Electoral Systems & Party Politics

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1 Electoral Systems & Party Politics I. Plurality System (SMDP) II. Proportional Representation (PR) III. Electoral System Variations I. Single-Member-District Plurality System (SMDP) [US, UK, & India] DEFINITION single candidates compete for 1 office the one with the most votes wins Often leads to a 2-party system blunts extremism FLIP SIDE: even large 3rd parties can be underrepresented TABLE on UK elections & SMDP Conservative Labour Alliance/LD 1987 VOTE 42.3% 30.8% 22.6% '87 seats 57.6% 35.2% 3.4% 1992 VOTE 41.8% 34.4% 17.8% '92 seats 51.7% 41.7% 3.1% 1997 VOTE 31.4% 44.4% 17.2% '97 seats 25.0% 63.6% 7.0% 2001 VOTE 31.7% 40.7% 18.3% '01 seats 25.1% 62.6% 7.9% 2005 VOTE 32.3% 35.2% 22.0% '05 seats 30.5% 55.1% 9.6% 2010 VOTE 36.1% 29.0% 23.0% '10 seats 47.1% 39.7% 8.8% TABLE on Indian elections & SMDP INC+allies BJP+allies Others 1996 VOTE 29.0% 24.0% 47.0% '96 seats 26.2% 35.4% 38.4% 1998 VOTE 31.3% 40.1% 28.9% '98 seats 27.1% 46.6% 26.3% 1999 VOTE 34.7% 41.3% 23.9% '99 seats 25.0% 54.9% 20.1% 2004 VOTE 34.6% 35.3% 30.1% '04 seats 39.8% 33.9% 26.3% 2009 VOTE 37.2% 24.6% 38.2% '09 seats 48.3% 29.3% 22.4%

2 II. Proportional Representation (PR) DEFINITION parties present multimember lists of candidates for multiple offices in district voters choose a single party party s % of seats % of votes Diverse views can obtain legislative voice voter preferences are more accurately converted into seats FLIP SIDE: possibility of no stable majority party or majority coalition TABLE on PR elections II.D. Closed List System (used in most countries) each party presents a rank-ordered list of candidates for the legislature voters vote for one party s list PR formula determines number of seats each party list won EX: if a party won 3 out of 8 seats in a district, the first three names on its list would go to the legislature BOTTOM LINE: system gives party leaders more control over legislators II.E. Open List System (used in Italy in modified form) each party presents a list of candidates for the legislature voters vote FIRST: for one party s list SECOND: for a certain number of individuals on that party s list (preference votes) PR formula determines number of seats each party list won EX: if a party won 3 out of 8 seats in a district, the three names with the most votes on its list would go to the legislature BOTTOM LINE: system gives party leaders less control over legislators

3 III. Electoral System Variations France: "ballotage" 2-round system single-member majority, then SMDP PRESIDENT: top 2 candidates face each other in 2nd round NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: all who receive >12.5% are eligible for 2nd round SMDP. Often, however, deals are made to form 2 nd -round coalitions (see EX). TABLE on French ballotage dynamics

4 Germany: hybrid 1/2 SMDP, 1/2 PR voters cast two legislative votes: 1 in an SMDP race in a relatively small district another as part of a larger (statewide) multimember district using a PR format PR closed list determines total seats/party, BUT party must win 5% of PR votes or 3 SMDP seats to get any PR seats the use of a threshold for the PR election limits the number of parties that can win seats the threshold rule was implemented in Germany after World War II to try to reduce the possibility that ideologically extreme parties could rise to power IF a party wins more SMDP seats in a given state than it won via PR, overhang seats are added After a Constitutional Court ruling, overhang procedures were expanded by distributing additional overhang seats to make legislative representation reflect PR results among all parties that qualify for seats (thus, 33 seats were added after the 2013 election results) TABLE on German elections ( ) CDU&CSU SDP FDP Greens PDS->Left 1990 votes 43.80% 33.50% 11.00% 5.10% 2.40% '90 seats 319 (48.2%) 239 (36.1%) 79 (11.9%) 8 (1.2%) 17 (2.6%) 1994 votes 41.50% 36.40% 6.90% 7.30% 4.40% '94 seats 294 (43.8%) 252 (37.5%) 47 (7.0%) 49 (7.3%) 30 (4.5%) 1998 votes 35.20% 40.90% 6.20% 6.70% 5.10% '98 seats 245 (36.6%) 298 (44.5%) 44 (6.6%) 47 (7.0%) 35 (5.2%) 2002 votes 38.50% 38.50% 7.40% 8.60% 4.30% '02 seats 248 (41.1%) 251 (41.6%) 47 (7.8%) 55 (7.8%) 2 (0.3%) 2005 votes 35.20% 36.20% 9.80% 8.10% 8.70% '05 seats 226 (36.8%) 222 (36.2%) 61 (9.9%) 51 (8.3%) 54 (8.3%) 2009 votes 33.80% 23.00% 14.60% 10.70% 11.90% '09 seats 239 (38.4%) 146 (23.5%) 93 (15.0%) 68 (10.9%) 76 (12.2%) 2013 votes 41.50% 25.70% 4.80% 8.60% 8.40% '13 seats 311 (49.4%) 193 (30.5%) 0 (0.0%) 63 (10.0%) 64 (10.2%)

