Public opinion and policy responsiveness in Australia

The case of same-sex marriage


Last week I presented a paper at the US Political Science Association annual meeting in Philadelphia with some colleagues. In it, we look at the congruence between public opinion and the positions of parliamentarians on same-sex marriage.

Our findings indicate that parliamentarians are generally representative of their constituents, giving some hope for the representational model of democracy. Although there is also some evidence that legislators are also attempting to aggregate other policy interests besides those of voters, and there is a status quo bias weighting outcomes away from policy change.

The presentation can be found here.


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