I have published a guest post on the The Political Organisations and Participation group blog.*
This post discusses the findings from one of my papers published in the Australian Journal of Political Science (read the full version) that discusses how we should view Australia’s major political parties as interest aggregators pursuing specific policy outcomes, rather than office-motivated parties primarily chasing public office for private gain.
In this post (and the paper) I outline a theoretical framework, which I support with evidence from four empirical tests, that shows how the parties can be seen as electoral alliances (or coalitions) comprised of politicians, activists, financial contributors and voters. These different actors are primarily united (in Australia) by key economic policy goals. They create a centrifugal force that pushes party policies away from each other on important issues.
*The Political Organisations and Participation group is a standing research group of the Australian Political Studies Association.