Handbook of Electoral System Choice · ACE Electoral Knowledge Network · The International IDEA Handbook of Electoral System. of List systems, where parties present lists of candidates to voters, one form of which is . that there is no deterministic relationship between the type of system election, allowing each party to establish its relative strength there.) Another. Two systems of electoral practice exist within the European Union: majority or it is for the relative strength of each party to be reflected by seat distribution. The correlation between a high level of female political representation within a.
In others like Indiathe vote is taken by an electoral college consisting of the national legislature and state legislatures. In the United Statesthe president is indirectly elected using a two-stage process; a popular vote in each state elects members to the electoral college that in turn elects the President. This can result in a situation where a candidate who receives the most votes nationwide does not win the electoral college vote, as most recently happened in and Systems used outside politics[ edit ] In addition to the various electoral systems in use in the political sphere, there are numerous others, some of which are proposals and some of which have been adopted for usage in business such as electing corporate board members or for organisations but not for public elections.
Dual-member proportional representation is a proposed system with two candidates elected in each constituency, one with the most votes and one to ensure proportionality of the combined results. Biproportional apportionment is a system whereby the total number of votes is used to calculate the number of seats each party is due, followed by a calculation of the constituencies in which the seats should be awarded in order to achieve the total due to them. Cardinal electoral systems allow voters to score candidates independently.
The complexity ranges from approval voting where voters simply state whether they approve of a candidate or not to range votingwhere a candidate is scored from a set range of numbers.
Other cardinal systems include Proportional approval votingsequential proportional approval votingSatisfaction approval voting and majority judgment. Historically, weighted voting systems were used in some countries. These allocated a greater weight to the votes of some voters than others, either indirectly by allocating more seats to certain groups such as the Prussian three-class franchiseor by weighting the results of the vote.
The latter system was used in colonial Rhodesia for the and elections. The elections featured two voter rolls the 'A' roll being largely European and the 'B' roll largely African ; the seats of the House Assembly were divided into 50 constituency seats and 15 district seats. Although all voters could vote for both types of seats, 'A' roll votes were given greater weight for the constituency seats and 'B' roll votes greater weight for the district seats.
Weighted systems are still used in corporate elections, with votes weighted to reflect stock ownership. Rules and regulations[ edit ] In addition to the specific method of electing candidates, electoral systems are also characterised by their wider rules and regulations, which are usually set out in a country's constitution or electoral law. Participatory rules determine candidate nomination and voter registrationin addition to the location of polling places and the availability of online votingpostal votingand absentee voting.
Other regulations include the selection of voting devices such as paper ballotsmachine voting or open ballot systemsand consequently the type of vote counting systemsverification and auditing used. Compulsory voting, enforced only men. Compulsory voting, not enforced only men.
Electoral rules place limits on suffrage and candidacy.
Electoral system - Wikipedia
Most countries's electorates are characterised by universal suffragebut there are differences on the age at which people are allowed to votewith the youngest being 16 and the oldest 21 although voters must be 25 to vote in Senate elections in Italy. People may be disenfranchised for a range of reasons, such as being a serving prisoner, being declared bankrupt, having committed certain crimes or being a serving member of the armed forces.
Similar limits are placed on candidacy also known as passive suffrageand in many cases the age limit for candidates is higher than the voting age. A total of 21 countries have compulsory votingalthough in some there is an upper age limit on enforcement of the law. In systems that use constituenciesapportionment or districting defines the area covered by each constituency. Where constituency boundaries are drawn has a strong influence on the likely outcome of elections in the constituency due to the geographic distribution of voters.
Political parties may seek to gain an advantage during redistricting by ensuring their voter base has a majority in as many constituencies as possible, a process known as gerrymandering.
Historically rotten and pocket boroughsconstituencies with unusually small populations, were used by wealthy families to gain parliamentary representation. Some countries have minimum turnout requirements for elections to be valid. In Serbia this rule caused multiple re-runs of presidential elections, with the election re-run once and the elections re-run three times due insufficient turnout in the firstsecond and third attempts to run the election. The turnout requirement was scrapped prior to the fourth vote in These seats are separate from general seats, and may be elected separately such as in Morocco where a separate ballot is used to elect the 60 seats reserved for women and 30 seats reserved for young people in the House of Representativesor be allocated to parties based on the results of the election; in Jordan the reserved seats for women are given to the female candidates who failed to win constituency seats but with the highest number of votes, whilst in Kenya the Senate seats reserved for women, young people and the disabled are allocated to parties based on how many seats they won in the general vote.
Some countries achieve minority representation by other means, including requirements for a certain proportion of candidates to be women, or by exempting minority parties from the electoral threshold, as is done in Poland Romania and Serbia. In the early monarchies it was customary for the king to invite pronouncements of his people on matters in which it was prudent to secure its assent beforehand. In these assemblies the people recorded their opinion by clamouring a method which survived in Sparta as late as the 4th century BCEor by the clashing of spears on shields.
However, in Athenian democracy, voting was seen as the least democratic among methods used for selecting public officials, and was little used, because elections were believed to inherently favor the wealthy and well-known over average citizens.
