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September 09, 2005

[SSJ: 3850] Re: Longer than I thought

From: Arthur Alexander
Date: 2005/09/08

One point on Rick Katz's questions.

It may not make much of a difference just what the stated policies
of a party are in a campaign. The fact that a new group is in power
may be the most important outcome; a new group with different
client interests, different priorities, different personnel, and less
dependence on networks of relationships built up over the years.

A study of economic outcomes in eastern Europe and former USSR
republics suggests that countries with more leadership changes had
the best outcomes. The author interpreted the finding by noting that no
policies had proven track records, but that if one set of policies did
not work, the appropriate response was to throw out those leaders
and get in a new set, and to keep doing it until someone came up with
policies that worked. Democracy by trial and error and trial again.

What is remarkable about Japan is the utter fear of trying something
new in politics. Or, is it the combination of institutions, rules, and
existing structures that produce the appearance of political
trepidation on the part of the voters?

Approved by ssjmod at September 9, 2005 03:08 PM