Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


Ray Christensen


The revision of an election system is one of th touchiest issues in a western-style democracy. Every politician knows that a proposed reapportionment scheme might affect his chances for reelection. Thus, many accuse politicions of not considering the merits of a revision proposal, but only ther personal consequences. This phenomenon is seen at regular 10-year intervals in the United States. With each new census, some states are required to redraw their congressional district boundaries, and, invariably, some of the disputes that ensue have to be settled by the courts or a nonpartisan panel. This kind of action is by no means limited to state governments. In many foreign countries which have a democratic form of government, attmpts to revise the election system have sparked fierce debates. One of the most recent of these debates, concerning a 1982 revision of the Public Offices Election Law in Japan, will be the subject of this research.