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The Politics of Electoral Systems$
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Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199257566.001.0001

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Introduction to Electoral Systems

Introduction to Electoral Systems

(p.3) 1 Introduction to Electoral Systems
The Politics of Electoral Systems

Michael Gallagher (Contributor Webpage)

Paul Mitchell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter establishes the importance of the electoral system as the central political institution in representative democracy. It discusses the dimensions of electoral systems, such as district magnitude, ballot structure, the extent of voter choice for individual candidates, levels of seat allocation, thresholds, and malapportionment. It identifies the most important questions to ask about the origins and effects of electoral systems.

Keywords:   representative democracy, district magnitude, thresholds, electoral systems, political institutions

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