Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Explaining MMP and seat allocation

THE majority of more than two thousand voting stations set up by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for 2012 General Polls have now completed voting.
What remains now is the counting, verification and announcing of the results.
The results from the stations will be added up to decide which candidate would have won the constituency.
This explains how 80 of the 120 National Assembly seats will be allocated.
The big question is how the 40 Proportional Representation (PR) seats are allocated?
The Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral model that Lesotho uses was introduced by the fourth amendment of the Constitution of Lesotho.
This provision means that first it shall be established how many votes countrywide a party has and how many PR seats it deserves in the parliament.
Before a party is given a share in the 40 PR seats, a consideration shall be made on how many constituency seats it has won.
If the number of seats the party deserves proportionally is bigger than the constituency seats it got, the party shall be given the seats equal to the difference from the 40 PR seats.
If the number of constituency seats the party got is bigger or equal to the number of seats it deserves proportionally it will not get any of the 40 PR seats, meaning that it will not be compensated.
Contrary to popular belief the PR model is not very complicated. It is a system that everyone can understand if they want to.
The total number of votes cast for political parties contesting for PR seats added together is divided by the number of National Assembly seats successfully contested.
This means that votes of party A in all constituencies are added up to make the total for that party.
So the totals of the parties which submitted party lists are added and it is that number which is divided by the number of seats successfully contested.
In the event that constituency elections go on in all constituencies, the number of successfully contested seats shall be 120.
After dividing the number of total votes by the number of seats successfully contested, the product shall be what is referred to as a quota.
This quota is a threshold for a parliamentary seat in proportional terms.
Then the quota will be used to determine what number of seats a party deserves proportionally.
This will be done by dividing the total votes of each party, meaning its votes countrywide, by the quota.
This is referred as the provisional allocation — seats the party deserves proportionally.
It is at this stage that a consideration is made on the number of seats a party got in the constituencies.
If it has more constituency seats than those it deserves proportionally, it does not deserve compensation.
If it got constituencies less than what it deserves proportionally it will get PR seats equivalent to the difference.
This will then be a final allocation.
Before explaining some possible scenarios, it must be appreciated that the use of one ballot does not deform the model.
What happens is that votes cast for a candidate will also be regarded as votes for the party under which she/he is contesting.
This means when totals for parties are calculated, it will basically be the total votes for all candidates which contested under that party.
Since Lesotho parliament has a fixed number of seats, only 120 could be allocated.
In the unlikely situation that in the calculations more seats than those of parliament seem to have been allocated, the law provides that a second phase of determination of the quota system should be done.
This is done by looking at the parties that do not need compensation.
These are the parties who have won the same number of contituency seats as the number of PR seats they deserve proportionally.
The number of votes for these parties and the number of their constituency seats are deducted from the total number of people who voted and the number of seats successfully contested respectively.
At this stage a similar process of determining the quota as explained above starts again and the similar process of allocation goes until the number of seats allocated is equal to the number of seats of Lesotho parliament.

Comments are closed.