Why Proportional Representation leads to Gridlock

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

From an article by Michael Greve at the Wall Street Journal.

Berlin is far from Baghdad, and the Germans at least want to keep it that way. But for all the obvious differences, Germany’s inconclusive election results and the impending constitutional referendum in Iraq point to some identical obstacles to effective and constitutional government.

These obstacles are proportional representation and “cooperative federalism.” As it happens, well-meaning U.N. officials, NGOs and U.S. advisers have been urging these constitutional arrangements upon numerous fledgling democracies, including Iraq. That may not be good advice.

Proportional representation–PR–is said to be more democratic, inclusive and respectful of minorities than British-American winner-take-all, first-past-the-post elections. Unfortunately, it does nothing to foster clear majorities capable of effective government.


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