Parliamentary Opposition in Westminster Democracies: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

  title={Parliamentary Opposition in Westminster Democracies: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand},
  author={A. Kaiser},
  journal={The Journal of Legislative Studies},
  pages={20 - 45}
  • A. Kaiser
  • Published 2008
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Legislative Studies
Based on an actor-centred institutionalist approach, parliamentary oppositions in Westminster democracies are analysed through three dimensions. Firstly, through institutional opportunity structures for opposition parties: in all four countries there are comparatively few opportunities for the opposition to affect policy-making. However, there are variances between the four countries and they change over time. Secondly, they are analysed through the parties' policy positions and the potential… Expand
Opposition in Parliamentary Democracies : British and Japanese Political Parties in Comparison
Participation and legitimate opposition are two central features of what Robert Dahl identified as polyarchies. Despite normative emphases on the importance of political opposition for ‘more’Expand
How much power do oppositions have? Comparing the opportunity structures of parliamentary oppositions in 21 democracies
ABSTRACT A political system cannot be imagined without opposition. Despite this crucial position in politics, political science has largely neglected to study oppositions. Attempting to fill thisExpand
Understanding third parties at Westminster: The SNP in the 2015 parliament
Opposition politics in the British House of Commons is dominated by the ‘Official’ Opposition. However, other parties also carry out opposition roles in the chamber. This is particularly true of theExpand
Two Patterns of Opposition: Party Group Interaction in the Bavarian State Parliament
Most research on parliamentary opposition focuses on constitutional and institutional aspects. This article argues that these approaches are limited in explaining differences between oppositionExpand
Opposition in parliamentary democracies: a framework for comparison
The right to oppose government is a fundamental feature of liberal democracy. That right is manifested in a variety of ways and forums, including the ability to sue government in the courts, theExpand
More spotlight, more problems? Westminster parliamentary systems and leadership replacement in large opposition parties
  • F. So
  • Political Science
  • 2018
In this article, I argue that Westminster parliamentary systems encourage large opposition parties to replace their leaders between elections. Parliamentary system structures how parties compete overExpand
Government laws and the opposition parties’ behaviour in parliament
Previous research has proved that a high level of consensus in the law-making process can be found in the European parliamentary democracies. This consensual pattern of behaviour cannot be explainedExpand
Coalition Government and Minority Impact in Germany: Policy Making in a Consensual System
Descriptions of the German political system as "The Grand Coalition State" (Schmidt, 2002) and as "Consensus Democracy" (Sieberer 2006) indicate that in Germany a party may not have to be in power toExpand
Opposition in Consensual Switzerland: A Short but Significant Experiment
Abstract Although conventional wisdom sees Switzerland as oppositionless, in December 2007 its biggest party, the Swiss People's Party (SVP), declared itself in ‘opposition’. It implied this wasExpand
Opposition in a Consensual System - The Case of Germany
This paper analyses opposition in the German political system and contrasts it to the interaction of the ruling party and Opposition in Westminster style assemblies. In Germany, opposition activitiesExpand


Designating the official opposition in a Westminster parliamentary system
Of all Westminster‐type representative assemblies, Canada's presents an unusually high number of cases where parties rank equal in second place, disputing the role of official opposition, both in theExpand
Grabbing Governments by the Throat: Question Time and Leadership in New Zealand’s Parliamentary Opposition
This article examines patterns of performance by New Zealand opposition leaders since 1980, concentrating particularly on parliamentary Question Time. I argue that Question Time is an important toolExpand
Modes of Executive-Legislative Relations: Great Britain, France, and West Germany
Political scientists and politicians both talk in terms of "the relations between the executive and the legislature." But in fact it is seldom helpful to speak of "executivelegislative relations"Expand
Identifying an attitudinal heartland of liberal democrat support in the 1997 general election: An exploration of equidistance, constructive opposition and third party politics
The fortunes of the 'centre' of British politics have fluctuated since the Liberals were eclipsed by the Labour Party in the first half of the twentieth century, and particularly since theExpand
Locating Political Parties in Policy Space
Starting from a number of deficiencies in the Comparative Manifestos Project approach to studying left–right policy scales in election programs, an additive model based on the distinction betweenExpand
The Representation of Small Parties and Independents in the Senate
Minor party and independent senators have played a critical role in supporting procedural changes which have given the Australian Senate the ability to play an independent role in the legislativeExpand
The Democratic Quality of Institutional Regimes: A Conceptual Framework
Lijphart's spectrum of democracies – recently expanded by Jack Nagel to a sub-majoritarian sphere of pluralitarian systems which use disproportional electoral systems in order to manufacture majorityExpand
This chapter provides an overview of Inter-Parliamentary Union. The Inter-Parliamentary Union is a voluntary association of groups of parliamentarians from the parliaments of sovereign States fromExpand
A Taste of Honey Is Worse Than None at All?
Some parties support rather than join the executive, thereby operating in a grey area between opposition and office – in governance but not in government. Previous research on the New Zealand Greens’Expand
Multiparty Government: The Politics of Coalition in Europe
The politics of coalition--the very heart of the political process in most European countries--can be analyzed either theoretically or empirically. "Multiparty Government" reconciles theseExpand