Expressive and Instrumental Voting: The Scylla and Charybdis of Constitutional Political Economy
Brennan and Hamlin [(2002) Constitutional Political Economy 13(4): 299-311] noted that expressive voting still holds at the constitutional phase. The argument, when taken to its necessary conclusion, proves quite problematic for Constitutional Political Economy. Veil mechanisms following Buchanan induce expressive voting at the constitutional phase, removing the normative benefits ascribed to the hypothetical unanimity principle. If the constitution is authored by a small group and the veil is thereby removed, instrumental considerations come to bear and the authors of the constitution establish themselves as Oligarch.