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Strategic Coordination under Proportional Representation: A Study at the Candidate Level

Authors Ma, Ngok HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Issue Date 2005
Source Conference on the 2004 Legislative Council Elections, Chinese University of Hong Kong , April 8, 2005.
Summary This paper analyzes the democrats’ experience in strategically coordinating their candidates and campaign strategies in the 2004 Legislative Council (Legco) election. In the 2004 Legco election, the democrats in Hong Kong made a high-profile attempt to coordinate their candidate nomination and had strategically coordinated their campaigns in some of the constituencies. The experience marked a special example of strategic coordination between different political groups under proportional representation in Hong Kong.By interviews with major participants of the coordination process and major candidates, this study tries to uncover the details of the coordination process and assess its effectiveness. It shows that various factors, other than pure strategic considerations, affected the coordination process, making it a less than fully rational process. In the process, large parties or prominent candidates usually had greater bargaining power, while the interests of junior party members or minor candidates were given less regard. The democrats actually had no overarching authority to enforce discipline or devise a conscious rational strategy, and the vote division strategies also were not effectively carried out. Institutional features of the Hong Kong PR and the inherent pluralistic nature of the Hong Kong democrats both posed major obstacles to the strategic coordination efforts of the democrats in 2004.
Language English
Format Conference paper
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