Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comparative voting systems

Here's a pretty clear-cut demonstration of the differences between voting systems. Find out what the voting system is in each of the Nordic countries and compare it the system in the UK, Russia, and Mexico.

Why are anti-immigration parties so strong in the Nordic states?
After four years of centre-left government, Denmark has swung back to the centre-right.

On the surface, the outcome is not monumental. In 2011, the centre-left won with a majority of 0.5 points.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the centre-right won by 4.5 points…

[W]hat does make the election… historic is the rise of the rightwing Danish People’s party (DPP). It won the biggest vote share in its 20-year history and, most significantly, emerged as the largest party in the bloc of those to the right of the political spectrum.

The Danish election continues a trend that began in Norway’s 2013 election: the rise of rightwing, anti-immigration parties in Nordic countries.

Although such parties are on the up – with few exceptions – across Europe, what makes the Nordic example somewhat different is that due to more representative voting systems in these countries , the parties’ parliamentary strength is greater in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway than it is elsewhere.

In the UK, Ukip’s 12.5% vote share in May only translated into one seat due to Britain’s first-past-the-post system…

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