One list per party, please

With municipal elections in South Africa set for 18 May, Terry Tselane, commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission, is appealing to parties to make sure they each submit only one list.

An excerpt, from The New Age:

“We know that political parties have issues of tension about who is actually a leader of that political party. It will have implications in terms of how we run our processes. It is on that basis that we are saying that political parties must submit the list of those people that will be authorised. We are trying to avoid a situation where in the morning you receive a list from political parties from one specific leadership and later on another one comes and says the person who submitted the list is not authorised,” he added.

Asked how they would resolve a situation like that in Cope, where there were two factions each claiming to be in charge Tselane responded: “We are operating on the basis of information submitted to us before the (2009) elections. Until such time that there are changes we will continue to operate on the basis of information they submitted to us.”

5 thoughts on “One list per party, please

  1. Couldn’t that be a disaster for the party? Submitting two lists would have to split the vote somewhat, ruining the chances of either faction gaining control. If there is that much conflict, why not just form a new party?


  2. I understood the piece to be referring to uncertainty about who has the right to submit a party’s one list, not that there would be two or more lists per party.

    Of course, there are situations under which a party can win more seats with two or more lists than with one, provided it has a good vote-management strategy. For instance, Colombia’s former de-facto SNTV. However, Colombia’s allocation rule was simple (Hare) quota and largest remainders. I have never “gamed out” whether Dropp quota and largest remainders, as used in South Africa, would allow a party to obtain such benefits. In any event, if my understanding (first paragraph of this comment) is correct, it’s probably moot.


  3. Kinda OT, but I think there was a thread awhile ago about MMP elections where parties accrued benefits by splitting into one party for the constituency-vote, and a second for the list-vote.


  4. > “whether Droop quota and largest remainders, as used in South Africa, would allow a party to obtain such benefits”

    My estimation – based on strategies adopted by student union politicians in elections using STV-PR with a ticket-voting option – is that it can, given careful vote-management. Three allied factions with, say, 1.7 quotas each are better placed to win a total of 6 positions out of 11 than is a single ticket with 5.1 quotas (out of 11.99 total).


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