Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Electoral Promises and Single Party Governments: The Role of Party Ideology and Budget Balance in Pledge Fulfillment

  • François Pétry (a1) and Dominic Duval (a1)
Abstract

The determinants of fulfilling campaign promises in Canada over the period 1994–2015 are analyzed in a comparative perspective. All other factors being equal, we find that promises to reduce government spending are more likely to be fulfilled by the Conservatives than by the Liberals. Majority and re-elected governments facing a budget surplus are more likely to fulfill their election promises than minority and newly elected governments facing a budget deficit. Promises are more likely to be fulfilled at the start than at the end of a mandate. We also find a small but noticeable increase in the rate of fulfilling campaign promises over time.

Nous analysons, dans une perspective comparative, la tenue des promesses électorales au Canada de 1994 à 2015. Toutes choses étant égales par ailleurs, nous constatons que les promesses de compression sont plus susceptibles d’être remplies par les conservateurs que par les libéraux. Les gouvernements majoritaires, réélus et ceux disposant d’un surplus budgétaire ont plus de chance de tenir leurs promesses électorales que les gouvernements minoritaires, nouvellement élus ou faisant face à un déficit budgétaire. Les promesses sont plus susceptibles d’être tenues au début des mandats qu’en fin de mandat. Et finalement, nous observons une augmentation légère, mais perceptible du taux de tenue au fil du temps.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Département de science politique, Université Laval Pavillon Charles-De Koninck, 1030 av. des sciences sociales, Quebec PQ, G1V 0A6, email: francois.petry@pol.ulaval.ca
Département de science politique, Université Laval Pavillon Charles-De Koninck, 1030 av. des sciences sociales, Quebec PQ, G1V 0A6, email: dominic.duval.3@ulaval.ca
References
Hide All
Aragonès, Enriqueta, Postlewaite, Andrew and Palfrey, Thomas. 2007. “Political reputations and campaign promises.” Journal of the European Economic Association 5 (4): 846–84.
Artés, Joaquin. 2013. “Do Spanish Politicians Keep Their Promises?Party Politics 19: 143–58.
Joaquin, Artés and Bustos, Antonio. 2008. “Electoral Promises and Minority Governments.” European Journal of Political Research 47: 307–33.
Beck, Nathaniel, Katz, Jonathan N. and Tucker, Richard. 1998. “Taking time seriously: Time-series-cross-section analysis with a binary dependent variable.American Journal of Political Science 42: 1260–88.
Benoit, Kenneth and Laver, Michael. 2006. Party Policy in Modern Democracies. London: Routledge.
Bevan, Shaun, John, Peter and Jennings, Will. 2011. “Keeping party programmes on track: the transmission of the policy agendas of executive speeches to legislative outputs in the United Kingdom.European Political Science Review 3 (3): 395417.
Campbell, James E., and Garand, James C.. 2000. Before the vote: Forecasting American national elections. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.
Cochrane, Chris. 2015. Left and Right: The Small World of Political Ideas. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Costello, Rory and Thomson, Robert. 2008. “Election Pledges and their Enactment in Coalition Governments: A Comparative Analysis of Ireland.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Policy 18: 239–56.
Carter, David B. and Signorino, Curtis S.. 2010. “Back to the future: Modeling time dependence in binary data.” Political Analysis 18 (3): 271–92.
Cusack, Thomas R. 1997. “Partisan politics and public finance: Changes in public spending in the industrialized democracies, 1955–1989.Public Choice 91 (3–4): 375–95.
Davis, Michael L. and Ferrantino, Michael. 1996. “Towards a positive theory of political rhetoric: Why do politicians lie?Public Choice 88 (1): 113.
Downs, Anthony 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
Dominic, Duval and Pétry, François. 2018. “Time and the Fulfillment of Election Pledges.Electoral Studies DOI: 10.1177/0032321718762882.
Flynn, Greg. 2011. “Rethinking policy capacity in Canada: The role of parties and election platforms in government policy-making.” Canadian Public Administration 54 (2): 235–53.
Godbout, Jean François and Høyland, Bjørn. 2011. “Legislative voting in the Canadian Parliament.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 44 (2): 367–88.
Håkansson, Nicklas and Naurin, Elin. 2016. “Promising ever more: An empirical account of Swedish parties’ pledge making during 20 years.” Party Politics 22 (3): 393404.
Harrington, Joseph E. Jr. 1993. “The Impact of Reelection Pressures on the Fulfilment of Campaign Promises.” Games and Economic Behavior 5: 7197.
Huber, Evelyn and Stephens, John D.. 2001. Development and crisis of the welfare state: Parties and policies in global markets. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Imbeau, Louis M. and Pétry, François, eds. 2004. Politics, Institutions and Fiscal Policy. Deficits and Surpluses in Federated States. Lanham MD: Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield.
Jennings, Will, Bevan, Shaun, Timmermans, Arco, Breeman, Gerard, Brouard, Sylvain, Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura, Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, John, Peter, Mortensen, Peter B. and Palau, Anna M.. 2011. “Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas.Comparative Political Studies 44 (8): 1001–30.
Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, Hofferbert, Rick I., Budge, Ian, Bergman, Torbjorb, Keman, Hans, Pétry, François and Strøm, Kaare. 1994. Parties, Policies and Democracy. Boulder CO: Westview Press.