Viewed as more democratic were assemblies open to all citizens, and selection by lot known as sortitionas well as rotation of office. Generally, the taking of votes was effected in the form of a poll. The practice of the Athenians, which is shown by inscriptions to have been widely followed in the other states of Greece, was to hold a show of hands, except on questions affecting the status of individuals: At Rome the method which prevailed up to the 2nd century BCE was that of division discessio.
But the system became subject to intimidation and corruption. Hence a series of laws enacted between and BCE prescribed the use of the ballot tabellaa slip of wood coated with wax, for all business done in the assemblies of the people.
For the purpose of carrying resolutions a simple majority of votes was deemed sufficient. As a general rule equal value was made to attach to each vote; but in the popular assemblies at Rome a system of voting by groups was in force until the middle of the 3rd century BCE by which the richer classes secured a decisive preponderance. By drawing lots, a body of 30 electors was chosen, which was further reduced to nine electors by drawing lots again.
An electoral college of nine members elected 40 people by approval voting; those 40 were reduced to form a second electoral college of 12 members by drawing lots again. The second electoral college elected 25 people by approval voting, which were reduced to form a third electoral college of nine members by drawing lots. The third electoral college elected 45 people, which were reduced to form a fourth electoral college of 11 by drawing lots.
They in turn elected a final electoral body of 41 members, who ultimately elected the Doge. Despite its complexity, the method had certain desirable properties such as being hard to game and ensuring that the winner reflected the opinions of both majority and minority factions. Development of new systems[ edit ] Jean-Charles de Borda proposed the Borda count in as a method for electing members to the French Academy of Sciences.
His method was opposed by the Marquis de Condorcetwho proposed instead the method of pairwise comparison that he had devised.
The Effect of Electoral System on Parties and Candidates —
Implementations of this method are known as Condorcet methods. He also wrote about the Condorcet paradoxwhich he called the intransitivity of majority preferences. However, recent research has shown that the philosopher Ramon Llull devised both the Borda count and a pairwise method that satisfied the Condorcet criterion in the 13th century. The manuscripts in which he described these methods had been lost to history until they were rediscovered in Some of the apportionment methods devised in the United States were in a sense rediscovered in Europe in the 19th century, as seat allocation methods for the newly proposed method of party-list proportional representation.
Party-list proportional representation began to be used to elect European legislatures in the early 20th century, with Belgium the first to implement it for its general elections. Since then, proportional and semi-proportional methods have come to be used in almost all democratic countries, with most exceptions being former British colonies.
Nanson combined the newly described instant runoff voting with the Borda count to yield a new Condorcet method called Nanson's method. Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carrollproposed the straightforward Condorcet method known as Dodgson's method as well as a proportional multiwinner method based on proxy voting. Ranked voting electoral systems eventually gathered enough support to be adopted for use in government elections.
In the United States in the earlyth-century progressive erasome municipalities began to use Bucklin votingalthough this is no longer used in any government elections, and has even been declared unconstitutional in Minnesota. Electoral reform The use of game theory to analyze electoral systems led to discoveries about the effects of certain methods.
Strengths and weaknesses of different electoral systems in the UK
Earlier developments such as Arrow's impossibility theorem had already shown the issues with Ranked voting systems. Research led Steven Brams and Peter Fishburn to formally define and promote the use of approval voting in Tideman also devised the ranked pairs method, a Condorcet method that is not susceptible to clones. The study of electoral systems influenced a new push for electoral reform beginning around the s, with proposals being made to replace plurality voting in governmental elections with other methods.
The majority system is the oldest electoral system in the world, and was for a long time the only system used. Its advantage is seen to be its simplicity: It is also endorsed as promoting parliamentary stability. However, the main criticism of this type of electoral system is that it is often unfair; a very large parliamentary majority can be given to a party which has won only a minor national victory, and in some instances even give victory to a party which received a smaller percentage of the national vote than the defeated party.
Problems also arise from the tendency of the majoritarian system to exclude sections of public opinion, including minorities.
There are two types of majoritarian system: Simple majority or "First-past-the- post" and Absolute majority. Simple majority occurs when the candidate who wins the largest number of votes is elected.
Absolute majority combines the effects of both rounds of voting in an absolute majority vote in a single round of voting. The electorate votes for a single candidate while indicating, in declining order, their preferences for the remaining candidates.
If no-one receives an absolute majority in the first count, then the candidate who received the smallest number of votes is eliminated, and the corresponding second choices are counted.
This goes on until a candidate obtains an absolute majority as a consequence of transferring votes. This system is used in France, where a simple majority is used in the second round. Proportional representation was first introduced in Belgium inand has been promoted as a fairer system of electoral representation.
Political groups receive seats in proportion to their electoral strength, and therefore no single political force should retain a monopoly as none is excluded from representation. Proportional representation requires party-list voting, and in this way, it is often "political ideas" rather than "personalities" which are the focus of election campaigns.
However, one of the main disadvantages of PR is that it can incite or heighten the fragmentation of the political system, sometimes leading to political instability.
The system of a party list also removes the voter from the elected, giving the political party a vital role in selecting its candidates.