2needs and expectations, immediately and in the future. Done badly, it can derail progresstowards democracy or even political stability.To be successful, electoral system design processes must build understanding and trust– not just among politicians and election administrators, but among civil societyorganizations, among commentators, and above all among the citizens belong to bothmajority and minority communities of a country undergoing democratic crisis andlooking for reform. Electoral systems must be designed not only to work under currentsituations but also to accommodate future changes in attitudes and behaviour as electoralincentives change. They can contribute to the development of stable democracy or theycan be a major stumbling block to it.There are a large number of different electoral systems currently in use and manymore permutations on each form, but for the sake of simplicity, electoral systems iscategorized into three broad families
plurality/majority systems, proportionalsystems, and mixed systems.
Within these there are nine
First Past The Post (FPTP), Block Vote (BV),Party Block Vote (PBV), Alternative Vote (AV), and the Two-Round System (TRS) areall plurality/majority systems; List Proportional Representation (List PR) and the SingleTransferable Vote (STV) are both proportional systems; and Mixed Member Proportional(MMP) and Parallel systems are both examples of the mixed model. In addition, there areother systems such as the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV), the Limited Vote (LV),and the Borda Count (BC) which do not fit neatly into any particular category and can beregarded as three further sub-families. Refer to the attached document for detaildefinition of each system.
The Principles of Representation:
There are two basic principles for classifying electoral representation systems: majorityrepresentation or proportional representation. The two electoral systems can be definedaccording to two criteria: The decision formula and the principle of representation.In majority systems, winning a seat in parliament or any elected body, depends on acandidate’s or political parties ability to win the required majority votes. The respectiveelection laws usually read as “the candidate who wins the majority of the votes cast shall be elected”. In the proportional systems, the gaining of a seat usually depends of theshare of votes which the various candidates or political parties can attain. Candidates or parties who have been able to win a predetermined required number of votes will beelected. A political party is allocated as many seats as this required number of votes fitswithin the total number of votes gained in the elections. Majority as a decision principlemeans that the majority of the votes cast decide who wins the election. Proportionality asa decision principle means that the result of an election is decided according to the proportion of votes cast that is obtained by each candidate or party.