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HomePoliticsStable Electoral System through Constitutional Review - The Pros and Cons

Stable Electoral System through Constitutional Review – The Pros and Cons


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In USA, Britain and France the majority system is applied – In Greece there is no fertile ground for discussion because of the gap between ND and SYRIZA

By Antonis Anzoletou

It is easy to formulate the opinion that the country could, through her Constitutional revision, to adopt a stable electoral system. The profit will be obvious. No majority would proceed with changes based on self-interest. Either to retake the majority more easily or to not give the official opposition, which sees itself rising in the polls, the opportunity to easily form a government. The government of Andreas Papandreou was accused of this in 1989 with the “Koutsoiorgas law” which was a variation of simple proportionality. Although SYRIZA had in its pre-election program the introduction of simple proportional representation for expediency, it was accused by its political opponents when it changed the electoral system in the summer of 2016.

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Even if the respective government knows that it does not have 2/3 of it Parliament, in order to apply the new law from the next election, suspicion that the “touches” he intends to make each time are not so “innocent” exist. Whoever has the “151” defines the rules of the electoral game. This is fair as far as bills are passed and become laws of the state.

The governing party is implementing the program it promised before the elections. It is not so fair when we talk about the electoral system. What is the best and most acceptable ballot algorithm and who gets to define that? Is it simple proportionality that enforces partnerships, the vote is not altered, yet governments can hardly emerge? Or is it the majority that a party even with 35% can form a government? Something in between maybe.

The gap between ND and SYRIZA

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No one can guarantee that what passes through a Constitutional revision will be so meritorious and fair as to be valid forever. It requires thorough cross-party debate in the Reviewing Parliament and certainly broad consensus. Since absolute agreement is very difficult to achieve. Of course the great gap that separates New Democracy and SYRIZA in this particular field there does not seem to be fertile ground for such a discussion to begin soon.

Majority system in USA, UK, France

In very large countries, such as the USA, Great Britain and France, the system is majority. For example, in America, the party that wins the elections in each state takes all the state’s seats in the House. There has not traditionally been a problem of governability. The system in Germany is dual (cross and list) and there have been various proposals from time to time for its adoption in Greece as well. The 5% limit for a party to enter the Parliament prevents small formations from easily getting the ticket thus favoring the bigger forces. The federal German electoral system, which is also applied in other countries (Mexico, New Zealand, etc.), is a mixed system of proportionality and majoritarianism.

The case of Italy

The case of Italy is typical, where simple proportionality has led the country to not have stable governments. The culture of alliances, however, works in northern Europe and simple analogy has not prevented the formation of governments. Therefore, the electoral systems that have been established by the citizens and have been implemented for many years are not an obstacle. In a country like Greece, which before and after the post-colonialism has been dominated by bipolarity, enough water needs to flow down the drain until cooperative governments become the obvious choice. For this reason and according to many, the dilemma in the next polls will also have to do with the “governance model”.

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I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have been an author at News Bulletin 247 for the past 2 years. I mostly cover politics news. I am a highly experienced and respected journalist. I have won numerous awards for my work.

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