Anti-democratic Political Parties as a Threat to Democracy: Models of Reaction and the Strategic Democracy
PUBLIC LAW REVIEW UPDATE: VOL 29, 310 (2018)
30 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2019 Last revised: 17 Oct 2019
Date Written: June 5, 2018
There is a consensus among policymakers, lawmakers, legal scholars and ‘we the people’ in the western world, that democracy is a blessing. However, how do we defend democracy from anti-democratic political parties that aim to overthrow the democratic regime by abusing the guarantees and the tolerance of democracy?
This article argues that there are three public policy options: the traditional model that permits the dissolution of anti-democratic political parties; the business as usual model, that regulates such parties with ordinary administrative law and controls the conduct of their members via ordinary criminal law; and finally, the strategic model that employs an electoral system according to which political parties, like the anti-democratic, having more enemies than supporters are ostracized.
That said, this article argues that whilst electoral law is the most rule-of-law based mechanism to safeguard democracies from anti-democratic parties, not all electoral systems are capable. Only the electoral systems that allow for ‘strategic voting’ can be employed for this purpose.
Keywords: antidemocratic political parties, strategic democracy, electoral law
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