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Strategic effects of electoral rules: testing the impact of the 2008 electoral reform in Romania


Feșnic, Florin N.; Armeanu, Oana I.


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Abstract In 2008, Romania changed its electoral system from party list PR to single ballot mixed. A major reason behind this reform was to strengthen the ties between the candidates and their constituents, and our goal is to test whether this has happened. More specifically, we want to see whether the ideological vote inherent in a party list PR system has been replaced by a "personal" vote, i.e. by a vote based on the personal qualities of candidates, rather than their ideological affiliation. To this end, we analyze aggregate electoral returns from Romania’s 3.000 localities, and rely on the notion of "uniform partisan swing", which states that the level of regional support for a given party in an election is an excellent predictor of its level of support in the same locality or region in the next election. Our expectation was that the new electoral system will lead to a decrease in ideological voting and a larger impact of the qualities of individual candidates. We found a lower correlation between regional support for parties in the 2004 and 2008 elections, compared to the correlation between the 2000 and 2004 elections. This appears to indicate a substantial impact of the electoral reform. However, another test, the correlation between the party votes for the two Chambers of Parliament in 2008, compared to the correlation in 2004, did not confirm it. Instead, it appears that the changes in the patterns of regional and local support for various parties, quite noticeable in the last parliamentary election, are caused by dealignment, rather than electoral reform.
Thesaurusschlagwörter party system; electoral system; structural reform; election campaign; voting; Romania
Klassifikation politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2014
Seitenangabe S. 185-199
Zeitschriftentitel Studia Politica: Romanian Political Science Review, 14 (2014) 2
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerz., Keine Bearbeitung