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Electoral “Efficiency” and the Move to Mixed-Member Systems

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Abstract

All polities may be judged against an ideal of electoral “efficiency” defined as responsiveness to the collective-goods preferences of the majority of the electorate. An index of efficiency permits a visual representation of where any democratic system falls in each of two dimensions, interparty and intraparty. Deviation from the “efficient” ideal encourages politicians to cater to parochial interests at the expense of broad policy preferences. Recent electoral reforms in four countries (Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Venezuela) represent moves away from electoral systems that represented different extreme deviations from efficiency.

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... However, party candidates do not compete in an organizational vacuum: Our analysis considers the influence of intraparty dynamics -particularly party organizations -in which candidates operate. From a theoretical perspective, different electoral systems offer distinct incentives for candidates, party members, and voters, structuring representational linkages between citizens and representatives (CAREY and SHUGART, 1995;SHUGART, 2005SHUGART, , 2001. This study focuses exclusively on proportional (or semi proportional) systems (PR), mainly because by doing so it is possible to clearly distinguish electoral systems in which voters must (or prefer to) cast a vote (or votes) for a party from those in which voters can rank parties and/or candidates. ...
... candidate-centred and party-centred electoral systems. From a 'top-down' (or elite) perspective, when the 'preferential vote' is allowed, politicians have more incentives to cultivate personal reputations than party reputations (ANDRÉ et al., 2014;CAREY and SHUGART, 1995, p. 419;COLOMER, 2011;DALTON et al., 2011;PASSARELLI, 2020;RENWICK and PILET, 2016;SHUGART, 2005SHUGART, , 2001 emphasize that a personalized electoral system could affect candidates' and legislators' behavior (the 'style') (MAYHEW, 1974), thus resulting in political instability in new democracies (AMES, 2001). ...
... To operationalize more or less permissive electoral rules, we Roger Scully (FARRELL and McALLISTER, 2006;FARRELL and SCULLY, 2007, pp. 128-129;SHUGART, 2001) -the 'modified Intraparty efficiency index.' According to Farrell and Scully (2007, p. 128), this index synthesizes three main characteristics of electoral systems (ballot, vote, and district) into a unique single measure (SHUGART, 2001, p. 182). ...
Article
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This article explores the connection between the proportional electoral system (PR) and party organizations as a key institutional determinant of party-group linkages from cross-party and national perspectives. Developing a nuanced framework, we propose an integrated model to address two questions: 01. Do candidate-centred electoral systems affect the development of party-group linkages? 02. In the case that electoral systems do have an impact, is it a direct impact or is it mediated by party organizations? Using V-Party (2020) and V-Dem (2020) databases, we selected and analyzed 617 parties in 48 countries covering third-wave democracies, post-communist countries, and the most extensive proportional democracies in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe) and Latin America between 1989 and 2019-Large-N cross-national comparative analysis (JANDA, 1980). Based on panel models, we found that the candidate-centred electoral system is negatively related to the development of strong ties between parties and groups, but only in the case of party organizations with low levels of party strength, intraparty cohesion, and financial linkages with non-party groups. When decision-making powers are concentrated in the hands of powerful party elites, these elites can solve coordination problems, mitigate intraparty conflicts, and deal with the consequences of personalization. Therefore, intraparty politics varies empirically since parties respond to their contextual challenges (electoral rules) strategically, with consequences for party-group linkages.
... Unser Ausgangspunkt sind dabei Arbeiten, die bestimmte Wahlsysteme als optimalen Kompromiss zwischen den Prinzipien der Mehrheits-und der Verhältniswahl ansehen (Shugart 2001;Carey und Hix 2011). Diese Optimalitätsargumente beschränken sich nicht auf parlamentarische Regierungssysteme, aber sie sind für diese aus den genannten Gründen besonders bedeutsam. ...
... Diese beschränkten die Anzahl der Parteien auf ein annehmbares Maß, ohne dabei die Proportionalität zu stark einzuschränken. Shugart (2001) konzentriert sich dagegen auf die Möglichkeit unabhängiger Parteien, sich vor der Wahl zu zwei konkurrierenden Vorwahlkoalitionen zusammenzuschließen. Das zentrale Ziel des "majoritären" Demokratiemodells ist bei ihm, K Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
... auch Pappi und Bräuninger 2018, S. 211-215). Bei Shugart (2001) ist sie implizit, da die Bildung von breiten und thematisch integrierten Vorwahlkoalitionen in multidimensionalen Parteiensystemen unwahrscheinlicher ist (siehe empirisch: Ganghof et al. 2015). Shugarts Argument basiert darauf, dass sich Mehrparteiensysteme wie Zwei-Parteien-Systeme "verhalten" sollen; und die Wahrscheinlichkeit dieses Verhaltens hängt nicht zuletzt von einer niedrigen Dimensionalität der Parteipositionen ab. ...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Die Fragmentierung europäischer Parteiensysteme und damit verbundene Schwierigkeiten bei der Koalitionsbildung haben zu einer Neuauflage altbekannter Debatten über unterschiedliche Wahlsysteme geführt. Einige Autoren sehen dabei bestimmte Wahlsysteme als optimalen Kompromiss zwischen den Prinzipien der Mehrheits- und der Verhältniswahl an. Wir argumentieren, dass diese Optimalitätsargumente eine konzeptionelle Schlagseite zugunsten „majoritärer“ Demokratiekonzeptionen haben. Eine anspruchsvolle „proportionale“ Demokratiekonzeption umfasst die Ziele mechanischer Proportionalität, multidimensionaler Repräsentation und wechselnder Gesetzgebungsmehrheiten. Diese Ziele lassen sich allerdings im parlamentarischen Regierungssystem nicht mit den Zielen der Mehrheitswahl vereinbaren. Der Grund ist, dass die relevanten Hürden des Wahlsystems gleichzeitig für die parlamentarische Repräsentation und die Teilnahme am Misstrauensvotum gelten. Erstere ist entscheidend für die proportionale, letztere für die majoritäre Konzeption der Demokratie. Sind wir bereit diese beiden Hürden zu entkoppeln – und somit das Regierungssystem zu verändern – ergibt sich eine Vielfalt neuer Reformoptionen. Wir illustrieren diese Punkte mit Daten für 29 demokratische Systeme im Zeitraum von 1995 bis 2015.
... Unser Ausgangspunkt sind dabei Arbeiten, die bestimmte Wahlsysteme als optimalen Kompromiss zwischen den Prinzipien der Mehrheits-und der Verhältniswahl ansehen (Shugart 2001;Carey und Hix 2011). Diese Optimalitätsargumente beschränken sich nicht auf parlamentarische Regierungssysteme, aber sie sind für diese aus den genannten Gründen besonders bedeutsam. ...
... Diese beschränkten die Anzahl der Parteien auf ein annehmbares Maß, ohne dabei die Proportionalität zu stark einzuschränken. Shugart (2001) konzentriert sich dagegen auf die Möglichkeit unabhängiger Parteien, sich vor der Wahl zu zwei konkurrierenden Vorwahlkoalitionen zusammenzuschließen. Das zentrale Ziel des "majoritären" Demokratiemodells ist bei ihm, dass die Wähler vor der Wahl eine klare Alternative zwischen zwei konkurrierenden Optionen für die Regierung erkennen können. ...
... auch Pappi und Bräuninger 2018: 211-215). Bei Shugart (2001) ist sie implizit, da die Bildung von breiten und thematisch integrierten Vorwahlkoalitionen in multidimensionalen Parteiensystemen unwahrscheinlicher ist (siehe empirisch: Ganghof et al. 2015). Shugarts Argument basiert darauf, dass sich Mehrparteiensysteme wie Zwei-Parteien-Systeme "verhalten" sollen; und die Wahrscheinlichkeit dieses Verhaltens hängt nicht zuletzt von einer niedrigen Dimensionalität der Parteipositionen ab. ...
