The Party Negotiation Mechanism in the Legislative Yuan: Minority Dominance or Majority Strength?
Author: Fang-yi Chiou, Yuan-yu Cheng
Abstract / Chinese PDF Download
The party negotiation mechanism (PNM), which was formally institutionalized in 1999 in Taiwan’s legislature, has been viewed as a crucial step for boosting legislative efficiency by granting veto power to every party caucus in exchange for less obstruction. It is commonly assumed that this institution has equalized the influence of party caucuses with varying sizes or even caused minority dominance. More importantly, its validity has profound implications for the agenda power of majority coalitions or parties in the legislature. To tackle this critical issue, we model the legislative process, derive three hypotheses from the model, and test them with newly collected data spanning from the fifth through seventh term. Our principal theoretical finding is that the control of majority coalitions over ex post procedure of the PNM (i.e., the Rules Committee and the Speaker) gives rise to their comparative advantage in party negotiation on bills that they push, with this edge diminishing (increasing) with higher (lower) coordination costs within a majority coalition. Our empirical analysis demonstrates strong support for our hypotheses, rejecting the assertion of equal power among party caucuses and offering further evidence for majority coalitions’ agenda setting control in the legislature.