Saturday, October 16, 2004

# Posted 7:03 PM by Patrick Belton  

The third model, comparative interbranch strength, places asymmetries of political resource endowments as central in explaining variations over time in the congressional influence on policy outcomes. Those outcomes then reflect the primary preferences of the actor with the greater resources, in proportion to the ratio between the two actors’ allotment of political resources.

Assume three axioms about strength:

1. greater popularity among the public, both in general and specifically of their foreign policy positions, confers strength upon the branch possessing it;
2. a larger Δpop(equal to Positive opinion (branch Bx) – Negative opinion (branch Bx)), which takes into account the distinction between neutral and averse segments of the public, also confers strength upon the branch possessing it;
3. a greater degree of ideological homogeneity in the majority caucus in each house also confers strength upon the legislature.

Strength is, for present purposes, defined as the sum of these three dimensions,


And relative strength, then

ΔΣi=1…3μi = Σi=1...3μB1i - Σi=1...3μB2i

Which is, incidentally, the name of a fraternity at my first university.
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