Article: article from journal or magazin.
Do Election Results Represent Peoples Political Ideologies? A Study of the French 2002 Presidential Elections
Old month value: Avril
Following the 2002 French presidential elections, many wondered how extreme-right candidates managed to secure a large enough share of the votes in the first round to appear in the second round. Although the extreme-right candidate ultimately lost in the second round, his mere presence there led people to wonder whether his share of the vote reflected public preferences and opinions. In this paper, I contend that election systems yield different results and that, globally, most systems do not necessarily represent the preferred choices of the electorate. Based on existing studies over the strengths and weaknesses of specific electoral systems, I run a simulation of the 2002 French presidential elections based on survey data. The findings and analysis lend support to the contention that candidates with low levels of public support may see their share of the vote inflated thanks to a faulty or partially inadequate electoral system. This paper further demonstrates that even the eventual winner, Jacques Chirac, may have not won the election under a fairer system. Generally, this paper questions whether existing electoral systems generate voting rules that represent the preferences of the electorate.
electoral system, French elections, voting rules, Jean-Marie le Pen, Borda count, counting procedure
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