Abstract/Details

Invisible partisanship: A study of partisan bias in nonpartisan elections and its impact on local policies in California


2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether or not nonpartisan election systems favor one political party over other partisan groups. In addition, the study investigates the implications of this partisan bias for local urban and school policies. The data are taken from 275 cities and 262 school districts, including Los Angeles and San Francisco and their school districts, in nine counties of southern and northern California.

The analysis demonstrates that nonpartisan elections are biased toward those who affiliated with the Republican party. Republicans are over-represented at the levels of candidacy and outcome as compared to their share over total registered voters. As a result, the extent of Republican control of city councils and school districts is also greater than the degree of their representation in registered voters. Besides, the study centers on the source of this Republican advantage. The nonpartisan electoral scheme itself seems to be at the center of this advantage, as it removes partisan cues from the ballot and diminishes the level of overall voter interest in the elections. In general, Republican advantage appears to have little to do with their personal attributes, endorsement, policy stance, or campaign spending.

The present study also demonstrates that this Republican electoral advantage is to be taken seriously in the discussion of local public policies. The nonpartisan election scheme that disproportionately helps Republicans win local legislative contests tends to shape city councils and school boards to produce conservative and pro-developmental local policies, as it places more Republicans with such political beliefs and policy preferences in local legislative offices.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Political science;
School administration
Classification
0615: Political science
0514: School administration
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; California; City council; Local policies; Nonpartisan elections; Partisanship; School board
Title
Invisible partisanship: A study of partisan bias in nonpartisan elections and its impact on local policies in California
Author
Ji, Chang-ho C.
Number of pages
462
Publication year
2005
Degree date
2005
School code
0032
Source
DAI-A 66/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542194528, 054219452X
Advisor
Neiman, Max
University/institution
University of California, Riverside
University location
United States -- California
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3179383
ProQuest document ID
305002893
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305002893
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