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Electoral Systems in Divided Societies

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781922144508 Year: DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459888 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2014-03-03 22:50:10
License: ANU Press

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Elections can increase tension in ethnically divided societies, like Fiji. The way constituencies are drawn and votes counted can also affect the result. First-past-the post can deliver lopsided results, while proportional representation may give excessive influence to small, fringe parties. Fiji’s Constitution Review Commission believed a system of alternative voting in ethnically mixed constituencies would encourage politicians, and parties, to take into account the interests of other ethnic groups. This book assesses their recommendations, looks at alternatives, and considers how they might work in Fiji.

Keywords

politics --- elections --- fiji

Fiji before the storm: Elections and the politics of development

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ISBN: 9781922144621 Year: DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459864 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2014-03-03 22:50:27
License: ANU Press

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A racially-weighted Constitution, promulgated by decree in 1990, divided the country and invited international condemnation, and the economy suffered from the collapse of institutions of good governance. In 1995, an independent Constitution Review Commision appointed by the Fijian parliament, recommended wide-ranging changes to the Constitution. Its report formed the basis of a new Constitution promulgated, after wide-ranging consultation and debate, in 1997. Two years later, Fiji held a general election under it. This collection of essays looks at the politics and dynamics of that momentous event, and the role of key individuals and institutions in producing an outcome that, a year later, plunged Fiji into its first major crisis of the twenty-first century. The essays look at some of the key political and development issues on the eve of the crisis, but the relevance to the current debates about the nature and meaning of politics in Fiji remains. All the contributors are recognised and longstanding specialists in their fields.

Keywords

political history --- elections --- fiji

Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea

Authors: --- --- ---
ISBN: 9781922144294 Year: DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459994 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2014-01-13 12:33:55
License: ANU Press

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Papua New Guinea’s general election in 2007 attracted particular interest for several reasons. Not only did it follow what was widely acknowledged as the country’s worst election ever, in 2002 (in which elections in six of the country’s 109 electorates were declared to be ‘failed elections’), it was the first general election to be held under a new limited preferential voting system. It also followed the first full parliamentary term under the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, which had been introduced in 2001 in an attempt to strengthen political parties and create a greater degree of stability in the national parliament, and was the first to embrace a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to electoral administration, through an Interdepartmental Electoral Committee. This volume provides an analysis of the 2007 election, drawing on the work of a domestic monitoring team organized through the National Research Institute, and several visiting scholars. It addresses key issues such as voter education, electoral administration, election security, the role of political parties, women as candidates and voters, the shift to limited preferential voting, and HIV transmission, and provides detailed accounts of the election in a number of open and provincial electorates. It is generally agreed that the election of 2007 was an improvement on that of 2002. But problems of electoral administration and voting behaviour remain. These are identified in this volume, and recommendations made for electoral reform.

A Bark But No Bite

Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 9781760461355 Year: Pages: 382 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science --- Public Health
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-10 11:01:50
License: ANU Press

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Based on New Zealand Election Study (NZES) data from a sample of 2,830 eligible voters, A Bark But No Bite explores a puzzle. While there was a lot of talk about inequality before the 2014 general election in New Zealand, and during the campaign, concern about inequality appeared to have no tangible effect on the election outcome. This book shows that, by its attention to the concerns of middle ground voters, the National Government had reduced the potential of policy differences to drive voter choices. Perceptions of competence and effective leadership were National’s strongest suit, crowding out voter concerns over matters of policy. When voters did consider policy, inequality and related concerns were second to the economy. Traditional priorities about health and education, and perceptions of party differences on these matters, had faded into the background. Meanwhile, voters doubted the opposition Labour Party’s ability to govern effectively in an alternative coalition to that of the National-led government. Labour’s policies were too many. In various ways, they would have chipped away at inequality, but lacked a coherent narrative and presentation. This book confirms that Labour’s proposal to increase the age for receipt of New Zealand superannuation gained Labour no new votes. Hopes that the ‘missing million’ people who failed to turn out to vote in 2011 would vote in 2014 and give an advantage to the left were unfulfilled. A comprehensive study of the 2014 election, this book provides a detailed account of all these findings, and a host of others.

