Establishing the Rules of the Game: Election Laws in Democracies
Published: November 2003© 2004
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 160 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
160 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Ebook - PDF
There are an astonishing variety of election laws across contemporary democratic societies. In Establishing the Rules of the Game, Louis Massicotte, André Blais, and Antoine Yoshinaka provide the first thorough examination of these laws. The study incorporates original data collected from more than sixty democracies around the world, and touches on oft-ignored, yet extremely important, aspects of election laws. The countries covered by the study include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, and the United Kingdom. The authors focus on six dimensions of election laws: the right to vote, the right to be a candidate, the electoral register, the agency in charge of the election, the procedure for casting votes, and the procedure to sort out the winners and losers.
Massicotte, Blais, and Yoshinaka uncover underlying patterns, explaining why certain types of country tend to adopt a given sets of rules. In general, former colonies adopt the same laws as their former mother country. There is also a tendency for established democracies to be more inclusive than non-established ones. The authors point out sociological patterns and review normative and practical arguments for and against each set of rules, providing invaluable information for students of elections and democratic theory as well as election practicioners.
'This is an outstanding and highly informative study of crucial elements of election rules, especially impressive because it is so comprehensive (covering 63 democracies on all continents) and thoroughly systematic. An admirable contribution to the comparative literature on elections.'Richard S. Katz, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University