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Matt Evans, "Electoral Reform and Political Pluralism in Local Government," Party Politics, 16 (May 2010), 394-413. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol16/issue3/ ]

First paragraph:
There has been growing support for increased local government empowerment in recent years in countries throughout the world. In many cases this has been accompanied by national political parties loosening the central government's grip on local policymaking. The trend toward strengthening local government has been termed by different researchers: 'decentralization' (Hiskey and Seligson, 2003), 'devolution' (McAteer and Bennett, 2005), 'New Public Management' (Wollmann, 2004a), and 'New Localism' (Pratchett, 2004; Stoker, 2004). This trend is more pronounced in Europe, where local government has mostly been used as a vehicle for service delivery, than in the United States, where the federalist system has long supported localism (Wolman, 1996).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Tel Aviv city council election results - 2003
Table 2. Jerusalem city council election results - 2003
Table 3. Haifa city council election results - 2003

Last Paragraph:
Bowler and Farrell have suggested that existing research is 'relatively ill informed' as to the effect of electoral systems on governance after the elections (2006: 457). While different studies have produced conflicting conclusions about which electoral system provides for 'fairer,' more stable, and more 'representative' governance, none of these studies apply to local government. Farrell (2001) asserts that electoral systems must ultimately emerge from the circumstances of a particular nation. Yet the expectations for local government are very different from those of national government. The nature of local government may allow for representation that mirrors the interests of society's many sectors without threatening vital security and services, as would be the case with national government. Electoral reform for local government must look beyond the governing abilities of strong mayors and take into consideration whether such shifts in the nature of representation by elected leaders are desirable.

Last updated May 2010