Would the use of a majoritarian electoral system rather than proportional representation for parliamentary elections in South Africa create a more accountable and more representative government?

Topics: Election, Proportional representation, Voting system Pages: 5 (1789 words) Published: May 30, 2014
Would the use of a majoritarian electoral system rather than proportional representation for parliamentary elections in South Africa create a more accountable and more representative government? DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL STUDIES

STUDENT NAME: Thembelani

STUDENTNUMBER:………… PRCTHE002
TUTOR:…………………………………………… Senzo TUTORIALNUMBER:…………………………………30 ASSIGNMENT: final class essaY

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It is the empirical fact that countries use different electoral systems and in most cases within the system they are variations and combinations that exist around the world. The PR system has been proven to maintain stability over the past, but it has the potential to breakdown. Whether the citizen or the parliament is held accountable for the breakdowns depends on the type of system which can be majoritarian electoral system or the Proportional representative system. Each system has its own flaws, looking at the flaws this essay prefers to argue that using the majoritarian electoral system rather than the proportional representation for parliamentary elections here in South Africa will create a more accountable and more representative government, to rise such a debatable argument it will first look at the current Proportional representation (PR) how it was adopted and its flaws and advantages that make it to be more appealing than the majoritarian electoral system.it will further look at the current political events that both system have part in and how the citizen or society have respond to those political transitions.

South Africa uses a closed list Proportional Representation system. This system was adopted after the first democratic elections in 1994 and the new constitution was developed in 1996. In this system the members of the national and provincial legislatures are elected by their political parties. In this system voters have no power to determine the party list, they can only vote for the parties, whether they like or dislike some individual on the list it is not up to them. Their job is to nominate a Representative in authority to govern the country by making important decision on their behalf. This certainly shows that the system in place in South Africa does not cater for the full expression of the will of the people. It is also put in place in way that makes it impossible for the will of the people to be usurp or subverted. Even though voters may not feel satisfy by the conduct of the parliament, they have no power to remove the person. That person will stay as long as the members of his or her party are willing for him to do so. There are no direct lines of political accountability between the voters and parliamentarians only on the local level where few people can have their MPs. At the local government the country has mixed electoral system, where half of the councilors are elected by PR list and another half by local Representative at ward level (Sibalukhulu, 2012:1). The Parliament is the important structure where the laws are being made. Nevertheless the parliamentarian also have to follow the system in place, they have no effect in deciding the PR list except those from the same party. This system threatens even the members of its own party from being removed if they have different views or opinions about something. For example note ANC when the party...
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