Article
Full-text available
Die Fragmentierung europäischer Parteiensysteme und damit verbundene Schwierigkeiten bei der Koalitionsbildung haben zu einer Neuauflage altbekannter Debatten über unterschiedliche Wahlsysteme geführt. Einige Autoren sehen dabei bestimmte Wahlsysteme als optimalen Kompromiss zwischen den Prinzipien der Mehrheits- und der Verhältniswahl an. Wir argumentieren, dass diese Optimalitätsargumente eine konzeptionelle Schlagseite zugunsten „majoritärer“ Demokratiekonzeptionen haben. Eine anspruchsvolle „proportionale“ Demokratiekonzeptionumfasst die Ziele mechanischer Proportionalität, multidimensionaler Repräsentation und wechselnderGesetzgebungsmehrheiten. Diese Ziele lassen sich allerdings im parlamentarischen Regierungssystem nicht mit den Zielen der Mehrheitswahl vereinbaren. Der Grund ist, dass die relevanten Hürden des Wahlsystems gleichzeitig für die parlamentarische Repräsentation und die Teilnahme am Misstrauensvotum gelten. Erstere ist entscheidend für die proportionale, letztere für die majoritäre Konzeption der Demokratie. Sind wir bereit diese beiden Hürden zu entkoppeln – und somit das Regierungssystem zu verändern – ergibt sich eine Vielfalt neuer Reformoptionen. Wir illustrieren diese Punkte mit Daten für 29 demokratischeSysteme im Zeitraum von 1995 bis 2015. (In Kürze erscheinend in der Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft)
... Alternatively, we use Shugart's (2001) and Farrell and McAllister's (2006) indices as continuous scorings of electoral systems on the intraparty dimension (for a summary, see Söderlund 2016). These scorings also interact with left-right distance. ...
... points, respectively. Open-list PR and the STV are the two most candidate-centred systems according to Shugart (2001) and Farrell and McAllister (2006), respectively. ...
Article
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Electoral systems affect vote choice. While a vast literature studies this relationship by examining aggregate-level patterns and focussing on the interparty dimension of electoral rules, the convenience of analyzing this phenomenon by emphasizing the role played by the incentives to cultivate a personal vote generated by the system and matching voters with the party they vote for has been traditionally overlooked. In this article, we offer new evidence that documents the impact of the intraparty dimension of electoral systems on the levels of ideological voting registered in a democracy. Using spatial models of politics and employing data from the five waves of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, we find that ideological voting in proportional representation systems is higher when lists are either closed or flexible. Moreover, the results suggest that this effect is slightly amplified in the case of high numbers of district-level candidates.
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
Chapter
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This chapter discusses the conditions under which semi-parliamentary government can be stable. It responds to two conjectures about “strong” bicameralism: that constitutional designers who prefer strong second chambers have to be willing to accept (a) either a presidential system of government; or (b) oversized and ideologically heterogeneous cabinets. Both conjectures are largely unfounded because they neglect that second chambers can be designed to be powerful in the legislative process, but permissive with respect to cabinet formation. The chapter measures second chambers’ “restrictiveness” with respect to cabinet formation as a neglected dimension of bicameral designs and uses the resulting indices to explain comparative patterns of cabinet formation and constitutional reform. A conditional logit analyses of cabinet formation in 28 democratic systems in the period 1975–2018 shows that governments’ potential control of a second-chamber majority only affects cabinet formation when the chamber in question is restrictive. A comparative analysis of patterns of constitutional reform and stability in twelve bicameral systems suggests that reducing the restrictiveness of a second chamber—rather than its democratic legitimacy or legislative veto power—can be sufficient to stabilize a “strong” second chamber.
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
Book
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In a democracy, a constitutional separation of powers between the executive and the assembly may be desirable, but the constitutional concentration of executive power in a single human being is not. The book defends this thesis and explores ‘semi-parliamentary government’ as an alternative to presidential government. Semi-parliamentarism avoids power concentration in one person by shifting the separation of powers into the democratic assembly. The executive becomes fused with only one part of the assembly, even though the other part has at least equal democratic legitimacy and robust veto power on ordinary legislation. The book identifies the Australian Commonwealth and Japan, as well as the Australian states of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia, as semi-parliamentary systems. Using data from 23 countries and 6 Australian states, it maps how parliamentary and semi-parliamentary systems balance competing visions of democracy; it analyzes patterns of electoral and party systems, cabinet formation, legislative coalition-building, and constitutional reforms; it systematically compares the semi-parliamentary and presidential separation of powers; and it develops new and innovative semi-parliamentary designs, some of which do not require two separate chambers.
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explains the normative approach of the book and clarifies the distinction between instrumentalist and proceduralist evaluations of political institutions. It defends a minimalist form of proceduralism, which highlights the comparative evaluation of institutional schemes, as well as potential conflicts between horizontal and vertical equality. Based on these conceptual clarifications, the chapter rejects the idea that presidentialism is inherently more democratic in virtue of the direct election of the chief executive. It also rejects the notion that pure parliamentarism is inherently more egalitarian than semi-parliamentarism in virtue of giving all assembly members equal formal power over the cabinet.
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The chapter defends the need for the concept of semi-parliamentary government, provides operational and ideal-typical definitions, compares empirical cases and explains how this constitutional structure can balance visions of democratic majority formation. While the book focuses on the visions associated with different electoral systems, semi-parliamentary government can also balance competing visions of majority formation at more fundamental levels: partisan and individual visions, electoral and sortitionist visions, democratic and epistocratic visions. Finally, the chapter shows that semi-parliamentarism does not require full-fledged bicameralism.
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
... The central requirement is that there be multiple proportionally elected parties which group into two competing alliances before the election. If this grouping is successful, voters can make a clear choice between two cabinet alternatives (Shugart 2001). Pre-electoral alliances may also improve retrospective clarity of responsibility by creating "tighter bonds" between the parties (Powell 2000: 53), and these tighter policy bonds may stabilize cabinets. ...
... Operationalizing the two visions I operationalize each vision in terms of three central goals, which are derived from the above discussion as well as the previous literature, not least the literature on the advantages of presidentialism (Cheibub 2006(Cheibub , 2007Lijphart 2012;Mainwaring and Shugart 1997;Powell 2000;Shugart and Carey 1992;Shugart 2001;Strøm 2000). I briefly discuss each goal and summarize their operationalization in Table 5.1 (see appendix for details). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book argues that, in a democracy, a constitutional separation of powers between the executive and the assembly may be a good thing, but the constitutional concentration of executive power in a single human being—what I call executive personalism—is not. This thesis may seem plausible, perhaps too plausible to be interesting. Yet, almost the entire democratic world is dominated by only three types of constitutions, all of which fail to disentangle the separation of powers from executive personalism: “Parliamentary” constitutions reject both, their “presidential” and “semi-presidential” counterparts embrace both. And even though these three types of constitutions are fairly old—the youngest was invented in 1919—there has been surprisingly little academic thinking about strategies to decouple the separation of powers from executive personalism. I argue that this decoupling is desirable and explore one widely neglected strategy, which I call, for want of a better term, semi-parliamentary government.
... Political scientists have long analyzed the trade-offs involved in the design of democratic institutions and asked which design, if any, is best. Some have focused on electoral systems (e.g., Carey & Hix, 2011;Shugart, 2001), others on executive formats (e.g., Cheibub, 2007;Linz, 1990) and still others on broader models or visions of democracy (e.g., Lijphart, 2012;Powell, 2000). The goal of the present article is to survey and advance this literature from a particular theoretical perspective. ...
