A Compensatory Formula Law Constitutional Administrative Essay

Published: 2021-08-07 04:45:07
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CHAPTER FOUR
The Reform :
A compensatory formula
The implementation of the Sachs recommendations requires the insertion, in our electoral system, of a dose of proportional representation based on a party-list vote. This means that, in addition to voting for the three candidates of his choice to represent him in Parliament, the elector shall also vote for a party of his choice. And in voting for that party, he will be voting for members of that party whose name appear on the party-list.
It is crucial to understand that the elector does cast a vote for the members appearing on the party list. Unlike the present best loser system, the seats are allocated to winners and not to losers. Electors will continue to vote for the three MPs of their choice. As a result of the count, 62 members are returned to
the National Assembly. And 30 other members will be elected in accordance with the number of votes which their party has polled. And, after all this, the BLS will continue to guarantee that unreturned candidates at the constituency level will, if they belong to the "appropriate community", be guaranteed a seat On a specified day following the day fixed for the withdrawal of candidatures,each registered party or party alliance having at least 12 candidates shall lodgewith the Electoral Commissioner a list of not more than 30 persons which willbe called the "party list".
The Sachs Commission named and called this system as the Model C –,
The third suggestion, known as PR Model C, would tolerate for a higher degree of fairness whilst still heavily choosing stability. This ideal would tend in approval of stability by safeguarding that the number of PR seats was restricted to a number not exceeding 30. Whether or not the BLS is approved, the fact that there will be sixty-two members elected on a constituency basis and leading to only a maximum of thirty elected according to the compensatory PR system ,will burden the House severely on the aspect of the constituency form of representation. The overstated asset of the principal party created by the
FPTP will moreover highlight the comparative strength in the House of such party. Thus, any party or coalition which gets near to 50% or more of the votes will be certain of such a sizable number of constituency seats that it is suited to form a government could not be endangered by the starter of thirty PR seats. In the elections of 2000, the MSM/MMM alliance obtained 58 out of 70 seats.
If, the PR Model C had been validated and the extra number of PR seats was 20, the alliance would have concluded with a majority that could yet have been more than 70%. If 30 PR seats had been enhanced, it would have ended up with a majority of nearly 60%. Thus, while strongly focused towards protecting
the right to form a government of the leader of a party that on its own gets near to 50% of the national vote, or a pre-election alliance that leads witheven a low percentage, it would introduce a relatively significant correction tothe present gross under-representation of the opposition party or parties. It
should be noted, however, that even if PR Model C would not put at risk aparty or alliance that received nearly half the votes cast, it could make adifference if no single party or alliance received close to 50% or more of thevotes. In such narrow circumstances, it could, if three parties each got more
than 10% of the vote, place the third party in a position to form a post-
electoral alliance with a second party so as to form a majority in the House
and thereby choose the Prime Minister. At this stage, one can only speculate
on how any system of PR would affect electoral and party behaviour. The
practical effect of PR Model C might well be to encourage the creation of post-
election coalitions rather than pre-election alliances. At the moment, the
electoral system gives enormous, and many say, disproportionate, incentives to
form pre-election alliances.
advantage of establishing a balanced ticket known to the electorate in
Some voters might see this as having the
advance. The parties and the electorate generally, however, might prefer the
extra degree of fluidity and voter-choice which PR Model C would introduce. 17
85. The introduction of this system will call for a party list and the application of a
compensatory formula to compensate underrepresentation.
Section I - The Party List
86. Each party will select the candidates to appear on the party list in accordance
with such rules as the party may determine.
87. There will be two notable exceptions.
A. Gender representation and double candidacies
(i) Gender representation
88. Mauritius is already the subject of serious and ardent criticism for the low
level of female representation in Parliament. The present electoral system will
never do justice to the true role of women in society and will never enhance
the empowerment of women. Gender parity must be preserved at
89. We must acknowledge that party establishments are largely male-dominated
and male-orientated. The glaring lack of sensitivity of all party establishments
towards half of the population cannot be a subject of pride and any system
which does not attempt to cure this is not worthy of any consideration18. Only
a party-list system can do justice to women and the role of women in society.
90. We therefore recommend that the first twelve persons on the list shall include
at six persons of the female sex and at least six persons of the male sex, in
whatever order the party decides. This will ensure that within a few years,
political mentalities will have changed to such an extent that women will be
adequately represented in Parliament.
