Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in by S. Birch

By S. Birch

Sarah Birch assesses the influence of electoral procedure layout on political swap in post-communist Europe. because the cave in of communism in vital and japanese Europe among 1989 and 1991, almost all of the states within the sector have undertaken major electoral reform. This examine lines the a number of hyperlinks among the evolution of electoral platforms and political swap and establishes styles within the results of electoral approach layout on post-communist advancements.

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Extra resources for Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe (One Europe or Several?)

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The reasons for this ‘socio-tropic’ turn are threefold. First, at this critical juncture the euphoria of transition enabled many to transcend their personal interests and make historical decisions; but there was also a more practical consideration involved: the high degree of uncertainty surrounding first elections meant that politicians were acting behind a ‘veil of ignorance’; they often were not in a position to know which electoral system type would benefit them personally. Collective interest was a default choice.

The Albanian system adopted in 1991 was also of the linked variety, though it was unusual in being based on a single vote rather than two separate votes for the two component parts of the system. The unlinked mixed system most distinctive of the post-communist region was first adopted in Bulgaria in June of 1990, before spreading to Georgia (October 1990), Croatia (1992), Lithuania (1992), Yugoslavia (1992), Russia (1993), Armenia (1995), Ukraine (1998), and Macedonia (1998). Since its ‘invention’ in Eastern Europe, the unlinked mixed system has been taken up by states as diverse as Japan, Taiwan, Cameroon, Guatemala, and others, making it the fastest-growing electoral system type in the world today.

We can expect the provision of state resources for electoral competition to have a ‘freezing’ effect on the party system, in as much as state financing is almost invariably linked to electoral success. If the state ‘reward’ for electoral success takes the form of resources that increase the chances of an electoral competitor improving its position at subsequent elections, newcomers will be at a distinct disadvantage and may be effectively ‘locked out’ of the system. This should result in both a limitation of the numbers of parties that achieve electoral success and also a relative stabilization over time.

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