My study blog

To what extent is South Africa a Multi party democracy?

Posted by lednum on September 6, 2006

Since 1994 South africa has exhibited all features of a democracy;

– In 2004 South africa had her third successive free and democratic electon. The 2004 election followed elections in 1994 and 1999.In the April 2004 election voter turnout was modest at 58 %.This election returned members to the National Assembly and to each of South africas nine provincial governments.

-the country has a democratic electoral system.Probably the most surprising aspect of the April 1994 parliamentary election in South Africa is that it took place at all. Although I was one of a tiny minority of cautious optimists, most observers of the South African political scene in the 1970s and 1980s did not believe that a negotiated transition to democracy was possible.
        The election was also unusual in the sense that it was the first democratic election in the country — and hence not just an election but an affirmation of democratic liberation and a referendum, supported overwhelmingly, on the new democratic system.

Highly Proportional List PR        I should like to call attention to yet another highly unusual feature of the election: the almost purely proportional PR system that was used. In fact, I believe that it can be called unique in this respect. To my knowledge, no national parliamentary election has ever been held under an equally or more thoroughly proportional system, with the exception of the short-lived East German democratic parliament in March 1990. (PR itself is not unusual, of course; most of the world’s democracies use some form of it.)
        The proportionality of PR systems depends mainly on four factors: the electoral formula (such as plurality, different forms of PR, etc.); district magnitude (the number of representatives elected per district), electoral threshold (the legal minimum required for representation), and the size of the assembly to be elected.


3 Responses to “To what extent is South Africa a Multi party democracy?”

  1. Ireland operates a PR system. PR by the single transferrable vote. The details are complex and exceptionally enjoyable but the long and the short of it is that in multi-seat constutuencies (especially where 4 seats or more are in contention)it makes it very easy for small parties and independent candidates to gain a foothold.

  2. lednum said

    thanks for your comment-the 1st on my blog

    Scotland is about to introduce the single transferable vote next year.

  3. Your welcome. The notes are very interesting and have been attracting my attention via tag surfer.
    I must check that out about Scotland I didn’t know. Its such an incredible system.

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