... The first idea focuses on pre-electoral coalitions. If we can design the electoral system to be proportional but also to induce multiple parties to group into two competing blocs, we might be able to reconcile proportionality with identifiability (Shugart, 2001). Voters can vote for a party and, simultaneously, for one of two competing coalitions. ...
Article
This article analyses salient trade-offs in the design of democracy. It grounds this analysis in a distinction between two basic models of democracy: simple and complex majoritarianism. These models differ not only in their electoral and party systems, but also in the style of coalition-building. Simple majoritarianism concentrates executive power in a single majority party; complex majoritarianism envisions the formation of shifting, issue-specific coalitions among multiple parties whose programs differ across multiple conflict dimensions. The latter pattern of coalition formation is very difficult to create and sustain under pure parliamentary government. A separation of powers between executive and legislature can facilitate such a pattern, while also achieving central goals of simple majoritarianism: identifiable cabinet alternatives before the election and stable cabinets afterward. The separation of powers can thus balance simple and complex majoritarianism in ways that are unavailable under parliamentarism. The article also compares the presidential and semi-parliamentary versions of the separation of powers. It argues that the latter has important advantages, e.g., when it comes to resolving inter-branch deadlock, as it avoids the concentration of executive power in a single human being.
... Political scientists have long analyzed the trade-offs involved in the design of democratic institutions and asked which design, if any, is best. Some have focused on electoral systems (e.g., Carey & Hix, 2011;Shugart, 2001), others on executive formats (e.g., Cheibub, 2007;Linz, 1990) and still others on broader models or visions of democracy (e.g., Lijphart, 2012;Powell, 2000). The goal of the present article is to survey and advance this literature from a particular theoretical perspective. ...
... The first idea focuses on pre-electoral coalitions. If we can design the electoral system to be proportional but also to induce multiple parties to group into two competing blocs, we might be able to reconcile proportionality with identifiability (Shugart, 2001). Voters can vote for a party and, simultaneously, for one of two competing coalitions. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses salient trade-offs in the design of democracy. It grounds this analysis in a distinction between two basic models of democracy: simple and complex majoritarianism. These models differ not only in their electoral and party systems, but also in the style of coalition-building. Simple majoritarianism concentrates executive power in a single majority party; complex majoritarianism envisions the formation of shifting, issue-specific coalitions among multiple parties whose programs differ across multiple conflict dimensions. The latter pattern of coalition formation is very difficult to create and sustain under pure parliamentary government. A separation of powers between executive and legislature can facilitate such a pattern, while also achieving central goals of simple majoritarianism: identifiable cabinet alternatives before the election and stable cabinets afterward. The separation of powers can thus balance simple and complex majoritarianism in ways that are unavailable under parliamentarism. The article also compares the presidential and semi-parliamentary versions of the separation of powers. It argues that the latter has important advantages, e.g., when it comes to resolving inter-branch deadlock, as it avoids the concentration of executive power in a single human being.
... Although partisan coalitions are an important feature of politics in Japan, their regular presence goes back only to the electoral system reform era of the 1990s. Elections in Japan used to be characterized by an emphasis on candidates whereas now the emphasis is on parties (Shugart, 2001). According to Reed et al. (2012: 255), the 2005 election, in particular, marked the point at which 'campaigns in Japan shifted from focusing principally on the personal attributes of individual candidates toward nationalized contests based on candidates' partisan affiliations and policy manifestos.' ...
Article
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How do electoral coalition signals affect voters' perceptions of party positions and coalition behavior in parliamentary democracies? Scholars have found that coalition signals can influence how voters view policy positions of parties. Extending research on the impact of government coalition participation on voter perceptions, a recent study found that Spanish voters update their perceptions of party positions when they receive a signal that a party joined an electoral coalition, believing it to be farther to the left (right) if the signal was of a left- (right-)leaning coalition. That study also found, in agreement with the literature, that electoral coalition signals lead to expectations of future coalition behavior. Much of the literature on electoral coalitions focuses on parliamentary democracies in Europe that use proportional representation. Since the effects of electoral coalitions might vary across contexts, we conduct a similar survey experiment in Japan, a parliamentary democracy that uses a mixed electoral system with an important disproportional component. We find no evidence that electoral coalition signals affect how Japanese voters view the ideological positions of parties, a result that matches a similar analysis conducted in Sweden. However, some coalition signals – if they contain new information – do increase Japanese respondents' expectations that certain coalitions are more likely to form in the future.
... Another substantive part of this literature concentrates on the incentives that electoral systems create for cultivating a personal vote (for reviews, see André et al., 2014b;Zittel, 2017). There is consensus that closed list PR should top the party-centered end of the scale, but substantive disagreement regarding which electoral system motivates MPs the most to search for a personal vote (Carey and Shugart, 1995;Mitchell, 2000;Nielson, 2003;Shugart, 2001). In an original contribution to this puzzle, André et al. (2016) have compared legislators' own perceptions of personal vote-seeking incentives of electoral systems, drawing on survey data from 15 countries and 69 parliaments. ...
Article
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The article illustrates that legislators’ constituency orientation can be enhanced through electoral system personalization, even in political systems that have used the party-centered closed list proportional representation for several elections. Leveraging a quasi-natural experiment, created by the 2008 electoral reform in Romania, the study investigates the frequency and determinants of parliamentary questions dealing with constituency issues and whether the reform has stimulated different forms of responsiveness toward constituents. The analyses run on a matched sample of legislators show that while the reform has not modified the proportion of all constituency questions, it has increased substantially the share of questions inspired by allocation responsiveness. Moreover, the effects of some determinants of constituency orientation changed after the reform: previous socialization in local politics loses its significance while we also observe an increased negative effect of non-local candidatures.
... In electoral studies, there is a long tradition about relation between campaign and electoral system (Shugart and Wattenberg 2001, Shugart 2001a, 2001b) that investigate the relation concerning rules and parties' and candidates' strategies. According to Farrell (1997, 161-162), there is a perspective that assesses the micro-level effects of electoral system: "the concern is less with electoral effects of electoral system and more with their strategic effects" on politician's and voter's behavior Some studies focus on campaign style and communication strategies (Plasser and Plasser 2002;Webb 2000, Norris 2000). ...
Article
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The digital platform has deeply changed the electoral campaigns, producing a consequent evolution of political consulting. Social networks have become the mainstream media so that the digital strategist and the big data analysts have achieved a special place in the “war room,” next to the campaign director and the pollster. In 2012, Obama’s election has marked the entrance in the “Fast Politics”: resulting, on one hand, in 24 hours news, a large amount of auto-generated contents produced by the voters through digital media, fragmentation, instantaneous transmission of messages and, on the other hand, a reduction of the attention threshold. Once again, similarly to the past, the evolution of the media (2.0) ends up changing the nature of election campaigns and political consulting request. What happens in Europe? The objective is to carry out a comparative analysis on the professionalization of candidates’ electoral staff. We wanted to verify if the American model has been imported in Europe with special focus on the techniques and the style of election campaigns management. In particular, within a comparative approach among the European states, the study analyzed the usage of political consulting and the degree of “digitalization” during last general elections: an ancillary practice or, on the contrary, a new tool for consensus? The comparative analysis among European states exploited the data provided by Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS 2013) and constructed synthetic indexes on the professionalization and digitization campaigns, conducting a quantitative and qualitative analysis.
... The academic jury is still out on the question regarding which electoral system creates the most incentives for cultivating a personal vote (Zittel 2017), including through constituency representation. Thus, while virtually all ordinal rankings of electoral institutions place closed list PR at the party-centered end of the scale, there is fundamental disagreement whether open lists should be considered more candidate-centered than the single transferable vote and on where on the scale should one place single-member plurality and majority run-off systems (Carey and Shugart 1995;Mitchell 2000;Shugart 2001;Nielson 2003). In an innovative study analyzing national and regional legislators' perceptions of personal vote-seeking incentives of electoral systems in 15 countries and 69 parliaments, André, Depauw, and Martin (2016) found an unambiguous hierarchy between electoral institutions. ...
