Electoral systems women and elections
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Electoral Systems Women and Elections. The National Democratic Institute. INTRODUCTIONS/ GROUND RULES. Introductions Ground rules Ice breaker exercise. Photo: NDI. ELECTORAL SYSTEMS OBJECTIVES. To understand the different types of electoral systems

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Electoral systems women and elections

Electoral SystemsWomen and Elections

The National Democratic Institute


Electoral systems women and elections

INTRODUCTIONS/

GROUND RULES

  • Introductions

  • Ground rules

  • Ice breaker exercise

Photo: NDI


Electoral systems women and elections

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


Electoral systems women and elections

ELECTORAL SYSTEMS TOPICS

  • Electoral Systems:

    • Proportional Representation

    • Majoritarian

    • Mixed

Photo: Kathy Gest


Electoral systems women and elections

KEY TERMS

  • Electoral System

  • Proportional Representation

  • Majoritarian System

  • Open/Closed Party List

  • Gender Quota

Photo: NDI


What do they do

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


Types of electoral systems

TYPES OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS

Parallel

MMP


Proportional representation

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

  • Disadvantages

  • Coalition governments,

  • which can be unstable

  • Small parties have

  • disproportionate power

  • Accountability

  • Advantages

  • Proportionality

  • Encourage formation of

  • parties

  • Facilitate diverse

  • representation

  • Candidates need to get

  • votes from all over, not

  • just from a particular

  • region


Proportional representation list pr

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATIONList PR

  • 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


Electoral systems women and elections

BALLOT EXAMPLE

Photo: ACE Project


Proportional representation list pr1

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATIONList PR

  • Criticisms

  • Need more developed

  • parties

  • Requires greater

  • coordination by parties,

  • concentrates power in

  • hands of central party

  • organization

  • Weakens link between parties

  • and constituents

  • Advantages

  • Reflects proportionality

  • Allows smaller parties to

  • compete

  • Minority and women’s

  • quotas are easier to

  • implement

  • Encourages developed

  • parties


Proportional representation single transferable vote stv

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATIONSingle Transferable Vote (STV)

  • 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 stv1

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATIONSingle Transferable Vote (STV)

  • 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


Majoritarian

MAJORITARIAN

  • Also known as “plurality system”

  • Whoever wins the most votes, wins the election.

Photo: Marie-Eve_NDI-Pakistan


Majoritarian types

MAJORITARIAN TYPES

  • First Past the Post

  • Two-Round System

  • Block Vote

  • Party Block Vote

  • Alternate Vote


Majoritarian first past the post fptp

MAJORITARIANFirst 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


Majoritarian first past the post

MAJORITARIANFirst 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)


Majoritarian two round system

MAJORITARIANTwo-Round System

  • 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 system1

MAJORITARIANTwo-Round System

  • Advantages

  • Gives voters a second

  • chance

  • Encourages bargains and

  • tradeoffs

  • Minimizes vote-splitting

  • Criticisms

  • Expensive

  • Similar disadvantages to

  • FPTP

  • Can trigger conflict


Majoritarian block vote

MAJORITARIANBlock Vote

  • Multi-member districts

  • Voters get as many votes as there are candidates—can use all, some or none

  • “X” number of candidates with highest vote totals elected


Majoritarian block vote1

MAJORITARIANBlock 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


Majoritarian party block vote

MAJORITARIANParty Block Vote

  • Multi-member districts

  • Parties build lists of candidates

  • Voters choose party list not an individual

  • Party list gets elected


Electoral systems women and elections

Advantages

Simple

Encourages strong parties

Can facilitate minority representation

Criticisms

Suffers from problems of FPTP, particularly disproportionality

MAJORITARIAN

Party Block Vote


Electoral systems women and elections

MAJORITARIAN

Alternative Vote

  • 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


Electoral systems women and elections

MAJORITARIAN

Alternative Vote

  • Criticisms

  • Complex/ requires higher level of literacy

  • Centrist outcomes depend more on political context than electoral system

  • Doesn’t work well with larger, multi-member districts

  • Advantages

  • Candidates must seek “first” and “second” votes of voters

  • Can encourage compromise

  • Avoids “tactical voting” in FPTP


Electoral systems women and elections

BALLOT EXAMPLE

  Photo: ACE Project, International IDEA Handbook (2005)


Electoral system dimensions

ELECTORAL SYSTEM DIMENSIONS

  • District Size

  • District Magnitude

  • Threshold

  • Party vs. Candidate

  • Quotas

Photo: Kathy Gest


District size and magnitude

DISTRICT SIZE AND MAGNITUDE

  • Single or multiple districts?

  • Number of representatives elected per district (district magnitude)

Photo: Megan Doherty, NDI


Party lists and threshold

PARTY LISTS AND THRESHOLD

  • Open vs. Closed Lists

  • Higher thresholds tend to result in more women elected


Other electoral system dimensions

OTHER ELECTORAL SYSTEM DIMENSIONS

  • Party vs. Candidate

  • Quotas

  Photo: lrobinsonNDI


Electoral systems women and elections

EXERCISE

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


Electoral systems women and elections

ELECTORAL SYSTEMS REVIEW

  • Electoral Systems:

    • Proportional Representation

    • Majoritarian

    • Mixed

  • Electoral System Dimensions

  • Questions?

  • Feedback?


  • Login