Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 August 2006
Recent veto player work argues that majoritarian regimes such as the United Kingdom have better fiscal discipline and smaller welfare states than proportional regimes with more veto players. An analytic narrative of the failure of land value taxation in the United Kingdom between 1909 and 1914 shows, however, that it failed not because of previously advanced reasons, but because the number of veto players in British politics was sharply increased. This increase in veto player numbers prevented a tax increase. All seven of the conventional reasons for characterizing the United Kingdom as a low-n veto player regime failed to hold between 1906 and 1914. Observable implications discussed include the need to review the entire history of British politics in this period in the light of the temporary increase in veto players; and the ambiguous implications of number of veto players for fiscal discipline.