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How the electoral systems operate in TWO countries (Russia and USA). Russia uses a mixed electoral system. Sakwa (2008) says that the Russia’s electoral system has been subject to frequent changes with the electoral legislation modified following every electoral cycle and becoming more detailed. Russia tried to achieve both the majoritarian and proportional representation but both failed effectively to achieve either. Sakwa (2008) says that while a single member district intends to achieve a parliamentary majority in Russia such majority is to a degree irrelevant since the government appointed by the president is not directly accountable to parliament and is not based on the ability to muster a stable majority in parliament.

In Russia the mixed system was introduced in 1993 where half of the seats to the new 450 member state Duma were elected by the traditional first-past-the –post single member districts, while the other half were elected from party lists according to the weighted system of proportional representation(Sakwa, 2008). He continues to say that in order to be eligible to stand a party is required at least 100,000 nominations with no more than 15,000 signatures drawn from any one of Russia’s 89 regions and republics. Sakwa (2008) thus says that each party had to have demonstrable support in at least 7 regions or republics.

Studies show that to date the Russian electoral system has become more regulated despite trying to adopt the two types of electoral systems. In 2007 elections minimal membership was raised to 50,000; the threshold was raised to 7 percent. On the other hand Ross (2002) says that Russia’s choice of electoral system for the national parliament has worked against the development of a truly national party system. For example he goes further to indicate that in Duma there in a mixed electoral system in operation which means that half of the members are elected by proportional representation using a pry list system  with a 5% threshold and half by a first-past-the-post system in single member districts.

United States uses the single member district electoral system. Bibby & Schaffner (2007) says that “the single member district plurality system of election has meant that a party’s percentage of the house membership will not necessarily be proportionate to its national popular vote for Congress” (p. 308). They continue to say that in the United States if one party’s voters tend to be concentrated in districts’ that it wins overwhelmingly, and if the opposition party tends t win most of the marginal districts by narrow margins then the composition of the legislative chambers is not apt to reflect accurately the share of the total vote received by either party (Bibby & Schaffner, 2007). In United States the single member districts electoral system a disparity between popular votes and a party’s share of the legislative seats is an inevitable consequence of the uneven manner in which adherents of the two parties are scattered across the country and the way boundary lines are drawn (Bibby & Schaffner, 2007).  

In the United States the Republican and Democratic parties are assured of automatic ballot access that is each party name and candidates appearing on the general election ballot because of their prior success in winning votes (Bibby & Schaffner, 2007). They also noted that because of the single member districts electoral system a large number of states have sore loser laws which prevent candidates who lose primary elections from then running as independent candidates in the general election (Bibby & Schaffner, 2007).  

Code: Sample20

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