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Title: Electoral Reform Is No Panacea: An Assessment of Japan's Electoral System after the 1994 Reform
Authors: Huang, David W. F.
Keywords: medium-sized system;additional member system;personal vote strategy;reapportionment
Date: 1996-10
Issue Date: 2016-09-21 14:40:24 (UTC+8)
Abstract: The 1994 electoral reform in Japan has been accompanied with many blessings and speculations. It has been argued that the newly adopted electoral system, which mixes a single-member district plurality system with a proportional representation system, will lead to a two-party system, issue-oriented politics, less expensive campaigns, and a less corrupt and more efficient government. The change was also expected to destroy Japan’s bureaucratic regime and factional power. However, many of the above assertions have proven to be exaggerations. While the new electoral system will reduce the number of parties, it may not lead to an alternation of power between two large parties as exemplified by the Westminster model. Rather, coalition governments are likely to be the norm. Moreover, though party cues and issues will become more important in future campaigns, “personal vote strategy” remains politicians’ only viable option. As a result, money politics and factional powers will continue to thrive. Nevertheless, the adoption of a new electoral system has created massive uncertainties for politicians, who will likely adjust some of their old practices. In this way, the 1994 electoral reform may set momentum for further transformations of Japanese politics.
Relation: Issues & Studies,32(10),108-139
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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