The list author says: "The objective of careful, limited, fiscally responsible federal government can be accomplished at the ballot box. Not by voting exclusively Republican, Democrat or 3rd party, but by voting consistently for Divided Government. This list highlights books and scholarship on this uniquely American state of government."
"There is a pervasive belief that if you want to "get things done" in Congress a single party must control the presidency and both legislative branches to avoid gridlock. While it seems intuitively obvious that the the federal government would be more productive if it all branches are run by one party, David Mayhew proved this conventional wisdom flat wrong."
"Slivinski dedicates a chapter of Buck Wild to the benefits of divided federal government. He shows that during periods of divided government we have fewer wars and significantly more restrained spending."
"The crucial point made in Broken Branch is that if you want effective congressional oversight of the executive branch, at least one house of Congress must be held by a different party than the president. He wrote this while Republicans controlled the executive and both legislative branches. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander."
"Madison explained the rationale for checks, balances, and the separation of powers designed into our constitutional government. It is an explicit recognition of the temptations of power and the need for institutionally divided government to prevent the naked ambition of less-than-angelic leaders from abusing their positions of power and trampling the freedom of the governed."
"Ethridge shows that when special interests can focus their lobbying efforts on a relatively small group of agency administrators and bureaucrats they secure outsize influence on policy. Special interest issues take the force of law without going through the messy, slow, more transparent and unpredictable Constitutional law-making process that is subject to legislative gridlock."
"Binder seeks to quantify the instances of legislative "gridlock" and finds a statistically meaningful correlation showing a greater frequency of occurrences of gridlock during periods of divided government compared to unified government. This seemingly contradicts Mayhew's findings in "Divided We Govern" but they are actually measuring different things."
"Morris Fiorina's classic is the definitive text on divided government. His speculations about the motivation of voters regularly electing divided governments go directly to my interest in the topic and motivation for advocating a divided government voting heuristic."
"William Niskanen is the "godfather" of the divided government voting strategy. His willingness to put principle and empirical analysis over partisanship was in evidence throughout his life and in this work."
"Why all political strategies (including 3rd Party schemes) based on the large "Independent" "Unaligned" voting block fails. They're mostly not independent or unaligned. The book that set the record straight."