Michael Gallagher

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI:

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The origins of electoral systems are varied, with some brought into being with all-party consensus and others being introduced by majorities for clearly partisan motives. Turning to the impact of electoral systems, the existence of the patterns highlighted by Duverger’s Law is evident, yet it is also clear that electoral systems do not by themselves shape party systems. The impact of electoral systems upon intra-party power, and upon the representativeness of parliaments, is assessed in the light of the evidence from 22 countries. The chapter discusses the criteria that might be employed to decide the question of which electoral system is best.

Keywords: electoral system origins; Duverger’s Law; party system; representativeness; intra-party power

Chapter.  19689 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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