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The Paradox of Implicit Logrolling

The process of implicit logrolling (p.101) is a form of indirect vote-trading that heavily relies on the bundling of wedge issues. By way of tying specific groupings of policies and candidates to attract target demographics of voters. Per Buchanan and Tullock (1962), such arrangements encompassing political platforms can be manipulated by “…political entrepreneurs…”. Simultaneously considering the zealous nature of many single-issue voters, it is easy to see why implicit logrolling is such an effective mechanism in shaping the American political landscape. If the American voters continue to support controversial political positions, implicit logrolling will be effective.

Most analysts ignore how voters reconcile selecting programs and political candidates that hold logically inconsistent views. For example, an individual that defends abortion rights on the grounds of a bodily integrity argument concurrently favoring vaccine mandates. Whatever happened to “my body, my choice”? Although, if this individual held both positions on the grounds of an externalities argument, perhaps there might not be any logical discrepancies. However, few voters delve that deep into the logic of their political philosophies. Here lies the Paradox of Implicit Logrolling; political platforms drive voters to support policies they would not otherwise choose. We have most saliently observed this phenomenon in the demographic shifts within the Republican Party. The GOP was once favoring free trade, now advocates for tariffs.

12 thoughts on “The Paradox of Implicit Logrolling

    1. That’s an excellent point. It could even be extended to the idea that the procedure causes moral hazard.

      Incentives people to engage in more reckless sexual activities. I used abortion as a quick example to demonstrate the issue if “bodily integrity”. I suppose I was a little obtuse in attempting to utilize it in such a narrow sense.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I wasn’t sure if there was a Public Choice scholar that had already scooped that one up. It demonstrates an observation more than it explains the underlying phenomon.

          Also, did you happen catch Constitution Day at Cato? Intermittenl, I caught a few the panels, work did get in the way of a few them.

          Liked by 1 person

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