Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ukraine's proposed new Parliamentary structure

Ukraine's Draft Law on the election of members of Parliament of Ukraine (Source: Venice Commission) will make things worst.

The MMP system does not work. It creates two levels of unequal mandates within the same chamber. It did not work before so what makes them think it will work now?

1. Under the draft proposal single member electorates will be decided by a first past the post voting system whoever wins the highest vote wins the seat. This means in a three cornered seat of say 34.0%, 33.5% and 32.5% the person with 34% of the vote wins, even though 66% are opposed to them.

2. The remaining seats are filled using a party list system but the threshold quota will be increased

If they MUST have a divided mandate (Local versus national interests) then create a bicameral parliament with the Senate elected on a national interest mandate and the legislative assembly (lower house) elected on a local mandate.

Any single member electorate MUST be decided by an absolute majority vote (50% or more) this can be achieved by adopting a preferential voting system (Instant Run Off voting) Each candidate is ranked in order of preference. If no candidate has 50% or more first votes then the candidate(s) with the lowest vote is excluded and their votes redistributed according to the voters choice. This process repeates until a candidate has 50% or more votes. Like the two round presidential system but One round of voting only.

A prefered more democratic model
Is to establish 45 to 50 local regional electorates of roughly similar size in numbers of voters. Each electorate would elect nine members of parliament using a Single Transferable Voting Proportional representation system. The quota for electing an candidate would be 10%. Those candidates that fall below the quota would not be disenfranchised as their vote would be transferred according to voters nominated preferences and used to make up and determine a successful Candidate's 10% quota. Method of counting the vote to be either Meek or Wright.

You get the best of all models. A single house, local electorates, equal mandates, and democratically elected representatives.