Update: See the details provided by Alan R. in a comment.
Thanks to the “incoming links” feature of Word Press, I found Dr Sean Hanley’s Diary. There it was noted about a month ago that the Romanian proposal for a shift to (partial) single-seat districts (from pure closed-list proportional representation)–noted here as an objective of mass protesters1 some time ago–has been approved.
Evidently it is not a pure first-past-the-post system2; some list seats will remain. Details are sketchy (at least in English). As Hanley concludes, the system is
likely to be less a political â€˜flat taxâ€™ solution sweeping out party corruption, as many commentators and most of the Romanian public seem to believe, than a measure empowering local political bosses at the expense of higher level party and state structures.
The Romanian reform applies to both houses of parliament. Over at Dr Hanley’s blog, I added the following:
On bicameralism, if the cabinet must depend on the confidence of both chambers, it certainly makes sense that the chambers be elected by congruent electoral systems. Italy is the preeminent case. I do not recall whether either chamber can oust a cabinet in Romania. In the Czech Republic (as in Japan, Germany, and most other parliamentary or semi-presidential bicameral systems) the second chamber has no such powers. Then, I would argue, having incongruent electoral systems (and districting) is a coherent aspect of institutional design: introduce some degree of veto (depending on other powers of the second chamber), without adding an extra complication to cabinet formation/durability.