[EM] STV district magnitude

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sun Jul 20 05:25:10 PDT 2003

Matt wrote:
> Your welcome.  A search for "Knesset election" finds 
> http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0n0r0 which shows the 
> percentage of votes for each winning party in the most recent 
> elections.  Note that the smallest party, United Arab List, 
> got 2.1%.  I 
> have never heard of any party getting a seat with less than 
> 1.5% and cannot 
> fathom how that could happen since it is illegal.  Maybe your 
> source could  show me wrong?

I would doubt that.  More likely the law has been changed and I didn't
check for an update.

My source of this (and much more) was Enid Lakeman's "How Democracies
Vote", 1974 edition  In the description of the Israeli closed list
system she makes no mention of any threshold, whereas she does mention
the artificial threshold for example in Germany.  In the Appendix of
election results, the table for the Knesset election of 1965 shows the
Jewish Communist Party getting one seat with 1.1% of the votes and the
New Force Party getting one seat with 1.2% of the votes.

Interestingly, the results for the 1949 Constituent Assembly election
shows that there was only one Communist Party (it got 4 seats for 3.5%
of the votes).  By 1965 that party had split into two separate Communist
parties, the Jewish Communist Party and the larger Arab Communist Party.


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