Keywords

governance --- politics --- new zealand --- elections

Directions in Australian Electoral Reform: Professionalism and Partisanship in Electoral Management

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ISBN: 9781921862885 Year: Pages: 191 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459075 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:25
License: ANU Press

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Australia has a proud history of being an international leader in electoral administration, and Australian electoral commissions continue to have a professional, non-partisan approach to the management of elections. Yet their independence is constrained by the electoral laws they need to administer, and parliamentary committees charged with the oversight of the conduct of elections do so with a clear partisan bias. Elections are all about winners, but who decides who the winners will be? Voters definitely have a big say, but it is the electoral system that determines how votes translate into seats in parliament. Any changes to the electoral system require the support of those in power, and it is important to question who benefits from electoral reforms. It is not surprising that partisanship plays a role and that governing parties usually benefit, although that is not always the case.

This book assesses Australian electoral reforms of the past 30 years using personal interview data and parliamentary debates, to provide a picture of the reform process as well as the outcomes. These issues, such as who gets to vote, the use of postal voting, party registration and vote weighting, have a profound impact on who wins elections. The book also examines Australia’s electoral administration, testing for professionalism, independence and integrity.

From Election to Coup The 2006 Campaign and its Aftermath

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781921313363 Year: Pages: 483 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459242 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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In May 2006 Fiji held its tenth general election since independence in 1970. In a country with an unenviable history of electoral trauma, the mood was apprehensive if not tense – not least because of controversial public statements against the incumbent Qarase government being made by the commander of Fiji’s military forces. Despite a record number of parties and candidates, the winners were the two big parties – the heavily church-backed SDL, the party of choice of the majority of indigenous Fijians; and the Fiji Labour Party, the party preferred by most Indo-Fijians.

Although the result was ethnically polarised, for the first time in Fijian history the successful candidates came together to share power in a constitutionally ordained multiparty cabinet, with Laisenia Qarase retaining the prime ministership. But the fragile collaboration was short-lived. On 5 December 2006, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama ordered a military takeover, declaring himself ‘President’, ousting the elected government and replacing it with an ‘interim’ government of his choice, and once again throwing Fiji into political turmoil.

With contributions from ex-Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, ousted Prime Minister Laesenia Qarase, leader of the Fiji Labour Party and now interim Minister for Finance Mahendra Chaudhry, and an impressive array of leading commentators on Fijian affairs, this book provides a comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the lead-up to, the outcome and the aftermath of Fiji’s historic 2006 election. Shedding light on the complex weave of traditional chiefly systems, race relations, economics, constitutionality, the military ethos and religion, From Election to Coup in Fiji is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Fiji, the South Pacific and the politics of divided societies.

Julia 2010: The caretaker election

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781921862649 Year: Pages: 370 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459304 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:25
License: ANU Press

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This book provides a comprehensive coverage of one of Australia’s most historic elections, which produced a hung parliament and a carefully crafted minority government that remains a heartbeat away from collapse, as well as Australia’s first elected woman Prime Minister and the Australian Greens’ first lower house Member of Parliament. The volume considers the key contextual and possibly determining factors, such as: the role of leadership and ideology in the campaign; the importance of state and regional factors (was there evidence of the two or three speed economy at work?); and the role of policy areas and issues, including the environment, immigration, religion, gender and industrial relations. Contributors utilise a wide range of sources and approaches to provide comprehensive insights into the campaign. This volume notably includes the perspectives of the major political groupings, the ALP, the Coalition and the Greens; and the data from the Australian Election Survey. Finally we conclude with a detailed analysis of those 17 days that it took to construct a minority party government.

Chapter 6. Partners into Competitors (Book chapter)

