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Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa$
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Andrew Reynolds

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198295103.001.0001

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Cross‐Country Comparisons: Legislative and Executive Inclusion

Cross‐Country Comparisons: Legislative and Executive Inclusion

Chapter:
(p.231) 8 Cross‐Country Comparisons: Legislative and Executive Inclusion
Source:
Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa
Author(s):

Andrew Reynolds (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198295103.003.0009

A comparative analysis is given of both actual and simulated election results of the five country case studies (from Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) presented in the book, along a number of dimensions relating to system inclusiveness: party system dynamics, disproportionality, executive formation, and descriptive representation. Chief among the questions addressed are: what determines the index of disproportionality, how representative are comparative parliaments in terms of the presence of women and ethnic minorities, what are the electoral system implications for voter accessibility, does the chosen system alleviate or accentuate entrenched and geographically concentrated party fiefdoms, how competitive or frozen is the party system, is there an electoral system effect on cabinet formation, and does the type of proportional representation (PR) used matter to the final results? The chapter concludes with a detailed discussion of the Horowitz alternative vote in multi-member districts (AV-MMD) proposal across all five case study countries, and an institutional choice-based analysis of the interaction between negotiated transitions to democracy and the type of electoral system chosen for the new democratic constitution. Overall, the chapter demonstrates that in the context of institutional design in southern Africa, PR systems outperform their plurality–majority alternatives in almost all the categories of analysis.

Keywords:   alternative vote in multi-member districts system, cabinet formation, case studies, comparative analysis, democratization, disproportionality, election results, electoral systems, ethnic minorities, executive formation, frozen party systems, Horowitz system, inclusiveness, institutional choices, majoritarian systems, Malawi, Namibia, party fiefdoms, party system dynamics, plurality systems, proportional representation, representation, South Africa, southern Africa, voter accessibility, women, Zambia, Zimbabwe

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