Economic Theory

A Natural Experiment on Electoral Law Reform: Evaluating the by Daniela Giannetti, Bernard Grofman

By Daniela Giannetti, Bernard Grofman

In the early Nineteen Nineties, significant electoral reforms happened in either Italy and Japan; every one changed a kind of “proportional illustration” (in which electorate solid a poll for a celebration record) with a “mixed member” process (in which electorate solid ballots for person applicants and celebration lists). The reforms have been enacted by means of political elites within the context of divisions in the dominant social gathering, altering styles of social gathering help, and get together splits, in efforts to preserve energy whereas responding to fees of corruption, clientelism, and absence of responsibility. The reports of either nations supply a laboratory within which to enquire the results and implications of the reforms, and, extra generally to investigate voter habit within the context of institutional swap. The creation offers an outline of post-WWII politics and electoral reform in Italy and Japan. In all of the next 4 chapters, experts in Italian and eastern electoral politics are teamed as much as assessment info either earlier than and after the reforms. inside of this comparative framework, the authors discover such subject matters as alterations in social gathering festival, candidate choice mechanisms, and intra-party politics. The concluding bankruptcy considers the longer-term consequences—both expected and unanticipated—of the reforms. regardless of superficially related stipulations, the consequences within the international locations have been dramatically varied: in Japan, the recent method has taken carry, with minor ameliorations, whereas in Italy, there has been a reversion to a proportional illustration approach. because the essays during this quantity reveal, to appreciate why comparable reforms had such varied results within the nations we needs to research how electoral structures are embedded in broader institutional and social preparations, and think about the advanced interaction of political geography, political historical past, and the rational calculations of political actors.

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Extra resources for A Natural Experiment on Electoral Law Reform: Evaluating the Long Run Consequences of 1990s Electoral Reform in Italy and Japan

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The data show important changes in the composition of the labor force over time and a decline in church attendance since the mid 1970s (Sani and Segatti 2002; Pisati 2000). In postwar Italy, levels of voter participation were second only to Austria. However, after 1976, this high level of participation began to decline in line with trends in many other established democracies (note Franklin 2004). More specifically, abstention and the casting by Italian voters of blank ballots increased steadily from about 2% in the early 1980s to 18% in 1996 (Bardi 1996; Wellhofer 2001).

In addition to the LDP’s support base becoming more fragile, these results show that the social structure of Japanese voting behavior has changed profoundly. 4 Ind. 3 Ind. 9 Ind. 5 3 The Changing Bases of Party Support in Italy and Japan: Similarities and Differences 45 46 D. Giannetti and N. Taniguchi Following the electoral reforms of 1994, the probability of alternating governments rotating between the LDP and new rivals such as the DPJ increased. Voters understand that, under the SMD system, a small shift of ballots can affect the election results; therefore, a change is easier to take place than under the SNTV system.

5%. 2. e. 2). The bipolar pattern at the national level shows some important differences across districts and across time (Bartolini et al. 2004). Districts included in two of the three main geopolitical areas into which Italy is usually divided 13 were basically noncompetitive. In the north, with the exception of the 1996 elections,14 right-wing candidates dominated in the plurality tier. However, in the 2001 elections, the 13 The north includes seven regions: Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige, and Liguria.

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