Russia: The Authoritarian Adaptation of an Electoral System

Steven White

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI:
Russia: The Authoritarian Adaptation of an Electoral System

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Russia’s mixed parallel system was adopted after the collapse of communism, following a series of negotiations and disagreements between parliament and president. The high thresholds applied in the PR-list component of elections resulted in considerable disproportionality and a significant number of votes cast for parties that failed to reach the threshold. The fact that the lists were closed led to very weak links between list MPs and citizens. The single-member constituencies, contrary to the predictions of Duverger’s Law, have not favoured the larger parties, but have seen the election of many independent MPs. The elimination of the single-member constituencies proposed by president Putin is part of a broader authoritarian adaptation of the electoral process.

Keywords: Russian politics; Putin; authoritarianism; thresholds; mixed system; Duverger’s Law; independent MPs

Chapter.  8651 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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