Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws, 1945–85

  • Arend Lijphart (a1)
Abstract

A systematic analysis of the relationships between the main electoral system variables (electoral formula, district magnitude, and ballot structure) and electoral outcomes (the degrees of disproportionality and multipartism) in the 20 Western democracies from 1945 to 1985—representing 32 distinct electoral systems (an electoral system being defined as a set of elections held under basically the same rules)—shows that the effects of both formula and magnitude on proportionality are very strong, much stronger than Douglas W. Rae and subsequent researchers have suggested; that on the other hand, their effects on the number of parties participating in elections is surprisingly weak; and that ballot structure affects the degree of multipartism only in single-member district systems. These findings suggest that strategic behavior by politicians and voters plays a less important role in reducing multipartism than is usually assumed.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Jürgen Dittberner . 1987. FDP–Partei der zweiten Wahl: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der liberalen Partei und ihrer Funktionen im Parteiensystem der Bundesrepublik. Opladen: Westdeutscher.

Richard Gunther . 1989. “Electoral Laws, Party Systems, and Elites: The Case of Spain.” American Political Science Review 83: 835–58.

Arend Lijphart . 1985. “The Field of Electoral Systems Research: A Critical Survey.” Electoral Studies 4: 314.

John Loosemore , and Victor J. Hanby . 1971. “The Theoretical Limits of Maximian Distortion: Some Analytic Expressions for Electoral Systems.” British Journal of Political Science 1: 467–77.

Thomas T. Mackie 1985. “General Elections in Western Nations during 1984.” European Journal of Political Research 13: 335–39.

Thomas T. Mackie 1986. “General Elections in Western Nations during 1985.” European Journal of Political Research 14: 695–97.

Thomas T. Mackie , and Richard Rose . 1982. The International Almanac of Electoral History. 2d ed.New York: Facts on File.

Thomas T. Mackie , and Richard Rose . 1983. “General Elections in Western Nations during 1982.” European Journal of Political Research 11: 345–49.

Thomas T. Mackie , and Richard Rose . 1984. “General Elections in Western Nations during 1983.” European Journal of Political Research 12:335–42.

Rein Taagepera , and Bernard Grofman . 1985. “Rethinking Duverger's Law: Predicting the Effective Number of Parties in Plurality and PR Systems–Parties Minus Issues Equals One.” European Journal of Political Research 13: 341–52.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 362 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.