Chapter

Making Elections More Direct? Reducing the Role of Parties in Elections

Susan E. Scarrow

in Democracy Transformed?

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199264995
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603259 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199264996.003.0003

Series: Comparative Politics

 Making Elections More Direct? Reducing the Role of Parties in Elections

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This chapter examines the role political parties play in elections in established representative democracies, and asks whether new institutions and procedures are reducing parties’ traditional role as political mediators. It traces the growing adoption and use of devices of direct democracy, the low usage of non-partisan elections, and the trend towards direct election of municipal executives. Taken together, these changes are indicative of a trend towards expanding citizens’ opportunities to have a direct say in policy decisions and in the selection of political leaders. However, the magnitude of the shift is small, and political parties still dominate most political decisions within these countries.

Keywords: political parties; representative democracies; direct democracy; non-partisan elections

Chapter.  6540 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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