Evaluating Hungary's Mixed‐Member Electoral System

Kenneth Benoit

in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

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

Series: Comparative Politics

 Evaluating Hungary's Mixed‐Member Electoral System

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The electoral system adopted by Hungary in 1989 represents a monument to the potential for institutional design through bargaining to produce complex yet stable institutions. The key compromise reached during this bargaining process was the decision to use a mixed‐member system, electing a roughly even number of representatives from both majoritarian single‐seat districts (SSDs) and from multi‐seat, list proportional representation (PR) districts. This decision established Eastern Europe's first mixed‐member electoral system, a format that was to become common in post‐communist electoral systems. In its ten‐year existence, Hungary's mixed‐member system has operated in three elections and seen three different governments come to power. Evaluates the consequences among the electorate of the institutional choice of the mixed‐member system, the consequences for political parties, the role of the electoral system in Hungary's contemporary national politics and political system, discussing its perception by both elites and voters, and finally pointing to its long‐term prospects.

Keywords: bargaining; electoral reform; electoral systems; Hungary; majoritarian single‐seat districts; mixed‐member electoral systems; multi‐seat list proportional representation districts; national politics; political parties; political system

Chapter.  7588 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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