By Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Stefaan Walgrave
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Extra info for Agenda Setting, Policies, and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach
The partypositions literature shows that parties receive mandates from elections, which they then translate into policy promises and outputs (McDonald and Budge 2005). Nonetheless, there are factors that reduce the inﬂuence of political parties on public policy, such as electoral competition for the median voter, responsiveness to public opinion, the inﬂuence of interest groups, and media pressures. Moreover, there is pressure for policy stability when a party enters government (Rose and Davies 1994).
Of the 19,823 laws passed during the period, only 5,560, or about 28, received any coverage at all in CQ. 2 plots the distribution of CQ coverage associated with all laws over the period of this study. We present both the raw frequency distribution (the number of lines of CQ coverage associated with each statute passed between 1948 and 2010) and a log-log plot (log of the frequency count of the number of lines of CQ coverage associated with each statute by the log of the upper bin limit of the lines of CQ coverage).
The analyses therefore cover the period of policy-making since World War II, during which time the party system was relatively stable, yielding extended periods of control by the right-wing Conservative Party and the left-wing Labour Party. This chapter uses two measures of the UK government’s policy agenda that reﬂect diﬀerent stages of the policy process and over which the governing party has extensive control. The ﬁrst is the Speech from the Throne— also known as the Gracious Speech and the King’s or the Queen’s Speech— which is an integral feature of the State Opening of Parliament, when the sovereign addresses the chamber of the House of Lords with members of the House of Commons watching from the galleries.