The Dutch Electoral System on Trial
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As in several other countries, the electoral system in the Netherlands is a matter of dispute. The main purpose of this special issue is to assess to what extent the comparative study of electoral systems offers a solid body of knowledge on the possible effects of various proposals to change the electoral system. Such an assessment is not only useful for the ongoing discussion in the Netherlands but also produces a state-of-the-art of the comparative study of electoral systems. In this introduction, we first present an overview of the main characteristics and the historical background of the current Dutch electoral system. Subsequently, we discuss the critique evoked by this extremely proportional system. We then summarize the main objectives of a recent proposal of the Dutch government to change the electoral system. In the second half of this introduction, we present the outline of this special issue. Finally, we evaluate what we have learned about the relevance of the study of electoral systems for specific attempts to reform electoral systems.
Keywordselectoral reform electoral systems The Netherlands comparative research
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