Electoral reform has always been a hot issue in France. In fact, since the Third Republic, France has frequently changed her electoral system in the last hundred years. The Fifth Republic is no exception, with two recent changes. In 1985, the French favorite, the single-member constituency system with two-ballot majority representation was replaced by the proportional representation (PR) within each department, at the initiative of socialist government. But this PR system was used only once in the 1986 election, because the winner, the conservatives immediately changed it. Then the single-member constituency system was restored. In Japan, there has been a marked increase in interest in the issue of electoral reform in recent years. This article tries to provide some data for a discussion on this subject by analyzing the process as well as the logic and content of the electoral reforms in the Fifth Republic of France.
In a nation where its electoral system and party politics have been stable for a long time, change in voting action can be seen as an index for change in the voter's support for political parties. But in a country like Korea, where its electoral system and party politics are still in flux, the result of an election tend to indicate not only the competition among political parties but also a change in the power structure as well as the voters' reaction toward political reform. Korea's 14th National Assembly election in March 1992 was not simply the usual process of selecting the nation's diet members. The election was practically a plebiscite for Koreans to evaluate the unification by the leading party and the two oppositions in 1990. The ruling DLP was massively defeated in the election of the 14th National Assembly in which approximately 28.43 million people voted, posting a voting rate of 71.9%. The DLP failed to maintain the majority of the parliamentary seats it had achieved to acquire through the unification of three parties in 1990. The result was the reemergence of a small ruling party and a large opposition force, the pattern formed after the last general election in April, 1988. In contrast to the existing political parties which performed poorly in the election, a newly formed United People's Party and independent candidates showed a significant progress. The large amount of votes that rejected the existing parties represent the voter's new move demanding political reform through election. The nation's regionalism, caused mainly by the political, social and economic imbalances that exist among the different regions of the nation, has been the roots of the diversification of the voters' support for political parties. The voting action of the Korean electors have, for the past 10 years, indicated the diversification of the parties they support, or the trend for multiparty system. The voters' diversified support for political parties reflect a change in the quality of the peoples' voting action. The change coincides with the change in Korea's social structure that resulted from the nation's economic development. The unification of the three parties in 1990 was, therefore, an action adversary to the social and economic trend in a sense that it ignored the change in the Korean people's voting action. The three leaders of the parties involved in the unification performed poorly in each of their home constituencies, or their strongest basis for support. The leaders' retreat means that the voters did not endorse the parties' decision. The progress of the United People's Party proved that the floating votes created by the voter's protest toward an arbitrary political reform tend to concentrate on the new party, helped by the voters' expectation for the establishment of a new political influence. Therefore, it can be evaluated, the analysis in this report indicates, that an election in Korea functions as a Kind of “check system” for the Korean voters to reject the political reform which is actually an arbitrary manipulation of the political front. The diversification of voters' support for political parties is a reflection of regionalism and the social economic class system. This fact should be respected as the peoples' various demand for the nation's new political activity. Thus, it can be understood, that the Korean politics now has two goals to achieve: diversification of power structure and stabilization of the political situation. Each political party need to establish, along with competition, a basis for cooneration so as to create a stable political system.
The main purpose of this study is to examine how the several dimensions of values and life-styles affect political behavior. Especially in Japan, the voting rate of the election of the House of Councilors was rather low in the 1992 election. And in urban areas, it is important to make clear the relations between life-styles and political attitudes. In this study, 322 subjects living in Tokyo were used, and the survey research was enforced during the campaign period of the election of the House of Councilors in 1992. Five dimensions of values and life-styles were extracted by factor analyses. They are individualism, success intention, flexibility, opinionleader, and social consciousness. Factor scores of the five dimensions were used as independent variables. Other independent variables include political interests, evaluation toward the administration, attitude toward some issues, the intention of voting. Dependent variables were party identification and political stance. Each was analyzed by Quantification Method, Type 2. The major findings are: (1) the relations between party identification and political stance is strong, but the meaning of political stance itself is thought to be closely tied to the aspects of life-styles, (2) some dimensions of values and life-styles strongly affect party identification.
