By Sarah Birch (auth.)
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Extra resources for Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe
The availability of a personal vote should also be important. The option of voting for an individual candidate is clearly a device that will personalize the electoral process. Personal votes are available in all SMD systems, but also in a large number of PR lists. Open lists are found in the PR systems of Bosnia and Herzegovina (from 2000), the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia. We may hypothesize that these will be politician-enabling features, inasmuch as they take control over the electoral process away from party apparatuses and provide politicians with the incentive to use whatever means they have at their disposal to cultivate personal votes (Katz, 1980, 1986, 1997; Carey and Shugart, 1995).
Changes in electoral system design in individual states The 20 countries under consideration here can be divided into three broad categories; those that adopted PR early, those that adopted mixed systems and stuck with them, and those that shifted toward greater proportionality. Despite efforts to move back toward majoritarianism in countries such as Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, and Slovenia, no state has yet done so. Those that made an early transition to PR constitute a plurality of our 20 cases; they include the Central European states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia, as well as the ex-Soviet countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Moldova.
In this situation, private finance was the key to electoral success. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that private finance has everywhere been allowed. The differences among states pertain to the restrictions they impose on campaign spending and the disclosure of income. Far fewer states impose limits on electoral campaign spending. s By 2002 only just over half the cases in this dataset (11) capped the amount parties could spend to publicize themselves at election time. Most, however, require disclosure of campaign-related (or general) expenses, which is not surprising given that the parties are to a large extent funded by public money.