Ballot structure, district magnitude and constituency-orientation of MPs in proportional representation and majority electoral systems
Many studies have been devoted to the way electoral institutions shape the representative process in general, and of the relation between legislators and their local constituency. Yet, the majority of these have been hardly comparative. And when they compared countries, these countries rarely differed in many aspects of the electoral system. This article takes a different perspective by looking at the effect of the electoral formula, district magnitude and ballot structure on how important the constituency is for MPs in three countries that differ on these three components of the electoral system: Belgium, France and Portugal. And the results, though they should be confirmed by analyses on more countries, provide interesting insights. In particular they show that the difference in nature between single and multi-member districts is more important for constituency-orientation than differences between multi-member districts. Second, the article shows that the effect of electoral institutions is not straightforward: its impact is stronger on attitudes towards the constituency than on actaul behaviours of legislators regarding their constituency.
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Sociologia - Ciências Sociais