The electoral system as a factor in striking a balance between governmental stability and representation

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The relevant literature provides substantial empirical evident supporting the fact that the ability to govern weakens as the degree of representation increases. Democracies use various mechanisms to maintain the balance between stability and representation. Using simulation analysis, this work seeks to understand to what extent the various structures of electoral systems affect the level of governmental stability without excessively undermining the principle of representation. Can electoral systems be differentiated from one another, and which system is most advantageous? To clarify these questions, this work processed the actual results of the three last elections in Israel, for 2003-2009, using the format of various electoral systems. A comparative review of the simulations leads to the conclusion that a mixture of nationwide and regional elections, a small number of constituencies and the single-seat method will moderate the results, providing a better balance between the two democratic - the ability to rule and the degree of representation. The total representation (T.R.) system seems to be best for striking a reasonable balance between regional and national issues. It also offers a simple solution for resolving the disadvantage of majority systems in single-seat constituencies, the lack of representation for the losing votes in the constituencies. In the total representation system, the winners' votes are counted to determine the regional winner, while the losers' votes are totaled on the national party level and awarded proportional representation. This procedure makes the total representation system seem fairer than its competitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalWorld Political Science Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • election system
  • governmental stability
  • representation
  • simulation analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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