Voting under Different Rules/Governing under Different Rules Cover Image

Voting under Different Rules/Governing under Different Rules
Voting under Different Rules/Governing under Different Rules

The Politics of Electoral Reforms in the Czech Republic

Author(s): Tomáš Lebeda
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Univerzita Karlova, Fakulta sociálních věd, Katedra politologie Institutu politologických studií
Keywords: Elections; Electoral system; Electoral reform; Czech Republic

Summary/Abstract: The average cabinet durability in the Czech Republic stretches to about 21 months. The poor stability and efficiency of these governments has been traditionally attributed to the proportion-based electoral system. This was the single biggest source of argumentation in favour of an electoral reform. Three electoral reforms have been written into law since 1993. They are the focus of this article. One of the reform bids was defeated in parliament (2009); the core parts of another were cancelled by the Constitutional Court, although the reform itself had been previously passed (2000); and the third reform was embraced and led to a change of election rules (2002) and is still applicable today. The main objective of this article is to map the development of electoral reform policy in the Czech Republic. The text will present the details of a planned electoral reform, including the motivation they were based upon. We shall also examine if, and to what extent, an election reform is truly a lasting solution for chronically weak Czech governments. Many political scientists and political leaders still say that election reform is necessary. However, the roots of government crises show that disputes between partners frequently are not the reason. More often, internal tensions in the parties alone are to blame. Parties are not internally cohesive and are weaker for that. Therefore, it would be wrong to assume that a change of electoral system can pre-empt any type of government crisis.

  • Issue Year: 8/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 75-101
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: English