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Episode 16: Electoral Systems: Time to Change?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

In March, the Consti Team examines Malaysia's electoral system. The distinguishing factors between different electoral systems are discussed in the article. This article dives deeply into the pros and cons of each electoral system and thus, discussing the viability of an electoral system reform in Malaysia.


1.0. INTRODUCTION


An election refers to the process of electing a person of government. Elections are the lifeblood of political parties, as the collective decision of citizens will determine the survival of a party. This interest is either premised upon the party’s promises, government performance or the charisma of the leader. [1]


Behind the collective interest of citizens, another factor hangs in balance which would determine the eventual result of elections: the electoral system which provides the power to the people to choose.


The system practiced in Malaysia is the First-Past-The-Post (‘FPTP’) system. This decision was made by a committee consisting of 46 members, which was formed in 1954 in preparation for the first federal election.[2] Among the options available for the committee were the proportional representation system and the alternative voting system. Albeit the consideration of other electoral systems, the committee opted for the FPTP system. The justifications were, inter alia, its simplicity and its ability to form a strong and stable government. The FPTP system was also incorporated into our legislations later. According to the Elections Act 1958, ‘the candidate for a constituency who polls the greatest number of valid votes by the electors of the constituency shall be deemed to be the elected member for that constituency’.[3]


In the recent Johor state election, it was reported that Barisan Nasional (‘BN’) secured a popular vote of 43% of all ballots cast.[4] This, however, seemed disproportionate to the actual seats won by BN — 40 out of 56 seats.[5] Events as such give rise to several questions: Isn’t democracy a reflection of the will of the people? Shouldn’t the seats be apportioned proportionately to the popular vote?


This seat-vote disproportionality is the main reason that leads to the growing movement of electoral reform in Malaysia, particularly led by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (‘Bersih’). Bersih 2.0 has repeatedly called for Malaysia to reassess the viability of switching from the FPTP system to a mixed-member proportional (‘MMP’) representation system.[6]


Albeit it may seem like a great deal of political will is needed to make the jump from FPTP to MMP, there are some countries that successfully made such progress. In New Zealand, the country managed to revolutionise its electoral system by having a referendum, in which the citizens settled upon the MMP system as a result of massive public pressure. In its very first implementation of the MMP system in the 1996 general election, many positive changes took place. Parliament became more diverse; new parties emerged. A coalition arose from the antagonistic National and New Zealand First parties.[7]


Looking at New Zealand, should Malaysia follow in steps of this change? This article will analyse the current FPTP system, and several other systems, for the betterment of the electoral system in Malaysia.


2.0. THE FIRST-PAST-THE-POST SYSTEM ('FPTP System')


2.1. Mechanisms of the FPTP System


The FPTP system, also known as the simple plurality system, is a member of the plurality family. It is employed in many Commonwealth nations including Malaysia, the United Kingdom and India.

Under the FPTP system, constituencies would be single-member constituencies.[8] Thus, voters from each constituency only elect one representative, as per contained Article 116(2) and 117 of the Federal Constitution.[9] Besides, no election threshold exists for this electoral system. The candidates do not have to obtain an absolute majority or a specific percentage of votes, as the name goes, a simple sum would suffice.[10] Therefore, in extreme conditions such as a six-cornered fight, a candidate with only 17% of votes might win the seat.


In addition, one of the fundamental features of the FPTP system is that each voter is entitled to only a single vote. Theoretically, the constituencies must also be of approximately equal size, as to guarantee the value of each vote is one and the same. The single-member constituency ensures that every electoral district is represented equally in the legislature.


2.2. Benefits of the FPTP System


2.2.1. Easy and Simple to Understand


One of the main proponents for the electoral system is its undemanding and clear-cut process. This was one of the main grounds why the FPTP system was selected as Malaysia’s electoral system.[11] On election day, voters are provided with a ballot with names of the candidates contesting and their parties. The voters only need to administer a cross next to their most favoured candidate. Once a winner is found, the amount of discrepancy between the most favoured and the second favoured is irrelevant.[12]


An overcomplicated procedure will only confuse voters. Take the changes to the elections in the United States due to the Coronavirus for example. Drastic changes left voters in confusion as how to vote. [13] This can have detrimental repercussions towards the nation’s democracy and enfranchisement, i.e. lowering voter turnout. In fact, the simplicity of the FPTP system also eases vote counting, unlike the single transferable vote system and the mixed-member system which might take days before the announcement of the election results.[14]


2.2.2. Produces Governmental Stability


The FPTP electoral system promotes a strong and solid government of the day. This is because usually, the government selected under the FPTP system has a clear majority in Parliament, which in result, contribute to a strong legislative power.[15] This would allow governmental work such as the making of policies and legislations to be done efficiently. This guarantee of easy passage of legislation allows the government to act or remedy when circumstances require so.


