Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Voting Rules, Electoral, Effects of
Voting rules determine how voters cast their ballots and how vote shares are converted to seats or mandates in the elected assembly or office. Voting rules are thus among the principal building blocks of representative democracy. They establish the most fundamental theoretical and empirical links between public preferences, political representation, and, ideally, government formation and policy making. Thus, the political consequences of alternative voting rules have always concerned political scientists. Both majoritarian and proportional voting rules exert profound effects on alleged political efficiency (i.e., the format and the fragmentation and polarization of political party systems and their propensity for sustaining single-party or coalition governments) and for different modes of formal and substantive political representation (i.e., the distortion of vote shares and seat shares and the representation of the median voter in parliament, in government, or actually in enacted policies). The study of voting rules and their respective consequences belongs to ...