majority government

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Descriptively, majority government means a government formed by one party with a majority over all other parties in the legislature, a condition most likely to be fulfilled under two‐party systems. When used normatively, it refers to the belief that a government formed in this way offers the most effective and accountable form of government. Proponents of this view would argue that parties should have the maximum opportunity to implement their policies once they are in office, both because this makes the electoral choice made by electors meaningful, and because it leads to consistent and coherent policies. The merits of such a form of government are often emphasized by opponents of proportional representation who see electoral reform as reducing the chances of one party forming the government without engaging in bargaining with other parties. Such bargaining is seen as diluting the coherence of party policies, and diminishing the link between the elector and the government, while the poorer survival prospects of multi‐party governments for a legislative term are seen as undermining political stability. So‐called majority governments often, however, lack the support of a majority of an electorate, and may be less willing to take account of views of minority groups, or respond to evidence that their policies are not working. One‐party majority government was once viewed as the desirable norm, but this is no longer the case.


Subjects: Politics.

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