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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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Why Are There So Many (or So Few) Electoral Reforms?

Why Are There So Many (or So Few) Electoral Reforms?

(p.57) 3 Why Are There So Many (or So Few) Electoral Reforms?
The Politics of Electoral Systems

Richard S. Katz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Electoral reforms are surprisingly rare in established political systems. This chapter analyses the reasons why political actors might attempt to change an electoral system to one that more closely matches their own interests, and the reasons why they might decide not to attempt to do this. It discusses the limitations of the rational actor paradigm. It identifies the circumstances under which electoral reform becomes more likely. It discusses ‘fashions’ in electoral reform, particularly the adoption of mixed systems in a number of countries and moves to widen voters’ intraparty candidate choice, and emphasises the important role of democratic values.

Keywords:   electoral reform, rational actor paradigm, mixed systems, intraparty candidate choice, democratic values

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