Article
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While many citizens are indifferent about the EU, most MEPs are invisible in national politics and European Parliament elections are not fought based on parliamentary activity records, some legislators still pursue territorial interests or foster constituency linkages. What explains such behavior? Drawing on written questions data from the 6th and the 7th terms of the European Parliament (EP) this article shows that despite the virtual absence of an electoral connection in EP elections, electoral system features, and electoral marginality influence the MEPs' engagement in geographical representation. Electorally marginal MEPs ask more questions on regional and national topics as do MEPs elected from STV systems. There is no evidence for a differential effect of district magnitude depending on ballot structure.
... Our country-level forces are operationalized as follows: Proportional representation is measured with Gallagher's updated indicator of the effective number of legislative parties (Gallagher and Mitchel 2008), and with Gallagher's (1991) updated least squares measure of disproportionality between the distribution of votes and seats. The preferential nature of a country's balloting is measured with Farrell and McAllister's (2006) application of a Shugart (2001) and Carey and Shugart (1995) indicator of how much a country's voting system was candidatecentered (versus closed party list). ...
Article
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Studies of perceptions of democratic performance and satisfaction with democracy may over estimate effects of electoral rules on attitudes if country-level corruption and income inequality are not accounted for. We use mixed-level models to estimate evaluations of democracy using data from Wave 6 of the European Social Survey. We use new measures of democratic expectations about elections and party systems along with the 'satisfaction with democracy' item to test for effects of electoral rules on perceptions of democracy. We replicate previous studies and find multipartyism and preferential ballot structure correspond with positive evaluations of elections and parties, and greater satisfaction with how democracy is functioning in a person's country. However, these relationships dissipate when we account for corruption and income inequality. This suggests we should exercise caution when linking electoral systems and electoral reforms to democratic legitimacy and perceptions of democratic performance.
... L'immagine personale del candidato è importante tanto quanto il profilo del partito, consigliando quindi una valorizzazione delle caratteristiche individuali e una campagna elettorale personalizzata. Per motivi diversi Regno Unito e Romania hanno sviluppato un'"industria" della consulenza politica, anche se di genesi diversa: nel primo caso si tratta di agenzie e di singoli consulenti che si sono sviluppati a fianco dei partiti o dei singoli uomini politici, guidando il superamento di momenti di crisi in una prospettiva di lungo periodo e l'approccio alla digitalizzazione; nel secondo caso si tratta di un sistema che si dota di consulenza politica, attingendo a professionisti che vengono dall'estero, in particolare statunitensi, chiamati ad affiancare i candidati in un contesto di debole istituzionalizzazione dei partiti (Less-Marshment e Lilleker, 2012;Schafferer, 2006). Questo approdo alla consulenza riguarda anche l'Ungheria che ritroviamo nel terzo riquadro, anche se in presenza di un sistema elettorale misto. ...
Article
Full-text available
The demand for specific expertise to manage strategically election campaigns is growing. However, their use depends on the history of political party, on their values and on their economic resources and to the context in which the election campaign takes place. In this sphere, the electoral system produces constraints and incentives for the development of the electoral campaigns.This study aims to examine the influence of electoral system on electoral campaign style and on its management. In particular, the focus is on professionalization and personalization of electoral campaigns within a comparative approach among the European states. The data are from a comparative study on candidates (CCS).The study focuses on the candidates who participated in the most recent general elections included in the database. In particular, we selected nine countries with different electoral systems: for Candidate-based electoral system, we choice Romania, United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta; for Party-based electoral system, we examined Norway, Portugal and Italy; we also included in our analysis Hungary and Germany, which have a Mixed system with single-member constituency and closed List, which can be placed between the two previous systems.The results of the study show that the electoral systems influence the election campaigns of candidates, producing different models of mobilization.
... First, the plurality arena essentially reproduces the gender distribution observed in the whole population of candidates: the percentage of female candidates running in single member districts is 43 per cent and their success rate is 35 per cent. Second, personal characteristics, such as gender, are more important in determining electoral outcomes in plurality than in closed-list proportional systems (Shugart 2001). Finally, all the main parties and coalitions adopted a rather centralised candidate selection process in the single-member districts, while they used different procedures to compile their lists in the proportional arena, therefore adding a confounder. ...
Article
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The number of women in the Italian parliament has steadily increased in recent decades, leading to a share of about 36 per cent of female legislators in the Chamber of Deputies in the 18th legislature. However, this result, while attesting to an improvement in the gender balance in the Italian parliament, does not really reflect the considerable increase in the share of female candidates that took place in the run-up to the 2018 election thanks to the newly introduced quota rule. Accordingly, male and female candidates in national elections seem to have different electoral outcomes. In this article, we empirically investigate gender penalty, understood as a negative effect exerted by gender on female candidates’ chances of winning seats in Parliament. By studying the electoral performance of candidates in the plurality arena at the 2018 elections, we are able to test the presence of differences in the candidates’ chances of being elected; in the share of personalized votes, and in the safeness/competitiveness of single-member districts, while controlling for a number of candidates’ other characteristics.
... There are substantial differences in the ballot structure of electoral systems among European countries and elsewhere (Ortega, 2004;Renwich and Pilet, 2016), and research has shown that this may affect turnout, voting behavior, election results, quality of representation, and even satisfaction with democracy (Shugart, 2001;Farrell and McAllister, 2006;Pereira and Andrade Silva, 2009;Bosch and Orriols, 2014;Sanz, 2017;Söderlund, 2017;Riera and Bol, 2017). However, even when ballot structure is considered, and its effects are tested, it is sometimes difficult to isolate that factor from other features of the electoral system or the broader context in which elections take place. ...
Article
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What explains preferential voting? A field experiment in Portugal. This article analyzes the predictors of preferential voting in flexible list systems, focusing on political sophistication, voting rules and district size. It relies on a field experiment carried out in Portugal on the 2015 legislative election day. We found that the effect of district size depends on the nature of the voting rules introduced (optional or compulsory preferential voting). Also, political interest tends to lose its significance when preferential voting is compulsory. Thus, preferential voting does not constitute an obstacle for those with less political sophistication to express a vote, especially when the voting rules make preferential voting compulsory.
... However, depending on the electoral system, voters emerge as additional principals because they can directly influence MPs' electoral fortunes (Carey, 2007;Sieberer, 2010). Various studies have classified electoral systems with regard to the incentives they provide for MPs to seek personal votes, that is, electoral support that is tied to them personally rather than to their party (André et al., 2016;Carey and Shugart, 1995;Mitchell, 2000;Shugart, 2001). Despite some differences in detail, these classifications agree that MPs elected via plurality election in SMD have stronger incentives to seek personal votes than MPs elected from closed party lists in PR systems. 1 Thus, MPs have stronger incentives to align their legislative behavior with the wishes of their local constituencies, which can be conceptualized as local voters and in particular the local party organization that usually dominates candidate selection in the district (Detterbeck, 2016). ...
Article
Research on mixed electoral systems provides inconclusive findings on the question whether members of parliament (MPs) elected in single-member districts are more likely to vote against the party line than MPs elected via closed party lists. This article rejects both the hypothesis of a general “mandate divide” and the competing claim that contamination effects completely wash out behavioral differences. Instead, we argue that electoral incentives to defect are stronger for a specific type of MP—those who run only in a district and are electorally insecure. Statistical analyses of roll call votes in the German Bundestag covering more than 60 years support this “conditional mandate divide” against alternative hypotheses. These findings suggest a more nuanced view on electoral system effects in mixed electoral systems and highlight the importance of electoral competition for incentivizing MPs to side with district demands if those conflict with the party line.
