Asses the Claim That Proportional Electoral Systems Are Superior to Majoritarian or Plurality Systems

Topics: Election, Elections, Voting system Pages: 4 (1552 words) Published: March 13, 2011
Asses the claim that proportional electoral systems are superior to majoritarian or plurality systems (50) Most constitutional reforms see electoral systems as how democratic a country is. This is illustrated with ‘elections are the defining institution of modern democracy’. All new countries or democracies seem to choose a form of Proportional Representation (PR), for instance following the collapse of Yugoslavia post 1989, the Czech Republic chose AMS and similarly after the fall of Sadam Hussein Iraq went for the list system. What is more, even countries that do away with PR systems, have gone back to it. For instance Italy dropped PR in 1995 and has recently returned in 2005. The UK, a proud supporter of FPTP, uses PR systems outside general elections. This evidence seems to strongly point to proportional systems, yet the arguments for majoritarian systems are still strong, with the US said to be the ultimate democracy pioneering FPTP. The debate of the question seems to be which is more superior out of a representative or strong government. Any supporter of majoritarian systems will claim there is the retention of a clear strong constituency link. With FPTP, Members of Parliament owe their allegiance to the people where as PR systems the MP can find themselves being responsible to the party. For example in the Israeli List system, the parties make lists of candidates to be elected, and seats get allocated to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives. As a result the parties themselves can decide who gets elected in each constituency. If there is a safe seat in Israel for example the Likud party could field a party robot who will act as a puppet to the party in the Knesset. Unlike this which is clearly undemocratic, FPTP allows the voters to decide their MP in a clear and simple election. This can bring benefits to the voter, for instance there is a great tradition of pork barreling in the US Congress, where members of the House and...
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