Sunday, 27 September 2020 | News today: 0

Advantages of plurality voting system


Timco Mucunski

Before the parliamentary elections, which are set to be held in April next year, the political parties participating in the political dialogue, as well as the smaller ones, who are interested in changes to the voting system / voting model began to openly discuss this issue. In the same context, they often speak or comment on topics related to the degree of power within the three pillars of power in the state, the opportunities and needs to increase competition, and thus the quality of political action, opening a new maneuver room for expansion of direct democracy and so on.

We know that in the past twenty years the voting system in Macedonia has been altered  on several occasions, and as if the practice itself suggested the conclusion that the ideal system, which will please the majority of citizens and political parties, has not been found yet.

A serious task for experts, connoisseurs and analysts dealing with constitutional and legal matter and the political system, in the coming period,  will obviously, be engaged in analyzing and searching the most appropriate solution that could define a clear voting system as Macedonia needs, i.e. a solution that would also be in accordance with the constitutional and legal order, based on clearly defined rules and principles, precise control mechanisms for responsible execution of power in the state and increased level of responsibility towards the citizens.

The current proportional voting system is partially disturbing the direct contact and relationship between the citizens that elect (the voters) and the citizens that should be elected (the MPs) on account of the increased level of inevitable politicization of society and the increasing authority of political parties and their leadership.

The classical plurality voting system is nothing new to the Republic of Macedonia and here it was already in operation and practically has been used in two election cycles for the election of Members of Parliament in Macedonia. Like any voting model the plurality voting system has more significant comparative advantages in terms of the proportional and the mixed, which I think are of extremely importance in regard to building a democratic voting system, which primarily would be in the interest of citizens.

From the long experience of highly developed democratic countries we could get a conclusion that the main benefit of the plurality voting system is the direct relationship between the MP and the voter, the high level of responsibility in terms of the constituency the MP is representing, the choice of the person candidate for MP and his personal qualities, which are extremely important for a given vote, the ability the deputies to be directly acquainted with the problems of citizens and to actively engage in their faster and efficient resolution.

The problems arising from the need for possible organizing of additional second round of voting, as well as the need in case of leaving the MP seat to organize further elections in the defined constituency, are minor in terms of the benefits citizens will have from realizing direct communication with the elected representatives.

With the plurality voting system all MP candidates and all political parties are put in an equal position and, obviously, they will be forced to look for the candidates for MPs in the face of professional and moral quality personnel, which effectively and efficiently will represent their interests and those of the citizens during their term in Parliament.

The democratic approach of the plurality voting model is clearly reflected in the options (if stipulated in the Electoral Code) to take away the term of the MP by the citizens in case of irresponsible, non-transparent and unprofessional conduct of the parliamentary function.

We should not neglect the fact that the application of the plurality voting system opens the possibility of selection of independent candidates and candidates of smaller political parties, who by performing independently in the elections are much more likely to gain MP seats and thus create stronger space for its parliamentary activities.

We can conclude that the initiative to change the voting system from proportional to plurality comes at the right time and that its implementation will bring new freshness on the political scene and open up additional space to include experienced, professional, young and quality staff. We all expect the next parliamentary elections to be conducted efficiently and to be declared as peaceful, fair, democratic and legitimate, to be an introduction to gradually overcome the current inter-party tensions, to promote the real political dialogue, to enrich the democratic environment in the country, to allow unimpeded economic development and accelerated realization of the Euro-Atlantic perspectives of Macedonia.