SA’s electoral system needs an overhaul to give voters a real voice
Our closed-party candidate lists hinder participatory democracy, leading to mediocre, corrupt candidates
The drawbacks of SA’s current electoral system at the provincial and national level outweigh its advantages, making it urgent for the country to come up with a new electoral system which is more in tune with our politics.
SA’s current electoral system is a closed-party list proportional representative (PR) electoral system for national and provincial elections. In the closed-party list system the parties draw up their candidate list for election without any say from voters.
The current system has its advantages. When the constitutional framers in 1993 cobbled together the constitution they emphasised multiparty politics and aimed to include as many political parties as possible into the election system. Voters have a wide choice of parties. Voters therefore have a diversity of political preferences through parties. Voters are presented through a number of parties. Many minority parties have secured seats because of proportional representation. ..