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The formula of proportional distribution of mandates

Loopholes in the majoritarian system and a need for a fair and democratic system have initiated the creation of a proportional system. The main idea behind the proportional system is that it is the political parties rather than the candidates racing for the votes. Parties are presented through party lists where seats are awarded according to the party’s share of the vote. When the voter casts its vote it is automatically awarded to the party list and mandates are being divided proportionally according to the awarded votes.

The proportional system has several advantages. It ensures fair representation of a politically diverse electorate and party mandates are proportional to the number of gained votes and there are fewer wasted votes. Also, a party can nominate an intelligent and experienced candidate with relevant skills who might not be known among voters.

Voters find it difficult to identify party list candidates and often make their decision based on a party leader. In this light, many candidates are elected through the proportional system and therefore their functions are limited to taking part in voting and meeting the parliamentary quorum. (This is especially the case in newly emerged democracies.) If arrangements within the parties are non-democratic, party list candidates can be nominated by the party leaders according to their loyalty. (These is, however, an internal problem). Because of a week connection between elected deputies and voters, there is a huge dependency on the party hierarchy.

The difference between the old and new formula is the divisor. Unlike previous cases, the product of received votes and seats is divided by the qualified voices instead of all votes (which is declared non-void by the election administration).

According to the Electoral Code of 2001, the formula of distribution was as follows: in order to determine the number of seats obtained, the votes received by a party was multiplied by the number of seats and divided by the total of qualified votes (overcome election threshold for party votes).

Mandates left were redistributed to party lists, which have received more votes in the elections.

This formula minimizes the number of seats retained and always ensures that all parties will earn mandates in accordance with their percentage.

Unlike the old formula, the proportional distribution in the current formula favours minorities in some cases. This formula multiplies the number of party votes by the number of seats (77), and divides this number by all votes received to determine the number of party’s seats in Parliament.

The old and new formula has very different outcomes.

Such changes can affect the power balance. Distributing the seats according to the new formula makes it possible for a party which won a majority in the elections to lose it. This is contradictory to the goal of the proportional system, namely, received votes reflected in the proportionally distribution of seats in Parliament.

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