Saturday, September 22, 2007

Our Ukraine's Undemocratic reform proposals under review

Our Ukraine recently advocated electoral reform and the adoption of a single member majority voting system similar to the outdated voting systems used in Britain, Canada and the USA

Whilst the creation of smaller local electorates is worthy of consideration the proposed "Majority voting" system is undemocratic and should be rejected outright.

It is a system designed when voters could not read or write a system that is outdated.




Preliminary analysis of the 2006 Parliamentary electoral districts results indicates that up to 53% of the electorate will be disenfranchised under the Majority voting system - denied the right of direct representation.

In a false and misleading attempt to make the system appear to be more democratic Our Ukraine have in haste proposed a two round voting system so that if no one single candidate has 50% or more votes a second round ballot would be undertaken.

Analysis has shown that only 28% of electorates would be decided on the first round and the remaining 72% would need to face a second round of voting doubling the costs of holding election.

Even under a two round system the number of citizens disenfranchised will remain above 40%.

The two-round majority-voting system has another serious design flaw. What happens in cases when the electorate is evenly divided and there is no clear two leaders on could have 44% of the vote one 15.6% another 15.5% and the remaining 24.9% split between various candidates? What logic dictates who should face the second ballot.

Alternative Options

The most simple alternative option would be to introduce a system of preferential voting one round one vote same outcome as a would be the case in a two round ballot. Voters indicate in order of preference their choice of candidates (1,2,3 etc) if no single candidate has a majority of 50% or more votes the candidates with the lowest violets are eliminated and redistributed according to the voters express preference. This process is repeated until a candidate has 50% or more votes. the system requires one-ballot only saving vast limited public resources and allowing for the results of the election to be determined in a shorter period of time. The direct and indirect benefits are significant.

Even with singe member preferential voting system more then 50% of citizens would go unrepresented by someone of their first choice.

Preferred Alternative

There is no question that the national party list system as inherent design faults which leaves the people removed from the process directly electing their chosen representatives.

The creation of local electorates has the advantage of ensuring that members of parliament are directly elected and as a result accountable to the electorate.

The main problem with the proposal put forward by Our Ukraine is in the electoral system proposed. Not only is it administrative cumbersome but it is also undemocratic for the reasons outlined above.

A preferred option would be to take a middle ground approach, one that incorporates the benefits of bath's systems and in the process provides a more accountable and democratic electoral system.

The preffered proposal would be to establish a number of smaller local electorates with each electorate returning nine members of parliament elected by a system of preferential proportional representation on a 10% quota. This system would ensure a more fairer and democratic representative model with up to 95% of citizens represented by someone of their choosing. The 10% quota required to win a seat in the parliament would ensure that the system remains workable whilst facilitating for democratic representation.

The over all number of electorates would be decided by by the total number of members of to be elected to the parliament divided by nine. (360 could be a good size with the creation of 40 electorates similar in size of population.)

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