Thomas Däubler
Das Einstimmen-Mischwahlsystem bei baden-württembergischen Landtagswahlen: Wie fehlende Listen zur ungleichen deskriptiven Repräsentation von Stadt und Land in den Fraktionen beitragen

Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 2017: 48, Heft 1, S. 141-156
ISSN: 0340-1758 (print); 0340-1758 (online)

State-level elections in Baden-Württemberg are run under an unusual mixed-member electoral system, which gives citizens just one vote, but does not use party lists - allocating seats in the second tier to the “best losers” from the plurality tier instead. Several aspects of this system have already been criticized. This article presents a novel systematic analysis of how the lack of party lists affects the descriptive representation of urban and rural constituencies. For this purpose the distribution of votes and seats within parties is compared, since bias caused by the electoral system is likely to appear at this level, where it also particularly matters due to the key political role of parliamentary party groups. There is a considerable seats-votes-disproportionality along the urban-rural dimension within all parties. A counterfactual analysis of the results of the state-level election in North Rhine-Westphalia from 2005 corroborates the argument that the electoral system drives this pattern. The reform of the Baden-Württemberg electoral system announced in the 2016 coalition agreement is therefore overdue also from the perspective of adequate representation of urban and rural areas.