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Government And Electoral Systems Essay

1196 words - 5 pages

Majoritarian system provides for a stable government but considering South Africa’s political stability in the past, it can be argued that a hybrid system leaning more towards proportional representation is much more effective and relevant than a strictly majoritarian or proportional system to the South African government because of it’s inclusivity of all of the South African diverse citizens remedying the previous inequalities that the apartheid system introduced. Drawing from the ideologies of Norris and Blais, the major differences between majoritarian and proportional representation and as well as the two electoral systems that allow for accountability and social representation go into the argument for proportional representation for South African government.

An electoral system is defined as what defines the processes by which votes are translated into seats in the process of electing politicians into office . In a democracy, there are two common electoral formulas which defines how votes are translated into parliamentary seats, the majoritarian and proportional representation systems moreover are different in many ways. According to Norris, the majoritarian system is a ‘traditional and simple electoral system, mainly focused on effective governance’. A majoritarian system requires the presidential candidate and his/her political party to ‘obtain a minimum of 50% of the sum total of votes’ in order to form a strong, functioning government . The fundamental characteristic is that there is a lone ruling unified political party government, with sole responsibility, accountability and supporters for effectiveness and stability

However proportional representation is based the principle that diversity should be equally reflected in the form of representative assemblies. The proportional representation is thus designed to accommodate all constituencies in parliament and basing the number of seats for each constituency on the number of votes acquired in the election. The participating political parties have the option of using a closed or open list. In a open list, voters cast their vote for a particular candidate within the party and in a closed list, voters vote for a particular party and members of the party elect which candidate will be elected into parliament in their agreed upon ranking. This is where majoritarian system differs from that of proportional as it has one party that represents the needs of the nation rather than various parties. Additionally in 1994, post apartheid South Africa adopted proportional representation to remedy the inequalities caused by the apartheid regime and essentially represented each ethnic group’s needs

The introduction of the closed list policy came during the 1994, South Africa’s first democratic elections when the African National Congress (ANC) decided to implement the proportional representational electoral system with every intention of ensuring a democracy that caters for all of the South...

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