Book title: Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States

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ISBN: 9781474221559 Year: Pages: 103-118 DOI: 10.5040/9781474221559.ch-007 Language: English
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic Grant: H2020 European Research Council - 230239
Subject: Political Science --- Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-30 11:02:19
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The clash between civic and ethnic solidarity as well as diverse understanding of whom should be loyal to whom and who belong together turned decisive at the moment when the multi-party majority democracy was introduced in the Yugoslav republics. Democratic participation and political belonging clashed in Yugoslavia at the junction of Yugoslav citizenship, republican citizenship and ethnic membership. Yugoslavia’s initial democratization eventually exacerbated inter-republic and inter-ethnic conflicts which had been meticulously nurtured and controlled by those nationalist elites who were attempting to, by multi-party elections, accede to power or stay in power. In this context, messages sent from the West underscoring the importance of state consolidation for successful democratization did not pressure regional actors to redefine or reform their ethnically heterogeneous states towards greater pluralism. They reinforced the idea that a truly functional state could only be an ethnically homogenized nation-state. In multinational socialist federations, it ended up promoting ethnically based political communities in opposition to the existing civic-legal political communities at the republican level as basis for democracy. This chapter argues that this ethnocentric vision of citizenship immediately challenged the existing social realities and institutional settings, put in question the borders between the republics, and opened the doors for violence and war. In his book States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control, Jeffrey Herbst describes the conflicts between the Zulu and early Dutch settlers over their opposing conceptions of sovereignty over territory and people. The Zulu believed that their political authority extended wherever people had pledged obedience to their king regardless of the territory where they happened to be. Also, ‘the Zulu believed that they could let the whites settle on land without giving up ownership’, whereas for the European whites, occupation over a certain territory also meant the ownership of that territory and control of the people that happened to be there (2000: 40–41). Extrapolated from its colonial context in which the Dutch colonizers wanted to absolutely dominate the colonized and take their land, the story could be interpreted as a clash between the conception of a political community based on ethnic, cultural, hereditary or maybe also declaratory loyalty and solidarity, regardless of existing political boundaries and polities in which the members of this community live, and a political community based on loyalty to the authorities governing a territory where one lives and, ideally, on solidarity with all those who happen to be on that territory under the same authorities. Modern states in reality often combine these two principles in a particular way: they often claim that their citizens or their ethnic kin abroad are bound to their polity and thus expect a loyalty and sometimes exercise an influence on diaspora members (who, in turn, are often interested in meddling in political affairs of the ‘old country’), but, internally, they always insist on undivided loyalty of the population they govern. Even further from its original South African situation, the clash between what we can generally call civic and ethnic solidarity, as well as different understandings of whom should be loyal to whom and who belonged together, turned crucial during the last years of Yugoslavia and decisive at the moment when the multi-party majority democracy was introduced in its republics.

From the Renaissance to the Modern World

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ISBN: 9783906980362 9783906980355 Year: Pages: VIII, 128 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-906980-35-5 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Added to DOAB on : 2014-07-01 11:06:23
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On November 11 and 12, 2011, a symposium held at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill honored John M. Headley, Emeritus Professor of History. The organizers, Professor MelissaBullard—Headley’s colleague in the department of history at that university—along with ProfessorsPaul Grendler (University of Toronto) and James Weiss (Boston College), as well as Nancy GraySchoonmaker, coordinator of the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies—assembled presenters, respondents, and dozens of other participants from Western Europe and North America to celebrate the career of their prolific, versatile, and influential colleague whose publications challenged and often changed the ways scholars think about Martin Luther, Thomas More, the Habsburg empire,early modern Catholicism, globalization, and multiculturalism.This special issue contains the major papers delivered at the symposium, revised to take account of colleagues’ suggestions at the conference and thereafter. John O’Malley studies the censorship ofsacred art with special reference to Michelangelo’s famed “Last Judgment” and the Council of Trent.John Martin sifts Montaigne’s skepticism about contemporaneous strategies for self-disclosure andself-discipline. Stressing the significance of grammar, Constantin Fasolt helps us recapture theRenaissance’s and the early modern religious reformations’ disagreements with antiquity. RonaldWitt’s reappraisal of humanist historiography probes Petrarch’s perspectives on ancient Rome. JohnMcManamon includes tales of theft and market manipulation in his study of the early moderncollection and circulation of books and manuscripts, the commodification of study. To “nuance” John Headley’s conclusions about “the Europeanization of the world,” Jerry Bentley repossesses the influence of other than European societies on several European theorists of human rights. Kate Lowe’s remarks on the reconstruction of race in the Renaissance explores the effects of a critical mistranslation on what being black was taken to mean by Europeans. David Gilmartin introduces readers to the shape of democracy in nineteenth- and twentieth-century India, as well as to the understandings of popular sovereignty that affected elections, suggesting strides that scholars might take “toward a worldwide history of voting”.The remarkable range of these contributions comes close to reflecting the range of ProfessorHeadley’s interests and achievements, which James M. Weiss maps in his tribute, identifying“unifying themes” in Headley’s work.

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