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France and Japan Electoral Systems

France and Japan Electoral Systems

Elections are first political instruments of democracy. Binding the government to the popular will, they aim to promote the common good and ideals of fairness, representation, and political equality. Practically, the electoral system consists of mechanisms to translate the people's preferences into a common choice for public decision makers. They facilitate significant selection of the people's representatives who in turn are induced to deliberate and make the political decision to a mutual interest. Therefore, each state in the entire world has made deliberate moves to have a country based electoral system. In France and Japan, the electoral systems compare in their similarities and as well as their differences. Electoral systems of France and Japan are similar in that, in both countries the minimum voting age is 18 years. Both constitutions demand that you have to be 18 years and above to be termed as a voter. In both systems, you have to be a registered voter for you to cast a ballot and also be a citizen of the particular states. Additionally, in both electoral systems, ballot papers are used to cast votes. However, there exist several differences between the France and the Japan electoral systems; in France electoral system, majoritarian form of election is used while in Japan three elections are executed (Lijphart et al, 1994). France electoral system is based on the idea that the winning party is elected by the majority while Japan believes in a three-way system whereby representatives are elected into the national parliament which is later divided into an upper house and a lower house the most dominant being the latter.

Electoral systems are significant for several reasons. Firstly they are professed to have an impact on the notch of consistency on the party system and also on the government efficacy. Representation of voters and government accountability are the significant tradeoffs in any electoral system. Regarding the representation side, the Electoral system aim at the direct conversion of parties’ votes into parliamentary seat shares. Highly representative parliaments such as Japanese electoral system produce highly representative governments in return. Majoritarian electoral systems with single-member districts such as the France government tend to produce a highly unrepresentative government. Regarding government accountability, the highly representative parliaments often lead to an unstable coalition while the majoritarian politics lead to stable single party states.

Magnitudes of electoral systems go beyond the primary goal of ensuring the election of parliamentary representatives. The electoral system promotes the formation of dominance parties while other systems recognize only individual candidates. Additionally, the electoral system influences the way parties’ campaign as well as changing the way the political Elites code of ethics. In doing this; the dominant parties are framed correctly to exclude parties with minimal support. Besides the electoral system design, many other electoral variables can be used to influence the development of party systems. For instance, new democracies in France providing institutional incentives for the formation of the national party rather than a regional party.

Electoral commission not only enforces creation of dominant parties but they also enhance and promote the formation of minor parties to ensure that they are also recognized by the government (Gallagher et al, 2008). For example, the proportional representation of the Japanese electoral system facilitates the formation of several political parties’ aims at enhancing leadership differences within a society, strengthening the ideology as well as emphasizing on the reflective policy of the community. Formation of minority parties heightens their access to parliamentary representation. Contrary to being proportionally represented, the formation of opposition parties may give rise to the worst that will in return lead to a destabilizing of the political system in general. For instance in Japan, the need for coalition governments forces parties to cooperate with small parties to form a majority party (Shughart et al,2003). This kind of electoral systems also offers an opening to extremist parties because all extremist parties get a disproportionally large amount of power when more major parties need their support to form a government.

In conclusion both the France and Japan electoral systems have supported equity and governability regarding proportionality and government accountability. Both systems have ensured equal shares of parliamentary seats by both the minority and the dominant parties. With equality in proportionality, the governability of both states tends to strengthen. Effective governance results to a stable coalition and a stable government. Thus, electoral systems should be encouraged and supported as it enhances equality and fairness in power devolution. Finally, real leadership begins with the electro system, if there is in any way faulted, then you can be sure of a broken state.


Lijphart, and Don Aitkin (1994). Electoral Systems And Party Systems. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Michael & Paul Mitchell (2008). The Politics of Electoral Systems. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Matthew Soberg & Martin P (2003) . Mixed-Member Electoral Systems. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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