Measuring Proportionality. A Systematic Approach to World Electoral Systems in Parliamentary Elections between 1946-2000
Title: Measuring Proportionality. A Systematic Approach to World Electoral Systems in Parliamentary Elections between 1946-2000
Author: RUIZ-RUFINO, Rubén
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2008/10
This paper proposes a new way to measure proportionality using aggregated threshold functions. Electoral systems can be summarized by a single value that shows the necessary share of the total vote to win half of the seats in parliament. This value can, then, be compared with the point of perfect proportionality. I calculate aggregate threshold values for 142 different electoral systems that were used in 525 democratic elections between 1946 and 2000. These results are also contrasted with the most commonly used indices of proportionality and turn out to be both substantively and empirically richer. Aggregated threshold functions provide both students and reformers of electoral systems with a measure based purely on institutional variables that offers an exhaustive summary of the functioning of many electoral systems.
Subject: Aggregated threshold functions; perfect proportionality; number of seatwinning parties; comparative electoral systems
Type of Access: openAccess