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Survival of the Westminster System: The Unsuccessful British AV Referendum

Robert Podolnjak ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Petar Bačić ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Splitu, Split, Hrvatska


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 311 Kb

str. 853-899

preuzimanja: 613

citiraj


Sažetak

In the first part of this paper, the authors study the meaning of the first-past-the-post electoral system as the basis of the classical Westminster system in the UK. In the second part, the numerous circumstances leading to the alternative vote (AV) referendum are considered. These include: the gradual delegitimisation of the first-past-the-post system, the inclusion of a referendum initiative concerning an electoral system reform in the Labour Party programme during its time in the opposition, the fact that various electoral systems are used in the UK as a result of devolution and local government reform, the acceptance of certain decisions issued at the EU level which have turned the UK into a test laboratory for electoral systems, and the MP's expenses scandal. Finally, a relevant circumstance lies in the fact that no party has won the absolute majority in Parliament since the 2010 election, which resulted in a Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition agreement, conditioned by the clause providing for the AV referendum, stipulated by the Liberal Democrats. In the third part, the authors look at the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, the key statute of the Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition Cabinet providing for the AV referendum. The role of the referendum in the context of the new British constitution is also analysed. In the fourth part, the authors list the arguments in favour and against the first-past-the-post and the alternative vote systems put forward in the UK debate, as well as the possible reasons for the failure of the AV referendum. Considering the fact that substantial electoral system reforms are relatively rare in developed democracies, each attempt at such a reform makes for an intriguing object of study for electoral system analysts. On the basis of the manner of implementation of the electoral reform and the role played by all involved, an attempt is made at explaining the causes for success or failure of such a reform. The basic assumption of the authors is that the AV referendum was an inadequately prepared attempt at electoral reform, which has delayed any potential substantial changes to the Westminster system for a considerable period of time.

Ključne riječi

United Kingdom, Westminster system, first-past-the-post electoral system, alternative vote electoral system, referendum

Hrčak ID:

93204

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/93204

Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski njemački

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