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Factors in a Two Party and Multiparty System - Duverger Appunti scolastici Premium

Materiale didattico per il corso di Politica comparata del prof. Marco Giuliani. Trattasi dell'articolo di Maurice Duverger dal titolo "Factors in a Two-Party and Multiparty System" all'interno del quale sono analizzati gli effetti sul sistema poltico e partitico dei diversi sistemi elettorali.

Esame di Politica comparata docente Prof. M. Giuliani



Duverger: The Electoral System

direction of a particular type of system; it is a force, acting in the midst of other

forces, some of which move in an opposite direction. It is also clear that the

relationship between electoral and party systems is not a one-way phenomenon;

if a one-ballot vote tends toward a two-party system, a two party system also

favors the adoption of a single ballot voting system.

The exact role of the electoral system seems, in the last analysis, to be that of

an accelerator or that of a brake. An election by a majority vote on a single

ballot has a dual effect: first, it poses an obstacle to the appearance of a new

party, although this obstacle is not insurmountable (the role of a brake);

secondly, it tends to eliminate the weakest party (or parties) if there are more

than two (the role of an accelerator). The braking effect was noticeable in

Great Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, in the face of a socialist

drive, and again after World War 1, in the face of communist and fascist

movements. The accelerating effect was even more apparent in the case of the

Liberal party, which was practically eliminated in fifteen years (1920-35),

although it retains a certain number of supporters who are compelled by the

electoral system to choose between Conservatives and Labourites. Deciding by

a majority vote on one ballot accelerated in Great Britain the substitution of a

two-party system for any other kind.

Proportional representation plays just the opposite role. It does not slow down

the development of new parties. It passively registers their appearance,

sometimes amplifying the vibrations they generate, like an echo chamber or a

seismograph. (In order to check this tendency, proportional representation is

rarely applied in toto; it is modified by such measures as permitting local

districts to apportion residual votes and by establishing rules regarding the

percentage of votes required to gain representation in the legislative assembly.)

On the other hand, it retards the elimination of old parties which would

otherwise tend to disappear as the social and political scene changes. The

"salvaging" of the Belgian Liberal party through proportional representation,

beginning in 1900, is a typical example of this phenomenon. Instead of giving

way to a twentieth-century-style two-party system, the nineteenth-century

system survived with the new system superimposed on it, producing an

essentially three-party system (this was also the case in Germany and Austria),

However, we must of course distinguish between old movements, deeply rooted

among a portion of the population, and superficial movements reflecting

temporary political moods or fashions. Proportional representation registers just

as clearly the appearance as it does the disappearance of parties of this latter

type. Typical examples were the case of "rexism" in Belgium, and, in France,

the RPF [Rassemblement du Peuple Francais] in 1951, and Poujadism in


The results of the two-ballot majority system are similar to those of proportional

representation, with a few differences. The two-ballot system seems to be more

discouraging to the formation of new parties than proportional representation

(but it is far less effective in this than the single-ballot majority vote). Perhaps it

is also more helpful to older parties, but it is difficult to formulate any definite

conclusions in this matter. Furthermore, it seems to present a certain barrier to

brusque changes of political opinion, to movements reflecting momentary

moods or impulses, to political groups that are "fashionable" but ephemeral

(even though the example of the UNR [Union Nouvelle pour la Republique,

the Gaullist party] in 1958 proved to be of a different kind: but the

circumstances in this instance were very special). The sharpest difference with

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+1 anno fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in scienze internazionali e istituzioni europee
Università: Milano - Unimi
A.A.: 2011-2012

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Atreyu di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Politica comparata e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Milano - Unimi o del prof Giuliani Marco.

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