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Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

that demands for reform were hardening. This was demonstrated by growing support for the Liberal Democrats, who strongly advocated reform, for campaign groups such as Charter 88 and for Scottish and Welsh Nationalists. The principles of Labour’s reform We can divide Labour’s reform programme into the following processes. ● Democratisation. Too much of the British political system was seen as undemocratic. The prime targets were the unelected House of Lords, and the notoriously unrepresentative electoral system. ● Decentralisation. As we have seen above, Labour

in Understanding British and European political issues
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Party system change and electoral prospects
Gilles Ivaldi

, the number of parliamentary parties is largely influenced by the mechanical process of translating votes into seats (Charlot, 1993). Analysis of vote transfers between the two rounds of legislative elections points out the substantial effect of the bipolar constraints imposed by the second ballot, the impossibility of minor parties gaining sufficient support to win parliamentary representation, and the tendency for the electoral system to manufacture parliamentary majorities for parties that have not necessarily received majority support from the voters. The

in The French party system
Alistair Cole

rules of the game favour a bipolarised party system, as we shall see later on when we briefly consider the 2002 elections. In historical terms, these institutional factors were even more important. With the emergence of strong, stable governments encouraged by the 1958 constitution, parties were deprived of their former capacity for Byzantine political manoeuvre in an Assembly-dominated regime. A separate but related institutional argument highlights the role of the two-ballot electoral system in parliamentary elections (Bartolini, 1984). By its discriminatory effects

in The French party system
Regional elections and political parties
Cameron Ross

democracy has been further consolidated by a third round of regional elections conducted over the period 1999–2001. Manipulation of the electoral system However, the cynical nature in which President Yeltsin manipulated the election process in the regions has done much to damage the develop- FAD6 10/17/2002 5:45 PM Page 93 Regional elections and political parties 93 ment of a democratic political culture. Yeltsin’s victory over the parliamentarians signalled a victory of executive power over legislative power which eventually led to the development of a semi

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

Scottish Parliament), the other for a party. The electoral system is known as the additional member system (AMS). The parliament sits in Edinburgh. It has fixed electoral terms. Elections take place every four years. Following the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the strength of the parties was as shown in table 12.1. Table 12.1 Allocation of seats in the Scottish Parliament after 1999 Party Labour Scottish Nationalist Conservative Liberal Democrat Others (Green and Independent) Seats won 56 35 18 17 3 180 Understanding British and European

in Understanding British and European political issues
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

pressure to ensure that all groups are represented in any political system means that complex electoral systems have to be adopted. Some of the groups, furthermore, have their own military wings which they only partially control. Failure to satisfy them all may result in a continuation of violence, even from very small splinter groups. Above all, however, the multi-party nature of Northern Ireland politics means that there is always likely to be a lack of coherence in any of the various movements which jockey each other for influence. Peace initiatives Throughout the

in Understanding British and European political issues
Arthur B. Gunlicks

Schill, achieved success with almost 20 percent the of the vote in Hamburg in the fall of 2001. This was the largest vote ever received by a “flash party” in Germany. chap 8 27/5/03 274 11:57 am Page 274 The Länder and German federalism Electoral systems in the Länder German electoral systems are known for their complexity. Though less known, the electoral systems at the local level are especially complicated by American or British standards.30 At the Land level, Bremen, Hamburg, and the Saarland have a simple proportional representation (PR) system, according

in The Länder and German federalism
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Arthur B. Gunlicks

the government, and draw public attention to the perceived flaws in the government’s policies. Given the nature of the “Westminster” model, however, there is little or nothing the other parties can do to change or delay government policy. The continental European models are more consensus-oriented, because with very few exceptions the governments (cabinets) are composed of coalitions of two or more parties (which is largely the result of the electoral system), with the head of government (prime minister, chancellor) usually drawn from the ranks of the largest party

in The Länder and German federalism
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

using proportional representation electoral system based on the Departments. (The two-ballot electoral system was reinstated from November 1986.) First direct elections to regional councils held. 20 September 1992 Referendum narrowly approves Maastricht Treaty (51 per cent vote in favour). 24 January 1999 National Front splits (mainly concerning strategies relating to alliances with other parties). Mégret

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
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Alistair Cole

second-order European elections, and as Alistair Cole notes in the opening chapter of this volume, ‘on the margins’ – the extremes and, at the mass level, among the disenfranchised, disenchanted pool of voters who are casting protest votes or abstaining in apparently ever-greater quantities – a different set of circumstances pertain, given the differing electoral systems and a separate set of stakes. There, the moderate right has not been entirely cut off from the extreme right, illustrated in particular by the ill-fated compromise by four UDF regional presidents to

in The French party system