Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: The Best of Both Worlds?

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Matthew Shugart, Martin P. Wattenberg
OUP Oxford, Feb 1, 2001 - Political Science - 676 pages
Mixed-member electoral systems may well be the electoral reform of the 21st century. In the view of many electoral reformers, mixed systems offer the best of both the traditional British single-seat district system and PR systems. This book seeks to evaluate: why these systems have recently appealed to many countries with diverse electoral histories; and how well expectations for these systems have been met. - ;Mixed-member electoral systems may well be the electoral reform of the 21st century. In the view of many electoral reformers, mixed-member systems offer the best of both the traditional British single-seat district system and PR systems. This book seeks to evaluate: why mixed-member systems have recently appealed to many countries with diverse electoral histories; and how well expectations for these systems have been met. Each major country, which has adopted a mixed system thus, has two chapters in this book, one on origins and one on consequences. These countries are Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Israel, Japan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Mexico, Hungary, and Russia. In addition, there are also chapters on the prospects for a mixed-member system being adopted in Britain and Canada, respectively. The material presented suggests that mixed-member systems have been largely successful thus far. They appear to be more likely than most other electoral systems to generate two-bloc party systems, without in the process reducing minor parties to insignificance. In addition, they are more likely than any other class of electoral system to simultaneously generate local accountability as well as a nationally-oriented party system. Mixed-member electoral systems have now joined majoritarian and proportional systems as basic options which must be considered whenever electoral systems are designed or redesigned. Such a development represents a fundamental change in thinking about electoral systems around the world. - ;An important and timely contribution ... an excellent reference book that provides unique and extensive coverage of a diverse range of cases. - Japanese Journal of Political Science;The book provides a useful classification of some electoral system elements in two dimensions: inter-party (majoritarian vs. proportional) and intra-party (candidates vs. parties dominance), as well as ten single-country good reading studies. - West European Politics;The core of the book, especially the section on how MMP systems came to be introduced in the ten case study countries, will have lasting value for its detail ... the editors' contributions are excellent: they have done much more than simply collate a series of chapters. As a whole, the book will provide an important reference work for the study of what, in their words, 'might prove to be the electoral reform of the twenty-first century'. - Representation
 

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Contents

List of Figures
Preface
The Political Consequences of Germanys MixedMember
MixedMember
McLeay andNigelS Roberts 15 Mixed ElectoralRules Partisan Realignment andParty System Changein
TheMixedMember Systemasa
The Causesof ElectoralReform
Steven R Reedand Michael F Thies 8 The Sourcesof Electoral Reform in Venezuela Brian F Crispand JuanCarlos
The Legislative Consequencesof
The MixedMember Proportional Systemand
Proportional System René AntonioMayorga 10 Reforming Electoral Systems
Regime Change and the Origins
TheBritish Electoral Reform Revolution ofthe1990s
Glossary
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