To Keep or To Change First Past The Post?: The Politics of Electoral Reform

Hardcover | June 15, 2008

EditorAndre Blais

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First past the post is one of the oldest and simplest electoral systems. The logic is simple: the candidate with the most votes wins. It is the system in place in some of the oldest democracies, most especially the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest democracy, India.This is also a system that is hotly debated, and proposals for reform are often advanced. This book addresses the following questions: What fosters or hinders reform of first past the post? When and why does reform emerge on the political agenda? Who proposes and who opposes reform? When and why do reform proposals succeed or fail? What kind of proposal tends to be put on the table? Aresome types of proposal more likely to succeed? Why?The first chapter undertakes a comparative analysis of the conditions under which reform is initiated. The following chapters investigate in detail the politics of electoral reform in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, the debates that take place, the proposals that areadvanced, and the strategies deployed by the actors. These analyses contribute to a rich and nuanced understanding of why first past the post is often challenged and sometimes replaced.

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First past the post is one of the oldest and simplest electoral systems. The logic is simple: the candidate with the most votes wins. It is the system in place in some of the oldest democracies, most especially the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest democracy, India.This is also a system that is hotly debated,...

Andre Blais is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Universite de Montreal, a research fellow with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en economie quantitative (CIREQ), with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations (CIRANO), and holds a Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199539391

ISBN - 13:9780199539390

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Table of Contents

Andre Blais: Introduction1. Mathew Soberg Shugart: Inherent and contingent factors in reform initiation in plurality systems2. Adrian Blau: Electoral reform in the UK: a veto-player analysis3. Shaun Bowler and Todd Donovan: Election reform and (the lack of) electoral system change in the US4. Louis Massicotte: Electoral reform in Canada5. R. Kenneth Carty, Andre Blais and Patrick Fournier: When citizens choose to reform SMP: the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on electoral reform6. Jack Vowles: Systemic failure, coordination, and contingencies: understanding electoral system change in New ZealandAndre Blais and Matthew Soberg Shugart: ConclusionReferences