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Stasiology and Electoral Systems

Adrian Gorun

It is obvious today that the democratic political regime cannot be considered reality without taking into account political parties; it is as obvious as the phenomenon of partidocracy, expressed through the quasi-total domination of parties in politics. Such judgements prompted the title of the book Stasiology and Electoral Systems. The book itself revives the term stasiology, introduced by M. Duverger in 1951, which defines the science of political parties but has not been used very much over the last decades. Its approach is explanatory and perspective alike, emphasizing the myriad of correlations surrounding the emergence, functions, types and systems of parties, on the one hand, and the electoral systems used to elect parliaments, styles of representation and executive formation on the other.

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Chapter III: Parliaments

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115 Chapter III Parliaments Specialist literature shows no interest in parliaments in non-democratic regimes because they are irrelevant, lacking autonomy and political influence. As a matter of fact, the principle of the separation of power and importance is – in most cases –not even declared by these regimes. Analyses in this field focus almost exclu- sively on parliaments in democratic regimes. Pasquino justifies this option by citing either the effective absence of parliaments in non-democratic regimes (especially when a non-democratic regime follows a democratic one and the overturning regime coincides with parliamentary suppression), or the purely decorative role they play: “Any parliament may easily become a place that al- lows the occurrence or preservation of certain forms of opposition who can find an alternative platform to gain attention. [...] To survive, parliaments in non- democratic regimes must act as domesticated bodies, sounding boards of the government (and, possibly, the only party); they are made up of seats that offer fictive representation circumscribed to pre-selected groups, and are seldom based on elections, and usually manipulated.225 3.1 Origin of parliaments The study of parliaments is not the exclusive prerogative of political science. Political philosophy, history, juridical sciences, and even philosophical anthro- pology have shown and still show interest in the various aspects of these institu- tions – origin and evolution, risk factors, legitimacy and legitimating, representa- tion, legislative/executive relations, functions and operating these functions, degradation, etc. are just some of the many topics of examination focus. Historians have agreed that parliaments emerged when the problem...

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