Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-c4f8m Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-21T22:26:20.076Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

STV and the Representation of Women

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2013

Wolfgang Hirczy*
Affiliation:
Oklahoma State University

Extract

In an informative account of different electoral systems and their effects on representation Joseph F. Zimmerman (1994, 674) recommended the single transferable vote (STV) system on the grounds that it “provides […] broad representation with great accuracy.” Along with local jurisdictions in the United States the article mentions Ireland and Australia as countries that use STV, but fails to include Malta. This seemingly innocuous omission is not inconsequential; Malta squarely contradicts Zimmerman's conclusion that STV facilitates the “direct representation” of women.

Unfortunately, Wilma Rule did not remedy the neglect of Malta in her comparative overview of women in parliaments, which appeared in the same feature on “Election Systems and Representative Democracy” (1994, 690). Inclusion in the cross-national comparison would have revealed that this small island nation carries a dubious distinction: the lowest percentage of women in its unicameral parliament. As a result of the last elections, held in 1992, there is currently only one female MP. Nor did Prime Minister Fenech Adami's cabinet include a single woman, even though the number of ministries was expanded from 10 to 13 (Fenech 1992b, 1993). In the preceding parliamentary term, 3% of the seats (2 of 69) were occupied by women.

It may be argued that in social scientific inquiry and theory-building a single case does not warrant the rejection of a generalization that is otherwise sound.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The American Political Science Association 1995

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bowler, Shaun, and Ferrell, David M. 1991. “Party Loyalties in Complex Settings: STV and Party Identification.” Political Studies 39:350–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brams, Steven J., and Fishburn, Peter C. 1984. “Some Logical Defects of the Single Transferable Vote.” In Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives, ed. Lijphart, Arend and Grofman, Bernard. New York: Praeger. 147–51.Google Scholar
Castles, Francis. 1981. “Female Legislative Representation and the Electoral System.” Politics 1(2):2127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clews, Hilary, ed. 1981. The Malta Year Book 1981. Sliema, Malta: De la Salle Brothers.Google Scholar
Darcy, R., and Marsh, Michael. 1994. “Decision Heuristics: Ticket-Splitting and the Irish Voter.” Electoral Studies 13(1):3849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Darcy, R.,Welch, Susan, and Clark, Janet. 1994. Women, Elections, and Representation. 2nd rev. ed. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska.Google Scholar
Engstrom, Richard L. 1990. “Cincinnati's 1988 Proportional Representation Initiative.” Electoral Studies 9(3):217–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fenech, Dominic. 1993. “Malta.” European Journal of Political Research 24:459500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fenech, Dominic. 1992a. “The 1992 Maltese Election.” West European Politics 15(4): 189–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fenech, Dominic. 1992b. “Malta.” European Journal of Political Research 22:471–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fenech, Dominic. 1989. “More or Less Democracy.” Society (4):2730.Google Scholar
Fenech, Dominic. 1988. “The 1987 Maltese Election: Between Europe and the Mediterranean.” West European Politics 7:133–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gallagher, Michael,Laver, Michael, and Mair, Peter. 1992. Representative Government in Western Europe. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
Gallagher, Michael. 1986. “The Political Consequences of the Electoral System in the Republic of Ireland.” Electoral Studies 5(3):253–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hallett, George H. 1984. “Proportional Representation with the Single Transferable Vote: A Basic Requirement for Legislative Elections.” In Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives. Lijphart, Arend and Grofman, Bernard, ed. New York: Praeger. 113–26.Google Scholar
Hirczy, Wolfgang. 1995. “Explaining Near-Universal Turnout: The Case of Malta.” European Journal of Political Research 27:255–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Howe, Stephen. 1987. “The Maltese General Election of 1987.” Electoral Studies 6:235–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, Richard S. 1984. “The Single Transferable Vote and Proportional Representation.” In Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives, Lijphart, Arend and Grofman, Bernard, ed. New York: Praeger. 135–45.Google Scholar
Monroe, Burt L. 1994. “Understanding Electoral Systems: Beyond Plurality Versus PR.” PS 27(4)(December):677–82.Google Scholar
Rule, Wilma. 1994. “Women's Unerrepresentation and Electoral Systems.” PS 27(4)(December):689–92.Google Scholar
Shreir, Sally. 1988. Women's Movements of the World: An International Directory and Reference Guide. Longman.Google Scholar
Weaver, Leon. 1984. “Semi-Proportional and Proportional Representation Systems in the United States.” In Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives, Lijphart, Arend and Grofman, Bernard, ed. New York: Praeger. 191206.Google Scholar
Wright, Jack F. H. 1986. “Australian Experience with Majority-Preferential and Quota-Preferential Systems.” In Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences, Grofman, Bernard and Lijphart, Arend, ed. New York: Agathon. 124–38.Google Scholar
Wright, Jack F. H. 1984. “An Electoral Basis for Responsible Government: The Australian Experience.” In Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives, Lijphart, Arend and Grofman, Bernard, ed. New York: Praeger. 127–34.Google Scholar
Zanella, Remo. 1990. “The Maltese Electoral System and its Distorting Effects.” Electoral Studies 9:205–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zimmerman, Joseph F. 1994. “Alternative Voting System for Representative Democracy.” PS 27(4)(December):674–77.Google Scholar