It can be challenging for a democratic government to effectively make policies that address crucial national problems. While a bulk of literature reports that many democracies have overcome this challenge through centralization of legislative organization, few studies have explained why legislative decentralization that allegedly impairs policymaking performance would take place. Drawing on Taiwan's experience and over 13,000 legislative bills proposed in Taiwan's parliament between 1993 and 2012, this article demonstrates that the legislative decentralization during the onset of Taiwan's democratization slightly revived the policymaking performance of a near-paralysed parliament. Like drinking poison to quench the thirst, myopic politicians may opt for legislative decentralization as an instant remedy to ease severe legislative obstruction, despite the unfavourable consequences that the resulting decentralized legislative organization may eventually bring about. These findings shed new light on the evolution of legislative organization and account for the difficulties in policymaking facing developing democracies.
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