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Decision-Making Coalitions on Non-Partisan Councils: A Small City-Large City Comparasion

By Scott McAlpine and Stan Drabek
Canadian Journal of Political Science, 1991


In this paper,  we investigate the formation of stable voting blocs on non partisan legislative assemblies, in this case municipal councils in two Alberta cities. We find that while formal non-partisanship may well exist, that does not mean that bloc voting does not occur - quite the opposite. The formation of the blocs, rather than being explained by simple party affiliation is, however, better explained by socio-demographic background characteristics (age, gender, education, occupation, etc.) as potential proxies for interest voting and/or ideology. Implications for other non-partisan voting assemblies (municipal councils, courts, tribunals, and the like) are discussed.