Election process could be the great stress for the state. However, since it cannot be avoided, the leaders of the countries are trying to minimize the “damage” by choosing the most convenient electoral system. On the other hand, there are always those countries which do not choose the easy way.
Election systems of the world
Election systems could be divided into two categories: majoritarian and proportional.
In the majoritarian system, the winner is the one who won the most votes.
Under the conditions of a proportional electoral system, mandates are distributed in proportion to how many votes were given for a particular party.
There is also a mixed system - a union of the majoritarian and proportional ones. In this case, the constitutionally designated number of parliamentary mandates is divided in a certain proportion between the majoritarian and proportional system.
In Ukraine, the president is elected by an absolute majority, and the parliament - by mixed system.
Types of presidential elections
Presidential elections are of two types - direct and indirect ones.
In direct elections, the president is elected by the country's population. Such elections are often characteristic of presidential and semi-presidential forms of government, for example, in Ukraine, France, and Mexico. However, some parliamentary states also resort to direct presidential elections, as in Austria, Iceland, and Ireland.
Indirect elections are held by parliament or by specially formed commissions. Such elections are characteristic of parliamentary republics (Czech Republic, Malta, Greece). Also such elections are held in the DPRK and China.
However, not everything is so straightforward and simple, there is no black and white. In some countries, elections are a complex maze, the rules of which are not even known to all citizens. Others have "distinguished themselves" with specific requirements for candidates.
The United States has one of the most difficult electoral systems. At the same time, the presidential election in the U.S. is indirect.
U.S. presidential candidates are selected during primary elections. During this process, the ordinary citizens vote for the candidates. After that, the Republicans and Democrats officially elect their single candidate at the party congresses.
During federal elections, U.S. citizens do not vote for a candidate, but for an elector who promises to vote for a particular candidate. Each state determines the election procedure for electors independently. The most common way is to elect electors at the state party conferences.
On the 41st day after the election, the Electoral College is entering the arena. Since the will of the voters is already known by that time, the electors can only formally give their votes to "their" candidates.
Elections in Switzerland
It is unlikely that someone will be able to immediately name the President of Switzerland, this task is more difficult than tell who is the President of Germany. However, there is a president, although he does not fulfill the tasks of the head of state.
Unlike most countries where the head of state is elected for 4 or 5 years, the president of Switzerland is elected for a year. The candidate is elected by the Federal Council, which is the real "head of state."
The President of Switzerland is the first among equals, his vote is considered decisive during the voting, but he does not have the right to lead other members of the Council.
Traditionally, the position is rotated between members of the Council, last year’s Vice-President is elected to the position of President.
Elections in Indonesia
The president of Indonesia is chosen by direct election. Indonesian citizens choose not electors, but a specific candidate. The president of Indonesia is the head of state. It would seem that everything is simple, but the main problem lies in the nomination of candidates.
Only those parties or coalitions of parties that won at least 25% of the vote or received at least 20% of the seats in parliament have the right to nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
In case when no party has passed this threshold (as it was in 2014), there will be coalitions which nominate their candidate.
Elections in Egypt
The president of Egypt is also elected by direct elections in the majority system. However, the candidacy of the president must be approved by at least 250 deputies of both houses of parliament, as well as the people's councils of at least 14 governorates.
Of particular interest are the requirements for the candidate. Firstly, his candidacy should be nominated by a party registered not less than five years ago before the elections. A candidate must be a person at least 40 years old. He should not have a criminal record. In addition, a potential president should not be a drug addict, a bankrupt or a lunatic.
Similar requirements are put forward to the voters. They are allowed to be drug addicts, but not bankrupts and lunatics. People who have been dismissed from public service less than five years before the election are not eligible to vote.
Yes, yes, there is also a presidential election in North Korea. It takes place every five years. But the electoral process is quite simple and absolutely uncontested.
First, no matter how many people come to the polling stations, the official turnout will be 100%. Secondly, there is only one name in the bulletin – name of the current ruler. No agony of choice, primaries and election programs. Everything is clear.
By the way, there is an eternal president in the DPRK – it is Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, the first president of the state. Kim Jong-un is "only" the chairman of the Labor Party of Korea.
In Ukraine, the presidential elections are held by the majoritarian system: the candidate who won 50% plus one vote wins. If in the first round the majority has not been formed, the second round of elections is held. It involves two candidates who gained the largest number of votes on the results of the first round.
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