... Toda reforma requiere de cierto consenso respecto a la existencia de un problema concreto en el funcionamiento de las reglas vigentes, lo que Shugart (2001) denomina como «condiciones inherentes a las reformas». En ese sentido, las élites políticas iniciarán y apoyarán reformas siempre que «los costos de no reformar sean mayores a los de reformar» (Scherlis, 2015), que el cambio se pueda justificar para mejorar la eficiencia del sistema político y que los dirigentes no perciban que la opinión pública puede pensar que esas reformas son sólo para acumular más poder. ...
... L'immagine personale del candidato è importante tanto quanto il profilo del partito, consigliando quindi una valorizzazione delle caratteristiche individuali e una campagna elettorale personalizzata. Per motivi diversi Regno Unito e Romania hanno sviluppato un'"industria" della consulenza politica, anche se di genesi diversa: nel primo caso si tratta di agenzie e di singoli consulenti che si sono sviluppati a fianco dei partiti o dei singoli uomini politici, guidando il superamento di momenti di crisi in una prospettiva di lungo periodo e l'approccio alla digitalizzazione; nel secondo caso si tratta di un sistema che si dota di consulenza politica, attingendo a professionisti che vengono dall'estero, in particolare statunitensi, chiamati ad affiancare i candidati in un contesto di debole istituzionalizzazione dei partiti (Less-Marshment e Lilleker, 2012;Schafferer, 2006). Questo approdo alla consulenza riguarda anche l'Ungheria che ritroviamo nel terzo riquadro, anche se in presenza di un sistema elettorale misto. ...
Article
Full-text available
The demand for specific expertise to manage strategically election campaigns is growing. However, their use depends on the history of political party, on their values and on their economic resources and to the context in which the election campaign takes place. In this sphere, the electoral system produces constraints and incentives for the development of the electoral campaigns. This study aims to examine the influence of electoral system on electoral campaign style and on its management. In particular, the focus is on professionalization and personalization of electoral campaigns within a comparative approach among the European states. The data are from a comparative study on candidates (CCS). The study focuses on the candidates who participated in the most recent general elections included in the database. In particular, we selected nine countries with different electoral systems: for Candidate-based electoral system, we choice Romania, United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta; for Party-based electoral system, we examined Norway, Portugal and Italy; we also included in our analysis Hungary and Germany, which have a Mixed system with single-member constituency and closed List, which can be placed between the two previous systems. The results of the study show that the electoral systems influence the election campaigns of candidates, producing different models of mobilization. Keyword: electoral system, general elections, electoral campaign
... This case study follows assumptions of partisan strategic rationality and models that operationalize power-maximization in terms of maximizing partisan shares of seats in the legislature (Brady and Mo, 1992;Boix, 1999;Colomer 2005;Benoit and Schiemann, 2001;Benoit, 2004;Farrell and McAllister, 2006). Recent contributions to the institutional change debate from the rational choice theory acknowledge its limitations (Vowles, 1995;Denemark 2001;Dunleavy and Margaretts, 1995;Sakamoto 1999;Shugart 2001;Siaroff 2003;Andrews and Jackman, 2005). Vowles (2008) notes at the intersection of normative critiques of the existing rules and rational interest of political actors that reform is most likely to occur. ...
Article
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Case study on explanations based on office-seeking and policy-seeking preferences in the strategies of the political parties that participated in the negotiation of the institutional change during the democratic transition. As a result, South Africa reformed the electoral law used under the authoritarian regime and moved from a low inclusive majoritarian electoral system to a high inclusive proportional electoral system in the new democratic regime.
... In 4 For a discussion on a trade-off between governance and representation, see Shepsle (1997). Shugart (2001) constructs a measure of electoral system efficiency based on inter-party and intra-party dimensions. The interparty dimension concerns a trade-off between plurality (i.e., governance) and proportionality (i.e., representation) in translating votes into seats. ...
... Conversely, open list PR favors the dispersion of authority increasing the number of players inside the party. When the district magnitude is very high, such as during the First Republic, intra-party competition for preference votes fosters the incentive to break the monolithic party structure Shugart 2001) so that candidates try to exploit their factional linkage in order to get elected. To the contrary, under closed list systems, or when the candidate selection procedure is highly centralized, party elites retain a greater control over candidacies, decreasing the relevance of factions as well as their number Pasquino 1972). ...
Book
The book provides a comprehensive view on the internal life of parties and investigates the dynamics of intra-party politics in different party environments to explain in which circumstances the party leader is more or less bound by the wills of party factions. Analyzing almost 500 intra-party documents from Italy, Germany and France, it presents a theory of intra-party politics that illuminates internal decision-making processes and sheds light on the outcomes of factional conflicts on the allocation of payoffs within the party, on the risk of a party split and on the survival of the party leader. Using text analysis, the results show that consensual dynamics can allow to preserve party unity and that directly elected leaders can exploit their larger autonomy either to reward followers or to prevent splits. This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of Party Politics, Political Institutions, European Politics and more broadly to Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Text Analysis.
... In contrast to our reading of the German mixed-member system, some authors stressed the independent behavioral implications of the nominal vote. In this vein, Germany has been viewed as a case that represents the "best of both worlds" in reconciling the party and candidate component at the intra-party dimension (Shugart 2001;Shugart and Wattenberg 2001). Specific readings further stress the existence of a mandate divide and assume nominally elected legislators to behave in distinct ways and to be more likely to cater to local constituents compared to those elected via party lists (Lancaster and Patterson 1990;Klingemann and Wessels 2001;Stratmann and Baur 2002). ...
Article
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Political representation in European democracies is widely considered partisan and collectivist. This article, however, stresses that there is more to the representative process in European democracies than just its textbook version. It emphasizes the role of geographic representation as a complementary strategy in party‐dominated legislatures that is characterized by two distinct features. First, legislators employ distinct opportunities to participate in legislative contexts to signal attention to geographic constituents without disrupting party unity. Second, these activities are motivated by individual‐ and district‐level characteristics that supplement electoral‐system‐level sources of geographic representation. We empirically test and corroborate this argument for the German case on the basis of a content analysis of parliamentary questions in the 17th German Bundestag (2009–13). In this analysis, we show that higher levels of localness among legislators and higher levels of electoral volatility in districts result in increased geographic representation.
... There is consensus that different electoral systems fulfill different prerequisites more or less well (Shugart 2001a;Farrel 2011). A perfect electoral system that, under all parameters, meets the prerequisites and functions mentioned above does not exist (Grofman & Bowler 1996). ...
Conference Paper
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Electoral system requires a broad social consensus in order to fulfill its democratic functions. This study therefore asks citizens the question of which electoral system they prefer. Specifically, we rely on a representative conjoint experiment conducted in Germany during the Federal Election of 2017 in which voters were asked to choose between two electoral systems which randomly differed on a set of six attributes; proportionality, personal vote, societal acceptance , comprehensibility, openness to small parties, and effective majorities. Empirical results show that respondents have a strong preference for proportional electoral systems, which allow voting for individual candidates. Testing a set of theories on contingent attitudes towards specific characteristics of electoral systems (political ideology, rational voting and political knowledge), reveals that these attitudes are surprisingly stable for different subgroups of voters.
