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Designing for Equality Best-fit, medium-fit and non-favourable combinations of electoral systems and gender quotas © International IDEA.
Electoral Systems The way in which votes are translated to seats © International IDEA.
Elements of Electoral Systems The district magnitude – determining how many representatives are elected in one electoral district; The formula – determining how the winner of a seat is choosen; and The ballot structure – determining whether the voter votes for a candidate or a party and whether the voter makes a single choice or expresses a series of preferences. © International IDEA.
Electoral system variables which impact on the representation of women District magnitude – the size of the district determines the number of people a party can nominate – the more people the better chance for gender balance. Party magnitude – the more candidates elected from the same district and the same party, the better chance for gender balance. A formula that leads to greater competition: many parties in the legislature few wasted votes The ballot structure – candidate or party centered? © International IDEA.
Best-fit combinations Systems with a second tier + reserved seats – a tier for women candidates only (example: Pakistan). List PR + »Small districts (Dominican Rep. and Ecuador) or Large districts (Argentina, Belgium, Costa Rica, Iraq) + nominations – percentage regulations with placement mandate/rank-order rules (e.g. Zipper- quotas) »Large districts + nominations – percentage regulations without placement mandate/rank-order rules (e.g. Zipper- quotas) (example: Macedonia) © International IDEA.
Best-fit combinations Block Vote (+ LV and SNTV) + reserved seats – best loser system (example:Jordan) Party Block Vote + nominations- percentage regulations without/with placement (examples: Cameroon & Djibouti) Single Transferable Vote + reserved seats – best loser system Mixed Member Proportional + reserved seats – a tier for women candidates only Borda Count + reserved seats – best loser system © International IDEA.
Medium-fit combinations that can work favourably but will need special attention List PR with large districts without applying any quotas All other systems with reserved seats – certain districts for women candidates only Parallel or MMP system together with nominations – percentage regulations with or without placement mandat/rank-order rules © International IDEA.
Impossible or non-favourable combinations 16 identified combinations of electoral systems with quota types which are either not possible or not likely to be favourable to achieving a higher level of political participation for women. Many times the reason is that candidate centred systems do not allow ranking to be determined beforehand or elected candidates to be changed after the election. © International IDEA.
Other variables affecting the representation of women Enforceability Capacity of the EMB Cultural factors and voter preferences Aspirants Nomination procedures © International IDEA.
Conclusions An electoral system is not neutral. Party-centred electoral systems tend to work well with quotas targeting the nomination of candidates. Candidate-centred electoral systems often need quotas targeting the results. The most effective quotas are likely to also be the most controversial ones. © International IDEA.
Recommendations The electoral system and the quota to be used must be considered together instead of separately. There is no impossible electoral system. Electoral systems and quotas can be modified and adapted to suit the specific context in which they are implemented. When designing electoral institutions it is highly advisable to include as many stakeholders as possible. © International IDEA.
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