The Effect of the Secret Ballot on Party System Fragmentation: A Test of Three Competing Arguments

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    Abstract

    Few studies have examined the impact that the adoption of the secret ballot had on party system fragmentation outside the United States. This article tests arguments maintaining that the adoption of the secret ballot had a negative, positive or nil effect on party system fragmentation. Using time-series cross-sectional data from
    several countries adopting the secret ballot around the turn of the twentieth century, the results demonstrate that the adoption of the secret ballot did not hinder – though did not favour, either – the development of multiparty systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-390
    JournalPolitics
    Volume34
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

    Keywords

    • secret ballot
    • party system fragmentation
    • voting

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