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By Alan Renwick

Elections lie on the center of democracy, and this ebook seeks to appreciate how the principles governing these elections are selected. Drawing on either wide comparisons and particular case reviews, it focuses upon the electoral principles that govern what varieties of personal tastes citizens can exhibit and the way votes translate into seats in a legislature. via distinct exam of electoral reform politics in 4 nations (France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand), Alan Renwick exhibits how significant electoral procedure alterations in validated democracies happen via contrasting kinds of reform technique. Renwick rejects the straightforward view that electoral platforms consistently straightforwardly mirror the pursuits of the politicians in strength. Politicians' motivations are complicated; politicians are often not able to pursue reforms they wish; sometimes, they're compelled to just accept reforms they oppose. The Politics of Electoral Reform exhibits how citizens and reform activists may have actual strength over electoral reform.

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Additional resources for The Politics of Electoral Reform: Changing the Rules of Democracy

Sample text

I distinguish three objectives for individuals: re-election, intra-party power, and influence in the wider political system. Which of these matter and how they play out depends crucially on who the key individuals are: party leaders, backbenchers, or party activists. 1). In the absence of further information, individual politicians’ re-election prospects rise with their party’s expected seat share. But sometimes further information is available. For example, locally popular or otherwise entrenched politicians in systems where such local resources matter will generally oppose reform towards a system where these resources matter less.

As the various coalition partners knew in Italy in 2005, different electoral systems afford parties different degrees of independence. Second, even where a party does not hope to secure office, it can still increase its influence (or at least reduce its opponents’ ability to enact their alternative agenda) by working to keep its opponents divided (V(b)). Bawn (1993: 975–6) argues that West Germany’s Social Democrats preferred proportional representation to single-member plurality in 1949 even though the latter would have given them more seats because under proportional representation the Christian Democrats would be able to form a government only in coalition with others.

There are at least three possibilities. First, values may be rooted in the longue durée: traditionally enshrined principles may have compelling weight. Second, they may be subject to change over time, as in the processes of post-materialization analysed by Inglehart (1997). Third, the weight that a value has may be determined primarily by immediate introduction 23 circumstances: values that are seriously threatened at a given time may rise to unusual prominence. There is evidence for all of these patterns.

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