College of Humanities and Social Sciences

To Rule and Be Ruled inTurns: How to Grow a Constitution From an Electoral Seed

Thomas Durant

Major Professor: .

Carow Hall, Conf. Room
May 02, 2007, 08:00 PM to 07:00 PM


A change in the electoral process to allow losing votes to be carried over yields a rotation in office that lessens the "tyranny of the majority" problem in a way that is especially relevant for ethnically divided societies, where one group would otherwise have a lock on the majority position due to religious, racial, regional or linguistic identities. The rotation in office creates conditions conducive to reciprocity between major (albeit not necessarily majority) political players. These conditions limit the extent of mutual predation, and facilitate the discovery and re-discovery of good "rules of the game." The constitutional limit on carry-overs shapes the structure of the rotation in office, determining how major a minority must be to be included, and if included, with how much regularity, as well as who will win each election, and by what margin. The change in the number of viable parties is also given some consideration.

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