France: stacking the deck
Elgie, Robert (2006) France: stacking the deck. In: Gallagher, Michael and Mitchell, Paul, (eds.) The politics of electoral systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 70-87. ISBN 9780199257560
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This chapter examines the two-ballot electoral system in France. The main focus is on the system used for elections to the lower house of the French parliament, the National Assembly. These elections are contested on the basis of a specific type of two-ballot system, namely a single-member, semi-closed, majority-plurality system. At the same time, France has a rather unusual political system in which the President of the Republic is a major political actor. Therefore, this chapter also refers in passing to the system used for presidential elections. This is a variant of the above system. There are four parts to the chapter. The first part identifies the origins of the two electoral systems. The second part outlines the mechanics of the French two-ballot system. The third part discusses the political consequences of the system. The fourth part addresses the seemingly perennial issue of electoral reform. There is a brief conclusion.
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