Available in Russian
Author: Dmitry Kireev
Keywords: checks and balances; electoral system; political parties; rotation in office
Democracy has many appearances. The principle of democracy is implemented in republics as well as monarchies, unitary states and federations. This article proposes a new dimension of democracy – the type of popular representation – which depends on the electoral system used in national parliamentary elections. The ownership of power in the state by the people is ensured by the functioning of a representative body elected by citizens and having exclusive authority to pass laws that are binding on all. In addition, the parliament participates in the formation of bodies of other branches of power and approves the budget. Thus, research into the manifestations of the institution of popular representation is important not only for countries with a parliamentary government, but also for all other states. The direct dependence of the composition of the legislature on the will of the people guarantees that the actions of the state are subordinated to the interests of this entity. An electoral system is used to identify this will of the people. However, the significance of this legal mechanism is not limited to the role of a guide between votes and parliamentary mandates alone. The electoral system is a “double-edged” instrument that can influence the exercise of power by the people. The purpose of this article is to analyse this influence and demonstrate the existence of three types of popular representation formed by different categories of electoral systems. Types of people’s representation arise as a result of the repeated application of a certain mechanism and the following establishment of the party composition of the parliament and party structure of the government. The established type of people’s representation is characterised by the varying degree of effectiveness of political parties in expressing and realising the interests of the people. In addition, the implementation of the principle of alternation of power and the functioning of the checks and balances are also dependent on the electoral system used. This article formulates a concept that makes it possible to differentiate the way democracy is developed in the state and to consider transparently the constitutional and legal consequences of the choice of the electoral system.
About the author: Dmitry Kireev – Assistant to a State Duma Deputy, Moscow, Russia.
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