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Additional resources for Democracy and Institutions: The Life Work of Arend Lijphart
Both approaches seem to imply that responsiveness to elections would minimally require that the party or pre-election coalition winning the largest number of votes would be part of a government immediately after the election and continue in office until the next election. (a) The constitutional designs based on the two approaches are about equal in their probability of forming governments containing the single party winning a plurality of votes, but the proportional designs did better when we allow plurality pre-election coalitions to count as the equivalent of parties.
On this theme, see Powell 1989). 2 and the various sources referenced there, especially Doering 1994). 41t is somewhat reassuring to check my measure of Representation of Party Voters in Policy Making with the data on the reputed influence of the opposition among journalists and political scientists reported in Laver and Hunt (1992, Appendix B). Of course, the question asked by Laver and Hunt is not quite specific enough to get at the same concept; we cannot be sure whether the respondents are taking account of various structural and political factors and exactly what opposition they have in mind.
The majoritarian systems, on the other hand, were particularly hurt by instances where the plurality vote winner was deprived of a legislative plurality by vote-seat distortions of the election laws, as in Australia in 1969, Canada in 1979, New Zealand in 1978 and 1981, and the United Kingdom in February 1974; thus, the similar overall averages for the two types of systems. , Australian plurality "failures" in 1972, 1975, 1980). It is clear from examining the 28 Democracy and Institutions: The Life Work of Arend Lijphart individual countries and elections that in countries such as Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden, the pre-election coalitions played a critical role in government formation.