The Politics of Electoral Systems

The Politics of Electoral Systems

by Michael Gallagher
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0199238677

ISBN-13: 9780199238675

Pub. Date: 03/23/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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. This book is a systematic

Overview

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. This book is a systematic analysis of electoral systems.

In addition to comparative chapters, the book contains full accounts of the operation of electoral systems in 22 countries: in addition to 11 from Western Europe, the book includes: Hungary, Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, 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 analyze: 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199238675
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/23/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
1,254,522
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   Arend Lijphart     vii
Preface to the Hardback Edition     xi
Preface to the Paperback Edition     xiii
List of Tables     xxiii
List of Figures     xxvii
Notes on Contributors     xxviii
Introduction: Electoral Systems and Electoral Systems Research
Introduction to Electoral Systems   Michael Gallagher   Paul Mitchell     3
Comparative Electoral Systems Research: The Maturation of a Field and New Challenges Ahead   Matthew Soberg Shugart     25
Why are There so Many (or so Few) Electoral Reforms?   Richard S. Katz     57
Single-Member Constituency Systems
Australia: The Alternative Vote in a Compliant Political Culture   David M. Farrell   Ian McAllister     79
Canada: Sticking to First-Past-the-Post, for the Time Being   Louis Massicotte     99
France: Stacking the Deck   Robert Elgie     119
India: Two-Party Contests within a Multiparty System   Anthony Heath   Siana Glouharova   Oliver Heath     137
The United Kingdom: Plurality Rule under Siege   Paul Mitchell     157
The United States of America: Perpetual Campaigning in the Absence of Competition   Shaun Bowler   Todd Donovan   Jennifer Van Heerde     185
Mixed Systems
Germany: Stability and Strategy in a Mixed-Member Proportional System   Thomas Saalfeld     209
Hungary: Holding back the Tiers   Kenneth Benoit     231
Italy: A Case of Fragmented Bipolarism   Roberto D'Alimonte     253
Japan: Haltingly Toward a Two-Party System   Steven R. Reed     277
New Zealand: The Consolidation of Reform?   Jack Vowles     295
Russia: The Authoritarian Adaptation of an Electoral System   Stephen White     313
Closed-List Systems
Israel: The Politics of an Extreme Electoral System   Gideon Rahat   Reuven Y. Hazan     333
South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality   Amanda Gouws   Paul Mitchell     353
Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes   Jonathan Hopkin     375
Preferential List Systems and PR-STV
Austria: A Complex Electoral System with Subtle Effects   Wolfgang C. Muller     397
Belgium: Empowering Voters or Party Elites?   Lieven De Winter     417
Chile: The Unexpected (and Expected) Consequences of Electoral Engineering   Peter M. Siavelis     433
Denmark: Simplicity Embedded in Complexity (or Is it the Other Way Round?)   Jorgen Elklit     453
Finland: One Hundred Years of Quietude   Tapio Raunio     473
The Netherlands: The Sanctity of Proportionality   Rudy B. Andeweg     491
Ireland: The Discreet Charm of PR-STV   Michael Gallagher     511
Conclusion
Conclusion   Michael Gallagher     535
The Mechanics of Electoral Systems     579
Indices of Fragmentation and Disproportionality     598
Effective Threshold and Effective Magnitude     607
Values of Indices for 22 Countries at Most Recent Election     621
Websites Related to Elections, Election Results and Electoral Systems     622
Glossary     631
Abbreviations     637
Index     639

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