Presidents instead of dictators?

Were the ousted dictators not presidents?

The British limited the monarch with the Magna Charta in 1215. Since 1688/89 the monarch was allowed to govern only with the approval of Parliament. The Americans supplemented this system with the election of a president instead of a monarch. France also chose after the monarchy a constitutional monarchy, which was replaced in 1848 by a presidential republic.

Historically, a president is only a democratically elected monarch. Parliament had to prevent dictatorship and tyranny. Therefore Parliament had to withdraw rights of the President and exercise the rights themselves.

As a Parliament must find its majorities by arguments, a directly elected president can simply misuse his rights for selfish reasons. Finally, the British thought of the Parliament needs neither monarchs nor presidents.

The sovereign is the citizens. These select equal and free a parliament. Parliament entrusts governance to Prime Minister or Chancellor. The Government is therefore always responsible to parliament and the sovereign and may at any time be removed from office.

In Germany one has completely disempowered the president after the dictatorship. He has only formal tasks and to represent the state. Therefore, he is only indirectly elected by representatives of the parliaments of the federal and state level.

Why should one still perpetuate a feudal state system after 300 years of democracy development? Why should a government office be established that could be misused?

Majority Voting for Presidential Election

Another problem is that you can select the President only by majority vote. Although this leads to a decision, it does not always legitimate those elected!

In the U.S. there is a de facto two-party system. In France there is more than one party, but only a few presidential candidates have a chance.

A large party with 60% approval and four candidates, each with 15%, loses against the smaller party with 40% approval and two candidates with 20%. The two candidates of the smaller parties would come in the runoff. If the big party started with only one candidate, they would have won the first ballot by an absolute majority. When majority voting coalitions must be concluded before the actual election, to reach the second round.

The Ukrainian President Yanukovych is legitimised only by 32% of the electorate. Only 24% of eligible voters chose the Egyptian President Morsi.

A president is ultimately legitimised because other candidates received less approval.

Majority Voting System for Parliamentary Elections

Often the majority vote system is also used for electing members of Parliament. This has far-reaching consequences for the country’s politics, because new ideas can be ignored by the policy. Small parties can hardly win a mandate. Large parties often receive more seats in Parliament than they receive approval from the voters.

In Hungary, a party won as a result of the electoral law 172 of 176 constituencies, that is 97.7%! But they only received the approval of 56% of voters.

In Ukraine, government parties and opposition parties got 50% of the votes. However, the government has 60% of the seats in Parliament. Thus, the right to vote is the cause of the demonstrations in Ukraine.

In Germany, a party would have achieved 7 times in the last 60 years a majority of over 67% in a majority voting, and alone could change the Constitution, even though they received less than 45% of the votes!

In Canada, two strong regional parties have established. Thus, the regional interest could dominate.

If a parliamentary election takes place shortly after the presidential election, the party of the new president wins a disproportionate number of constituencies, as elections in France showed in 2012. Thus, the president reached only 29% in the first round and 52% in the second round of voting. His party then reached 41% of the vote and 49% of the seats in Parliament.

Fatal for the sovereign is the possibility of gerrymandering when using the majority voting system. Thus, a government can secure their electoral success by defining the constituencies without achieving a majority in the population.

The majority voting system strengthens a president. It allows a party without a majority in the population to govern without compromise. Thus, the majority voting system for Parliament in combination with a directly elected president is so ideal to provide autocrats or dictators a democratic appearances.

But if a minority can win a majority of parliamentary seats, the majority of voters is discriminated against. They can not participate adequately in the political process. This is forbidden by the constitution or human rights. Thus, a single plaintiff before the European or African Human Rights Court is sufficient!

Proportional Representation as an Alternative?

In many countries one votes according to proportional representation. Some countries use it only with party lists. The interests of the electorate and seats in Parliament correlate correctly. Others use it as a disguise for majority voting system (mixed member majoritarian), where the disadvantages are not really fixed.

The pure proportional representation has the disadvantage that some constituencies can not be represented in Parliament. This defect has been fixed in Germany without getting the drawbacks of the majority voting. Since 1990 it was taken over by three other states.

Mixed-Member Proportional Representation

Half of parliament is chosen directly in constituencies, whereby each region is represented in parliament. With a second vote one elects a party list for proportional representation, which is applied to all the seats in Parliament. A party may win more direct mandates as entitled seats according to the proportional representation, which results in overhang seats. As the number of overhang seats increased the German Constitutional Court ruled that the proportionality is to restore by balance seats. Gerrymandering therefore is useless.

In New Zealand, the electoral system was confirmed before and after its introduction by the sovereign through referendums.

In Romania, the Constitutional Court banned the return of the mixed member majoritarian.

Mixed-member proportional representation.

So there are two highest judgments which measure the equality of voters in the result of the distribution of seats in Parliament. These judgments would be taken into account before the European Court of Human Rights. The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled in the case Mtikila vs. Tanzania against discrimination in the electoral law. The judgment is indeed still open, but the probability increases to outlaw non-proportional representation in Parliament.

The number of overhang seats and thus the compensatory seats can be reduced by instant runoff voting. In Germany this method has yet to be fought in court by small parties. Here, too, you will be able to argue with the discrimination against voters smaller parties.

The advantage of this electoral system is that first voters decide. Often, the parties have to form a coalition in parliament in order to achieve a majority. Thereby the majority of voters is represented by the government parties.

In Germany the Chancellor is elected by Parliament. Normally, no Parliament will deliver its rights to a dictator. A potential dictator may at any time be voted out of office by Parliament. In 64 years, two Chancellors were voted out of office during the legislative session, because their policy lost its majority in parliament.

Small parties (<10%) contributed as a coalition partner significantly to the development of the state. A liberal party strengthened the rights of citizens. A green party strengthened environmental protection and equality of minorities. Currently young people and their internet party urge into parliaments and even influence policy.

Parallel Voting in Egypt and Ukraine

The mixed member majoritarian in Egypt and Ukraine shows, however, that the shortcomings of the majority voting system are known in these countries. Otherwise they would not determine a part of Parliament by the younger proportional representation.

In Hungary, a party with 56% of the vote achieved 69% of the seats. In 46.5% turnout, the government represents only 26% of the electorate. They overthrew the constitutional court and changed the Constitution. The opposition has learned. They want to work together. But it was too late!

Especially with majoritarian electoral coalitions must be closed before the election in order to win the elections.

In the short term, the Democrats in Ukraine and Egypt must strategically exist in the electoral system. If their candidates compete against each other, they will not win constituencies. They are thus politically insignificant.

In Ukraine, the opposition parties from Maidan should compete in constituencies won by the government with only one candidate.

In Egypt, the revolutionary parties should compete in each constituency with one candidate. In the presidential elections, they need to get their candidate in the runoff. In three camps the support of 34% of voters is sufficient. Then they have a real chance to be elected by the voters of the resigned candidates.

Hamdeen Sabahy already started the discussion about the presidential candidate of the revolutionaries in Egypt. Good luck!

Conclusion

The electoral law substantially affects the composition of Parliament. Voters can reject discrimination. The prohibition of discrimination is included in the European and African human rights conventions. These rights can be enforced before the courts in Strasbourg and Arusha. This is very significant because the sentences are not spoken by a questionable national judiciary. This is international law!

For 300 years the right to vote was changed. Last, women received the right to vote. Refuse to accept the legitimacy of autocrats and dictators, now. Thus, parliaments need to be strengthened.

It remains completely incomprehensible if revolutionaries today elect a president directly and give him  extensive rights!

Oust the monarchs, say presidents!

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