Essay on Corelation between Political Stability and Voting System

Essay on Corelation between Political Stability and Voting System

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Electoral systems define the manner in which the political system of any individual country operates, and fulfil a number of important functions, which differ according to the nature of the electoral system. The primary function of an electoral system is clearly to operate efficiently and legitimately, but it can also influence the political system in terms of the degree of social representation, the number of political parties in government and so on. Electoral systems can be classified in various manners, one method being according to the `output' of the election, for example `proportional' or `non-proportional' outcomes. This essay distinguishes between proportionally representative (PR) systems and non-proportional electoral systems, namely plurality and majority voting. Proportional representation systems, in their pure form, have voters cast one vote for a party or party list in a multi-member district and then, by an according rule, the number of seats is distributed proportionally amongst the parties, depending on their respective share of the total vote. Proportional representation is present in approximately 60% of democracies; it is predominant in both Eastern and Western Europe, and also much of Latin America. In fact twenty-one of the twenty-eight countries in Western Europe use proportional representation as their electoral system. PR contrasts with traditional (non-proportional) voting systems by seeking to represent parties rather than territories. Non-proportional electoral systems seek to ensure one party gains a clear majority over the remaining parties, in the hope of producing a stable, united government. Non-proportional systems are the simplest voting systems, and are present mainly in the US, the UK, and ...

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...h edition, Palgrave 2001

LeDuc, L., (et al), Comparing Democracies 2 : New Challenges in the Study of Elections and Voting, Thousand Oaks London : Sage, 2002.


`Setting the Rules of the Game: The Choice of Electoral Systems in Advanced Democracies'

Carles Boix

The American Political Science Review, Vol. 93, No. 3. (Sep., 1999), pp. 609-624.

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International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

PR Library

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