By Daniela Giannetti, Bernard Grofman

In the early Nineties, significant electoral reforms happened in either Italy and Japan; each one changed a sort of “proportional illustration” (in which electorate forged a poll for a celebration checklist) with a “mixed member” approach (in which citizens solid ballots for person applicants and social gathering lists). The reforms have been enacted via political elites within the context of divisions in the dominant get together, altering styles of celebration help, and occasion splits, in efforts to continue energy whereas responding to fees of corruption, clientelism, and shortage of responsibility. The reviews of either international locations supply a laboratory within which to enquire the results and implications of the reforms, and, extra commonly to research voter habit within the context of institutional switch. The advent presents an outline of post-WWII politics and electoral reform in Italy and Japan. In all the next 4 chapters, experts in Italian and eastern electoral politics are teamed as much as overview info either prior to and after the reforms. inside of this comparative framework, the authors discover such subject matters as adjustments 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 comparable stipulations, the consequences within the nations have been dramatically various: in Japan, the recent approach 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 show, to appreciate why related reforms had such various results within the international locations we needs to research how electoral platforms are embedded in broader institutional and social preparations, and view the advanced interaction of political geography, political heritage, and the rational calculations of political actors.

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

Sample text

But in the long run, as we describe in the following section, a declining rural population eventually weakened the electoral support base of the LDP. The appearance of the Clean Government Party (CGP, the Komeito) and the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) also encroached on the votes that the LDP and the JSP had once obtained. In the early 1990s, a number of corruption cases involving LDP members caused distrust among voters and culminated in a demand for political reform (Pharr and Putnam 2000).

The two parties formed a surplus majority coalition in the HR and a minimal winning coalition in the HC (Table C2 in Appendix C). The electoral system in the two houses belonged to a category that was a hybrid of the PR and district election systems and thus presented no problem for the electoral strategy of the party. A different power balance between the two houses has influenced the coalition strategy of the largest party – the LDP – and its relationship with prospective coalition partners. To maintain the coalition with the CGP, the LDP was willing to increase the PR votes for the CGP in exchange for the support of the CGP for the LDP candidates in SMDs (Reed and Kay 2009).

The coalition hinged on mutual benefits gained from the alliance. The electoral coordination of the coalition depended on their supporters’ willingness to trade their votes between the two parties across the systems. Such coordination is often hard to accomplish, and “neither party can expect much more from the other” (Reed and Kay 2009). The absence of a direct constraint from the electoral system distinguishes the Japanese case from the Italian one. This is consistent with the ups and downs of the partisan power balance between the LDP and DPJ between the 2005 and 2009 general elections.

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