Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type: Thesis
Title: Proportional Representation in Theory and Practice: The Australian Experience
Author: Evans, Glynn Williams
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Politics and International Studies
Abstract: While all houses of Australian parliaments using proportional representation use the Single Transferable Vote arrangement, district magnitudes (the numbers of members elected per division) and requirements for casting a formal vote vary considerably. Early chapters of this thesis analyse election results in search for distinct patterns of proportionality, the numbers of effective parties and partisan advantage under different conditions. This thesis argues that while district magnitude remains the decisive factor in determining proportionality (the higher the magnitude, the more proportional the system), ballot paper numbering requirements play a more important role in determining the number of (especially) parliamentary parties. The general pattern is that, somewhat paradoxically, the more freedom voters have to choose their own preference allocations, or lack of them, the smaller the number of parliamentary parties. Even numbered magnitudes in general, and six member divisions in particular, provide some advantage to the Liberal and National Parties, while the Greens are disadvantaged in five member divisions as compared to six or seven member divisions. The latter number appears to be the lowest at which no major party group has a particular advantage over the others. Later chapters of the thesis examine rates of independent and female representation in PR-elected houses in comparison to the corresponding house in the same jurisdiction elected via a majoritarian system. It is argued that, contrary to the arguments of some observers; independent candidates have a better success record in single-member houses. Women tend to succeed more in PR-elected houses, (as feminist writers in particular have argued was likely to occur) but in some cases the differences become miniscule once the ability of PR systems to facilitate the election of minor parties (such as the Greens) that are more likely to select women is factored out of the equation.
Advisor: Hill, Lisa
Macintyre, Clement
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2019
Keywords: Electoral systems
proportional representation
voting practice
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Evans2019_PhD.pdf1.55 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.