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Electoral Systems and Party SystemsA Study of Twenty-Seven Democracies, 1945-1990$
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Arend Lijphart

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198273479

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273479.001.0001

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Electoral Systems: Types, Patterns, Trends

Electoral Systems: Types, Patterns, Trends

(p.10) 2 Electoral Systems: Types, Patterns, Trends
Electoral Systems and Party Systems

Arend Lijphart

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the dimensions of the seventy electoral systems used in twenty-four countries that hold democratic and parliamentary elections. These dimensions are the district magnitude or the number of representatives elected in a district; the legal threshold; the electoral threshold or the minimum level of support that a political party needs to gain representation; and assembly size or the total number of seats in the legislature. The variables in the electoral system are the ballot structure, malapportionment, the difference between legislative elections in parliamentary and in presidential systems, and the possibility of linked lists.

Keywords:   electoral systems, democratic elections, parliamentary elections, district magnitude, electoral threshold, assembly size, legal threshold

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