I view political stability as the proper functioning of an efficient government, lack of violence, strong institutions, sound representatives and proper rule of law. The electoral systems play a role in shaping the voters choices and preferences on the party selections and the electoral results can affect stability in various ways. This paper will therefore reflect to what extent electoral systems affect stability in different geo political regions and governments such as democratic governments.
First and foremost the single member plurality defines the system as the candidate with most votes winning the elections. This type of system is definitely simple making it cost effective. The question of stability arises where it allows for the selection of a single member rather than just a party; this allows the individuals to hold the representative accountable for matters in their geographical location. The efficiency and effectiveness of the system is witnessed where it allows for single parties in the legislature. This can allow for long term public policies that are critical for development and give room for political stability through long lasting governments. This same type of system discourages national integration whereby it favors the most popular candidate to vie for party elections. The clear cases of exclusion of minority groups in a political environment will lead to political instability and might at times lead to rebellion movements against the ruling governments. The question at hand lies to whether the government can manage the formation of political parties based on ethnic lines, but from the 2007/2008 Kenyans post election violence it clearly cannot and this leads to government destabilization.
Electoral volatility affects stability as seen in the two round systems. The two round systems are election that takes place in first and second rounds if any candidate fails to attain the absolute majority. This type of system is relatively expensive especially for the developing states. The preparation of fresh elections is also time consuming and most of the times bring a low turnout of voters. It is without a doubt that there will be proportional change in the voting preferences of candidates. Additionally, the cost of the elections would destabilize the economic conditions of most developing states and pose a threat of violence when the candidate and the supporters perceive the elections to be unfair in a democratic state.
In order to attain stability electoral systems should avoid fragmentation and .disproportion by avoiding formation of small parties in the legislature. I believe that coalition governments provide great chances to enhance national cohesion and integration through creation of stronger governments however there is lack of common agreement in decision making processes and chances of wrangles easily arise which may lead to instability and weak democracies.
Multimember districts allows for representations of small societies in the parliaments which make it possible to hold individual candidates accountable. This allows for checks and balances thus leading to adherence to the rule of law and maintaining stability. Flexibility is also witnessed in these types of systems whereby their sizes are not fixed and change across time. It also provides proper responsiveness hence creating confidence in voters through equal representation of the minority groups.
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