... Algunas investigaciones recientes (Bowler y Donovan, 2012) dan cuenta además de cambios en las reglas como resultado del interés de los que detentan el poder de anticiparse a fenómenos que pueden afectarles de manera perjudicial a sus intereses. 5 Toda reforma requiere de cierto consenso respecto a la existencia de un problema concreto en el funcionamiento de las reglas vigentes, lo que Shugart (2001) denomina como "condiciones inherentes a las reformas". En ese sentido, las élites políticas iniciarán y apoyarán reformas siempre que "los costos de no reformar sean mayores a los de reformar" (Scherlis 2015); que el cambio se pueda justificar para mejorar la eficiencia del sistema político y que los dirigentes no perciban que la opinión pública puede pensar que esas reformas son sólo para acumular más poder. ...
Conference Paper
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Desde la tercera ola democratizadora (Huntington, 1994), se han realizado al menos 265 reformas a dimensiones claves de los sistemas electorales en los países de América Latina. A pesar de ello, el activismo reformista no ha sido suficiente para subsanar problemas de larga data como la subrepresentación de diversos grupos sociales, la escasa democracia interna de los partidos, la falta de transparencia en el financiamiento político, la inequidad en la competencia, las malas prácticas electorales, las falencias técnicas de la gobernanza electoral, entre otros. Esta investigación busca identificar las principales tendencias de reformas electorales recientes en 18 países latinoamericanos (2015-2018) con la intención de establecer si se mantuvieron las agendas reformistas del período analizado en investigaciones previas (1978-2015) (Freidenberg y Došek, 2016a), tomando como evidencia la base de datos comparada del Observatorio de Reformas Políticas en América Latina. Este estudio sostiene que los 23 nuevos cambios realizados en los últimos tres años se han focalizado principalmente en corregir los efectos no esperados de las reformas es electorales previas y, en algunos casos, en ampliar derechos de sectores subrepresentados. argumenta que la actual agenda reformista carece de propuestas innovadoras que permitan vislumbrar el fortalecimiento de la democracia en América Latina.
... There is consensus that different electoral systems fulfill different prerequisites more or less well (Shugart 2001a;Farrel 2011). A perfect electoral system that, under all parameters, meets the prerequisites and functions mentioned above does not exist (Grofman & Bowler 1996). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Electoral systems are among the most important components of any democratic constitution, since the legitimacy of the electoral system is a precondition for the legitimacy of the electoral outcome and thereby for the stability of a democratic system as such. Public debates about electoral system change, however, are often dominated by the strategic interest of political parties, or the debate is being delegated to experts focusing on the technical pros and cons of certain features of the electoral system. This study rests on the assumption that each electoral system requires a broad social consensus in order to fulfill its democratic functions. Therefore, this paper asks citizens which electoral system they prefer. Specifically, we rely on a representative conjoint experiment conducted in Germany during the Federal Election of 2017 in which voters were asked to choose between two electoral systems which randomly differed on a set of six attributes; namely, proportionality, personal vote, societal acceptance, comprehensibility, openness to small parties, and effective majorities. Empirical results show that respondents have a strong preference for proportional electoral systems, which allow voting for individual candidates. These preferences are surprisingly stable for different subgroups of voters.
... First, in times of grand coalitions, it is not the largest government and the largest opposition party competing for the leadership of the next government in elections, but two government parties. Unlike in times of bloc competition, the normatively desirable clear identification of alternatives (Strøm 1990;Shugart 2001;Ganghof 2018) is therefore limited. Second, in the same spirit, elections are important to let the electorate hold the government responsible (Powell 2000;Cheibub 2006;Ganghof 2018). ...
... The current electoral system for the House of Representatives (lower chamber, henceforth HR) has been in use since 1996. Previously, members of the HR were elected entirely under the "hyper-personalistic" (Shugart 2001) single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system in multimember districts. Under SNTV, intraparty competition within the larger parties, especially the LDP, undermined the value of party label for earning votes. ...
Article
Although politicians’ personal attributes are an important component of elections and representation, few studies have rigorously investigated which attributes are most relevant in shaping voters’ preferences for politicians, or whether these preferences vary across different electoral system contexts. We investigate these questions with a conjoint survey experiment using the case of Japan’s mixed-member bicameral system. We find that the attributes preferred by voters are not entirely consistent with the observed attributes of actual politicians. Moreover, voters’ preferences do not vary when asked to consider representation under different electoral system contexts, whereas the observed attributes of politicians do vary across these contexts. These findings point to the role of factors beyond voters’ sincere preferences, such as parties’ recruitment strategies, the effect of electoral rules on the salience of the personal vote, and the availability of different types of politicians, in determining the nature of representation.
Article
Mixed-member proportional electoral systems (MMP) are widely praised because they combine the direct, personal election of MPs from single-seat constituencies with a proportional seat allocation. However, the size of the proportional tier matters for the question of whether the system's overall proportionality is preserved. Hence, a key challenge for constitution-makers and scholars is finding the right balance between district and proportional seats, so as to maximise district representation and guarantee proportional representation.This paper develops the first theoretical model that helps to locate this sweet spot for district and party seats. The novel solution builds on Taagepera's “logical models” about party sizes. The model is tested on 58 national parliamentary elections under MMP rules.
Article
Previous work on candidate campaign finance in list proportional representation systems has focused on differential electoral returns of spending for incumbent and challenger candidates. This article asks whether incumbents and challengers in these systems fund election campaigns from different sources. We hypothesize that incumbents receive more: (a) contributions from individual and corporate donors; and (b) financial support from party organizations, as party elites strategically deploy resources to constrain intra-party competition. The analysis is based on a dataset on campaign funding sources of candidates for two legislative elections in Colombia (2014 and 2018). The results confirm that party organizations transfer more financial resources to incumbents than to challengers. Contrary to expectations, parties do not specifically support the electorally most vulnerable incumbents. We also find that challengers receive higher levels of non-corporate private donations than incumbents. These findings provide insights into individual campaigns and demonstrate how parties coordinate intra-party competition through campaign funding.
Article
This article focuses on the politics of electoral system change and its effects on the process of democratic consolidation in Croatia. After the first decade of democratisation when electoral rules were strategically engaged in order to secure one-party domination, the consensual introduction of proportional representation in 1999 marked the start of the full-scale consolidation of democracy. However, after only a decade, when faced with strong pressure caused by a deep economic recession and omnipresent political corruption, democracy in Croatia started to deteriorate, followed by significantly lower levels of trust in representative institutions and widespread citizen disaffection with the functioning of democracy. The proportional representation system was identified as the main cause of the crisis of Croatian democracy, raising strong critical voices asking for its reform or even replacement. The Croatian case thus shows that the interplay between electoral institutions and democratic (de)consolidation is far from being straightforward.
Article
Scholars have studied the influence that constituents exert on elected representatives’ action in national parliaments at length. Still, academic pundits have usually confined local representation to distributive policies and casework, and limited local legislators’ focus to a territorial perspective. In this study, I try and propose a more nuanced theory of local representation, and I use automated text analysis to capture elected representatives’ propensity to serve functional as well as territorial interests. In an effort to provide empirical backing to my theoretical argumentation, I present an analysis of Italian legislators’ behavior which shows that deputies are willing to divert public spending to their district but also to favor the interests of specific economic sectors. Scholars have already acknowledged the multidimensional character of political representation at the national level, my analysis offers theoretical justification and empirical evidence to support doing so at the local level as well.
Article
Electoral systems vary in terms of the choice and influence they offer voters. Beyond selecting between parties, preferential systems allow for choices within parties. More proportional systems make it likely that influence over who determines the assembly’s majority will be distributed across relatively more voters. In response to systems that limit choice and influence, we hypothesize that voters will cast more blank, null, or spoiled ballots on purpose. We use a regression discontinuity opportunity in French municipal elections to test this hypothesis. An exogenously chosen and arbitrary cutpoint is used to determine the electoral rules municipalities use to select their assemblies. We find support for our reasoning—systems that do not allow intraparty preference votes and that lead to disproportional outcomes provoke vote spoilage. Rates of vote spoilage are frequently sufficient to change control over the assembly if those votes had instead been cast validly for the second-place party.
