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GYLA’s Assessment of the Electoral System, Proposed by the Ruling Party

2019-06-24 15:22
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Today, June 24th, the chairperson of the ruling political party has announced that 2020 parliamentary elections would be held entirely through proportional system, with zero (natural) threshold. Today’s statement did not fully clarify exactly, which part of the electoral system would be modified; however, given that election of all 150 through proportional system is an important issue, GYLA will assess this model. In those conditions, the natural barrier means that in order to obtain one mandate in the parliament, a political party must overcome 0.67% threshold.

Firstly, it must be emphasized that there is no perfect electoral system and the proposed system is no exception – it also has its weaknesses. Specifically, this system increases the likelihood of bargaining between the parties behind the closed doors, as well as increases the likelihood of slowing down the decision-making process.

However, the proposed system has a number of advantages:

1. In the proposed system, practically every voter can have their representative in the parliament, as a result, the number of “lost” votes (votes, which are not enough for the party to overcome the minimal threshold) is minimized. For example, 19.2% of votes were lost in 2016 elections, meaning that today, one in every five voters has no representative in the politics as a result;

2. In the proposed system, the number of the obtained parliamentary mandates and their electoral support are almost matching, meaning that disproportionality of the political party representation is minimized. For example, in 2016 elections, the ruling political party obtained 76.7% of mandates with only 48.68% of votes;

3. In the proposed system, the new parliament will maximally reflect the attitudes of the voters. The natural barrier provides possibility for the legislative body to reflect the political views of the public, with maximum possible exactness.

Those arguments are mutually connected and mutually causal; however, all arguments are related to the most important anticipated result: almost every group of society will be involved in the deliberations and almost no-one will be left out of the policy-making process. This increases the legitimacy of the decisionsof the parliament and supports the development of healthy political processes.

GYLA calls upon the government to introduce the announced amendments, following detailed discussions.