Making Votes Count is the title of a book by Gary Cox, a leading expert on electoral systems. Here I shall try to simplify his mathematically oriented research by paraphrasing and reorganizing statements scattered throughout his study of 77 countries listed by Freedom House as having democratic elections (circa 1992).
Although Professor Cox does not put it this way, a country’s electoral system can be decisive for its character, for it may determine Who shall rule and for what Ends or purposes. Which means that the caliber of politicians and the goals and policies they pursue depend very much on the method by which they are elected. The method of election determines the relationship between citizens and office-holders, hence the extent to which a country approximates a representative democracy. As will be seen in a moment, an ostensibly democratic electoral system can enable the ruling political party or parties to ignore the concerns of most citizens between elections and thereby make a mockery of democracy. » Continue reading “Making Votes Count – They Don't in Israel”