Spatial Models of Parliamentary Voting

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 2005 M04 11
This book presents a simple geometric model of voting as a tool to analyze parliamentary roll call data. Each legislator is represented by one point and each roll call is represented by two points that correspond to the policy consequences of voting Yea or Nay. On every roll call each legislator votes for the closer outcome point, at least probabilistically. These points form a spatial map that summarizes the roll calls. In this sense a spatial map is much like a road map because it visually depicts the political world of a legislature. The closeness of two legislators on the map shows how similar their voting records are, and the distribution of legislators shows what the dimensions are. These maps can be used to study a wide variety of topics including how political parties evolve over time, the existence of sophisticated voting and how an executive influences legislative outcomes.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Theory and Meaning
2
A Theory of Spatial Maps
4
The 1964 Civil Rights Act
14
A Road Map to the Rest of This Book
15
The Geometry of Parliamentary Roll Call Voting
18
The Geometry in One Dimension
19
The Geometry in More than One Dimension
30
Statistical Issues
113
Conclusion
126
Practical Issues in Computing Spatial Models of Parliamentary Voting
128
Standardized Measures of Fit
129
How to Get Reasonable Starting Values for the Legislator Ideal Points
130
How Many Dimensions Should I Estimate?
141
The Problem of Constraints
155
Computing Made Easy Some Simple Tricks to Make Estimation Tractable
159

The Relationship to the Geometry of Probit and Logit
37
Conclusion
41
The Optimal Classification Method
46
The OneDimensional Maximum Classification Scaling Problem The Janice Algorithm
49
The Multidimensional Maximum Classification Scaling Problem
60
Overall OC Algorithm
82
Conclusion
85
Appendix
86
Probabilistic Spatial Models of Parliamentary Voting
88
The Deterministic Portion of the Utility Function
89
The Stochastic Portion of the Utility Function
97
Estimation of Probabilistic Spatial Voting Models
101
Conclusion
160
Conducting Natural Experiments with Roll Calls
162
MultipleIndividuals Experiments
163
LargeScale Experiments Using DWNOMINATE
172
Estimating a Common Spatial Map for Two Different Legislatures
187
Conclusion
195
Conclusion
197
Unsolved Problems
202
Conclusion
209
References
211
Index
225
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Keith T. Poole is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author or coauthor of over 40 articles as well as the coauthor of Congress: A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting and Income Redistribution and the Realignment of American Politics.

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