Voting Systems Around the World

Election is the most crucial system in any democracy. But voting methods differ between countries. Here are the various ways in which the world votes.

First-past-the-post or Westminster system

In this system, the country is divided into territorial single-member constituencies and voters within each constituency cast a single ballot for one candidate. The candidate with the largest share of votes in each constituency wins and the party with an overall majority of seats forms the government. This system is practiced in India, the UK, the US, Canada and many Commonwealth countries.

Second ballot majority runoff system

Candidates obtaining an absolute majority of votes (50 percent +) in the first round are elected. If this doesn’t happen, a second round is held between the two candidates who got the highest number of votes. This system is practiced in counties like France, Austria, Columbia, Russia and Finland.

Preference voting

In this system, every vote counts. The voter simply ranks candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3  …).If their first preference doesn’t receive enough votes, their votes will be transferred to their next preference.

List system

In this system, voters cast their votes for party lists. Party lists may be open as in Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy, where voters can express preference for particular candidates within the list. Or they may be closed as in Israel, Portugal, Spain and Germany where voters can only select the party.

See also  History Of Chopsticks

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