Article
Outside the US, the crucial question of how well politicians represent the preferences of voters is usually investigated at the party level. Reversing this perspective, we examine representation in Europe from the point of view of individual candidates running in national parliamentary elections. This is especially insightful in a period that seems characterized by a decline in parties’ representational capacities and an increasing personalization of politics. We analyze representation by considering the incongruence between candidates’ left–right positions and the average placement of their party voters. By combining candidate survey data with mass survey data on voters, we assess how ideological incongruence varies according to predictors measured at the levels of candidates, parties, and party systems. The results highlight a systematic association between a partisan style of representation and candidates’ proximity to voters, as well as the interactions between representational roles and factors such as the anti-establishment nature of parties and ideological polarization in the party system.
Article
Does changing single-member district (SMD) systems to proportional representation (PR) systems affect politicians' behavior? Previous studies, which have utilized cross-sectional or temporal variation in electoral systems, fail to estimate their effects. In contrast, we employ a difference-in-differences design and text analysis to estimate the causal effect of an electoral reform on politicians' issue attention. In particular, we estimate the causal effect of the electoral reform in the Parliament of Victoria in Australia, which changed the electoral systems of the Legislative Council from SMD to PR while holding the system of the Legislative Assembly constant. We analyzed a newly collected dataset of legislators' inaugural speeches from 1992 to 2017 using a topic model. The results show the electoral reform increased politicians’ attention to new economic issues but did not decrease attention to local interests such as promoting primary industries.
Article
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Candidate-centric campaigns are most likely to occur when electoral system incentives to personalize do not conflict with party-based incentives. Then it makes sense for candidates to use any campaign mean to improve their chances to win a seat while also helping the party win more seats and increasing their standing within the organization. The Romanian electoral system uniquely combined mechanisms that enabled all three motivations for almost all candidates. Our analysis of the degree and determinants of personalization in the 2012 parliamentary elections illustrates that electoral system incentives were key factors driving campaign personalization as a party-congruent rather than adversarial campaign strategy.
Article
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Sadržaj 1. Uvod 2. Pravna priroda sistema vlasti Srbije 2.1. Neznatno racionalizovani parlamentarizam Srbije (1990-2006) 2.2. Dodatno (ali nedovoljno) racionalizovanje srpskog parlamentarizma Ustavom od 2006. godine 3. Evolucija izbornog sistema Srbije – ka interesu stranačkih elita 4. Dileme o delotvornosti izbornog inženjeringa 5. Zaključak: neophodnost izborne reforme u Srbiji
Chapter
Party membership plays a crucial role in party system institutionalisation. However, political party membership is often considered to be a declining phenomenon (Mair & van Biezen, Party Politics, 7(1): 5–21, 2001; van Biezen, Mair, & Poguntke, European Journal of Political Research, 51(1) 24–56, 2012). In the new democracies of central and east Europe, the decreasing value of members, combined with post-communist legacies and the availability of state subsidies, was expected to hinder the development of membership parties (van Biezen, Political Parties in New Democracies: Party Organization in Southern and East-Central Europe, 2003; Kopecký, Political Parties and the State in Post-Communist Europe, 2008). Yet, three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, considerable variation in party membership levels exists in post-communist democracies. This chapter reviews the literature on party membership and electoral systems, and concludes that there is a lack of research on how electoral rules shape party membership in young democracies.
Chapter
This chapter presents membership data from political parties across 11 central and east European countries. Using data from the European Values Survey and Eurequal, it then examines the relationship between political party membership and three institutions thought to influence membership levels: state funding, regime type and electoral systems. State subsidies and regime type do not appear to influence membership levels; however, higher district magnitudes appear to be correlated with lower party membership levels. In order to explore potential causal links between electoral systems and party membership, a series of sub-hypotheses about the impact of district magnitude on the roles of party members are developed from the extant literature. These will be tested in the case studies presented in Chaps. 3, 4 and 5.
Article
Die Ausgestaltung von Wahlsystemen ist eine zentrale Frage jeder repräsentativen Demokratie. Es besteht weitgehender Konsens darüber, dass Wahlsysteme nicht sämtliche normativ wünschenswerten Eigenschaften gleichzeitig erfüllen können. Welche Zielfunktionen durch ein Wahlsystem erfüllt werden sollen, ist daher eine regelmäßig in Politik und Wissenschaft diskutierte Frage. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es überraschend, dass kaum Erkenntnisse darüber vorliegen, welche Eigenschaften von Wahlsystemen innerhalb der Bevölkerung bevorzugt werden. Der vorliegende Beitrag adressiert diese Frage erstmals mithilfe eines Conjoint-Experiments in Deutschland. Wir erheben und analysieren hierbei die Präferenzen innerhalb der Wahlbevölkerung hinsichtlich der fünf an Wahlsysteme gerichteten Kernfunktionen: (1) Repräsentation, (2) Konzentration, (3) Partizipation, (4) Einfachheit und (5) Legitimität. Unsere Befunde zeigen, dass grundsätzlich alle Kernfunktionen als wichtig angesehen werden, wobei die Repräsentationsfunktion eine herausgehobene Stellung innehat. Eine Untersuchung einzelner Wählergruppen kommt zu dem Ergebnis einer relativen Homogenität von Präferenzen über Parteigrenzen hinweg, wobei die Wertschätzung für bestimmte Funktionen durchaus von normativen wie auch rational-strategischen Motiven beeinflusst wird.
Article
Scholars have pointed out the potential impact of different electoral systems on the incentives for representatives to cultivate personal versus party reputations. The mixed-member proportional system (MMP) allows us to examine the effects of electoral systems on legislators’ incentives. Scholars have argued that MMP may be the ‘best of both worlds’; however, MMP may lead to competing demands on list representatives if they are also allowed to run as constituency candidates, as happens in the Scottish Parliament. I show that this leads to different levels of committee activity—which I use as a surrogate for party activity—from constituency Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs), pure-list MSPs (who are elected via the party list and do not run in constituencies), and dual-candidate list MSPs (list MSPs who also run in constituencies), and that the proximity of elections also affects committee activity for those who run in constituencies.
Article
The conventional wisdom of electoral politics suggests that parliamentary candidates who run for office under candidate-centred mechanisms tend to conduct more intense and personalised campaigns than those who run under party-centred ones. But what about the campaigns put in place by candidates who simultaneously run under both systems? Using original data from the 2016 Welsh Candidate Study, this article shows that dual candidates' campaign behaviour is distinct from that of their constituency and regional list counterparts. Their campaign effort tends to be more intense as well as complex than that put in place by candidates who stand in one tier only. In addition, the findings show that dual candidates' campaign messages tend to be more personalised than those of regional list candidates, but less personalised than those of constituency candidates. These results indicate that the electoral campaigns put in place by dual candidates combine elements of campaigning under candidate-centred and party-centred electoral systems.