In the UK the last general election was held on April 9th, 1992. Most opinion polls before the election indicated the Labour would have a greater chance of winning. Pollsters expected an overall Labour victory or a hung parliament (an evenly divided parliament). In spite of their expectations, the Conservatives won an overall majority and there was not even a hung parliament. The percentage of Conservative votes slightly decreased, but the number of votes increased. The Conservatives lost 40 seats making a total of 336 seats. The percentage of Labour votes increased by 3.6 point to 34.4%, and the Labour gained 271 seats. The LDP lost 2 seats and now hold 20 seats. The 1992 election saw a modest reversal of the North-South divide. Conservative support rose in Scotland and in Northern England, while falling back slightly in the rest of the country. Labour did particularly well in London and the Midlands, While it suffered significant losses in Scotland. The SNP gained much more votes than in the '87 election. Scottish voters were thought to be polarized ovre the problem of Scottish Independence. This paper re-examines the findings of the MORI survey taken from small subgroups of the electorate. The Labour recorded a decrease in its share of vote among council tenants and the unemployed despite an increase among the rest of the sub-groups. The party seems to have drawn votes mainly from the LDP, not from the Conservatives. This paper argues that the images of party leaders had a great impact on the 1992 general election results. The Conservatives won in large part because they replaced Mrs. Thatcher with John Major. In the last stage of her government, the level of public approval of her as Prime Minister was very low, and at that point, support for the Labour Party outstripped that for the Conservative Party by a considerable margin. But in November 1990, when John Major was elected as the leader of the Conservatives, the rate of support for the Conservatives went up. As Major's leadership style was very open and consultative, he seemed to many voters to be responsive to their wishes. His humble backgrounds also worked to his advantage. Many voters regarded him as one of their immediate circle, not as a man from a different world, while they admitted that he had proved himself during his service as a Secretary in the Thatcher Government. Major benefited from the fact that he was exposed to a number of global political events, which proved his ability to make tough decisions under pressure as a national leader and added to his prestige as an international statesman. By contrast, Kinnock was less popular. He was not trusted so much as a potential Prime Minister. In the Gallup polls between December 90 and April 92, his rival, Major, constantly led him with a margin of 10-20% when respondents were asked, “Who would make the best Prime Minister?” Even within the Labour Party, he was less popular than John Smith. Traditionally, there is a tendency to dislike a coalition government in Britain. This was advantageous to the Conservatives. If the LDP had gained more seats, the possibility of a coalition would have increased. So the voters who disliked a coalition government had to choose between the Conservatives and the Labour. Most of Conservative supporters who were not completely satisfied with the Conservatives distrusted the Labour as well. In the end, they could not help voting for the Conservatives. The Labour ended up winning fewer votes than expected despite many factors favorable to the Labour. The distrust of Labour came from the British view of the nature of parties. In Britain, parties are seen as presenting competing philosophies or ideologies. This view portrays the public as being invited to choose between programs informed by insights into the real needs and hopes of the public. In Britain, reliable parties should not change their policies lightly, regardless of popular opinions,
Since its formation in 1955, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has maintained one-party dominance for more than three decades. Unless any split of party or the reform of Japanese electoral system occurs, it is generally believed that the LDP will remain as the ruling party. Undoubtedly, LDP's dominance is one of the most significant topics in contemporary Japanese political study. This research is intended to enlarge the dimension of our study by speculation upon the relationship between the LDP's subsidy-distribution policy and election strategy. The one and only purpose of subsidy-distribution policy is the re-election of the government party. However, when we study subsidy-distribution policy, we must be aware of two theoretical problems. One is the analytical asymmetry of ruling party's policy intention and voters' voting behavior. Simply put, the former is supposed to be clear and rational while the latter is by nature individualistic and diverse. Accordingly, we can generalize policy intention into an analytical pattern and hence predict a government party's strategy for re-election. On the other hand, it is not easy to examine the effectiveness of a ruling party's distribution policy from voters' behavior. It is influenced by various factors so that a comprehensive generalization of voting pattern would be extremely complex. Since we cannot single out the influence of distribution policy against many others, the evaluation of its effectiveness may be erroneous and fruitless. The second problem relates to our assumptions towards a ruling party's behavior. As we assume a government party has the intention to utilize distribution policy for the sake of re-election, it is not realistic for us to postulate that the party will use money without any strategic consideration behind. On the contrary, since the resources (i. e. financial budget) that the ruling party can procure are limited, an economically rational party has to distribute its budget into a strategic and optimal way so as to maximize the utility, or the possibility to be re-elected. We can consider this as an economic rationale in studying government party behavior. Based on this rationale, we can not only examine simply a public policy but work out also ruling party's re-election strategy run by subsidy-distribution politics. In this research, we establish an SVD approach to explain ruling party's behavior. Through which we are trying to formulate a theoretical model to illustrate how the LDP allocates its financial budget to local prefectures in a strategic and optimal way. The SVD model states the association between two empirical variables: S, standing for subsidies and VD, vote difference. The method of study is twofold. First, we deduce a ruling party's behavioral pattern under the foregoing principle of economic rationality. And second, we test this deduced empirical model from the LDP's actual performance of distribution policy in the past several decades. We consider government subsidies to local prefectures as a media or means of resource-distribution policy. Because of its highly politicized and discretionary nature, we classify ‘common construction expense’ in government expenditure as a suitable object of analysis. Our results show that the post-war Japanese subsidy-distribution can be divided into three periods: 1) formative period, 2) growth period and 3) reformative period. Furthermore, we find that the ruling party is likely to allocate more resources to those prefectures with higher strategic values.
