“Election Issues 20: Again, who actually gets elected from Political Party?” 19 July 2014.
Election Issues 20: Again, who gets elected from the Party?
Professor Wadan Narsey (Appeared in The Fiji Times, 19 July 2014)
Many voters are still confused about how the “successful” candidates will be decided by the Elections Office.
Many are still thinking that the Party’s Preferred List and ranking of candidates will be used to decide who are elected. NO. NO. NO.
Whether any candidate is elected will be decided not just by how many votes the Party receives in total, but also by how many votes the candidates themselves receive relative to their fellow candidates.
Let me simplify the article I had written previously, which was too long for many readers and had too many lessons in it (even if they were all important).
Eliminate Independents and Parties below 5% threshold
Suppose there are 540,000 votes cast (or about 90% of all registered voters).
The Electoral Decree says that parties and Independents MUST pass the 5% threshold of the votes cast, to qualify, or a minimum of 27,000 votes.
Suppose that only 1 Independent satisfies the 5% threshold and is elected and the others do not.
Suppose one small party is eliminated because it does not get the 5% threshold.
The votes given to the eliminated parties and independents no longer count.
Suppose you now have 4 parties left (A, B, C, D) amongst whom you have to allocate the remaining 49 seats, by strict proportionality.
Allocation of Seats to Parties
The D’Hondt method uses quotients of the total votes received by each Party with the highest quotients being elected from each Party but the results will come exactly as Column (5) in Table 1 which shows the easier way to understand the proportionality of the electoral system.
Table 1 gives in
Column (1) the eligible parties (A,B,C,D) who received more than 5% of the votes cast
Column (2) the votes received by each qualifying party.
Column (3) gives the exact proportions of the total votes received by each Party (adding up to 1).
Column (4) gives the exact number (with fractions) of parliamentarians they are entitled to (adding up to 49).
You could just round off the fractions to the nearest whole number and get the numbers in column (5).
But the Electoral Decree insists that the D’Hondt method be used to decide the results, which are now given in Column (5), and you will notice that some of the parties with fractions have been given an additional seat.
They total 49 exactly, and adding the 1 Independent gives you the 50 elected to Parliament.
|Table 1 Sharing the 49 seats among the qualifying Parties|
No of Seats By
|Total in Parliament||50|
Who gets elected to Parliament?
Then the Elections Office decides who exactly from the Parties are elected to Parliament.
The Party’s List ranking their candidates according to the Party’s preferences does not matter.
All candidates for a successful Party will be ranked by the numbers of votes they receive (as in Table 2).
Thus, if Party A is entitled to 18 seats in Parliament (as in column (5) above), then the first 18 in order of the numbers of votes received, will be selected (see Table 2 with candidate numbers randomly chosen).
ONLY AND ONLY IF there is the extremely unlikely event of a tie in votes for the last seat to be allocated, will the Party’s List decide which of the tied candidates is elected
The remaining 32 candidates will be unsuccessful regardless of how important they are to their Party.
|Table 2 Who get elected from Party A ?|
|Candidate Number||Votes Received||Elected?|
|1 321 (Leader?)||118,400||YES|
|32 others with votes totaling||1600||NO|
|Total votes received||169,000|
Lessons for Candidates and Parties:
(1) For any individual candidate of Party A to win, he/she must be in the top 18 of Party A ranked by votes received.
(2) Any candidate who wants to get elected, MUST go out and get all the votes he/she can get for themselves and not depend on the Party Leader.
(3) If candidates merely ask their supporters to all vote only for “The Party Leader”, then they themselves may have difficulty getting elected.
(4) Of course, if the Party Leaders get large numbers of votes, then their Party will obtain a higher quota of seats in parliament, and they may be able to pull into parliament more of their Party candidates.
(5) The last candidate elected from such a Party may not receive too many too many votes at all (as in Party A above) and probably way less than Independents and small party candidates who are eliminated by the 5% threshold requirement.