A novel initiative in France and Switzerland

Editor’s note: The following is a partial paraphrase in English of an article* which appeared in French in Le Monde on December 19. The citizen’s ballot or referendum initiative (référendum d’initiative citoyenne, or RIC) has become one of the principal revindications of the yellow vest (gilet jaune) movement in France. A well known feature in … More A novel initiative in France and Switzerland

Elections in Sweden

Herewith an excerpt of a recent post on the blog of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Date: 9 September 2018 Election type: Parliamentary Background Unicameral parliament in parliamentary constitutional monarchy: Riksdag (national legislature) composed of 349 representatives, supreme decision-making body in Sweden. Elections held every 4 years with a proportional system; parties must … More Elections in Sweden

Draft constitutions in comparative perspective

Excerpts below from an article by Zachary Elkins on Medium. The Joy of Politics posted a note on Constitute in June 2017. One nagging challenge in Constitutional design is how to involve citizens in the drafting process in a meaningful way. One traditional role for citizens is to review and approve the proposed text by … More Draft constitutions in comparative perspective

Design digest: federal elections in Germany

You might think that simplicity would be at a premium in national elections. The architects of the German electoral system thought otherwise. Germans will vote for members of the federal legislature (the Bundestag) in the autumn of 2017, not once, but twice, simultaneously! The electoral system is a complex hybrid, and we will not know … More Design digest: federal elections in Germany

Design digest: democracy in New Zealand

According to the annual Democracy Index, compiled and published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, New Zealand has been ranked fourth worldwide, after three Scandinavian countries (Norway, Iceland and Sweden). The Democracy Index collects data in five categories: electoral process; civil liberties; government function; political participation; and political culture. Accordingly, a country can be said to … More Design digest: democracy in New Zealand

Design digest: state elections in Mexico

An analysis in last week’s The Economist casts light on coming “state” elections in Mexico, and illustrates two themes discussed in The Joy of Politics. To whit. Mexico is a federal state, the units of which are called “states,” or, in Spanish, estados. Elections take place at varying intervals at both the national, or federal, … More Design digest: state elections in Mexico