Electoral Systems And The Electoral System Essay

Electoral Systems And The Electoral System Essay

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Electoral systems exist to allow members of the society, express their preferences on candidates who are to represent them. This paper pays attention to the three electoral systems; the Proportional system, the fast past the post (FPTP) and the Instant runoff voting (IRV). I am going to focus on the differences between the PR, FPTP and IRV; attention will be laid also on how the electoral system shapes the relative structure and strength of the political parties.
The Proportional Representation (PR) is a common type of electoral system that exists in European countries including Israel, where 23 of the 25 member states adopt it (Johnston, n.d). Each geographical electoral district elects more than one member to the legislature. Compared to ‘fast past the post’ FPTP, and the Instant runoff voting (IRV) system, only one member is elected to the legislature from the district (Courtney, 1999). The FPTP and IRV tend to have relatively equal population numbers to ensure that all 3the districts have the same weight.
The Electoral formula adopted by PR system is the proportional representation (Courtney, 1999). The formula is aimed at distributing the seats proportionally in the multi-member constituencies (Johnston, n.d). The proportions increase with increase in the magnitude of the district; the vote totals are subjected to a quota method or a series of divisors to the parties in distribution process (Johnston, n.d). The FPTP adopts plurality formula, which requires the winning candidate to get more votes than any other candidate; the formula requires the candidate to be the ‘first past the post’ by one more vote, compared with other candidates in the race. IVR on the other hand use the majority formula where the winning candidate i...


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...the number of parties into two; a method called two-party system (Johnston, n.d). The two parties highlighted are the major two which shows a remarkable strength in an election. The system then transforms the strength in parties to parliamentary seats (Johnston, n.d). The attitude of the system encourages the established and powerful parties, giving no opportunity to nurture the weak and young parties. The system shares similar characteristics with FPTP when it comes to handling of young and/or weak parties.
Summary
The electoral system chosen determines the level of representation of voters’ preferences in the parliament/house. This paper has differentiated the three electoral systems of list PR, FPTP and IVR adopted by different countries in world. It has gone further to discuss the effect of the electoral system to the political parties, either established or young

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