On the other hand, countries which adopt other electoral systems face difficulties of an unstable government. For instance, Spain, which employs the Party List Proportional Representation (‘PLPR’) system, credited the lack of parliamentary majority to be one of the main stumbling blocks.[16] A senior analyst at the think-tank Eurasia Group stated the chronic political instability in Spain has become the new normal. Elections are held frequently – along with its costs – and constant unsuccessful political negotiations are to be expected.[17]


2.3. Disadvantages of the FPTP System


2.3.1.Unfair and Disproportionate Representation

The major drawback of this system is its failure to guarantee a fair representation. The FPTP system, being a member of the plurality system family, simply relies on the concept of a simple majority.[18] While this may be clear cut and direct in its verdict, it contributes to a seat-vote disproportionality. This can be exemplified by our 1986 general election. In that election, BN managed to occupy 83.62% of the seats by garnering only 57.28% of the votes while the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (‘PAS’) only managed to obtain 0.56% of the seats after getting 15.5% of the votes.

This is not only the case in Malaysia. Other countries that practice the FPTP system encounter the same problem. For instance, the 1993 Canada federal election saw the Progressive Conservatives merely attaining 0.7% of the seats with 16% of the votes.[19] Meanwhile in Britain, the Liberal-Social Democratic Party won a 25% share of the votes but only obtained 3% of the seats in 1986.[20] Seemingly, there is no way to get around this if we were to stick with the FPTP system. This brings into the contention of the validity of the government despite not receiving a proportionate number of votes and seats.

In addition, the worst-case scenario under this system is the possibility of a majority reversal. Majority reversal is a case when the party which obtained the most votes loses in the election.[21] The most prominent illustration was the Malaysia 2013 general election, when the Pakatan Rakyat (‘PR’) coalition, although having obtained 51% of the overall votes, failed to win the election. Instead, BN managed to govern with only 47% of the votes.[22]


2.3.2. Promotes Identity Politics


Under the ‘winner-takes-all’ concept of the FPTP system, political parties without a secure geographical base have a slim chance in winning as most of their votes are wasted. Hence, political parties would make attempts to secure their political bases. In Malaysia, the easiest way to do so would be to promulgate identity politics. Ideas relating to race-based centrism, regionalism and cultural preservation are often used by certain politicians as their political rhetoric. For instance, the United Malay National Organisation (‘UMNO’) and the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (‘Bersatu’), as their names suggest, fight primarily for Malay rights whereas the Malaysian Islamic Party (‘PAS) constantly spreads its religious ideology and criticisms towards the Democratic Action Party (‘DAP’). On the other hand, parties like DAP, the Malaysian Chinese Association (‘MCA’) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (‘MIC’) are ethnic based parties.[23] Issues such as the constitutionality of vernacular schools, Malay superiority and the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate are also especially amplified nearing an election to establish loyalty in certain key demographics.[24]


2.3.3. Vulnerability to Election Manipulation


Lastly, the FPTP system is prone to election manipulation. Election results are easily falsified through malapportionment and gerrymandering, which was eased by the emphasis on a simple majority and the ‘winner-takes-all’ concept.

Malapportionment is defined as the creation of poorly divided voting districts with a divergent ratio of voters and representatives.[25] Re-delineation of the electoral boundaries is allowed by Article 113(2) of the Federal Constitution.[26] Although Clause 2(c) of the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution states that ‘the number of voters within each constituency in a State must be approximately equal’, [27] several amendments make this safeguard futile. Prior to the 1962 constitutional amendment, the range of deviation of number of voters was capped at 15%. It was then increased to 33.33% in 1962 and was entirely removed in the 1973 amendment.[28]

The proviso in Clause 2(c) of the Thirteenth Schedule also gives an exception for rural constituencies to have a smaller number of voters due to the greater difficulty of reaching voters in the area.[29] For that reason, it resulted in various constituencies with a large difference in their number of voters. One of the clear examples is N34 Paya Terubong with more than 40,000 voters, in contrast to N23 Air Putih with only 13,000 voters, which amounts to an extreme 92.25% of deviation. Both are neighbouring urban areas in Penang.[30] It contradicts with the ‘one man, one vote’ principle as every vote carries a different weightage due to the malapportionment. For the scenario above, each vote in Air Putih is as worthy as three votes in Paya Terubong.


