The Politics of Electoral Systems
Michael Gallagher, Paul Mitchell
OUP Oxford, Sep 15, 2005 - Political Science - 688 pages
Electoral systems matter. They are a crucial link in the chain connecting the preferences of citizens to the policy choices made by governments. They are chosen by political actors and, once in existence, have political consequences for those actors. They are an important object of study for anyone interested in the political process, and in this book we subject them to systematic analysis. In addition to some comparative chapters, the book contains full accounts of the operation of electoral systems in 22 countries: France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa. The book provides detailed analyses of the operation of a diverse set of electoral systems in their national context. Each chapter explains how the electoral system really works in the given country, examining the strategic incentives the system provides to voters, candidates, and parties. All country chapters have a common format and structure. Successive sections analyse: the institutional context; how each electoral system was chosen historically; how the current electoral system operates (the rules, mechanics, and ballot structure); and the political consequences of the current system (the impact on the party system, the internal life of parties, and the impact on parliament and government formation). Each country chapter then contains a final section which focuses on the politicization of electoral institutions. In recent years many countries have changed their electoral systems, either entirely or in part so there is a strong focus on the processes of electoral reform, both historically and prospectively. The book concentrates on the real world 'politics', as well as the 'political science' of electoral systems. The book will be of interest to those concerned with the practical political business of electoral reform. The book contains a wealth of evidence about the performance of various kinds of proportional representation and of non-PR systems. This will be invaluable for anyone interested in the question: 'What would be the best electoral system for my country?'
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Comparative Electoral Systems Research The Maturation of a Field and New Challenges Ahead
Why Are There So Many or So Few Electoral Reforms?
Australia The Alternative Vote in a Compliant Political Culture
Canada Sticking to FirstPastthePost for the Time Being
France Stacking the Deck
India TwoParty Contests within a Multiparty System
The United Kingdom Plurality Rule under Siege
Austria A Complex Electoral System with Subtle Effects
Belgium Empowering Voters or Party Elites?
Chile The Unexpected and Expected Consequences of Electoral Engineering
Denmark Simplicity Embedded in Complexity or Is it the Other Way Round?
Finland One Hundred Years of Quietude
The Netherlands The Sanctity of Proportionality
Ireland The Discreet Charm of PRSTV
The United States of America Perpetual Campaigning in the Absence of Competition
Germany Stability and Strategy in a MixedMember Proportional System
Hungary Holding Back the Tiers
Italy A Case of Fragmented Bipolarism
Japan Haltingly Towards a TwoParty System
New Zealand The Consolidation of Reform?
Russia The Authoritarian Adaptation of an Electoral System
Israel The Politics of an Extreme Electoral System
South Africa One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality
Spain Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes
The Mechanics of Electoral Systems
Indices of Fragmentation and Disproportionality
Effective Threshold and Effective Magnitude
Values of Indices for 22 Countries at Most Recent Election
Websites Related to Elections Election Results and Electoral Systems
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Common terms and phrases
alliances average ballot paper beneﬁt Bundestag candidate selection cent Chapter closed list closed-list competition Congress constituency seats contest countries D’Hondt democracy Democratic difﬁcult disproportionality district magnitude Droop quota Duverger’s effective number election electoral districts electoral law electoral reform electoral system favour federal ﬁeld ﬁgures ﬁrst ﬁve Gallagher Grofman Hare quota identiﬁed Impact inﬂuence intraparty Ireland Journal of Political Knesset Labour largest party legislative Liberal Lijphart list seats list vote majoritarian minority mixed systems multimember multiparty number of parties number of seats ofﬁce ofﬁcial open list parliament party list party system party’s plurality political parties Political Science PR systems PR tier PR-STV preference votes presidential prime minister proportional representation proportionality quota referendum reﬂected regional representatives result seat allocation Senate Shugart signiﬁcant single transferable vote single-member constituencies small parties Socialist speciﬁc Taagepera Table two-party system two-round system voters Zealand