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Most of Europe doesn't have a first past the post electoral system. Or a district-based system at all. This changes pretty much everything, in terms of political calculation.

There is always a risk of a 'breakthrough'. An equivalent of Ross Perot anno MCMXCII would earn 20% of the parliamentary representation in most of Europe. And hang on to it for up to four years. This is sort of what happened with Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands in 2002. Keeps politicians on their toes.

(Except Fortuyn was murdered and his party subsequently ousted after barely a year. But had he lived he might have hung on to those seats).

A system of proportional representation makes open primaries largely redundant, and maybe even dangerous.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 08:17:11 PM EST
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