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Reforming DemocracyInstitutional Engineering in Western Europe$
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Camille Bedock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779582.001.0001

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An Unexpected Journey

An Unexpected Journey

The Quinquennat and the Reordering of the Electoral Calendar in France, 2000–2001

(p.179) 7 An Unexpected Journey
Reforming Democracy

Camille Bedock

Oxford University Press

Whereas the shortening of the presidential term was a long-debated, largely consensual, institutional topic in the story of the French Fifth Republic, the matter of the reordering of the electoral calendar was a circumstantial result of the dissolution and proved very divisive. The chapter shows how, paradoxically, two reforms that followed logically from one another in the minds of reformers, and emerged around the same time, followed hugely distinctive logics in terms of emergence and adoption, were separated sequentially, and were supported by different coalitions each time. This is the case because the reforms were perceived as having different natures: a consensual reform for the five-year term, a divisive reform for the reordering of the calendar. Whereas the quinquennat was debated and adopted through a supermajoritarian process involving deliberation among the vast majority of the political elites, the reordering of the calendar followed a purely majoritarian logic.

Keywords:   quinquennat, electoral calendar, majoritarian process, supermajoritarian process, France

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