5 Japan: from multimember plurality (MMDP) to hybrid SMDP/PR old system: 130 districts with 2-5 seats each (1 w/ 1; 1 w/ 6) top vote-getters win seats; competition w/in parties rural districts overrrepresented via 1925 districts w/ minimal changes 1993 reform: effort to make district populations roughly equal 300 SMDP seats (62.5% of Diet since 2000 reform) PR closed list for the other 180 seats --> reduced from 200 seats in 2000 TABLE on Japanese elections ( ) LDP Clean Gov't [Renewal] Liberal Restoration New Frontier Democratic [Socialist] SDP Communist Other % 8.8% NA NA NA NA 26.6% 3.1% 7.6% % 10.2% 10.8% 6.8% NA NA 13.7% 2.9% 9.6% % NA NA NA 31.2% 10.4% 3.0% 5.2% 2.4% RIP in % 6.5% 4.6% NA % 4.0% 4.2% 5.7% % 3.3% 0.2% NA NA 36.8% 1.2% 1.9% 5.7% % 6.5% NA NA NA 23.5% 1.2% 1.9% 5.7% % 4.4% NA NA NA 64.2% 1.5% 1.9% 3.3% % 6.5% NA 11.3 NA 11.9% 0.4% 1.7% 5.9% Italy: from open-list PR to hybrid SMDP/PR to closed-list PR old system: 32 districts with 630 seats up to 4 preference votes could be cast as in open list often used in South, rarely used in North however, preference abstentions were affirmations of preferences in the original (closed) list this gave parties more control than in pure open-list PR 1990s reforms 1991 referendum: preference votes reduced to one 1993 reform: 475 via SMDP, 155 via PR in 27 districts 4% threshold needed to gain PR seats 1999 referendum: 91% vote to end PR entirely, but nullified by just < 50% turnout 2000 referendum: 82% vote to end PR entirely, but nullified by 32% turnout New Italian electoral system: 28 districts with 630 seats 2005 reform backed by Berlusconi over the opposition s objections All seats back to PR (but now using a closed-list system) Parties running alone must meet a 4% nationwide threshold Parties within a coalition backing a common PM candidate need only 2% nationwide A new governability clause guarantees that the plurality coalition will be entitled to win at least 54% of the seats * NOTE: Although the Senate also shifted to pure PR, that clause applies to regions (not to the whole country), thus no coalition need win a majority w/in the Senate * In 2013 this is precisely what happened as neither the PD coaliation nor the PdL coalition won more than 39% of the seats in the Senate making the formation of a new government difficult In Dec. 2013, the Constitutional Court ruled that the governability clause is unconstitutional * The next elections will be run on a purely PR basis unless the existing legislature approves a reform of the electoral system

6 TABLE on 1996 Italian elections 1996: The Olive Tree governs w/ the help of the Refounded Communists RC FV DS PPI RI LN FI CCD-CDU AN other % PR # seats % seats 5.6% 2.2% 27.4% 10.7% 4.2% 9.5% 19.6% 4.8% 14.7% 1.3% % seats 5.6% 44.5% 48.6% 1.3% TABLE on 2001 Italian elections 2001: The House of Freedoms gains a clearer majority; Berlusconi returns as PM RC CI FV DS Daisy LN FI CCD-CDU AN other % PR # seats % seats 1.8% 1.6% 1.1% 22.0% 13.6% 4.9% 28.6% 6.5% 16.0% 3.9% % seats 1.8% 38.3% 56.0% 3.9% TABLE on 2006 Italian elections 2006: The Union wins nationwide 49.8% (v. 49.7%); Prodi returns as PM RC FV DS + Daisy Other Union LN FI UDC AN other % PR # seats % seats 6.5% 2.4% 34.9% 11.4% 4.1% 22.2% 6.2% 11.3% 0.2% % seats 55.0% 44.6% (includes 5 seats won by small allies) TABLE on 2008 Italian elections 2008: Merger of FI & AN into People of Freedom (PdL) returns Berlusconi to PM Left (RC, CI, FV) Dem. Valori LN PdL UdC Right other % PR # seats % seats 0.0% 34.4% 4.6% 9.5% 43.8% 5.7% 0.0% 0.6% % seats 39.0% 54.6% (includes 8 seats won by MpA) TABLE on 2013 Italian elections 2013: M5S' intransigence & Senate result leads to PD-PdL coalition under PD's Letta Left SEL PD SC [Monti] UdC M5S LN PdL Right other % PR # seats % seats 0.0% 5.9% 47.1% 6.2% 1.3% 17.3% 2.9% 15.6% 0.0% 0.6% % seats 55.0% 19.8%

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