction, and credible commitments. A veto player is simply one who has the right to make a move that cannot be overridden. The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, as taught to generations of students in or of Britain, states that Parliament can do anything except bind its successor.

It can, and sometimes does, reverse the effects of court judgements by enacting laws that overturn them. Then, it is a veto player in a sense that, for instance, the United States Congress is not. But the UK Parliament is not a unitary actor.

UK Acts of Parliament begin with the formula: Most studies of parliamentary manoeuvres, including this one, concentrate on the last.

But we must consider the others as serious potential veto players. In a normal-form game, the payoffs to each actor from each outcome are summarized as a single number in a matrix. However, game theorists have always known that the normal-form omits the sequence of play. To model the fact that players move in sequence, and that they either know or can guess one another's preferences, we need to represent the game of decision-making in a multi-chamber legislature by a game tree, also known as an extensive-form game.

There are three actors, Commons, Lords, and King, and they move in a sequence determined by the rules of parliamentary procedure. In the stylized example of Fig. Having gone through its internal procedures First Reading, Second Reading, Committee Stage, Report , it either produces a Commons bill c or votes it down. If a bill is defeated at this or any other stage, the status quo sq continues. If the Commons produces a bill, it goes to the Lords.

The Lords consider the Commons bill through their internal procedures. At the end of those they either accept the Commons version c or substitute their version l.

If they do the latter, the bill returns to the Commons, who either accept the Lords' amendments or reject them. There is provision in the rules of Parliament for a conference of both houses to resolve disputes.

Unlike other bicameral assemblies, however, the British Parliament had allowed these formal procedures to go out of use before In principle, then, a bill may shuttle between the two houses until it runs out of time. The monarch retains the power to reject bills, although this last happened 3 A further series of branches should be added to the tree in Fig. This is important in the practical cases in later chapters, but omitted here for clarity.

An Extensive-Form Game. The Legislative Process in a Tricameral Parliament. Ideal Points of the Actors in Fig. However, this monarchical power needs to be left in Fig. King George V toyed with the idea in — A device often used in studies of the US Congress, the European Union, and other multi-player legislatures is to map each actor's favourite position in relation to the status quo.

Where the actors stand is an empirical matter. I have drawn Fig. In theory, the preferences of the monarch can be inferred directly from what he says or does. The preferences of the two houses are a slightly trickier matter. At this point game theorists appeal to the median voter theorem described above. According to the median voter theorem, the preferences of the median member of each chamber may stand for the preferences of that chamber.

Therefore, the chamber's favourite position is its median optimum. The player whose turn ends the game has different preferences to those of earlier players and has the options of accepting or vetoing the options presented to her. Let us assume for the time being that these preferences are common knowledge. Then, some options that earlier players might otherwise take become much less attractive to them because they know that the last player may veto them.

Another way of saying the same thing is to refer to the rule of anticipated reactions. If the political game really were as simple as that portrayed in Figs 1.

The King is the veto player, and will veto any option that is further from his optimum K in Fig. However, the King prefers the Lords' median optimum to the status quo. If the preferences were as shown, and the King were an unconditional veto player, then the outcome of the game in Fig. We read it by going backwards along each branch of the tree from each outcome. It is common knowledge that the King prefers l to sq and prefers sq to c.

Therefore, in the branches that end with the King making a choice between c and sq, he will choose sq: In the branches that end with the King making a choice between l and sq, he will choose l—that is, accept the bill, as amended by the Lords. Now let us move back up the tree. If the Lords amend the bill, the Commons are the second-last actor.

Do they reinstate their bill, which would enact c, or do they accept the Lords' amendments? They know that if they reinstate c, the King will veto the bill; if they accept l, he will accept it. They would rather have l than sq. Therefore, if the Lords amend the bill, the Commons will accept their amendments.

Back up one stage to the Lords' decision. If they amend the bill, they can work out that it will be carried as amended.