Get access

How Rules Matter: Electoral Reform in Taiwan

Authors


  • *Direct correspondence to Hans Stockton, Center for International Studies, University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006 〈stockton@stthom.edu〉. The author agrees to share data and coding information for replication purposes. This research was partially funded by a grant from the Ministry of Education, Republic of China. The author thanks Sharon Wang and Kou-chu Yang for invaluable assistance and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Abstract

Objectives. This article is a test of general electoral theory in the case of Taiwan's 2008, postreform legislative election. In light of Taiwan's electoral reform, I test several hypotheses related to choice in electoral design and winning conditions, effective number of parties, proportionality, and regionalism.

Methods. I run a simulation of the new rules and districting using the previous (2004) election results and compare this to the actual results. By comparing simulated and actual outcomes, I can compare theoretically-driven, a priori expectations with election outcomes.

Results. Primary findings are that a dominant seat share for the Nationalist Party, decline in third-party representation, and disproportionality were largely predicated on the transition to a majoritarian system.

Conclusion. General electoral theory holds robust predictive power in the case of Taiwan.

Ancillary