Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A simple guide to electoral systems-Semi-proportional systems

There are a number of electoral systems that do not comfortably fit into either the proportional or majoritarian classes. This post is intended to tie up these loose ends, and fully explain any unexplained systems.

Limited Vote/Single Non-Transferable Vote

The Limited Vote is a relatively simple electoral system. It is similar to the multiple non-transferable vote, except voters have less votes than the number of seats to be filled. The number of votes is not fixed, but there must be more than one and less than the number of seats to be filled. The candidates with the most votes are elected. This system is used for the Spanish Senate election.

The Single Non-Transferable Vote is similar, except voters have only one vote, and multiple seats are to be elected. The highest polling candidates are elected.

Mixed-member systems

Mixed-member systems are systems that combine elements of party-list and majoritarian systems. There are two types of mixed-member systems: mixed member proportional (MMP) and mixed member majoritarian (MMM)

Under mixed-member proportional, voters usually have two votes; one for a political party and one for a local candidate. The nation or region is divided into a number of single-member constituencies, but this number is less than the number of members to be elected to the legislature. In the local constituencies, the candidate with the most votes wins. With the party vote, all the votes are counted up nationwide and the seats in parliament are distributed proportionally (see previous post) amongst all the parties. These seats are first filled by elected candidates from constituencies. If further seats are to be filled, these are filled from a party list. This system is used in Germany and New Zealand.

Under mixed-member majoritarian, voters usually have two votes; one for a political party, and one for a local candidate. Usually, the local candidate with the most votes is elected. The party votes are all counted up, and a specified amount of seats in the legislature are distributed amongst parties depending on these votes. This system is used in Japan and South Korea.

Majority bonus systems

These systems should really belong in the majoritatian section. But, for the sake of simplicity, I will put it here.

Under a majority bonus system, voters vote for a party, and possibly for one or more candidates. Under one method, the party with the most votes automatically wins a percentage of seats ,usually above 50%, while the other seats are proportionally distributed amongst the parties. Another method uses normal proportional representation, but the largest party wins a set amount of seats on top of their proportional share. These systems are used in Greece and Italy.

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