Electoral system is imperative to define the party system in a country. It also helps to consolidate the political regime, to formulate public policies, and to alternate government leaders in the office. From the constituent’s point of view, different electoral rules influence the behaviors and the way of voting as well. It is therefore without question that the electoral system is essential to regulate political systems in any democracy.
This paper, based on the panel data collected from the Japanese Election Study(JES), tries to understand the political impacts of the electoral reform in Japan in the 1990s. Specifically, in accordance with the Duverger’s Law, we try to detect the dynamic voting transition under the evolution of new electoral system in Japan. The statistical result shows that, after adopting the Mixed-Member Majoritarian System in the district Representatives, the dominant parties took the advantage by attracting more votes than before. In addition to the party identification, we find that the new electoral rule itself contributes to the dominant parties as anticipated. That is, those who support the uncompetitive parties in 1993 when the Single Nontransferable Vote was used, were likely to conduct the strategic voting by switching their votes to the dominant parties in 1996. In general, we find the empirical support for the Duverger’s Law in the transition of electoral reform in Japan.
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