Another common form of electoral fraud is gerrymandering, which refers to a manipulation of constituency boarders to benefit a party. Similarly, gerrymandering is unconstitutional by virtue of clause 2(d) of the Thirteenth Schedule of the Malaysian Constitution.[31] As noted above, this process is especially easy in the FPTP system due to the ‘winner-takes-all’ nature. No matter a candidate wins by a large majority of votes, or only by one vote, he still wins the seat.


Thus, it leads to two common ways of gerrymandering.[32] Firstly, through the process of ‘cracking’ which stacks the opponent’s supporters into a single constituency. It ensures the opponent win by a huge margin in that district, but its voting power in other districts is substantially weakened. Secondly, through the process of ‘packing’ which splits the opponent’s supporters across many constituencies. It was perfectly calculated to isolate the supporters so that they are the minorities in each district, leaving them no chance in winning the seat.


The accusation of gerrymandering is not something new in Malaysia. The re-delineation review by the Election Committee which was submitted and passed swiftly in Parliament less than six weeks prior to GE14 was heavily criticised by the opposition as tactics to favour BN in the upcoming election.[33] Specifically, the relocation of the national police headquarters, with 6000 voters to Lembah Pantai was put in the spotlight. This was caused by the fact that BN only lost the seat by a slight margin of 1847 votes, and most of the police officers are anticipated to vote in favour of BN.[34]


To wrap things up, the FPTP system is vulnerable to electoral fraud, which harms the roots of our democracy.


3.0. THE PARTY-LIST PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM ('PLPR SYSTEM')


One of the electoral systems viewed as an alternative to our current system is the Proportional Representation (‘PR’) system. Our Electoral Reform Committee had submitted a recommendation of changing our electoral system from the FPTP system to the PR system in 2020.[35] Advantages and disadvantages of the PR system will be discussed under this part.


3.1. Mechanisms of the PLPR System


The PR system is an electoral system which seeks to distribute the legislative seats according to the proportion of the total votes casted for each political party.[36] For instance, if a party wins 30% of the votes, it gains 30% of the seats. The most widely adopted PR system is the Party-List Proportional Representation (‘PLPR’) system. In contrast to the FPTP system, the voters do not vote for candidates, but for the parties. Each political party will craft a list of candidates and the representatives will be elected according to the ranking in the list. This PLPR system was first adopted in Belgium in 1900 and subsequently in South Africa, Israel, Indonesia and most of the Western Europe countries.[37]


There are two technical variations of the PLPR system, namely the Closed List Proportional Representation (‘CLPR’) system and the Open List Proportional Representation (‘OLPR’) system. The distinguishing feature between these two is the way of determining the candidate list. In the CLPR system, a party gains full control of the list of candidates whereas in the OLPR system, the candidates are chosen by the voters.[38]


3.2. Benefits of the PLPR System


3.2.1. Better Reflection of Votes


Arguably, the main advantage of the PLPR system is its ability to proportionately reflect votes. As aforementioned, even if a candidate wins 49.9% of the votes in the FPTP system, he loses the seat so long as his opponent acquires one vote more than him, which seems to be unjust. The PLPR system eliminates this consequence by distributing each party the number of seats based on the percentage of votes acquired. For that reason, it advocates electoral fairness by establishing a close proportion between votes and seats.[39]


3.2.2. Increases Minority Representation


Furthermore, the PLPR system improves the representation of minorities. This was contributed by the freedom political parties were given to craft a perfectly balanced list with candidates representing different groups. To illustrate, the South African National Assembly elected in 1994 consisted of representatives from different ethnicities and social backgrounds.[40]


In terms of women representation, statistics show that the PLPR system leads to more female representatives. For instance, the House of Representative in United States only consisted around 13% of women representatives while other democracies usually have 20% to 40% of them. Likewise, in the 1996 New Zealand general election, where a mixed-member system is practiced, only 15% of the representatives elected were women for the district contests under the FPTP system while the figure increased to 45% for the PLPR districts.[41] Even if the parties neglect to come out with a balanced list of candidates, legislations can be enacted to impose an electoral quota for each group, as what was recommended by our Electoral Reform Committee.[42]


