Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Voting in Kyrgyzstan - like choosing a flavor at Baskin-Robins

Kyrgyzstan, like most of the former Soviet republics (and most nations, for that matter) doesn't do politics like America does.

With a multi-party political system that determines who will server in a parliamentary government, voting in Kyrgyzstan in like picking a flavor at Baskin-Robins: 57 political parties registered to participate in the election, and 29 managed to submit a list of candidates by the August 30 deadline.

In Kyrgyzstan, elections are conducted using a proportional representation system - you vote for a political party instead of a candidate, and the parties get to send representatives to Parliament based on how many votes the party got in the election.

Well, it's almost that simple...

Before a party gets to send members to Parliament, they have to meet a five percent threshold. That is, only parties that get at lease five percent of the vote (actually votes => 5% of the number of registered voters, regardless of how many people actually voted) get representation in Parliament.

Let's say there are 100 voters. A party only gets to send members to parliament if they get at least 5 votes; and that's tough to do with 29 parties on ballot...

Those parties that do get over five percent are then allocated seats in the 120 seat Parliament in proportion to how well they did (compared only to the other parties that broke the five percent threshold).

Let's say that in an election with 100 voters, only four of the 29 parties broke the five-percent threshold:

Party A got 5 votes
Party B got 6 votes
Party C got 8 votes
Party D got 11 votes

Among these parties, the allocation of the 120 seats in Parliament would be:

Party A gets 20 seats
Party B gets 24 seats
Party C gets 32 seats
Party D gets 44 seats

Of course, neither party has more than half (60) of the 120 seats, so at least two parties need to team-up to form a ruling coalition. In this case, there are four possible ways to form a majority: A+D, B+D, C+D, or A+B+C.

In the October 10 election, five parties broke the threshold - and none of them got enough votes to claim more than half of the seats in Parliament, so there's no "ruling party" to control things.

In fact, no two parties combined got enough votes to give them more then 50 percent of the seats in Parliament - so at least three of the winning five parties will have to form a coalition to make things work.

It make for a system of government that's much more dynamic than the American two-party system - though they do have the same post-election arguments that we do.

One party got 4.84 percent - just barely missing out on getting representation in Parliament.

As in America, they complained.

But unlike here, the five parties who "won" the election agreed to a recount!

Like I said - they don't do elections like we do...

1 comment:

SEO Adelaide said...

Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
Web Design Melbourne | Web Design Perth | Web Design Sydney