Chapter
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Addresses the question of the relevance the German mixed-member electoral system has for the party system and for candidate vote, and argues that the mixed-member electoral system does indeed live up to its German moniker of ‘personalized proportional representation’, in that it provides at once individualized representation of geographic constituencies and proportionality. The analysis proceeds in four steps and discusses the impact of the electoral system on the interparty and intraparty dimensions. The first two sections deal with the impact of the electoral system (a) on the party system, and (b) on voting behavior, with special attention to ticket-splitting. The third and fourth sections deal with (a) candidate selection and opportunity structures as shaped by the electoral system and the parties, and (b) the likelihood of a district performance-based personal vote for members of parliament. Concludes with a confrontation of the normative expectations of the founding fathers and empirical reality and speculates about the future of the German party system. Keywords: candidate selection, electoral reform, electoral systems, Germany, mixed-member electoral systems, opportunity structures, party system, performance-based voting, personalized proportional representation, ticket-splitting, voting behavior http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/politicalscience/9780199257683/acprof-019925768X-chapter-14.html?q=Bernhard|Wessels#acprof-019925768X-chapter-14
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Until recently, mixed electoral systems have attracted minimal academic attention. Recent developments warrant reconsideration. At present no less than 29 countries, totalling about one-fifth of the world's population, use mixed systems for elections to their first or single chamber. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to whether mixed electoral systems are in a category of their own. Numerous scholars use the concept but do not agree on what it means exactly. We propose a rigorous definition of mixed systems, and argue that electoral systems should not be classified as mixed for the sole reason that they produce results in between those resulting from plurality or majority and PR. Rather, the crucial feature of a mixed system is that its mechanics involves both PR and plurality or majority. We distinguish between independent and dependent combinations, the latter corresponding to those cases where the application of one formula depends on the outcome produced by the other formula. We identify five basic types of hybrids: superposition (now exemplified by Japan), correction (Germany), coexistence (French Senate), fusion (French municipal elections) and conditional (the 1923 and 1953 Italian election laws). Existing and older systems are classified under those headings and their main features are described.
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This paper explores two quite different visions of the democratic processes that can create congruence between citizen preferences and public policies. In the Majority Control vision, electoral competition and citizen choices result in the direct election of governments committed to policies corresponding to the preferences of the median voter. In the Proportionate Influence vision, election outcomes result in legislatures that reflect the preferences of all citizens; legislative bargaining results in policies linked to the position of the median voter. The authors give more explicit theoretical form to those visions and link them empirically to specific types of modern democracies. They then attempt to test the success of each vision in bringing about congruence between citizen self-placements and the estimated positions of governments and policymaker coalitions on the left-right scale in twelve nations in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although the analysis reveals weaknesses in each approach, it suggests a consistent advantage for the Proportionate Influence vision.
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Matthew Soberg Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg (eds). New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. xix + 565pp., £50 hbk, ISBN 0 19 924079 5
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The Japanese electoral system has been distinctive in its use of the single non-transferable vote (SNTV). Under SNTV three to five members were elected from each constituency based on a simple majority of votes. However, a series of corruption scandals damaged confidence in the political system, and undermined the one-party dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party. As a result, in March 1994 the national parlia ment (Diet) passed new measures transforming the electoral system into a mixed-member system, combining single-member districts and PR party lists. Campaign funding laws were also reformed. This article explores the politics behind these developments.
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By the late 1980s the Colombian constitution had come under severe pressure for reform as the population shifted markedly from a rural to an urban majority. The president had repeatedly tried to provide policy to court the median Colombian voter, who was urban. The congress was strongly tied to rural interests. Congress consistently thwarted presidential efforts at policy reform. Different presidents again and again proposed constitutional reform as a way of achieving eventual policy aims, only to have the proposed reforms soundly rejected in the legislature. The Colombian congress solely possessed the authority to make constitutional revisions. This article tells the story of how this institutional impasse was overcome. In the wake of severe social strife and conflict a national referendum on constitutional reform was passed by popular vote and upheld by judicial action. This article argues that such constitutional conflict might only be overcome through extraconstitutional—although still democratic—means.
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Many scholars have argued that money politics in Japan has been driven in part by the imperatives of intraparty competition under the single, nontransferable vote (SNTV) system used for lower house elections until 1994. However, to date, no one has undertaken a systematic, quantitative study of campaign expenditure in Japan. In this article, the authors exploit the intraelection reports—which are believed to be accurate accounts of spending during the brief official campaign—to investigate how Japanese candidates adapted their last-minute expenditures to SNTV. The authors show that candidates spent more when they faced more intraparty competition. The results for Liberal Democratic Party candidates suggest that intraparty competition boosted campaign-period spending by approximately 4% to 18%. The authors also find evidence that the spending appears to be reactive, with candidates increasing their expenditures to counter higher spending by other candidates and especially spending by copartisans.
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Virtually all legislative theory is built on the assumption that politicians are first and foremost reelection-seekers, and because so few countries have ever limited legislative reelection, this assumption has rarely been questioned. As a result, political science has been ill-equipped to offer insights on the impact of legislative term limits. Term Limits and Legislative Representation, first published in 1996, tests the central arguments made by both supporters and opponents of such reform by examining the experience of Costa Rica, the only long-term democracy to impose term limits on legislators, and by providing extensive comparisons with legislatures in Venezuela and the United States. Professor Carey challenges claims made about the effects of term limits on political careers, pork barrel politics, and the effectiveness of political parties in passing their programs.
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Empirical theories of electoral and legislative politics can be used to build propositions about the consequences of constitutional designs for citizen electroal control. This article reports preliminary tests of such propositions. Constitutional arrangements in 16 democracies are compared to the degree of clarity of responsibility, opportunity for party choice, decisiveness of elections and effective representation in policy-making, before and after elections. Previous work had suggested that different models of citizen control require different combinations of these characteristics. The preliminary analysis shows constitutional designs that emphasized majoritarian election laws and government dominance in the legislature generally succeeded in creating conditions for the Government Accountability and, to a lesser degree, Government Mandate models of citizen control, but did poorly in creating conditions for the Representative Delegate model. The consensual constitutional designs were generally successful only in creating conditions for the Representative Delegate model. However, much additional work remains.
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Part I. Presidential and Parliamentary Democracy: 1. Basic choices in democratic regime types 2. What is presidentialism? Criticisms and responses 3. The constitutional origin and survival of assembly and executive 4. Legislative powers of presidents: veto and decree Part II. Electoral Dynamics of Presidential Democracy: 5. Electoral dynamics: efficiency and inefficiency 6. Electoral rules and the party system 7. Electoral cycles and the party system Part III. Institutiona: Engineering: 8. Semi-presidentialism: the third alternative 9. Electoral cycles in semi-presidential regimes 10. Divided polities and collegial presidencies 11. Conclusions Appendices.
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Mixed-member electoral systems are described as a mixture of two principles of electoral system design: majoritarian systems, which usually have single-seat districts with plurality rule and tend to give greater representation to the two parties that receive the most votes; and proportional systems, which have multi-seat districts, usually with party lists, and typically produce parliamentary representation that largely mirrors the vote shares of multiple parties. In the prototype mixed-member system, half the seats in a legislative chamber (the nominal tier) are elected in single-seat districts and the other half (the list tier) are elected from party lists allocated by proportional representation; such systems come in a wide variety of options, with the most important choices involved being those of how seats and/or votes are linked between the two tiers. Defines mixed-member electoral systems as a subset of the broader category of multiple-tier electoral systems. The typology of systems outlined is arranged in three main sections: Mixed-Member Systems as Variants of Multiple-Tier Electoral Systems; Majoritarian or Proportional: Linkage Between Nominal and Tier Lists-mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) and mixed-member proportional (MMP) systems; and How MMM and MMP Systems Work: Simple Systems and Additional Variables-this section includes a table of mixed-member systems in use around the world in 1999.
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Seat allocation formulas affect candidates' incentives to campaign on a personal rather than party reputation. Variables that enhance personal vote-seeking include: (1) lack of party leadership control over access to and rank on ballots, (2) degree to which candidates are elected on individual votes independent of co-partisans, and (3) whether voters cast a single intra-party vote instead of multiple votes or a party-level vote. District magnitude has the unusual feature that, as it increases, the value of a personal reputation rises if the electoral formula itself fosters personal vote-seeking, but falls if the electoral formula fosters party reputation-seeking.
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