Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter (2013): Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975.

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Abstract

All democratic systems are theoretically open to so-called election inversions, i.e., instances wherein a majority of the decision makers prefer one alternative but where the actual outcome is another. The paper examines the complex 1975 Danish government formation process, which involved five rounds of negotiations and at least five competing alternatives. We demonstrate that in terms of party preferences the final outcome was not the Condorcet winner but rather one that could have been beaten by at least three other government alternatives in head-to-head comparisons. The Danish procedural system of “negative” parliamentarism combined with simple plurality rule to produce the electoral inversion.

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