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Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Constitutional Context

Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Constitutional Context: Taiwan, Japan, and Beyond OPEN ACCESS

Nathan F. Batto
Chi Huang
Alexander C. Tan
Gary W. Cox
Copyright Date: 2016
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Constitutional Context
    Book Description:

    Reformers have promoted mixed-member electoral systems as the “best of both worlds." In this volume, internationally recognized political scientists evaluate the ways in which the introduction of a mixed-member electoral system affects the configuration of political parties. The contributors examine several political phenomena, including cabinet post allocation, nominations, preelectoral coalitions, split-ticket voting, and the size of party systems and faction systems. Significantly, they also consider various ways in which the constitutional system—especially whether the head of government is elected directly or indirectly—can modify the incentives created by the electoral system. The findings presented here demonstrate that the success of electoral reform depends not only on the specification of new electoral rules per se but also on the political context—and especially the constitutional framework—within which such rules are embedded.

    eISBN: 978-0-472-90062-6
    Subjects: Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Nathan F. Batto and Gary W. Cox

    Two central tenets of the New Institutional paradigm are that institutions shape incentives and that how they do so depends on the speciic context in which they are embedded. Building on these tenets, this book argues that electoral systems are embedded within constitutional systems and that whether the head of government is directly or indirectly elected affects how the legislative electoral system shapes politicians’ incentives. Parties everywhere care about winning both legislative seats and executive ofices. This book keeps both kinds of payoff in view and analyzes how constitutional strictures have mediated politicians’ reactions to new mixed-member electoral rules in...

    • Chi Huang, Ming-Feng Kuo and Hans Stockton

      Electoral systems determine how votes cast in an election are translated into seats in the legislature, and thus to a large extent determine who wins and who loses in the political arena. The past two decades has seen a striking increase in the prevalence of mixed-member electoral systems. By combining the advantages of plurality rule and proportional representation, these mixed systems attempt to strike a balance between the two. The intended and unintended consequences of such hybrid efforts have attracted considerable attention from scholars (e.g., Jou 2009; Ferrara 2004; Golder 2005; Huang 2011; Huang and Wang 2014; Huang, Wang, and...

    • Jih-wen Lin

      For the competitors of a legislative election, winning a seat is only the irst step toward sharing political power. How powers are distributed depends on the constitutional arrangement of executive-legislative relations, but studies on electoral systems are largely legislative-centric. An executivecentric theory of electoral systems plays an important role in illing this gap. Japan and Taiwan are perfect cases—they traveled a similar path of electoral reform but are distinguishable by constitutional systems. The following analysis explains why these two cases are worth comparing.

      The irst reason is thesimilarityof Japan and Taiwan compared with the global pattern. From...

    • Yoshiaki Kobayashi and Hiroki Tsukiyama

      The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan is notable as one of the most factionalized parties in modern democracies. For a long time, many scholars have discussed why LDP legislative factions (habatsu) appeared and why they are highly institutionalized. The literature offers two different explanations for the basis of LDP factions (Kohno 1992; Cox, Rosenbluth, and Thies 2000). One stresses the uniqueness of Japanese political culture including the afinity for patron-client relationships (oyabun-kobun kankei) between senior bosses and young followers (Thayer 1969; Richardson and Flanagan 1984; Baerwald 1986); the other stresses the rational incentives of LDP members (Sato and Matsuzaki...

    • Nathan F. Batto and Hsin-ta Huang

      It is sometimes assumed that politics in Taiwan mirrors politics in Japan. Taiwan is a former Japanese colony, and it inherited much of its present institutional structure from the Japanese who were largely copying their own Meiji-era institutions back home. During the latter half of the 20th century, both countries experienced a long period of single-party dominance, electoral reform from SNTV to MMM, the rise of a longtime opposition party to power, and fast economic growth. Further, the KMT is often assumed to be a mirror of the LDP, and both were longtime ruling parties with strong clientelistic proclivities. Thus...

