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Understanding the d'Hondt method: Allocation of parliamentary seats and leadership positions

28-06-2019

The allocation of seats in collegiate organs such as parliaments requires a method to translate votes proportionally into whole seats. The 'd'Hondt method' is a mathematical formula used widely in proportional representation systems, although it leads to less proportional results than other systems for seat allocation such as the Hare-Niemeyer and Sainte-Laguë/Schepers methods. Moreover, it tends to increase the advantage for the electoral lists which gain most votes to the detriment of those with ...

The allocation of seats in collegiate organs such as parliaments requires a method to translate votes proportionally into whole seats. The 'd'Hondt method' is a mathematical formula used widely in proportional representation systems, although it leads to less proportional results than other systems for seat allocation such as the Hare-Niemeyer and Sainte-Laguë/Schepers methods. Moreover, it tends to increase the advantage for the electoral lists which gain most votes to the detriment of those with fewer votes. It is, however, effective in facilitating majority formation and thus in securing parliamentary operability. The d'Hondt method is used by 16 EU Member States for the elections to the European Parliament. Furthermore, it is also used within the Parliament as a formula for distributing the chairs of the parliamentary committees and delegations, as well as to distribute those posts among the national delegations within some political groups. Such proportional distribution of leadership positions within Parliament prevents domination of parliamentary political life by only one or two large political groups, ensuring smaller political groups also have a say on the political agenda. Some argue however that this limits the impact of the election results on the political direction of decision-making within Parliament and call for a 'winner-takes-all' approach instead. Many national parliaments in the EU also distribute committee chairs and other posts proportionally among political groups (either using the d'Hondt method or more informally). Other Member States, however, apply a 'winner-takes-more' approach with only some committee chairs with particular relevance to government scrutiny being reserved for opposition groups, while in the US House of Representatives committee chairs all come from the majority.

United States Congress: Facts and Figures

19-12-2017

Congress is the legislative branch of the US system of government and is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber). The formal powers of Congress are set out in Article 1 of the US Constitution, and include making laws, collecting revenue, borrowing and spending money, declaring war, making treaties with foreign nations, and overseeing the executive branch. Elections to the US Congress occur in November every second year, with the Congress ...

Congress is the legislative branch of the US system of government and is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber). The formal powers of Congress are set out in Article 1 of the US Constitution, and include making laws, collecting revenue, borrowing and spending money, declaring war, making treaties with foreign nations, and overseeing the executive branch. Elections to the US Congress occur in November every second year, with the Congress convening the following January. The current, 115th, Congress was elected in November 2016 and was convened in January 2017. The US has a long-standing two-party system, which means that nearly all members of Congress belong to either the Republican or Democratic Parties, while independent members (if any) generally align or sit with one of the two main parties. At the most recent US Congressional and Presidential elections, in November 2016, the Republican Party retained its majority in both houses of Congress, as well as winning the White House. This EPRS Briefing is designed to provide key facts and figures about the US Congress as an institution, including relevant comparisons with the European Parliament (EP). The back page contains a map showing the location of the various Congressional buildings on Capitol Hill, home to the Congress in Washington DC.

Mongolia ahead of the 2016 legislative elections

28-06-2016

The elections to Mongolia's unicameral State Great Khural scheduled for 29 June 2016 will be held amidst a serious deterioration of the country's macroeconomic indicators caused by domestic and external factors. There is widespread voter scepticism as regards the ability of the national political elites to curb rising unemployment and poverty which affects a third of the population, as well as to eradicate pervasive corruption. The new election arrangements suggest a two-horse race between the ruling ...

The elections to Mongolia's unicameral State Great Khural scheduled for 29 June 2016 will be held amidst a serious deterioration of the country's macroeconomic indicators caused by domestic and external factors. There is widespread voter scepticism as regards the ability of the national political elites to curb rising unemployment and poverty which affects a third of the population, as well as to eradicate pervasive corruption. The new election arrangements suggest a two-horse race between the ruling centre-right Democratic Party and the opposition centre-left Mongolian People's Party. To support Mongolia’s fragile democracy, sandwiched between authoritarian China and Russia, the European Parliament is sending a delegation to observe the elections.

The Electoral Reform of the European Parliament: Composition, Procedure and Legitimacy

16-02-2015

Two papers included in this compendium reflect on the electoral reform of the European Parliament. First, written by Andrew Duff, EP's rapporteur on the electoral reform (2004-2014), discusses the ways on how the EP should reform itself in order to contribute to a strengthening of the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. Second paper by Friedrich Pukelsheim and Kai-Friederike Oelbermann suggests using a double-proportional method for the translation of the votes in the European elections ...

Two papers included in this compendium reflect on the electoral reform of the European Parliament. First, written by Andrew Duff, EP's rapporteur on the electoral reform (2004-2014), discusses the ways on how the EP should reform itself in order to contribute to a strengthening of the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. Second paper by Friedrich Pukelsheim and Kai-Friederike Oelbermann suggests using a double-proportional method for the translation of the votes in the European elections in to the seats, which would be most congruent with EU's constitutional framework.