As Maurice Duverger pointed out, proportional representation tends to lead to the formation of many independent parties. Traditionally, analysis of the consequences of electoral systems and party systems has focused upon two central topics: the influence of the electoral system upon the number of effective parties, and its effects upon the political stability of a country. Political stability in this context means ‘cabinet durability.’ In Western Europe, many countries have been governed by coalition governments. And they have experienced stable government. In Japan, however, there are many misconceptions about coalition government, namely that coalition government is unstable. It is not the case in European politics. Consequently, this paper aims at discussing the relations in terms of the ‘durability of coalition government and party systems.’ Michael Laver and Norman Shofield analyzed government duration and the effective number of parties, by country, from 1945 to 1987. In their comparative study of coalition governments, coalition stability varies very considerably from regime to regime. It seems that cabinet duration is more likely to rise than to fall when the size of the party system increases. While the size of the party systems in Finland, Luxenburg, and Iceland went up between the periods from 1945-71 and from 1971-87, cabinet stability also rose. Only in the interesting cases of Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark we see clear evidence of the Japanese misunderstanding about the relation between cabinet stability and the size of the party system. Nevertheless, in terms of the study of ‘coalition government, ’ there is at present, no systematically arranged condition. What relationship do party systems have to government stability? As the coalition is formed and is stabilized, what type of cabinet emerges, and in what country can we see that type? What are the relationship between social cleavages, left-right ideology and coalition government? Social cleavages and left-right ideology often determine party systems. In real world politics, what type of coalition is most frequently formed, and how long does it remain stable? It seems that by synthesizing various theories, it will become possible to understand the answers to these questions. Turning our attention to the Japanese case, it seems that the past research has concentrated on the formation of coalition government rather than on its stability. In that sense, it is necessary now to discuss coalition theories in terms of cabinet stability. We try to answer the question as to why some cabinets last longer than others, any why cabinets in some countries tend to last longer than those in other countries. In general, one-party cabinets are said to be more durable than coalition cabinets, minimal winning cabinets are said to be more durable than oversized ones. and cabinets in systems with two or relatively few parties are said to be more durable than cabinets in multiparty systems. Thus, we have briefly viewed the stability of coalition government and party systems. However, we must consider further the problem of public policy. If the stability of coalition relates to the stability of party system, it is necessary to maintain a coalition government by havig it correspond to people's demands and absorb people's support. Effective public policy is a useful means for achieving this end. What policy will be offered? When? And what combination will be formed? Given this potential importance of public policy, it seems that we must pay attention to the relationship between individual political parties and public policies.
This paper traces the campain in the first general election of the House of Representatives in the 3rd district of Hyogo Prefecture (Taki and Hikami Districts) in the 23rd year of Meiji Period (1890). In the 3rd district, Hatsu Hoki (the Liberal Party), Zentaro Yamakawa (the Liberal Party), Teikichi Den (a minor party), Tasuke Sonoda (a conservative party) and Sabuso Iida (the Progressive Party) carried out an election campaign. Even in such a minor electoral district, the origins of today's election campaign can be seen: coordinated maneuvering by candidates, campain strategies set through the effective combination of finances, names and constituencies, the establishment of a total vote estimating system, the undermining of the unity of supporters, the organization of the electorate, etc. In addition, as it was also seen that such party leaders as Taisuke Itagaki, Genichiro Fukuchi and Koyata Torio made a canvassing tour, the 3rd district provides an interesting case as an epitome of the nationwide contention among parties. We attempt to demonstrate how the campaign was held in the district chiefly by tracing the campaign of successful candidate Hoki. The “Hoki family record” and “Fukuzumi police substation record” are the major data sources used for this analysis.
This paper surveys regulations over opinion polls on election results in 56 countries, on the basis of the 1985 European Council report. They are recategorized by the levels of current restrictions. First, the paper compares how electoral poll regulations are enforced in France, Belgium, Spain and other countries. From this, electoral poll regulations are characterized by the following points; (A) obligatory annexation of several standards about the poll (e. g. number of sample, survey method, margin of error etc.) with the published poll results, (B) establishment of a “Opinion Poll Committee” in order to manage and control electoral polls, (C) prohibition of publication of election poll results before voting day. Of those three points, most electoral laws place greater emphasis on point (A). Next, some countries' congressional proceedings and newspapers are summarized to show legislative discussions. In parliamentary debates, there were four features; (A) debates beginning with some political accidents (e. g. misprediction of newspapers, landslide victory of one party in the last election etc.), (B) proposition from Congressional members, and their speculation on effects of polls on election results without proof, (C) uneven periods of prohibition. And descriptions of reasons for or against publication ban were also added.