Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - Political Science - 221 pages

Interest in voting systems and voting system reform is growing in the United States. Voting systems--the procedures by which we cast votes and elect our public officials--are a crucial part of the democratic election process. The decision to use one kind of voting system rather than another has far-reaching political consequences. Among other things, voting systems help to determine which officials are elected to run our governments, the variety of parties that voters have to choose from at the polls, whether political minorities can win any representation, and whether the majority will rule.

Amy gives readers all the information and analytical tools needed to make intelligent choices among voting systems. He provides a set of political criteria that can be used to judge voting systems and gives detailed descriptions of all the common voting systems used in the United States and other Western democracies, including winner-take-all systems as well as proportional representation systems. He also provides an analysis of the various political advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of system. This is an important guide for citizens, government officials, political activists, students, and anyone who wants to learn more about voting systems and their political implications.

 

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Contents

VI
xxi
VII
7
IX
23
X
61
XII
103
XIV
137
XV
155
XVII
169
XX
179
XXI
187
XXIII
193
XXV
195
XXVII
197
XXVIII
201
XXIX
205
XXX
209

XIX
173

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Page xvi - ANDREW McLAREN CARSTAIRS, A Short History of Electoral Systems in Western Europe. London, Allen & Unwin 1980.

About the author (2000)

DOUGLAS J. AMY is Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College. He has written extensively about voting systems and voting system reform. Among his earlier books are Real Choices/New Voices: The Case for Proportional Representation Elections in the United States (1993) and The Politics of Environmental Mediation.

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