Richard G. Niemi and John
Fuhsheng Hsieh, "Counting Candidates: An Alternative to the
Effective N (With An Application to the M + 1 Rule in
Japan)," Party Politics, January 2002, vol. 8, no. 1,
pp. 7599.
First Paragraph:
The number of candidates or
parties in an election contest has long been of theoretical
interest (Duverger, 1964; Rae, 1971). The measure has taken
on added importance in recent years as researchers have
studied the effects of thresholds, electoral formulas,
district magnitude, presidentialism, and the like, on
candidate and party numbers and on the strategic
coordination that lies behind these effects (Cox, 1997;
Jones, 1999; Shugart and Carey, 1992; Taagepera and Shugart,
1989). As every researcher soon learns, however, counting
candidates or parties is not a trivial exercise.
Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Hypothetical vote
distributions and the actual and effective numbers of
candidates/parties
Table 2. Hypothetical vote distributions and alternative
measures of the number of candidates
Table 3. Additional hypothetical vote distributions and
alternative measures of the number of candidates
Table 4. Percentages of districts with given numbers of
candidates relative to the district magnitude (M)
Figure 1. Average number of viable candidates in
threemember districts Note: Elections, not years, are
evenly spaced, as it is likely that learning is a function
of experience with elections, not merely of the passage of
time.
Figure 2. Average number of viable candidates in fourmember
districts Note: Elections, not years, are evenly spaced, as
it is likely that learning is a function of experience with
elections, not merely of the passage of time.
Figure 3. Average number of viable candidates in fivemember
districts Note: Elections, not years, are evenly spaced, as
it is likely that learning is a function of experience with
elections, not merely of the passage of time.
Table A.1. The number of candidates in elections to the
Japanese diet by district size, year and alternative
measures
Last Paragraph:
From a substantive point of
view, our reanalysis of the Japanese results lends still
further empirical support to the M + 1 rule. Further, the
fact that the results hold using our two new measures,
particularly the 1/2 quota rule, suggests that the
Duvergerian equilibrium, under which only the top M + 1
candidates are viable and each of them obtains an equal
number of votes, has considerable applicability in the real
world.
