iasparliament
September 12, 2017
2 months
300
1

Bring out the differences between First Past the Post (FPTP) system and Proportional Representation system of elections. Analyse the limitations in FPTP system and suggest options for ensuring a true democracy.

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IAS Parliament 2 months

MODEL ANSWER

Comparison of FPTP and PR system of election

                     

FPTP

                       

PR

The country is divided into small geographical

units called constituencies or district.

Large geographical areas are demarcated as constituencies. The entire

country may be a single

constituency

 

Every constituency elects  one representative

More than one representative may be

elected from one

constituency

Voter votes for a candidate

Voter votes for the party

A party may get more seats than votes in the legislature

Every party gets seats in the legislature in proportion to

the percentage of votes

that it gets

Candidate who wins the election may not get of

majority (50%+1) votes

Candidate who wins the elections gets majority votes.

Examples: U.K., India

Examples: Israel,

Netherlands

 

·        Demerits of FPTP - Excludes smaller parties, minorities, and womens’ from fair representation.

·        A party with even 20% share does not get a single seat, while a party with 28% can get disproportionately large number of seats because of a division of votes.

·        Encourage the development of political parties based on clan, ethnicity or region.

·        It is not suitable for multi party democracy representing multiple interests.

·        It doesn’t reflect the true aspirations of majority people.

·        True democracy couldn’t exist without reflection of majority aspirations.

·        Solutions - Recommendations of the Law Commission’s 170th and 255th report should be implemented. (i.e.) A mix of both first-past-the-post and proportional representation should be tried (Hybrid Electoral System)

·        The past experiences of other countries which have been following the system of proportional representation in addition to direct election should be studied to devise an effective system.

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