In a democratic nation, one of the rudimentary means for the public is to partake in voting and elections. An electoral system entails a set of rules determining how referendums and elections are carried out and how their outcomes are determined. Voters can involve in the decision-making process pertaining making initiatives and referendums. However, concerning voting, there are two main forms of electoral systems involved proportional representation (PR) system and the single-member district (SMD) system. Currently, the majority of democratic nations utilize PR and sometimes can use a mixture of PR and SMD. Following the differences that exist between these two systems, the PR system is preferable and democratic. According to Hale, in an SMD, the system comprises only one seat where voters only cast their votes for an individual, and the contestant who obtains the largest share of votes wins the position. Therefore, the SMD electoral system implies that only one representative is elected to represent the geographical area or particular constituency; thereby, the system is deemed to allow for larger and fewer parties.
Contrary to SMD, in PR, the number of popular votes received ascertains the number of seats a party or political group holds in a jurisdictive body. Since it is impossible to subdivide a single seat proportionally on a single occasion, PR needs electoral districts containing more than one member. Having more representatives from the district to be elected makes it easier to divide proportionally. The two main PR types are single transferable vote (STV) and party-list system. In the party-list system, every party obtains a share of seats proportional to the percentage of votes from the elected candidate on the party list.
In STV, electorates rank their preferred contestant on the ballot instead of voting for one candidate. Because of a division of votes amongst parties, smaller parties exist in PR electoral system. Despite both PR and SMD electoral systems being known as democratic, PR is considered far more democratic than its counterpart is (“Electoral Systems (BP-334E)”). The PR is based on multimember districts with elections not focused on competitions amid those contesting like in SMD. PR does not limit smaller parties from achieving seats in the government like the SMD. Therefore, with PR, voters in smaller parties elect those they prefer and take chances without wasting their votes on parties they despise. In terms of efficiency, SMD is regarded to be more efficient compared to PR.
“Electoral Systems (BP-334E).” Government of Canada Publications, Web.
Hale, Isaac. “Electoral Systems I.” Introduction to comparative politics. (2017). 1-34.