The United Kingdo Germany: The Stability Of Democracy

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When trying to figure out what factor most directly leads to democratic stability, political scientists often look to institutions, which are the formal rules and informal norms that influence the political behavior of a society. Institutional design is the predominant factor to be observed in determining the stability of a democracy, and. in particular, successful democracies have electoral laws that limit the influence of extremist and minor parties. While there are different institutional manners through which democracies can limit extremist parties, such as proportional representation thresholds and winner-take-all systems, the importance of developing strong institutions to protect democracy by limiting the electoral success of extremist parties can be validated through the experiences of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy. The United…show more content…
Before explaining the post-war stability, it is worth noting the institutions of the Weimar Republic that allowed the Nazis to rise and democracy to breakdown. During the Weimar Republic members were elected to the Reichstag based on pure proportional representation, which allowed extremist parties like the Nazis and Communists to garner significant support (Bernhard 381). After the war Germany added institutional features that limited extremism and its destabilizing effect to its proportional election system. Germany added a 5% threshold for parties to gain seats under proportional representation, making it more difficult for extremist parties to rise and smaller parties to paralyze progress. It also added the power to ban radical, anti-democratic parties, a power used, for example, against the Communist Party. After these institutional reforms, which were implemented primarily to prevent extremist and anti-democratic parties from rising to power, Germany has been a stable

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