Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Kenneth Basom


Two of the most popular electoral systems in the world are proportional representation (PR) and single member district plurality (SMDP). While both are employed worldwide, it is unclear which is the most beneficial to constituents. The "Next Eleven" countries (NI I) as defined by Goldman Sachs are the countries of focus, which are predicted to be emerging countries in terms of growing population and percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, there is a fairly even distribution of PR and SMDP systems among the NI I countries, as well as two single-party dominant countries. The following compares the two electoral systems in an attempt to determine which yields greater political freedoms, has better long term stability, and highest rates of minority representation. Proportional representation countries in the NI I have better political rights and civil liberties than their SMDP counterparts. PR countries also have greater economic freedoms and minority representation. SMDP countries have more stable governments than PR countries. Single-party dominant countries are unique because they have the most stable governments, yet the worst minority representation, political rights and civil liberties, and economic freedoms. Both systems yield certain benefits, but over PR electoral systems appear to be better for constituents than SMDP systems.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (38 pages)