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Le poids des campagnes au Sénat. Effets et problèmes de la surreprésentation rurale

Économie rurale
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3406/ecoru.1997.4839
  • Political Science


The weight of rural areas in the french senate questionable effects and consequences arising from the rural over-representation Three elements in the Senators' election system combine to warp the indirect suffrage system into a distorting mirror for the electorate that gives rural areas too much importance: the overwhelming preponderance of the French "communes" within the constituencies; unbalanced representation between rural and urban population which gravely affects the sociological image of over 75 % of the "départements"; and majority vote in the predominantly rural "départements" where the rural majority thus enjoys nearly total exclusiveness. Consequently there results a constant and oneway distortion of the Senate's political representativity which hardly helps carry out its regulating mission and sometimes even brings about serious malfunctioning in the bicameral system. As a matter of fact, the very nature of the senatorial institution should normally lead to a way of finding out a better-balanced and pluritarian representation system that would ensure right of expression for the various territorial, sociological and political parties and be better fitted to the specific function of the Senate while maintaining its most distinctive feature, i. e. the particular bond that exists between the Senators and France's rural population.

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