    • Eric Chen-hua Yu, Kaori Shoji and Nathan F. Batto

      This chapter focuses on how major parties adjusted their candidate selection methods (CSMs) to meet the challenges brought about by the new electoral regimes in Taiwan and Japan, respectively. Speciically, it investigates two innovative ways to select district-level candidates adopted by the major parties in each country.¹ In Taiwan, the polling primary became the default system that the two major parties, the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), used to nominate their candidates for the Legislative Yuan elections. In Japan, both of the major parties, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), have...

    • Kuniaki Nemoto and Chia-hung Tsai

      A theory of electoral systems (Shugart 2001) predicts that the move from SNTV to MMM should produce a trend away from personal politics and toward party-centered politics. The literature on the recent elections in Japan suggests that party labels and the leadership’s popularity now signiicantly inluence candidates’ electoral fortunes (McElwain 2012; Patterson and Maeda 2007) and clientelism is now being replaced by programmatism (Rosenbluth and Thies 2010). Furthermore, in 2009 Japan had a government turnover through elections for the irst time in more than 60 years, because the combination of the DPJ’s potential and disillusionment with the LDP government’s policy...

    • T. Y. Wang, Chang-chih Lin and Yi-ching Hsiao

      Split-ticket voting has generated substantial interest in the discipline as demonstrated by the voluminous publication on the subject (Alesina and Rosenthal 1995; Bawn 1993, 1999; Beck et al. 1992; Born 1994; Brandy 1993; Cox 1990, 1997; Cox and Schoppa 2002; Duverger 1959; Feigert 1979; Ferrara, Herron, and Nishikawa 2005; Fiorina 1996; Fisher 1973; Gallagher 1998; Garand and Lichtl 2000; Gschwend, Johnston, and Pattie 2003; Herron and Nishikawa 2001; Huang 2001; Huang, Chen, and Chou 2008; Jacobson 1991; Jesse 1988; Karp et al. 2002; Kohno 1997; Lewis-Beck and Nadeau 2004; Reed 1999; Roscoe 2003). With a focus on electoral behavior in...

    • Allen Hicken

      This volume centers on the puzzle arising from the cases of Taiwan and Japan. The two have used very similar electoral systems that nonetheless produce very different outcomes—particularly in relation to the number of political parties. In their introduction Batto and Cox build on existing theory to argue that the reason the Taiwan and Japanese cases may seem puzzling is that, essentially, we have been looking in the wrong place. Scholars have focused overly much on the effects of electoral systems at the constituency level and the competition for legislative seats. While this type of competition is a crucial...

    • Matthew S. Shugart and Alexander C. Tan

      The distinctions between single-member plurality systems and proportional representation systems are well known among students of electoral systems. The contrast between these two “ideal” types is such that most students can effortlessly list a litany of political consequences emanating from the choice of either of these systems, including the impact on the number of parties, coalition government, cabinet durability, and so forth. But beyond the ideal types, there continue to be interesting puzzles that capture scholarly attention. One of these puzzles, which this edited volume focuses on, is the question of why countries with seemingly similar electoral systems have different...

    • Nathan F. Batto, Henry A. Kim and Natalia Matukhno

      Mixed-member electoral systems confront voters with two choices: a list tier ballot to be cast on the basis of the party and a nominal tier ballot to be cast on the basis of the characteristics of the local candidates. Some voters do not make these two choices independently, but instead use information about the choices in one tier to help make the choice in the other tier. These sorts of “contamination” effects have been the subject of a great deal of research (Cox and Schoppa 2002; Herron and Nishikawa 2001; Nishikawa and Herron 2004; and Ferrara, Herron, and Nishikawa 2005)....

  4. Chi Huang

    A concluding chapter may be expected to pull all the previous chapters together. Although inferring from individual chapters generally applicable statements about the consequences of mixed-member electoral systems is not easy, we can still expound upon the common threads running through the entire volume and briely summarize the major indings of our puzzlesolving efforts.

    Theoretically, the most important theme that has emerged from this volume is that the effects of electoral systems must be considered within a speciic context. Whereas the conventional approach is to consider the effects of legislative electoral systems in isolation, hence called legislaturecentric, this volume has...

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This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
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