Majoritarian Miracles and the Question of Party System Change
Title: Majoritarian Miracles and the Question of Party System Change
Citation: European Journal of Political Research, 1998, 34, 1, 151-169
The 1996 elections in Italy may be evaluated using a dual means of inquiry: which novelties (or the absence thereof) appear with respect to 1994? And, how many and in what way (if any) do they contribute to the definition of a new type of party system and a new logic of political competition? As regards the former perspeccive, we address three questions which represented fundamental issues at the time of the vote: (a) Would the new electoral system manage to provide a clear and stable governmental majority where it had failed to do so in 1994? (b) Would the political parties and alliances have changed their offers to the voters? (c) Would the voters have changed their behaviour, adapting it not just to any new offers, but especially to the logic of majoritarian competition? Regarding the latter perspective, these questions can be amalgamated into a single enquiry: Do the 1996 elections constitute a decisive step in the direction of a new party system, or are they a step backwards, or do they simply present a static picture?
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