The world’s history describes numerous authoritarian states that existed at different times and had varied features. Nevertheless, the majority of them suffered from frequent wars initially, which made them implement radical changes to be able to rebuff. One more reason for states to become authoritarian is a constant political pressure that does not provide the representatives of the general public with an opportunity to speak up their minds (Marquez, 2016). Nowadays, Burundi and Syria are those countries that can be used as an example of this type of state. With the help of authoritarian governance, they try to calm down and deal with the current situation. Moreover, they are affected by economic turmoil. A similar situation was observed at the beginning of the 20th century in Germany. As its enemies prevented the country’s recovery, it had to become authoritarian. A strong nationalist ideology can also lead to this outcome. It made Germany feel superior to others. Nevertheless, this country democratized due to its willingness to overcome the effects of Hitler’s leadership and enhance relations with other nations.
Currently, Burma and Libya are those states that are likely to follow the described example. In their case, the main reasons for democratization are different. They include the desire to develop equity and enhance governance. It can also provide political freedom. Uganda is now ruled according to the authoritarian concept. Its opposition is often mistreated, but citizens do not stop emphasizing their willingness to become free. Nevertheless, change is likely to be observed soon because elections provide citizens with an opportunity to change their leader and various organizations encourage people to fight for their rights.
Kinds of Electoral and Party Systems
Currently, various kinds of electoral and party systems exist. Party systems, for instance, pay much attention to the necessity of being representative of their population. That is why it is more beneficial for them to have broad views than to focus on specific policy programs and issues. Taking into consideration the view of the diverse population instead of concentrating on regional concerns, for example, these parties have an opportunity to avoid societal conflicts (Johnston, & Sharman, 2015). Centralized political systems, unlike decentralized ones, urge the development of party organizations. The development of new parties can be affected by institutional incentives and focus on national but not regional parties (Russia and Indonesia, Ecuador, and Papua New Guinea).
Access to funding cuts across electoral systems and often leads to the creation of new parties. Moreover, choices made in the framework of one system influence the development of another one. Existing parties do not encourage the implementation of those systems that do not benefit them. Considering electoral systems, their kinds affect relationships between candidates and their followers. Mainly, single-member districts that have delegates who represent particular geographic areas are developed (the USA). They usually favor two big parties and limit third parties. They focus on the middle of the political spectrum because that is where the most votes are (Orellana, 2014). This system can produce majoritarianism and allow the majority party to manipulate the process to its advantage. Large multi-member districts often have those representatives whose focus is on national issues. In these systems, the number of seats that political parties have is identified using proportional representation (percentage of votes is considered). In this way, more parties can be created. As a result, the opinion of the general public can be better represented as well. In the framework of these systems, parties can split. As both approaches have their own benefits, mixed-member systems start to be developed (Germany). They combine both local and national-level representatives.
Johnston, R., & Sharman, C. (2015). Parties and party systems: Structure and context. Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.
Marquez, X. (2016). Non-democratic politics: Authoritarianism, dictatorship and democratization. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Orellana, S. (2014). Electoral Systems and Governance: How Diversity Can Improve Policy-Making. New York, NY: Routledge.