Electoral Reform – AD proposals

The info for now. The comment later. From the Malta Independent (my highlights):

Alternattiva Demokratika yesterday presented its proposals for changes to the electoral system. Chairperson Arnold Cassola stated: “As regards the reform of the electoral system we are proposing a double threshold, based more or less on the German system, with a district quota of 16.6 per cent that would allow an individual to be elected on her/his own steam, and a national quota with a threshold of two quotas for any party to be represented in parliament”.

Carmel Cacopardo, Alternattiva Demokratika spokesperson on sustainable development and local councils stressed that the main aim of the Alternattiva Demokratika proposal is to bring about the necessary balance between a fair democratic representation of the voters’ intentions and functional governability of the country.

I think the biggest problem will be defining functional governability. Do we stick with compensation clauses to ensure one party government (with a possible multi-party opposition) or do we consider the possibility of coalitions? Pleasures yet to come.
Ad’s Proposals can also be read in slightly a bit more detail here.

4 responses to “Electoral Reform – AD proposals

  1. No, it’s not “functional governability”. I think it is amply clear by now that, with the current level of electoral support, no electoral system can deliver more than two parties in parliament. The risk — which we ran last time — is that the votes acquired by third parties might put in doubt the legitimacy of the government elected.

    What would have to go, in the circumstances, is inter-party transferability. The Nationalists tried to preserve that when a deal was almost reached in 1994 and it was nice to see that they gave up partially on that when agreement was reached on the amendment of 2007.

    So what’s at issue is “the wasted vote”. And killing off inter-party trasferability would make it clear to voters of third parties that, in case the party they vote for does not make it to Parliament (most likely) their vote is definietly wasted.

  2. Is it the current (low) level of support for third parties which makes them unelectable? Or is the fact that the electoral system works against them – in requiring a high threshold in one district?

  3. Claire, Malta’s system is not more disadvantageous to third parties than, say the UK’s. Yet, in the UK the LibDems still manage more than 20% of the vote even if their voters know that that portion will not translate into that much seats.

    Indeed, Malta’s system favours third parties with its inter-party transferability. You mention a threshold which really does not exist: a party can have zero first preference votes and not achieve a quota in later counts and still elect MPs. Vide Ireland.

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