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Electoral Systems Electoral Systems Women and Elections The National Democratic Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Electoral Systems Electoral Systems Women and Elections The National Democratic Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Electoral Systems Electoral Systems Women and Elections The National Democratic Institute

2 Introductions Ground rules Ice breaker exercise INTRODUCTIONS/ GROUND RULES Photo: NDI

3 ELECTORAL SYSTEMS OBJECTIVES To understand the different types of electoral systems To increase awareness of the potential advantages and disadvantages to these systems from a gender perspective

4 ELECTORAL SYSTEMS TOPICS Electoral Systems: o Proportional Representation o Majoritarian o Mixed Photo: Kathy Gest

5 KEY TERMS Electoral System Proportional Representation Majoritarian System Open/Closed Party List Gender Quota Photo: NDI

6 What Do They Do? At the most basic level, electoral systems translate the votes cast in a general election into seats won by parties and candidates. ~ IDEA Electoral System Design Handbook

7 TYPES OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS Plurality/ Majority FPTPTRSAVBVPBV Proportional List PRSTV MixedOther SNTVLVBC MMP Parallel

8 PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION Advantages Proportionality Encourage formation of parties Facilitate diverse representation Candidates need to get votes from all over, not just from a particular region Disadvantages Coalition governments, which can be unstable Small parties have disproportionate power Accountability

9 Multi-member districts Parties create candidate lists Voters select a party Parties are allocated seats based on percentage of vote received Open or closed lists Thresholds very important PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION List PR

10 BALLOT EXAMPLE Photo: ACE Project

11 PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION List PR Advantages Reflects proportionality Allows smaller parties to compete Minority and womens quotas are easier to implement Encourages developed parties Criticisms Need more developed parties Requires greater coordination by parties, concentrates power in hands of central party organization Weakens link between parties and constituents

12 Multi-member districts Results through series of vote counts If no one gets quota, candidate with lowest total votes is eliminated and votes redistributed Continues until all seats are filled PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION Single Transferable Vote (STV)

13 Advantages Voters choose individuals and parties Fairly proportional results Strengthens party- constituent connection Criticisms Complex/requires higher literacy Party members compete against each other Party with a plurality of votes can end up getting fewer seats

14 MAJORITARIAN Also known as plurality system Whoever wins the most votes, wins the election. Photo: Marie-Eve_NDI-Pakistan

15 First Past the Post Two-Round System Block Vote Party Block Vote Alternate Vote MAJORITARIAN TYPES

16 MAJORITARIAN First Past the Post (FPTP) Citizens divided into districts cast a single vote for their candidate Whoever gets the most votes, wins More typical of countries where a single individual represents a geographic area

17 MAJORITARIAN First Past the Post Advantages Simple Clear choices between candidates Encourages links between constituents and MPs Can foster more broad-based politics where there is not a majority ethnic group Criticisms Excludes smaller parties Can lead to exclusion of ethnic minorities Dependent on electoral boundaries (gerrymandering)

18 Similar to FPTP; Candidates require absolute majority First round of FPTP voting. If someone gets a majority, s/he wins If not, some candidates may be eliminated and a second vote takes place MAJORITARIAN Two-Round System

19 Advantages Gives voters a second chance Encourages bargains and tradeoffs Minimizes vote-splitting Criticisms Expensive Similar disadvantages to FPTP Can trigger conflict

20 MAJORITARIAN Block Vote Multi-member districts Voters get as many votes as there are candidatescan use all, some or none X number of candidates with highest vote totals elected

21 MAJORITARIAN Block Vote Advantages Voters can pick individuals Parties can have a more active role than in FPTP Rewards organized parties Criticisms Can exaggerate FPTP problems Can fragment parties Candidate selection must produce a strategic number of candidates with broad appeal

22 MAJORITARIAN Party Block Vote Multi-member districts Parties build lists of candidates Voters choose party list not an individual Party list gets elected

23 Advantages Simple Encourages strong parties Can facilitate minority representation Criticisms Suffers from problems of FPTP, particularly disproportionality MAJORITARIAN Party Block Vote

24 Single-member districts Voters rank candidate preferences If candidate secures an absolute majority of first choice votes, s/he is elected If not, candidate with the lowest votes is eliminated, and votes reallocated MAJORITARIAN Alternative Vote

25 Advantages Candidates must seek first and second votes of voters Can encourage compromise Avoids tactical voting in FPTP Criticisms Complex/ requires higher level of literacy Centrist outcomes depend more on political context than electoral system Doesnt work well with larger, multi-member districts MAJORITARIAN Alternative Vote

26 BALLOT EXAMPLE Photo: ACE Project, International IDEA Handbook (2005)

27 ELECTORAL SYSTEM DIMENSIONS District Size District Magnitude Threshold Party vs. Candidate Quotas Photo: Kathy Gest

28 DISTRICT SIZE AND MAGNITUDE Single or multiple districts? Number of representatives elected per district (district magnitude) Photo: Megan Doherty, NDI

29 PARTY LISTS AND THRESHOLD Open vs. Closed Lists Higher thresholds tend to result in more women elected

30 Party vs. Candidate Quotas OTHER ELECTORAL SYSTEM DIMENSIONS Photo: lrobinsonNDI

31 EXERCISE In small groups, discuss the pros and cons of your current electoral system.

32 ELECTORAL SYSTEMS REVIEW Questions? Feedback? Electoral Systems: o Proportional Representation o Majoritarian o Mixed Electoral System Dimensions


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