Comparing Electoral Systems by David M. Farrell (auth.)

By David M. Farrell (auth.)

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First, it is unusual in that, on the second round, certain parties and candidates are disqualified from running: electoral choice is constrained; electors are forced to think MAJORITARIAN ELECTORAL SYSTEMS 45 and vote in categorical terms (either candidate A or candidate B). 1) could, in part, reflect voters' dissatisfaction with the choices available. Second, party competition is quite different than in preferential systems because the parties, knowing how their first preferences have panned out, have two weeks to regroup and design strategies to maximize their vote.

However, there are two peculiar features of the second ballot system. First, it is unusual in that, on the second round, certain parties and candidates are disqualified from running: electoral choice is constrained; electors are forced to think MAJORITARIAN ELECTORAL SYSTEMS 45 and vote in categorical terms (either candidate A or candidate B). 1) could, in part, reflect voters' dissatisfaction with the choices available. Second, party competition is quite different than in preferential systems because the parties, knowing how their first preferences have panned out, have two weeks to regroup and design strategies to maximize their vote.

There was also a desire to limit the power of parties, to control the dangers to democracy of factions and caucuses (particularly as, it was felt, these have a tendency to encourage extremes). These questions were behind one significant change in the electoral system (in 1867) and several more ambitious proposals for 22 COMPARING ELECTORAL SYSTEMS change which were all defeated in the Commons. The change was the adoption of what was called the limited vote for thirteen three-seat constituencies and one four-seat constituency introduced by the Reform Act of that year.

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