Predicting Party Sizes: The Logic of Simple Electoral Systems

Hardcover | August 23, 2007

byRein Taagepera

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For a given electoral system, what average number and sizes of parties and government duration can we expect? Predicting Party Sizes is the first book to make specific predictions that agree with world averages. The basic factors are the numbers of seats in the assembly and in the averageelectoral district. While previous models tell us only the direction in which to change the electoral system, the present ones also tell us by how much they must be changed so as to obtain the desired change in average number of parties and cabinet duration. Hence, combined with knownparticularities of a country, they can be used for informed institutional design. The book is useful to three types of readers: political science students learning the basics of electoral systems and their political consequences; practitioners of politics who consider changing the electoral laws; and researchers intent on connecting electoral and party systems. The book isstructured accordingly. Chapters start with advice and recipes for practicing politicians, in non-technical language. The main text gives students an overview of electoral systems, worldwide, and supplies evidence for models that tie simple electoral systems (First-Past-The-Post and ListProportional Representation) to the number and sizes of parties and government duration. Chapter appendices present derivations of these models and other more technical issues of interest to researchers.

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For a given electoral system, what average number and sizes of parties and government duration can we expect? Predicting Party Sizes is the first book to make specific predictions that agree with world averages. The basic factors are the numbers of seats in the assembly and in the averageelectoral district. While previous models tell u...

Born in Tartu, Estonia, 1933, Rein Taagepera became a war refugee in 1944, completed Estonian-language grade school in Germany and French-language high school in Morocco. He has B.A.Sc in engineering physics and M.A. in physics (University of Toronto), and Ph.D. in solid state physics and M.A. in international relations (University of...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:August 23, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199287740

ISBN - 13:9780199287741

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Table of Contents

1. How Electoral Systems MatterPart I. Rules and Tools2. The Origins and Components of Electoral Systems3. Electoral Systems -- Simple and Complex4. The Number and Balance of Parties5. Deviation from Proportional Deviation, and Proportionality Profiles6. Openness to Small Parties: The Micro-Mega Rule and the Seat ProductPart II. The Duvergerian Macro-Agenda: How Simple Electoral Systems Affect Party Sizes and Politics7. The Duvergerian Agenda8. The Number of Seat-Winning Parties and the Largest Seat Share9. The Seat Shares of All Parties, and the Effective Number of Parties10. The Mean Duration of Cabinets11. How to Simplify Complex Electoral Systems12. Size and Politics13. The Law of Minority Attrition14. The Institutional Impact on Votes and Deviation from PRPart III. Implications and Broader Agenda15. Thresholds of Representation and the Number of Pertinent Electoral Parties16. Seat Allocation in Federal Second Chambers and the Assemblies of the European Union17. What Can We Expect From Electoral Laws?Bibliography