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Mixed-Member Electoral SystemsThe Best of Both Worlds?$
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Matthew Soberg Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257683

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019925768X.001.0001

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The Causes of Electoral Reform in Japan

The Causes of Electoral Reform in Japan

Chapter:
(p.152) 7 The Causes of Electoral Reform in Japan
Source:
Mixed-Member Electoral Systems
Author(s):

Steven R. Reed

Michael F. Thies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019925768X.003.0008

This chapter, on the causes of electoral reform in Japan, reviews the movement from an extreme electoral (hyper‐personalistic) system in which candidates of the same party competed against one another in three‐ to five‐seat districts (in a single non‐transferable vote system, SNTV) to a mixed‐member majoritarian (MMM) system that eliminated intraparty competition. It is argued that short‐term act‐contingent motivations played a necessary role in passing political reform, and that by January 1994, when the reform bills finally passed into law, no politician could publicly oppose political reform, even though some felt freer to grumble about it. The main sections of the chapter are: The Pathologies of SNTV: Who Hated What?; A Brief History of Failed Electoral Reform Efforts—1956 to 1991; The Fall and Rise of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party): Electoral Reform in 1993–4; Analysis: The Causes of Electoral Reform.

Keywords:   electoral history, electoral reform, electoral systems, extreme electoral systems, hyper‐personalistic systems, Japan, Liberal Democratic Party, mixed‐member electoral systems, mixed‐member majoritarian systems, party competition, single non‐transferable vote system

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