Role of an Electoral System in Determining the Outcome of an Election
An electoral system refers to a systematic and structured method through which all the votes which have been cast during an election are subjected to the process of counting, analyzing, and eventually announcing the outcome. For an electoral system to work, there must be an electoral body that is specifically mandated to facilitate the entire electoral process. An electoral system should adhere to certain features and fundamental rules in determining the outcome of a voting process. To begin with, the ballot forms the starting point in any election process. Although different electoral systems have varying ways through which a voter can choose the voting type, it cannot be ignored at all. For instance, a ballot paper may have a list of preferred candidates who are contesting for the same political position. From this list, a voter will be capable of choosing which aspirant he or she favors the most. Such clear guidelines are necessary on a ballot paper.
On the other hand, there are some electoral systems that may demand an initial election before making a decision on which political aspirants will be represented on the ballot paper. Further, the principle of one person, one vote, should be upheld because every vote is counted to be equal in a fair electoral system. Members of the legislative assembly are usually elected through the plurality voting system. The winner is taken as a single person. Also, the officers who are not members of a political party and are expected in executive positions are elected using a plurality voting system. This indeed affects the political parties that rely on members being elected to office to pass through the party vetting process.
The person who has the most votes in their type of election system is the one declared the winner. One main demerit of this voting system is that it enhances tactical voting, which most likely water down the quality of the entire voting process. It is some form of coercive voting in which voters are compelled to settle for one candidate whom they think is more likely to carry the day even though none of the candidates may be in favor of the voters. This type of voting lacks proportionality because it makes a bare assumption that voters must be in preference of the two aspirants, which is rarely the case. Better electoral systems should be instituted in Canada if fair representation and proportionality are to be realized in the voting system.