Koop, Royce and Bittner, Amanda. 2013. “Parties and Elections after 2011: The Fifth Canadian Party System?” In Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics, ed. Bittner, A. and Koop, R.. Toronto, University of Toronto Press.
Kostadinova, Petia. 2013. “Democratic performance in post-communist Bulgaria: Election pledges and levels of fulfilment, 1997–2005.” East European Politics 29 (2): 190207.
Lewis-Beck, Michael S. and Stegmaier, Mary. 2000. “Economic determinants of electoral outcomes.Annual Review of Political Science 3 (1): 183219.
Louwerse, Thomas Pieter. 2011. Political parties and the democratic mandate: comparing collective mandate fulfilment in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University.
Manin, Bernard. 1997. The principles of representative government. New York: Cambridge University Press,
Mansbridge, Jane. 2003. “Rethinking Representation.” American Political Science Review 97: 515–28.
Mansergh, Lucy and Thomson, Robert. 2007. “Election Pledges, Party Competition, and Policymaking.” Comparative Politics 39 (3): 311–29.
Martin, Lawrence. 2010. Harperland: The Politics of Control. Toronto: Penguin
Monière, Denis. 1988. Le discours électoral. Les politiciens sont-ils fiables? Montréal: Québec/Amérique.
Mortensen, Peter Bjerre, Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, Breeman, Gerard, Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura, Jennings, Will, John, Peter, Palau, Anna M. and Timmermans, Arco. 2011. “Comparing government agendas: Executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Denmark.Comparative Political Studies 44 (8): 9731000.
Moury, Catherine and Fernandés, Jorge M.. 2016. “Minority Governments and Pledge Fulfilment: Evidence from Portugal.Government and Opposition. DOI 10.1017/gov.2016.14
Naurin, Elin. 2014. “Is a Promise a Promise? Election Pledge Fulfilment in Comparative Perspective Using Sweden as an Example.” West European Politics 37 (5): 1046–63.
Pétry, François. 1995. “The party agenda model: Election programmes and government spending in Canada.Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique 28 (1): 5184.
Pétry, François. 2014. “Ideological Evolution of the Federal NDP, as Seen Through Its Election Campaign Manifestos.” In Reviving Social Democracy: The Near Death and Surprising Rise of the Federal NDP, eds. Erikson, Lynda and Laycock, David. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Pétry, François and Birch, Lisa M.. 2016. “Justin Trudeau's promises, one year later.” Policy Options, October 26.
Pétry, François, Collette, Benoît and Klingemann, Hans-Dieter. 2012. “Left-Right in Canada: Comparing data from party manifesto content and expert surveys.” Paper presented at the annual Congress of the Canadian Political Science Association, Edmonton.
François, Pétry and Duval, Dominic. 2015. “To What Extent Do Political Parties Follow Their Campaign Promises?Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law. Special edition: 341–64.
Katrin, Praprotnik. 2017. “Jurisdiction, time, and money: The role of resources in pledge fulfillment.” Party Politics 23 (6): 848–59.
Prince, Michael. 2006. “Chrétien's Paradoxical Record in Social Policy.” In The Chrétien Legacy. Politics and Public Policy in Canada, ed. Harder, L. and Patten, S.. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Rallings, Colin. 1987. “The Influence of Election Programmes: Britain and Canada 1945–79.” In Ideology, Strategy, and Party Change: Spatial Analysis of Post-War Elections Programmes in Nineteen Democracies, ed. Budge, Ian, Robertson, David and Hearl, Derek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Royed, Terry J. 1996. “Testing the Mandate Model in Britain and the United States: Evidence from the Reagan and Thatcher Eras.” British Journal of Political Science 26: 4580.
Schedler, Andreas. 1998. “The normative force of electoral promises.Journal of Theoretical Politics 10 (2): 191214.
Statistics Canada 2018. Revenue, expenditure and budgetary balance-General government. Table 36-10-0477-01 (formerly Cansim 380-0080) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3610047701 (June 2, 2018).
Strøm, Kaare. 1990. Minority Government and Majority Rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Robert, Thomson. 2001. “The Program to Policy Linkage: The Fulfillment of Election Pledges on Socio-Economic Policy in the Netherlands, 1986–1998.European Journal of Political Research 40:171–97.
Thomson, Robert, Royed, Terry, Naurin, Elin, Artés, Joaquin, Costello, Rory, Ennser-Jedenastik, Laurenz, Ferguson, Michael, Kostadinova, Petia, Moury, Catherine, Pétry, François and Praprotnik, Katrin. 2017. “The Fulfilment of Parties’ Election Pledges: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Power Sharing.” American Journal of Political Science 61 (3): 527–42.
Toros, Emre. 2015. “Piecrust Promises: An Analysis of the Turkish Political Parties’ Electoral Pledges.” Turkish Studies 16 (2): 240–52.
Wells, Paul. 2014. The Longer I'm Prime Minister. Toronto: Random House Canada.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • ISSN: 0008-4239
  • EISSN: 1744-9324
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-political-science-revue-canadienne-de-science-politique
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Pétry and Duval supplementary material
Pétry and Duval supplementary material 1

 Word (512 KB)
512 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 23 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 325 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 13th September 2018 - 23rd September 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.