Thinking Ahead to Mixed-Member Proportional Representation

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Abstract

When New Zealand's voters in 1993 approved the transformation of the nation's electoral system in 1996 from first-past-the-post to mixed-member proportional representation they brought about fundamental changes to the tactics, organization and technologies used by parties in their electoral campaigns, since parties' appeals and the techniques for conveying them reflect the constraints of the electoral law within which they occur. New Zealand's political practitioners, during the current 3-year interregnum between the old and the new system, have begun to contemplate those changes and a variety of alternative avenues for maximizing electoral gain. This essay, drawing from interviews with 18 individuals at the centre of electoral politics in New Zealand, examines the implications of the switch to mixed-member proportional representation on marginal seats, targeting, issue constituencies, mass media appeals and other aspects of electoral campaigns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-420
JournalParty Politics
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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