Survey of the Selected Aspects of the Reform of the Electoral System

No.3(2000)

Abstract
The radical reform of the electoral system to the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic provoked a great discussion. The reform, prepared by the two most powerful political parties - ODS /the Civic Democratic Party/ and ČSSD /Czech social democratic party/, aims to strengthen the majority effect of the electoral system. As a result, the set up of stable and majority governments should be easier. This study makes readers familiar with the fundamental points of the reform and tries to analyse its possible consequences. In details, it focuses on the possible impacts on the party system. In depth, it studies the result of combining small constituencies, the so-called “modified d’Hondt formula” (the product of this electoral reform) and a non-standard closing clause. Model calculations of the elections 1992, 1996 and 1998 were one of its main empirical sources. By means of different variations of model calculations, it attempts to indicate some possible trends of changes inside the party system. After the application of this particular electoral system, changes could be very essential. This study aims to present a detailed description of the main points of the new electoral system but also to supplement the basis for the discussion about the accord between this new electoral system and the Constitution. We can find the inconsistency with the constitutional text especially in the question whether the elections with the use of the new electoral system would take place according to the principles of proportional representation. At the present, this problem is being discussed by the Constitutional Court (August, September 2000).

Keywords:
Reform; electoral system; Czech republic; parliament; chamber of deputies; d’Hondt formula
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