[EM] Stable PR governments

Herman Beun chbeun at worldonline.nl
Mon Aug 23 05:07:00 PDT 1999

Markus Schulze wrote:

> The Swedish Method guarantees that the possibility to dissolve
> the parliament cannot be misused to "corriger la fortune."

Therefore, probably, the Swedish parliament (Riksdagen) has never in 
history been dissolved before the end of its regular mandate period. 
Coalitions just postpone difficult decisions and stumble on until the 
end, sometimes with minority support because one party leaves the 
coalition, rather than investing in costly extraordinary elections 
(extra val) for a mandate that is going to last only 1 or 2 years.

So in practice, the Swedish method seems to work out the same way as 
the Norwegian one (where extraordinary elections are not possible). 

I do not think either of these methods is better or worse than the 
Dutch situation (where the government falls when it loses its 
majority in parliament and new elections are held for a normal 
parliamentary term). My main problem with each of this methods is 
that elections are just not the appropriate means for asking the 
electorate's opinion on one specific subject (namely, the particular 
issue that was the cause of the split in government ranks). Better 
might be a combination of the Dutch or Swedish method (as a way out 
for general cooperation problems or distrust within the coalition) 
with a referendum (as a way out when only one particular issue splits 
the coalition ranks).


Herman Beun              Arnhem, Gelderland, Nederland, EU 
CHBeun at worldonline.nl     http://www.euronet.nl/~in000622/
Opschudding in D66: http://welcome.to/opschudding
Representative democracy is a contradiction in 4 year terms

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