3.2.3. Prevents Party Hopping


Lastly, the PLPR system might be the solution to curb party hopping. Under the PLPR system, the voters cast their votes for their preferred party, and not the candidates. Thus, when a representative leaves his party, he cannot bring along his seat as the mandate was given to the party, and not to him.[43] The next candidate on the party list will then replace him. This benefit is particularly relevant to Malaysia’s current political context, when the nation is so desperate to solve the elephant in the room, but the constitutionality of anti-party hopping law is still a big question mark.


3.3. Disadvantages of the PLPR System


3.3.1. Leads to the Formation of an Unstable Government


However, there are downsides of adopting the PLPR system. Firstly, it may lead to a fragmented representation and an unstable coalition.[44] This was perfectly exemplified by Belgium, which suffered from numerous occasions when no government is formed after an election. After its 2010 federal election, Belgium experienced 541 days without an official government. After a convoluted negotiation, Elio Di Rupo finally swore in as the Prime Minister in December 2011.[45] Similarly, Belgium suffered another 652 days without an official government after the fall of its previous administration in December 2018.[46]


This political instability consequently led to minimal completion of national work. Dave Sinardet, a professor of political science at the Free University of Brussels said there are lots of urgent problems such as the climate, poverty and low employment rate which cannot be dealt with for the moment. Carl Devos, a professor of political science at Ghent University also opined: ‘What is costing us money are problems that can’t be dealt with because we have no government.’[47] Ergo, such fragmented representation leads to legislative gridlocks as legislation could not be passed efficiently.[48]


3.3.2. Deprivation of Rights to Select Candidates


Moreover, the system was heavily lambasted for depriving the voters’ right to choose their favoured candidates. Frankly speaking, in an election, the voters do not only take into account the ideology of the parties, but much consideration is also given to the personality of the candidates.[49] In the CLPR system, the party determines the list of candidates, and the voters have no say in it. It is often criticised for destroying such a crucial constituency link between the representatives and their people. [50] It also reduces the accountability of the elected representatives to the voters. However, this issue could be remedied by implementing the OLPR System, which allows the voters to express their preference of candidates.[51]


3.3.3. Excessive Power Held by the Party Leader


Additionally, such discretion of the party to determine the list of candidates was regarded as conferring excessive power to the political party headquarters. The party whip has the final say on who is eligible to be on the list, and additionally, who is ranked on top of the list. Thus, with the fear of risking their political career, party members might end up becoming bound to the party’s governing hand. They abide to party orders instead of fighting for the people’s interest in the constituency. In short, party discipline is tightened under the PLPR system, but this might not be in the best interest of the people.


4.0. THE MIXED-MEMBER SYSTEM


4.1. Mechanisms of the Mixed-Member System


The mixed-member system is a combination of the majoritarian system and the proportional system.[52] Under the mixed-member electoral system, a portion of the seats are filled using the FPTP system through the nominal list, while the remaining are filled based on the PR system.[53] The voters get to cast two votes: one for the candidate they favour as their district representative and another for their preferred party.[54] This electoral system was pioneered by Germany after the Second World War, and several countries like New Zealand, Italy and Japan have since followed Germany’s footsteps.[55]


The mixed-member system is recognised as being split into two types, the mixed-member proportional (‘MMP’) system and the mixed-member majoritarian (‘MMM’) system. The distinguishing factor between these two is the increased emphasis on seat-vote proportionality under the MMP system.[56]


The MMP system compensates any disproportionality produced by the plurality district seats using the PR system.[57] For instance, assuming there was a country with 100 seats to be filled, if a party that obtains 15% of popular votes from the second ballot does not win 15% of district seats in the first ballot, it will be awarded seats through the PLPR system until its seats are approximately 15% of the Parliament. Conversely, if the party had already won 15 or more seats through the FPTP system, no more additional seats would be allocated nor subtracted from the said party. The seat-vote proportionality is safeguarded through this link between the majoritarian and proportional components of the MMP system.[58]


4.3. Benefits of the Mixed-Member System


Aforesaid, a mixed-member electoral system is the fusion of the majoritarian and the proportional systems.[59] Thus, it combines the strengths of both, which explains the international trend of shifting from the FPTP system to the mixed-member system.[60]



4.3.1. Greater Freedom of Choice


The greatest advantage of the system comes from its allocation of two votes. This distinctive feature of the mixed-member system gives the voters more freedom to express their choice. Unlike the FPTP and the PLPR system, voters from the former system usually choose among candidates who are likely to win instead of whom they really favour to prevent a waste of votes, while the later does not provide a chance for the voters to choose the candidates. Under the mixed-member system, the voters can freely cast their first vote for their preferred individual and the other for their party of choice, which may not be the same.[61] In other words, the voters do not have to compromise as they know every vote counts.


