Electoral Systems Essay, Research Paper
From my limited studies of comparative government I have come to the conclusion that a plurality type of electoral process where winner takes all is a superior compared to proportional representation for several key reasons. Proportional representation is based on having an election based on census instead of consensus. In other words, ask the masses which party they feel will do the best job on a ticket where there may be several political parties running which intern will select its own leader from a list based on an individual’s faithfulness to the party.
The pros of proportional representation includes increase voter turnout based on the premise that every vote counts for a particular party, so you may not get all of the representation as in the plurality, but you may get some representation, so it gives more choices to the voter. Proportional representation would increase the amount of women in office because they make up 50 percent of the population, and this form of election would decrease the amount of negative campaigning, because the competition shift from all or nothing to all or something (http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/6/0,5716,63126+1+61565,00.html). An example of this would be if a politician gets 51% of the vote, this would garner 100% of the representation. There is no reason for a political party with less then 45% of the vote to make an effort as a party. Why spend the money?
Plurality on the other hand is a vote of consensus rather then census in other words, the party with the most votes will be elected. It’s easy to understand by voters, allows quick decisions and it is less costly to run. The only significant drawbacks include low voter turnout and the party that has the less amount of voters usually gets removed, so the winner takes all. The drawback to this is there may not be significant representation among the masses, but at least there is a constraint in the number of parties (http://www.ask.com/main/metaanswer.asp?metaEngine=directhit&origin.html).
Plurality is ideal for us Americans who are accustomed to a simple yuppie lifestyle with the most complicated decision in our daily existence is what will eat for dinner. In other words, we Americans like are elections simple and easy because a large number of we Americans are aloof in the voting process, not including myself who has voted in almost every election I could since I registered to vote on my 18th birthday. Let nations like Japan, Germany, Italy, Poland and Israel get caught up in complicated proportional representation electoral system because all it accomplishes is a weaker form of government because of numerous parties quarrellin with one another, at least we only have two.