Electoral considerations, party
pressure and strategic calculations1
Simon Hug2 and Tobias Schulz3 and
CIS and IPZ, Universität Zürich
First version: September 2005, this version: Apr 20, 2008
2 Scientific Information
Despite the central role of the Swiss parliament and its members in
political decision-making, we know only little about what determines the
latter's decisions when voting on bills. Drawing on both theoretical and
empirical work carried out in other contexts, this study wishes to
answer the following questions:
- What is the respective role of personal political preferences,
party pressure, and constituency preferences in explaining the voting
decisions of members of parliaments (MPs)?
- To what degree do MPs in the Swiss lower house engage in strategic
voting when considering bills with various options in complex voting
To answer these research questions we rely on a series of data sources
that yield the necessary information to test our theoreticall derived
hypotheses. First, to assess the voting behavior of MPs we rely on a
uniquely suited dataset of all votes having occurred in the Swiss lower
house. This dataset allows us to assess much more precisely the role
party pressure and electoral concerns play in the MPs' behavior. Second,
using an internet-based survey, we collect information on the MPs'
political preferences to relate them systematically to voting decisions
in parliament. We also assess the way in which MPs deal with complex
agenda-structurres as they appear in parliament in general and the Swiss
lower house in particular. The survey will also yield information on the
risk-attitudes of the MPs. Finally, information from existing large
surveys and statistical information on cantons and regions will yield
information on the preferences of the electoral districts of particular
MPs. Comnbined these three data sources will allow for an innovative
investigation of the behavior of MPs in the Swiss lower house.
- Bütikofer, Sarah and Simon Hug (2010). The Swiss Upper
House. ``Chambre de reflexion'' or Conservative
Journal of Legislative Studies 16(2) 176-194
- Carrubba, Clifford, Matthew Gabel and Simon Hug (2008).
Legislative Voting Behavior, Seen and Unseen: Adjusting for
selection effects in roll call vote analysis
Legislative Studies Quarterly 33: 543-572.
- Hug, Simon. (2010 ). Selection Effects in Roll Call Votes.
British Journal of Political Science 40(1) 225-235.
- Hug, Simon (2010). Strategic voting in a bicameral setting
in Thomas König, George Tsebelis and Marc Debus, (eds.) Reform processes and policy change:
Veto players and decision-making in modern democracies Berlin: Springer, pp. 231-246
- Bailer, Stefanie, Sarah Bütikofer, Simon Hug, and Tobias Schulz
(2007). Preferences, party discipline and constituency pressure
in Swiss parliamentary decisions Paper prepared for presentation at
the ECPR General Conference in Pisa (September 6-8, 2007)
- Bütikofer, Sarah and Simon Hug (2008). Strategic behavior in
the Swiss parliament Paper prepared for presentation at the
Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Boston
(August 28-31, 2008)
- Hug, Simon (2010). Strategic voting in bicameralism
Paper prepared for presentation at the
Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago
(April 22-25, 2010)
- Hug, Simon and Danielle Martin (2009). How electoral systems affect
the MPs positions Paper prepared for presentation at the
Annual Meeting of the American Midwest Political Science Association in Toronto
(September 3-6, 2009)
File translated from
On 20 Apr 2008, 17:17.