Party Democratization and the Salience of Party Leaders
Kenneth Mori McElwain, UEDA Michio
Keywords: party democratization, media, Liberal Democratic Party, Democratic Party of Japan, Prime minister
How has the democratization of Japanese political parties affected their public popularity and policy preferences? We focus on a major transformation in the 1990s: the introduction of electoral primaries, instead of a pure legislative vote, to select the party leader. We find two significant effects. First, leader primaries increase the short-term popularity of the party, in large part because those elections attract more media attention. Second, primaries have begun to accentuate intra-LDP divisions between rural vs. urban interests. Leader contenders generally differ in their geographical support bases, and while rural contenders have been more successful thus far, party membership is growing faster in urban areas. Both findings suggest that internal democratization has both immediate and long-term effects on the sources of party popularity.
社會科學研究 第62巻 第1号（2011-02-28発行）
（更新日： 2012年 11月 2日）