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INSIDE THE COBWEB OF CALCULATIONS, COEFFICIENTS, HIDDEN PURPOSES AND FEARS: ROMANIAN ELECTORAL LAW FROM MARCH 1926 IN THE VIEW OF THE MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES
Herta, A. A.
The present contribution aims to provide a fresh look at the short-term impact of a revolutionary and highly controversial political and juridical innovation: the Romanian electoral reform from March 1926. With the help of the sources from the epoch (archive documents, parliamentary debates, press articles, memoirs), I restored the decisive stage of the debates on this bill, I examined the main problems raised on this subject, and I recovered the most important contemporary perspectives from authorities and from the main opposition parties. Romanian electoral system proposed in 1926 had an unusual algorithm for allocation of seats that provided at least 70% of the mandates in the Assembly of Deputies to the party ranked first in the elections that obtained at least 40% of the votes. It was an inequitable formula. The governing political force, the National Liberal Party, saw this reform as a juridical instrument for generating absolute one-party majorities, for maintaining political stability, and for controlling the whole political system in a subtle manner. The Peoples Party had an ambiguous attitude. The other opposition forces (the Romanian National Party, the Peasants´ Party, and the ethnic minorities´ political representatives) recognized in Romanian voting formula introduced in March 1926 an adaptation of Acerbo method, the first Italian electoral system adopted under Mussolini`s regime. This is the reason why they were extremely discontented, accusing authoritarian tendencies.