Various circumstances combined enable a party in Poland to win a majority of parliamentary seats with 38 per cent of the votes. It is now using this fluke outcome to ensconce itself permanently, following the Hugo Chavez path in Venezuela. In Estonia, the largest party has rarely reached even 30 percent of the seats, and fond opinions have been voiced that Estonia’s electoral law supposedly prevents a one-party majority. This article reviews Estonia’s electoral history and the desiderata for adequate electoral rules. It presents the universal laws that connect the number and size of parties to the number of seats available, as documented in Shugart and Taagepera, Votes from Seats (2017).
Professor Emeritus of University of Tartu and University of California, Irvine