Electoral System Reviews in New Zealand, Britain and Canada: A Critical Comparison

  title={Electoral System Reviews in New Zealand, Britain and Canada: A Critical Comparison},
  author={T. Lundberg},
  journal={Government and Opposition},
  pages={471 - 490}
  • T. Lundberg
  • Published 1 September 2007
  • Sociology
  • Government and Opposition
Abstract This article compares the use of people outside government to consider electoral reform in three countries using the single-member plurality electoral system. The composition of electoral reform bodies, ranging from commissions of experts (New Zealand) and ex-politicians (Britain) to assemblies of randomly selected citizens (British Columbia), appears to have influenced how well their recommendations were received by the public. Governments should be careful not to assume that they can… 
Public opinion and electoral system preference in New Zealand: a longitudinal study
This study highlights the role of ordinary voters in facilitating electoral reform, particularly in the context of electoral system referendums. We investigate six factors that may shape voters’
The Politics of Electoral Reform: The State of Research
This article examines three approaches – rational choice, historical-comparative and institutional – used to study the politics of electoral reform. The first part is dedicated to a review of
A Better Democracy, Thanks to MMP
New Zealand changed its electoral system in 1996 from a first-past-the-post to a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) one. The motivation for the change was complex but reflects a gradual breakdown over
Party Preferences and Electoral Reform: How Time in Government Affects the Likelihood of Supporting Electoral Change
Most of the literature asserts that political parties rationally define their preference for electoral reform with respect to their possible gains and the balance of power between and within parties.
Rethinking Majoritarian Modification: Toward an Explanatory Theory of Electoral System Reform in Canada, the U.K., and New Zealand
Traditional theories of electoral reform have focused on the outcomes of reform as a way of explaining the rational-strategic actions of political elites. Recently, the literature has moved from an
Strategic motivations in electoral reforms . Explaining parties ’ preferences
Parties’ preferences about changing the electoral system are explained in various ways. The most common approach is based upon rational-choice models stating that parties are first and foremost
Cultural Explanations of Electoral Reform: A Policy Cycle Model
The standard explanation of electoral reform is offered by rational choice accounts. These regard the choice of rules as an elite-level issue, dominated by partisan interests bargaining within the
Should Voters Decide? Exploring Successes, Failures and Effects of Electoral Reform
Are Citizens’ Assemblies useful tools for reforming democratic institutions and addressing the democratic deficit? Evaluating the utility of using mini-publics to deliberate issues like electoral
Proportional-first-past-the-post:a Canadian model of proportional representation
For more than a decade a majority of Canadians have consistently supported the idea of proportional representation when asked, yet all attempts at electoral reform thus far have failed. Even though
Minimizing Institutional Barriers for Legitimate Politics in India
India is in the midst of allegations of high levels of systemic corruption, which dented the public confidence in the government and the political process at large. There are calls for reforms to


Canadians and electoral reform: an impulse to doing democracy differently
Electoral reform has been at the centre of major political debates around the world over the last decade and a half. The emergence of competitive liberal democracies in Eastern Europe launched a
The demise of the last westminster system? Comments on the report of New Zealand's Royal Commission on the Electoral System
Abstract The New Zealand government set up a Royal Commission to consider the country's electoral system. It produced an unexpectedly radical Report , challenging some of the basic assumptions of the
New Zealand: Reform by (Nearly) Immaculate Design
In 1993, a nationwide referendum replaced New Zealand’s long-established single-member district plurality (first-past-the-post) elections with German-style personalized proportional representation,
The Jenkins Commission and the Implications of Electoral Reform for the UK Constitution
THERE ARE TWO MAIN CONCEPTIONS OF ‘REPRESENTATION’ IN democratic theory, and they are not wholly compatible. All democratic electoral systems implicitly appeal to one or the other conception of
The Rush to electoral reform in the Canadian provinces: Why now?
Introduction In his seminal 1968 essay on the Canadian electoral system, Alan Cairns wrote that 'proportional representation has not been seriously considered as a possible alternative to the
The Electoral System and the Party System in Canada, 1921–1965 *
This paper investigates two common assumptions about the party system: (i) that the influence of the electoral system on the party system has been unimportant, or non-existent; and (ii) that the
It's Parties that Choose Electoral Systems (Or, Duverger's Laws Upside Down)
This article presents, discusses and tests the hypothesis that it is the number of parties that can explain the choice of electoral systems, rather than the other way around. Already-existing
Models of electoral system change
Electoral systems are commonly treated as exogenous determinants of political party systems, yet our theoretical understanding remains limited as to how these institutions themselves are determined.
Setting the Rules of the Game: The Choice of Electoral Systems in Advanced Democracies
  • C. Boix
  • Political Science, Economics
  • 1999
The origins of electoral systems have received scant attention in the literature. Looking at the history of electoral rules in the advanced world in the last century, this paper shows that the
Reforming Britain: New Labour, New Constitution?
Chapter 1 - From Bagehot to Blair:You don't have to wear an anorakA jigsaw with missing piecesA risky businessDaylight and magicAppearance and realityInvisible inkThe Westminster modelA growing