Elections, Electoral Systems and Volatile Voters by Adriano Pappalardo, Gianfranco Baldini

By Adriano Pappalardo, Gianfranco Baldini

This booklet offers a whole account of earlier event, current constructions and strategies, and possible advancements, of the citizens- party-electoral structures nexus in twenty-one complicated Western democracies. The analysis is in keeping with an unique 1945-2007 comparative facts set together with all correct political and institutional variables.

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The SMP system is by far the simplest electoral method. Voters cast a single vote for a candidate, the seat is awarded to the candidate who gets just one vote more than any of the adversaries, no matter how high (or low) this is in terms of electoral percentage. In contemporary advanced democracies, majority formulae comprise two main systems: the already mentioned two-round system (2RS) and the alternative vote (AV). In the former, a candidate must win over Electoral Systems: Basic Principles and Mechanics 27 50 per cent of the popular vote in order to win the seat.

The two main conceptions of representation (majoritarian and proportional) were debated in Great Britain during the second half of the nineteenth century. 1 On the other hand, the constitutionalist Walter Bagehot considered the plurality system an essential component of the Westminster model (for this debate see: Hart, 1992; Fisichella, 2003). We should also remember that during the twentieth century the majoritarian principle underwent an important change. Traditionally, the latter was based on the selection of the most voted representatives inside territorial communities or corporations (Reeve and Ware, 1992).

Electoral laws include all the important provisions that regulate the electoral process. , 2004). The six dimensions chosen in that study are the following: the right to vote, the right to be a candidate, the electoral register, the agency in charge of the election, the procedure for casting votes, and the procedure to sort out the winners and losers. Clearly, all these topics are fundamental for regulating the democratic course of an election. However, it is on the last two dimensions that the study of electoral systems focuses.

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