This book provides a concise and accessible account of the historical experience of European parliaments – why different electoral systems were adopted, how they have functioned, how they have affected the development of political parties, and in what respects they have been found over time to be either suitable or unsatisfactory. The book begins with a summary of the main electoral systems, analysing and re-assessing each in the light of historical experience. The core of the book, however, is a country-by-country account of the systems which have operated in each of the main West European countries, in the context of their own constitutional, political and social developments.
Part 1: Electoral Systems 1. The Earlier Electoral Systems 2. Party-List Systems of Proportional Representation 3. Proportionality 4. Voting for Individuals 5. The Single Transferable Vote Part 2: Belgium and The Netherlands 6. Belgium 7. The Netherlands Part 3: The Nordic Countries 8. Denmark 9. Norway 10. Sweden 11. Finland Part 4: Austria and Switzerland 12. Austria 13. Switzerland Part 5: The Great Powers on the Continent 14. Italy 15. Germany 16. France Part 6: The United Kingdom and Ireland 17. The U.K 18. The Republic of Ireland