An Nkrumaist Movement, Economic Fighters League (EFL), has advocated that Ghana replaces its winner takes all (WTA) electoral system with the proportional representation (PR) System.
In a six-page paper document, the EFL drew lessons from the recently held South African elections contrasting how the South African system had promoted multiparty democracy with up to 14 parties represented in parliament while Ghana’s system had created a two-party system of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), virtually killing all other parties.
The document was signed by the leader of the EFL, Mr Ernesto Yeboah.
Proportional representation characterises electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body thus each citizen being represented proportionately or by each party being represented proportionately.
That is to say, if a percentage of the electorate support a particular political party as their favourite, then roughly a number of seats will be won by that party.
The essence of proportional representation
The essence of such a system is that all votes contribute to the result — not just a plurality, or a bare majority.
Also, under the system, voters know right from the onset that they are voting for parties, and not for individuals.
According to Mr Yeboah, the system was the only way to have a true and lasting democracy in Ghana. Already, many pundits and political watchers have often lamented the lack of inclusiveness in Ghana’s electoral system.
A change for the better
The consequence of that, the document stated, is that “it breeds inequality and fuels discontent, threatening the very foundation of our democracy. But until now, some have either summarily dismissed the idea of the proportional system or merely proposed varying the first past the post system.”
But the Economic Fighters League, contend that “why change a bad system when you can replace it”?
If adopted, the EFL said, proportional representation would completely change the system of governance as the country currently knew it, thus putting more parties into Parliament and creating a diversity of parliamentary opinion necessary in a representative democracy.