Besides, the retainment of geographical representation is exceptionally important as it ensures the accountability of the representatives to the constituency he was elected. In a multi-state federation with a large number of constituencies like Malaysia, a strong link between a geographic territory and a local representative is invaluable.


4.3.2. Increases Representatives from the Minority Groups


Furthermore, the adaptation of the PR system through the second ballot increases the chances of minorities being elected. Under the FPTP system, a candidate must obtain the most votes to emerge victorious. This ‘winner-takes-all’ concept is devastating for small political parties, especially those representing minority groups. The representation of minorities is especially vital in Malaysia, being a multi-ethnic and diverse country. It prevents any group from being underrepresented in Parliament. The voices of all groups ought to be heard in a democratic country.


To conclude, the mixed-member system retains the constituency link in the FPTP system, while receiving extra benefits of seat-vote proportionality and minority representation under the PR system.



4.4. Disadvantages of the Mixed Member System


As ideal as the mixed-member system might seem, undeniably, the system has its flaws. Benjamin Reilly, an election expert from the University of Western Australia, warned Malaysia of some of the downsides.[62]


4.4.1. Complexity of the Voting System


The most notable downside is the complexity of the mixed-member system, which might lead to Malaysians’ lack of interest in politics. This might further aggravate the already existing political apathy in Malaysia, which was exhibited by the incredibly low voter turnout in the Johor state election lately (54.92%). [63]


4.4.2. Gives Opportunity for Extremists to be Elected


Critics of the mixed-member system also argue that this system opens a room for candidates with extreme political views to be elected — possibly leading to political havoc. This was attributed by the fact that in a country with many seats, it requires only the slightest percentage of votes for a party to obtain a seat. Nevertheless, setting an electoral threshold can easily prevent this from happening. Any candidate failing to obtain the minimum votes required will be excluded from obtaining any seat. [64]


4.4.3. Promotes voting strategies


Additionally, the implementation of the mixed-member system encourages political parties to engage in vote-splitting strategies. Parties that are likely to win big in the nominal list may resort to these tactics to maximise their seat gain. To illustrate, in the 1996 New Zealand general election, the National Party urged its supporters to vote for their ally parties instead of their own candidates. The party had brilliantly calculated that its votes in the second ballot would not give it an extra seat, but merely replaces a pre-existing MP from its party list.[65] These tactics were regarded as a breach of democracy as it does not reflect the true will of the voters.


5.0. CONCLUSION


After analysing three of the most widely adopted electoral systems around the globe, which is the ideal system for Malaysia?


We regret to say that there is no perfect system. Each system has its drawbacks. Realistically speaking, the pros and cons of each system are heavily dependent on the different political climates of each country. For instance, due to the recent political development which leads to party fragmentation in Malaysia, multi-cornered fights are expected to amplify the seat-vote disproportionality under the FPTP system due to the large number of waste votes.


Regardless, we are safe to say that we should not be reluctant to changes just because we are comfortable with and used to the old system. Unfortunately, apparently most of the Malaysians are satisfied with our current system and do not feel the need of a change. A survey conducted by Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development, Sunway Malaysia in December 2019 showed a 53% of respondents being satisfied with the current electoral system, while around 30% were unsure and only 12% were dissatisfied. Furthermore, 83.6% of the respondents did not feel a need to depart from the FPTP system and only 6.6% of them wished to see a change.[66] For that reason, fat chance an electoral reform will take place because major reforms as such requires lots of effort, not only from the government, but also from the people.


Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that the political drama which happened in our country throughout the years like the majority reversal in GE13, the accusations of gerrymandering, or even the lack of survival space for small parties, if not fully, were partially contributed by the FPTP system itself. All these consequences can be prevented under the proportional representation or the mixed-member system as discussed above. Seeing how other countries such as New Zealand have progressed since moving on from the FPTP system, an electoral reform might be the right thing to do for Malaysia.


