Analysis of Iceland's Electoral College

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Iceland is a Nordic island state located in the Atlantic Ocean. Population of 315,281 and area of 103.000 square kilometers makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Although highly integrated in the European market and the Schengen Area, Iceland is not a member of EU and currently has suspended negotiations that began in 2010, until the government can hold a referendum on the question whether or not to continue negotiations. (Pop 2013)

Iceland is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, where the Prime Minister is the head of the government. As typical for most European countries, Iceland has multi-party system elected by proportional representation with open but arguably ineffective party lists. (Gallagher, Laver, and Mair 2011) It is believed that Iceland has the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy. The power is separated between Executive, legislative and Judiciary branches; where executive power is exercised by the government, legislative in by the Icelandic parliament named Althing, and Judiciary branch is independent of those two.

Althing is unicameral, with 63 seats in it. Seats are distributed amongst six constituencies, each having nine seats, with nine leveling seats overall. Seats in the constituencies are distributed using D’Hondt method. Same distribution method is used for leveling seats. As we mentioned the ballot is an open party list, the candidates taking seats are chosen using Borda Method. (Helgason 2010)

Iceland has produced numerous coalition governments as no one party has gained majority of seats in the recent history. Iceland has five percent threshold for parties to qualify for seats. Turnout of elections in Iceland has been one of the largest in the world if we take in c...

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...www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ic.html

IPU PARLINE Database: ICELAND (Althingi), Last Elections. (2013) http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2143_E.htm

Koranyi and Robertson. 2013. “Iceland set for coalition talks after government ousted”

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/28/uk-iceland-election-idUKBRE93Q0EG20130428

Thorkell Helgason, PhD. 2010. Apportionment of Seats to Althingi, the Icelandic Parliament : Analysis of the Elections on May 10, 2003, May 12, 2007 and April 25, 2009 http://www.landskjor.is/media/frettir/AnalysisIcelandElection2009.pdf

Trudy Ring. 2013. “The Legacy of The World’s First Out Lesbian Prime Minister”. http://www.advocate.com/politics/politicians/2013/05/03/legacy-worlds-first-out-lesbian-prime-minister

Valentina Pop. 2013. “Iceland dissolves EU accession team” http://euobserver.com/enlargement/121419

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