ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Minoritarian Rule

How India’s Electoral System Created the Illusion of a BJP Landslide

India's 2014 election results showed a high degree of disproportionality in the conversion of votes to seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party won only 31% of the vote and its vote was highly geographically concentrated. The BJP's "landslide" victory was in fact due to the idiosyncrasies of India's first-past-the-post electoral system. While not unique in the country's history, the scale of the BJP's seat bonus in 2014 returns India to "minoritarian" - as opposed to majoritarian -- democracy, in which democratic outcomes are perverted by disproportionately empowering the ruling party.

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