91. We stress that this is not a quota system. Under the system which we
recommend, female candidates will stand for election on a list and will be
elected on their own merit. The only difference being that instead of being
elected on a constituency basis, they will be elected on a national party list
with the same duties and obligations. We are not adopting a system such as
exists in Uganda where a separate electoral college elects a specific number of
women to Parliament on account only of their gender.
(ii) Double candidacy
92. The issue here is whether a person may stand as candidate in the constituency
poll and be also a candidate on his party list. This would mean that half of the
candidates in the constituency elections could also be on the party list. Double
candidacies exist in Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Japan and other
developed countries and it is up to parties to decide on the number of such
93. Your Committee do not agree that this is feasible in three-member
constituencies such as we have in Mauritius. A general acceptance of double
candidacy would defeat the whole purpose of having a party list while at the
same time creating an inherent risk of infighting during the electoral
campaign, with sly campaigns being conducted against those who do not
appear on the party list.
94. However, after careful consideration, Your Committee recommends one
exception for party leaders. The leader of a party will be able to appear both
on the party list and on a constituency list. The existing prohibition against
being a candidate in multiple constituencies will remain. This will ensure that
the leader of a party securing more than 10% of the votes will stand a
reasonable chance of being allocated a seat even where he loses his
constituency seat, especially if he is on top of his party’s list (his ranking in
the list being a matter for his party).
B. Registration of party lists
95. On the day following the date of withdrawal of candidatures, all political
parties having registered themselves under paragraph 2 of the First Schedule,
may register, with the Electoral Supervisory Commission, a list of not more
than 30 persons. The list shall indicate the order of precedence of each of the
candidates appearing thereon.
96. A number of conditions will need to be satisfied with regard to the list, viz.-
The list shall be signed by the President and the Secretary of the
executive committee of the party filing the list and shall be
accompanied by a resolution of the executive committee of the party
approving that list ;
The candidates appearing on the list must be qualified to be
candidates at an election to the National Assembly.
The list shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Electoral
Supervisory Commission and shall contain (i) the name, address and
profession of that person and (ii) the community to which that
person belongs ;
Each candidate whose name appears on the party list shall subscribe
to a declaration to the effect that he agrees to his name appearing on
the party list and his signature shall also appear against his name on
the party list ;
No political party or party alliance, even where registered under
paragraph 2 of the First Schedule shall be entitled to register a list
unless it has, at constituency level, fielded at least twelve candidates
who belong to such party or party alliance and who are candidates
for elections.
Within two days following the registration of party lists, the
Electoral Supervisory Commission shall publish, in the Gazette and
in such number of newspapers as may be prescribed, all the party
lists registered with the Commission. The lists shall also be posted
in all polling stations.
The publication shall contain –
the name and symbol of the political party ;
such particulars of the persons appearing on the list as the
Electoral Supervisory Commission may prescribe ; and
(iii) a statement by the Chairman of the Electoral Supervisory
Commission certifying that the list has been registered with
the Commission within the prescribed delay and that, for the
purpose of the election, the persons appearing on the list shall
be allocated seats under the relevant provision of the First
Schedule of the Constitution.
Section II – The compensation for underrepresentation
A. The voting process
(i) The poll
97. On the day of the poll, an elector shall be provided with two ballot papers. The
first ballot paper will contain the list of candidates for election in the
constituency. The second ballot paper will contain a list of parties who have
registered their party lists. They need not contain the lists themselves. The
ballot papers shall be in such form as the Electoral Supervisory Commission
98. On the first ballot paper, the elector shall insert a mark to indicate the three
candidates of his choice in the same manner as it is done now.
99. On the second ballot paper (the"party ballot paper"), the elector shall insert a
mark to indicate the party for which he votes. For instance, an elector may, in
the first ballot paper, have voted for two candidates of Party A and one
candidate of Party B. But on the second ballot paper, he will indicate the party
of his choice, which may be Party A or Party B or any other party appearing
on the list. By voting for a particular party list, he actually votes for the party
which he would like to represent him in Parliament and, at the same time,
votes for those persons whose names appear on the party list in order of
precedence. If his party passes the threshold of 10%, this elector may be
represented in Parliament even if his chosen candidates have not been elected.