Awtur estern

Andrew Duff, Friedrich Pukelsheim and Kai-Friederike Oelbermann

European Parliament: Facts and Figures

24-11-2014

This briefing provides key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both today and in previous terms since direct elections were introduced in 1979. It includes graphics of various kinds which: detail the composition of the European Parliament now and in the past; trace the increase in the number of parties represented in the Parliament and show the evolution of political groups; chart the rise in the number of women sitting in the Parliament; explain the electoral systems used in elections ...

This briefing provides key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both today and in previous terms since direct elections were introduced in 1979. It includes graphics of various kinds which: detail the composition of the European Parliament now and in the past; trace the increase in the number of parties represented in the Parliament and show the evolution of political groups; chart the rise in the number of women sitting in the Parliament; explain the electoral systems used in elections to the Parliament across the Member States; show how turnout in European elections compares with that in national elections; summarise the activity of the Parliament in the last term from 2009 to 2014; present the annual cost of the Parliament compared with other parliaments; outline the composition of the Parliament’s main governing bodies. For more recent information, please see the updated version of this publication published on 20 April 2015.

Electoral Gender Quota Systems and their Implementation in Europe

14-06-2013

The note is an updated version of the 2011 study Electoral Gender Quotas and Their Implementation in Europe (PE 408.309), and it maps the diffusion of electoral gender quotas in the 30 EU/EEA countries and evaluates the effectiveness of different quota types in different electoral systems. The note shows that legislated quotas are implemented in eight countries and party quotas in 14 (additional) countries. It also shows that some gender quotas have resulted in major leaps in women’s representation ...

The note is an updated version of the 2011 study Electoral Gender Quotas and Their Implementation in Europe (PE 408.309), and it maps the diffusion of electoral gender quotas in the 30 EU/EEA countries and evaluates the effectiveness of different quota types in different electoral systems. The note shows that legislated quotas are implemented in eight countries and party quotas in 14 (additional) countries. It also shows that some gender quotas have resulted in major leaps in women’s representation, while others had led to almost no change. In general, the note reveals a mixed picture in Europe when it comes to women’s representation. It shows that women’s parliamentary representation only increased from 23.6 per cent in 2008 to 24.7 per cent in 2011 to 25.6 per cent in 2013. In the most recent parliamentary election in 19 of the countries as well as in the election to the European Parliament women’s representation increased. Four countries experienced stagnation, and in seven of the countries women’s share of the MPs dropped.

Awtur estern

Lenita Freidenvall and Drude Dahlerup (Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Sweden)

Independent Candidates in National and European Elections

15-04-2013

Independent candidates remain marginal vote-getters in the vast majority of elections in which they compete. However, they do regularly win seats in legislative assemblies in a number of European countries, and occasionally achieve surprise victories in others. Half of the EU member states currently grant ballot access to independents in national legislative elections, while only a quarter of member states allow non-party candidates in European Parliament elections. Ballot access requirements for ...

Independent candidates remain marginal vote-getters in the vast majority of elections in which they compete. However, they do regularly win seats in legislative assemblies in a number of European countries, and occasionally achieve surprise victories in others. Half of the EU member states currently grant ballot access to independents in national legislative elections, while only a quarter of member states allow non-party candidates in European Parliament elections. Ballot access requirements for independents vary widely across EU-27 but tend to be more stringent for European elections than for national elections. Independent candidates perform better in systems with plurality rule or preferential voting compared to party-list PR systems. They win seats in single-member districts and low-magnitude multi-member districts. Although independents are expected to benefit from electoral rules that make politics more candidate-centered, the performance of non-party candidates does not depend on the modality of lists (open or closed). The vote for independents has elements of a protest vote. Voters who vote for independent candidates tend to be more critical of the government and less satisfied with the way democracy works in their country than party-voters. They are also less likely to feel close to any political party. When independent candidates are elected to office, they frequently join parties and parliamentary party groups. Thus, independence is often not a principled position but a temporary status resulting from circumstantial choices made by individuals competing for political office.

Awtur estern

Piret Ehin, Ülle Madise, Mihkel Solvak, Rein Taagepera, Kristjan Vassil and Priit Vinkel

Small Districts with Open Ballots : A New Electoral System for the European Parliament

15-04-2008

This note was presented by the authors for a workshop organised by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on 25/26 March 2008. The authors propose a radical reform of the European electoral system in order to create more interest in European politics and the selection of political leaders at the European level. The new system should also increase the incentives for EU citizens to take part in European elections.

This note was presented by the authors for a workshop organised by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on 25/26 March 2008. The authors propose a radical reform of the European electoral system in order to create more interest in European politics and the selection of political leaders at the European level. The new system should also increase the incentives for EU citizens to take part in European elections.

Awtur estern

Sara Hagemann (European Policy Centre) and Simon Hix (London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom)

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
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FEMM TRAN LIBE BECA AIDA INTA CULT EMPL DROI SEDE DEVE
26-10-2020
Joint LIBE - FEMM Hearing on Trafficking in human beings
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LIBE FEMM
27-10-2020
Hearing on Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean: next steps
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PECH

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