Originally published in 1983, Democracy and Elections analyses the main electoral systems of modern democracies, and places them in their institutional and historical context. A distinguished group of contributors provide interpretations of the electoral systems of the EEC countries and Japan, and assess the ways in which different electoral systems affect the political practice of each country. If the book has a single theme, it is that one should be sceptical about attributing fixed qualities to electoral systems. Although amongst the quantifiable of political phenomena, they do not conform to mechanistic rules, but must be understood in terms of the historical experience and cultural outlook of different societies. What is striking is the great variety of ways in which different countries have attempted to meet the problem of translating votes into seats.