The elector shall place his ballot papers in two separate ballot boxes.
(ii) The Count
On "counting day", constituency and party-list ballot papers will be
counted separately. In respect of each constituency, the first three candidates
will be returned to Parliament.
With regard to party ballot papers, a count shall be effected at the level
of each constituency so as to determine the number of electors who have voted
for each party appearing on the list.
The results shall then be returned to the Electoral Supervisory
Commission which will determine to which candidates appearing on the party
list the 30 additional seats should be allocated.
B. Allocation of additional seats
The system is not a complicated system except if one stubbornly
refuses to understand it. The Electoral Supervisory Commission shall –
on the basis of returns effected by each Returning Officer, count the
total number of votes which have been cast for each party in the
"second ballot";
discard from consideration all parties who have polled less than
10% of the total votes cast ;
divide the total number of votes polled by each party having polled
10% or more of the votes [a] by the aggregate of one (1) and the
number of candidates of that party who have been returned at the
level of the 21 constituencies (1+ b); The formula to be applied will
therefore be [ a / (1+b)]. In other words, where a party has, say, 20
returned candidates at constituency level, the number of votes polled
by that party in respect of its party list is divided by 21. The result is
the "PR figure".
The PR Figure of each party indicates whether that party is
underrepresented. Where a party has a high PR figure, this means
that it is underrepresented and, as a result, the first additional seat
shall be allocated to the party with the highest PR figure ;
Since the allocation of that first additional seat may have upset the
representation of parties, another PR figure needs to be recalculated
by dividing the total number of votes polled by that party (a) by the
aggregate of one (1) and the number of seats held by that party as a
result of the previous exercise.
this process shall carry on until all 30 additional seats have been
The following illustration, taken from the 1976 results19 will reveal
that the exercise is not as complicated as it reads –
Independence Party obtained 456 177 votes and secured 25 seats.
MMM obtained 469 420 and secured 30 seats.
PMSD, obtained 200 559 votes (more than 10%) and secured 7 seats.
One can immediately see that the PMSD was grossly underrepresented.
This under representation may have contributed to the ensuing political
instability of the late 1970’s.
The following tables indicate how the compensatory system would
Total votes per party
IP
Seats
25
To compensate for this underrepresentation, a PR figure would be
worked out for each of these three parties as follows –
IP
PR Figure
456177/ (1+25)
17,545.27
MMM
PR Figure
469420/ (1+30)
15,142.58
This operation indicates that the first additional seat would be allocated
to the PMSD which would, at that stage, have 8 seats.
The allocation of this additional seat to the PMSD lowers its PR figure.
The dividing figure remains the same for IP and MMM but is (1 + 8) for
The figures are provided by the Electoral Commissioner’s Office. It is assumed, for the present
purposes, that electors voted on a strict party line. This is not a correct assumption as it was as from
1982 that electors started voting "bloc".
20
Still on the assumption that votes were cast on party lines.
PMSD. The PR figure will therefore remain the same for IP and MMM but
will decrease for PMSD which will, however, still have a higher PR figure.
IP
PR Figure
456,177/ (1+25)
17,545.27
MMM
PR Figure
469,420/ (1+30)
15,142.58
The second additional seat is therefore allocated to the PMSD.
For the third additional seat, the dividing figure still remains the same
for IP and MMM but is (1 + 9) for PMSD. The PR figure will, once again,
decrease for PMSD. The process goes on as in the following table –
IP
Seats
25
25
25
25
25
26
27
27
28
29
29
30
30
31
31
31
32
32
33
33
34
34
34
34
35
35
36
36
36
37
37
MMM
Votes
469,420.00
15,142.58
488.47
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
15,142.58
The above table indicates how the compensatory PR formula allows
for fairness while striking a balance with the requirement of stability. Indeed,
the IP/PMSD coalition would have had a clearer majority in the Assembly and
would have probably avoided the instability of the late 70’s. The initial results
meant that the MMM was overrepresented in Parliament. This would have
been corrected by providing 9 additional seats to the PMSD and 12 to the
Independence Party.
One can also insert an additional guarantee to provide that the party
having won the most seats at constituency level is guaranteed to have at least
50% + 1 of the seats in the Assembly even where its PR figure is the lowest.

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