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The Politics of Electoral Systems$
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Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199257566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality

South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality

(p.353) 17 South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality
The Politics of Electoral Systems

Amanda Gouws

Paul Mitchell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Democratic elections in South Africa have been held using a closed-list PR system since 1994. Despite significant debate on whether the system should be reformed, the 1994 system has been retained. The South African electoral system is the most proportional system used in any democratic state, given that seat allocations are ultimately determined in one national constituency with 400 members. There is widespread agreement that it has performed well on most criteria, the exception being a perceived lack of ‘accountability’ between MPs and voters. Some critics feel that the closed-list system without districts gives too much power to party leaders, and does not give MPs incentives to represent distinct geographical areas.

Keywords:   transition, democracy, closed-list PR, ANC, divided societies, anti-defection provisions, predominant party system, accountability, electoral reform

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