qualified majority rule

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Any decision rule that requires more than a simple majority (50% + 1) of the votes to ratify a decision. Common examples are two‐thirds or three‐quarters majority rules (as required to ratify constitutional amendments in many countries) and unanimity rules (as required to return a Guilty verdict in many jury systems). Compared to simple majority rules, qualified majority rules make it harder to upset the status quo. Viewed positively, this property reduces instability and makes majority‐rule cycles less likely. Viewed negatively, it prevents some majorities from getting their way. There can be no absolute judgement as to whether qualified majority rules are better or worse than simple majority rules. Everything depends on the institution in which the rule is applied.

Subjects: Politics.

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