Electoral Systems Survey

How People Vote Around the World         

Karen Taggart

        In the international wave of democratization and electoral reform in the last decade, it is not always easy to determine what method of election is used in various democraries. Indeed, the major media in the United States rarely reports on this fundamental component of a democtacy that has great bearing on how to interpret a country’s elections.

        Following is a list of the methods of election used in the world’s nations. For definitions of terms and for a description of sources, please see the end of this aricle.

Algeria Majority, SMD (1991)
Angola semi-PR: List
Benin PR: List
Botswana Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Burkina Faso PR: List
Burundi PR: List
Cameroon Mixed
Cape Verde PR: List (with three SMDs)
Central African Republic PR: List
Chad No elections
Comoros Majority, SMD
Congo Majority, SMD
Cote D’Ivoire Plurality, SMD and MMD
Djibouti PR: List
Egypt Majority (w/conditions), MMD
Equatorial Guinea PR: List
Eritrea In transition
Gabon Majority, SMD
Gambia Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Ghana Plurality, SMD
Guinea Mixed
Guinea-Bissau ??
Kenya Plurality, SMD
Lesotho Plurality, SMD
Liberia No elections
Libya "People's congresses"
Madagascar PR: List
Malawi Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Maldives Plurality, MMD
Mali Majority, SMD and MMD
Mauritania Majority, SMD and MMD
Mauritius Plurality, MMD; with set-asides
Morocco Plurality, SMD
Mozambique PR: List
Namibia PR: List
Niger PR: List (coup in July 1994)
Nigeria Plurality, SMD
Rwanda Plurality, SMD
Sao Tome and Principe PR: List
Senegal Mixed
Seychelles Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Sierra Leone No elections
Somalia In transition
South Africa PR: List (1994)
Sudan No elections
Swaziland Majority
Tanzania Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Togo ??
Tunisia PR: List
Uganda Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Zaire No elections
Zambia Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Zimbabwe Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Argentina PR: List
Belize Plurality, SMD
Bolivia PR: List
Brazil PR: List
Canada Plurality, SMD
Chile PR: List
Columbia PR: List
Costa Rica PR: List
Ecuador PR: List
El Salvador PR: List
Guatemala PR: List
Guyana PR: List
Honduras PR: List
Mexico Mixed
Nicaragua PR: List
Panama Mixed
Paraguay PR: List
Peru PR: List
Portugal PR: List
Suriname PR: List
United States Plurality, SMD
Uruguay PR: List
Venezuela PR: Mixed Member
Antigua and Barbuda Plurality, SMD
Bahamas Plurality, SMD
Barbados Plurality, SMD
Cuba Plurality, SMD (one party)
Dominica Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Dominican Republic PR: List
Grenada Plurality, SMD
Haiti Majority, SMD
Jamaica Plurality, SMD
St. Kits and Nevis Plurality, SMD
St. Lucia Plurality, SMD
St. Vincent & Grenadines Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Trinidad and Tobago Plurality, SMD
Albania Mixed
Andora PR: List
Austria PR: List
Belarus Majority, SMD; with set-asides
Belgium PR: List
Bosnia and Hercegovina No elections
Bulgaria PR: List
Croatia Mixed
Czech Republic PR: List
Denmark PR: List
Estonia PR: List
Finland PR: List
France Majority, SMD
Germany PR: Mixed Member
Greece PR: List
Hungary Mixed
Iceland PR: List
Ireland Preference
Italy Mixed
Latvia PR: List
Liechtenstein PR: List
Lithuania Mixed
Luxembourg PR: List
Macedonia Majority, SMD
Malta Preference Voting (Chioce Voting)
Moldova Majority, SMD
Monaco PR: List
Netherlands PR: List
Norway PR: List
Poland PR: List
Romania PR: List
Russia Mixed
San Marino PR: List
Slovakia PR: List
Slovenia PR: List
Spain PR: List
Sweden PR: List
Switzerland PR: List
Turkey PR: List
Ukraine Majority, SMD
United Kingdom Plurality, SMD
Yugoslavia Mixed
Afghanistan No elections
Armenia No elections (June, 1995)
Azerbaijan Plurality, SMD
Bahrain No elections
Bangladesh Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Bhutan Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Brunei Darussalam No elections (??)
Cambodia semi-PR: List
China Single non-transferable majority
Cyprus PR: List
Northern Cyprus ??
Georgia PR: List
India Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Indonesia PR: List
Iran Majority, SMD and MMD; with set-asides
Iraq Majority, MMD
Israel PR: List
Japan Mixed (1995)
Jordan Plurality, SMD
Kazakhstan Plurality, SMD and MMD
Korea, North Plurality, SMD
Korea, South Mixed
Kuwait Plurality, MMD
Kyrgystan Plurality, SMD
Laos PR: List
Lebanon Plurality, MMD
Malaysia Plurality, SMD
Mongolia Plurality, MMD
Myanmar Plurality, SMD
Nepal Plurality, MMD
Oman No elections
Pakistan Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Philipines Majority, MMD; with set-asides
Qatar No elections
Saudi Arabia No elections
Singapore Plurality, SMD and MMD
Sri Lanka PR: List
Syria PR: List
Taiwan semi-PR: mix of Single Non-Transferable and List
Tajikstan Majority, SMD??
Thailand Plurality, MMD
Turkey PR: List
Turkmenistan Majority or plurality, MMD??
United Arab Emirates No elections
Uzbekistan Plurality, SMD
Vietnam Majority, MMD
Yemen (Republic of Yemen) Plurality, SMD
Australia / New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
Australia Majority Preference, SMD; (preference with MMD for Senate)
Fiji Plurality, SMD
Kiribati Majority, SMD and MMD
Marshall Islands Plurality, SMD and MMD
Micronesia Plurality, SMD
Nauru Majority preference, MMD
New Zealand PR: Mixed Member (1996)
Papua New Guinea Plurality, SMD
Samoa Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Solomon Islands Plurality, SMD
Tonga Plurality, SMD/MMD; with set-asides
Tuvalu Plurality, SMD; with set-asides
Vanuatu Plurality, MMD

PR: List:
Party-list system in multi-member constituencies; proportional representation
PR: Mixed Member:
Mixed member system of proportional representation in which PR seats are allocated to compensate for any unfairness in elections held using single member districts
Combination of party-list PR with single member districts, without any compensation for unfair district results; most mixed systems are categorized as semi-proportional
Elections are either a mixed system or are in small, multi-member districts that create a high threshhold to win representation
Preference voting (Chioce voting) in multi-member constituencies; a form of proportional representation; also known as single transferable vote and Hare
Majority Preference:
Majority preference system in single-member districts; a majority system
Single Non-Transferable:
Single non-transferable voting system, with one vote in multi-member constituencies; a semi-proportional system
Winner-take-all system in which a majority is required, usually with double ballot or run-off
Winner-take-all plurality system in which candidates with the most votes win
Single-member Districts; one person represents a constituency
Multi-member districts; more than one person represents a constituency
No Elections:
Country has had no recent elections or is not a democracy
Election information is not reliable
In Transition:
System currently being changed
A portion of seats are reserved for certain cultural groups or are appointed



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Chapter Seven