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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

versión On-line ISSN 2183-184X


FREIRE, André. Electoral systems and political reforms: The Portuguese case in comparative perspective. e-Pública [online]. 2015, vol.2, n.1, pp.01-28. ISSN 2183-184X.

Using always a comparative perspective, the present article scrutinizes the major problems associated with political reforms, namely in choosing the more appropriate electoral system in each case. In general, the different existent electoral systems have underlying objectives that, at least according to some authors, define the system of representation that characterizes each polity. The different objectives that each electoral system tries to reach, as well as the instrumental devices used to fulfill them, are not always easy to conciliate, i.e. some trade-off is almost always necessary between different objectives and devices. Comparing the Portuguese case with other 27 European countries, we analyze such trade-offs along three dimensions: proportionality; executive stability; the quality of political representation. The underlying objective of this all endeavor is to understand which are the most need electoral reforms in Portugal, taking into account the performance of the system in a comparative perspective. Additionally, the paper also analyses a recent proposal for electoral reform in Portugal, presented to the public by two academics in the end of 2014.

Palabras clave : Electoral systems; comparative method; political reforms; Portugal; Europe.

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