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-- Voting System --



Multiple Member
Cut-off Proportional
MMCP is the amalga- mation of small electorates with miniature proportional voting in them. Nett result is that smaller parties get some representation, but major parties still dominate.
The Utanian electoral system allows for more than one elected member per electorate. Utania runs with a unique system of determining the elected members, which has roots in the system employed while under Guwimith rule.

The system is named "Multiple-Member Cut-off Proportional" (MMCP), and is a proportional representation variant of First Past the Post (FPP), in which each electorate sends up to five MP's to parliament, through proportional representation in that electorate. So, if Party A, B and C win 40%, 40% and 20% of the vote in a five seat electorate, then they will send two, two and one MP respectively to Utan Krysaror. Unfortunately, votes are never so clean-cut so that the proportions fall out easily, so a system of determining the winning parties has been devised that appears complex, but is relatively simple.

The first step is to determine the lowest common denominator in an electorate, which is a number of votes held by a certain party. Electoral Officials will determine this by calculating the number of seats the electorate would require in order to get that party elected in this electorate, and this depends entirely on what the other parties have won. A party that wins 10% of the vote can get an MP if the other parties win fewer votes.

The principle is that a party cannot have less than a multiple the number of MP's of a second party if it has a multiple of the vote of that second party. For example, if Party A has twice the number of votes than Party B, then it must have at least twice the number of seats in the parliament. If it has four times the number of votes as Party C, then it must have at least four times as many MP's.

The way, therefore, to calculate the number of MP's each party will have is to start with the party with the highest vote, then start allocating MP's using the rule above, until there is no more MP's.

Below are several examples of the principles above.

The end result vote was... Therefore... And so the MP's are given to...
Party A won 51%
Party B won 24%
Party C won 11%
And
Party D won 7%,
With the remaining 7% going to five smaller parties
A (51%) > 2 x B (24%)
Party A - two MP's before Party B gets its first
A (51%) > 4 x C (11%)
B (24%) > 2 x C (11%)
Party A - four MP's and
Party B - two MP's before Party C gets its first
In other words, the electorate would need to support seven MP's in order for Party C to win a seat in Parliament, and there isn't such an electorate in Utania.
A (51%) > 7 x D (7%)
B (24%) > 3 x D (7%)
C (11%) > 1 x D (7%)
Party A - seven MP's and
Party B - three MP's and
Party C - two MP's before Party D gets its first
In other words, there isn't an electorate in Utania which supports thirteen MP's, so that Party D would win a seat.
In other words, if the electorate were four MP's, Party A will have two, then Party B gets one. Party A will get another two before Party B will get another, so...
Party A - three MP's
Party B - one MP's
If the electorate supported five MP's, it would be worse with the breakdown being 4:1. As can be seen, the system is weighted in favour of parties that win the majority vote, just like FPP, but the fact that the second place party wins a seat is a nod to Proportionalism, because if this one giant electorate were five electorates, Party A probably would have gotten all five seats with such a heavy weighting of votes in its favour. (Do the statistical odds of an overall 24%-er getting more than an overall 51%-er!)

Example 2
The end result vote was... Therefore... And so the MP's are given to...
Party A won 39%
Party B won 27%
Party C won 19%
And
Party D won 12%,
With the remaining votes going to five smaller parties. There's three seats in this electorate.
A (39%) > 1 x B (27%)
and
A (39%) > 2 x C (19%)
B (27%) > 1 x C (19%)
and
A (39%) > 3 x D (12%)
B (27%) > 2 x D (12%)
C (19%) > 1 x D (12%)
Party A - first of three MP's
Party B - second MP
Party A - third MP as it will get a third before party C gets its first
Party C would have gotten the fourth MP (if there was one) because it will get one before Party A gets a third or Party B gets a second.
Once more, far more proportional than FPP.

Example 3
The end result vote was... Therefore... And so the MP's are given to...
Party A won 31%
Party B won 29%
Party C won 16%
And
Party D won 8%,
With the remaining votes going to the smaller parties. There's five seats in this electorate.
A (31%) > 1 x B (24%)
and
A (31%) > 1 x C (16%)
B (29%) > 1 x C (16%)
and
A (31%) > 3 x D (8%)
B (29%) > 3 x D (8%)
C (16%) > 1 x D (8%)
Party A - first of three MP's
Party B - second MP
Party C - third MP because A and B did not get twice the vote of C.
Party A - fourth MP as it will get a second before party D gets its first.
Party B - final of five MP's
In order for Party C to hold onto that seat, it would need to maintain a vote greater than a third of Party A's. If it were less, Party A would have gotten the third seat, and fifth, because it was more than three times larger than Party C. This means, if the vote for Parties A and B don't change, Party C has a guaranteed seat in parliament.
Even if Parties A or B gain additional votes, Party A would need to triple the vote of Party C, some 48%. Therefore, Party C is, at least, pretty guaranteed a seat in Parliament.

While the system may appear complex, the idea was to provide the benefits of both proportional voting and First-Past-the-Post (FPP), while tempering the disadvantages of each with the other. FPP voting may produce the most stable, if unfair, parliaments, in which, ultimately, it reduces to a small selection of parties being elected at all, and then only one or two of those winning government. It effectively hinders democracy by limiting the ability of smaller parties from winning seats, as they must win a significant number of votes at least regionally before they are likely to win 40% of the vote in a single electorate. Proportional voting, conversely, is ultimately fair to all parties, giving them proportionally a number of seats to the number of votes they received nationally. However, with so many parties in parliament, governments are coalitions of numerous parties resulting in difficult governance.

The MMCP solution is to provide a limited version of proportional voting, so that if a party can win, say, 10 or 20% of the vote in an electorate, they may win a single seat. Rather than limit the number of seats nationally to, say, five or six, so as to prevent smaller parties from dominating the balance of power in parliament, electorates were turned into miniture proportional voting areas, in which the two to five MP's are elected through proportional representation. The nett result is that while smaller parties that win 8% nationally will be represented with a handful of seats, but not 8% of seats. This provides the larger parties with the clout to enforce coalition discipline.

The system was developed by politicians and political experts in Utani B'yan during the late 70's, and proved very successful there.


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