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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 V: Aspects of Multi-Party Systems today

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221 Chapter V Aspects of Multi-Party Systems today 5.1 Partidism and Partidocracy Today’s political and social life is shaped by an extremely controversial phenome- non through the consequences it generates – the partidocracy. This phenomenon expresses the quasi-total domination of politics by parties, which ultimately leads to an almost total identification of the political system with the parties system. As Dumitru Lepdatu remarks: “The modern political pattern – fortunately or unfortunately – is imbued or over-imbued by partidism. It seems that most of politi- cal life cannot be conceived outside the parties, or their role as mentors for soci- ety”449. From a positive phenomenon – moderating partidism (a consequence of the parties’ role – “indispensable vehicles of the democracy”450) – imbalances occur in the political setting, as a consequence of dominating partidism. It is widely recognized that two elements prompt affiliation with a specific party: logical factors (the temptation of certain ideas, principles, and doctrines) and psychological factors (desiderata, the perception of an overlap between the political ideal and public policies declared by certain political parties, emotional memory, etc.). Nonetheless, as a consequence of dominating partidism, oppor- tunism, or the intention of gaining (generally unfair) privileges, represents a promising reason to join a party. Still, how do we get from the (free) affiliation of individuals with parties to the almost complete domination of political life by parties? The answer cannot be correct unless we take into consideration the element leading to the associa- tion: the partisan manifestations in society. This aspect was considered by...

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