Sunday, March 26, 2006

Election Day: Voter Turn Out

8PM Less then 50% voter turn out reported

8PM Election Day.

Scrutineers are reporting a lower then expected voter turn out with less then 50% of registered voters having voted and only two hours left until the close of polls.

Traditionally a low turn out is bad for governments and good for the opposition but the lower then expected turn out makes it hard to determine the outcome.

The lower then expected participation rate indicates a dissatisfaction with all parties and the possibility that many Ukrainians consider the results of the election a foregone conclusion and rather then vote for a party of their choice have opted to not vote.

Voters feel disenfranchised. A vote for a minor party runs the risk of not having their vote count in the final outcome of The election.

Voters are asked to vote for parties and block and do not get to vote directly for the candidates of their choice. Under the Party list system without preferential voting a vote for a minor party not be counted with Major parties benefiting from the system itself as opposed to voter support. Mayor Parties who exceed the 3% quota will receive significantly higher percentage of representation then the percentage of voter support.

Clearly if Ukraine wished to provide true democratic representation it need to rethink its electoral model and in doings so give further consideration for direct election of candidates and adopt a system of preferential voting where voters for minor parties can make a difference and help determine the extent of support and election of members of parliament based on their choice in order of their nominated preference.