New Zealand at the Polls: The General Election of 1978

New Zealand at the Polls: The General Election of 1978

New Zealand at the Polls: The General Election of 1978

New Zealand at the Polls: The General Election of 1978

Excerpt

New Zealand at the Polls: The General Election of 1978 is one of a continuing series of studies of elections in selected democratic countries published by the American Enterprise Institute. The series was launched in 1974 in the belief that examining particular elections in democracies with very different levels of electoral experience and economic and social development would offer scholars and policy makers a better understanding of electoral institutions and processes in all democracies.

Books on some nineteen countries have been published or are under way, and AEI expects to study at least two elections in each of them. Two books have already been published on elections in Japan, France, and Australia, and second studies are nearing publication on Great Britain and Canada. In addition, two related volumes are progress: Democracy at the Polls, a comparative examination of democratic elections around the world, and Europe at the Polls, an analysis of the direct election of representatives from nine countries to the European Parliament in 1979. The titles in the series are listed at the back of this book.

In 1978 New Zealand, for the eighth consecutive time, held its general election on the final Saturday in November of the third and final year of the parliamentary term. New Zealand prime ministers, like their counterparts in other countries whose electoral systems are based on the Westminster model, have the authority to call elections at any time within a term that they consider advantageous for their party. British, Canadian, Australian, and Indian prime ministers have availed themselves of this advantage, but, according to Alan McRobie, in the hundred-year history of New Zealand's Parliament only in 1951 has a prime minister called an election before the last . . .

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