Reforming Electoral Systems in Mexico

Juan Molinar Horcasitas and Jeffrey A. Weldon

in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257683
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600241 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Reforming Electoral Systems in Mexico

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Mexico has a long experience with highly majoritarian variants of mixed‐member systems, but has recently been made more proportional in a process of democratization. Electoral reform has developed along two major axes: the degree of proportionality, and the composition of the electoral authority, with the parties often trading openness on one axis for closure on the other. Sometimes trade‐offs in reform negotiations followed a third dimension—the registration requirements for new parties. This chapter first describes the evolution of the Mexican electoral formulae from 1963 to today, explaining the rationale of each phase of reform either as a majority party decision or as a trade‐off between government and opposition; the phases described are the plurality party deputy system (1963–1976), the mixed‐member majoritarian (MMM) minority representation system (1979–1985), the governability clause of the 1988 law, the governability clause with ‘moving escalator’ of the 1991 law, and the abandonment of the governability clause in the 1994 law. The last part of the chapter focuses on the last round of electoral reforms (the 1997 law), in which the mixed‐member majoritarian (MMM) system reintroduced in 1994 (after the earlier brief interludes of systems that combined MMM with mixed‐member proportional (MMP) arrangements under the 1988 and 1991 laws), was further reformed to result in a more proportional allocation of seats, with the dominant principle depending on the vote distribution.

Keywords: electoral authority; electoral history; electoral reform; electoral systems; government; majoritarian mixed‐member systems; Mexico; minority representation systems; mixed‐member electoral systems; mixed‐member majoritarian minority representation systems; mixed‐member majoritarian systems; mixed‐member proportional systems; new parties; opposition; plurality system; proportional representation; registration requirements for new parties; representation systems; vote distribution

Chapter.  8825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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