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The Impact of District Elections: A Case Study

Bruce B. Clary and J. Oliver Williams
State & Local Government Review
Vol. 14, No. 2 (May, 1982), pp. 61-67
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4354743
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Impact of District Elections: A Case Study
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Abstract

Although numerous claims, pro and con, are being made about the consequences of a switch from atlarge to district elections, limited empirical data exist to confirm or deny these assertions. This article reports findings from a case study of this change. The data indicate that representation, the most discussed and analyzed dimension, is only one issue that should be considered. Other possible consequences are different patterns of electoral politics and city council decision-making. Additional findings question a prevailing assumption about district elections: support or opposition is based on a generalized concept of urban political culture, the "public ethos." Overall, the study suggests that any discussion of relative merits of the two systems should consider these additional dimensions.

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