References


[1] Almond, G. A., Powell G. B. Jr., Dalton, R. J. & Strom, K. (2010). Interest aggregation and political parties. In Comparative politics today: A world view (Updated 9th ed., International Edition, 79-100). New York: Pearson.


[2] Ting, H. M. H. (2021). Electoral System Change for a More Democratic Malaysia? Challenges and Options. IKMAS Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 26. Retrieved from <https://www.ukm.my/ikmas/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Report-on-Electoral-System-Reform-2021.09.30.pdf>. Site accessed on 16 Mar 2022.


[3] Elections Act 1958, s 13(1).


[4] Bernama. (2022, Mar 13). BN victory came on 43% of popular vote in Johor polls. Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved from <https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/03/13/bn-victory-came-on-43-of-popular-vote-in-johor-polls/>. Site accessed on 15 Mar 2022.


[5] Anand, R. (2022, Mar 15). Umno-led BN wins two-thirds majority in Johor polls. Retrieved from <https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/johor-polls-umno-led-barisan-nasional-pulls-ahead-in-31-seats-as-vote-count-begins>. Site accessed on 16 Mar 2022.


[6] See footnote 2 above.


[7] NZ History. (n.d.) The road to MMP. NZ History. Retrieved from <https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/fpp-to-mmp/1996-and-beyond>. Site accessed on 16 Mar 2022.


[8] See footnote 2 above, 14.


[9] Federal Constitution (Malaysia) art 116(2) and 117.


[10] Election Threshold Explained. POLYAS. Retrieved from <https://www.polyas.com/election-glossary/election-threshold>. Site accessed on 18 Mar 2022.

[11] See footnote 2 above, 26.


[12] Whalan, R. (2019, Dec 11). What is first past the post voting and why does the UK use it? News. Retrieved from <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-11/what-is-first-past-the-post-voting-and-why-does-the-uk-use-it/11702754>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.

[13] Dzhanova, Y. (2020, Jul 11). Election officials fear voting changes will confuse voters in November. CNBC. Retrieved from <https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/11/election-officials-fear-changes-could-confuse-voters-in-november.html>. Site accessed on 18 Mar 2022.

[14] UK Engage. (2013, Jun 18). What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) System? UK Engage. Retrieved from <https://www.uk-engage.org/2013/06/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-using-the-single-transferable-vote-stv-system/>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[15] Williams, A. (1995). UK Government and Politics. (2nd ed.). UK: Heinemann Educational Publishers, 23.


[16] Amaro, S. (2018, June 5). Spain has a new government but political instability is not over. CNBC. Retrieved from <https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/spain-has-a-new-government-but-political-instability-is-not-over.html>. Site accessed on 18 Mar 2022.


[17] Amaro, S. (2019, Jul 19). The new Italy? Spain’s political crisis has no clear end in sight. CNBC. Retrieved from <https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/23/the-new-italy-spain-political-crisis-has-no-clear-end-in-sight.html>. Site accessed on 18 Mar 2022.

[18] Ace Project: The Electoral Knowledge Network. (2003, Mar 6). Electoral Systems. Ace Project: The Electoral Knowledge. Retrieved from <https://aceproject.org/main/english/es/index.html>. Site accessed on 13 Mar 2022.


[19] UBC-ESM Election Forecaster. (1997). 1993 Canadian Federal Election Results by Electoral District. UBC-ESM Election Forecaster. Retrieved from <http://esm.ubc.ca/CA93/results.html>. Site accessed on 13 Mar 2022.


[20] House of Commons. (1983, Jun 9). General Election Results. Retrieved from <https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/commons-information-office/m09.pdf>. Site accessed on 13 Mar 2022.


[21] Miller, N. R. (2010, Jul). Election Inversions and the U.S. Electorate College. Paper presented at the Voting Power in Summer Practice Workshop Assessing Alternative Voting Procedures, Normandy, France.


[22] Khoo, B, T. (2013, May). Malaysia: 13th General Election: An Overview. Institute of Developing Economies Japanese External Trade Organisation (IDE-JETRO). Retrieved <https://www.ide.go.jp/English/Research/Region/Asia/201305_khoo.html>. Site accessed 14 Mar 2022.


[23] Welsh, B. (2020, Aug 18). Malaysia’s Political Polarization: Race, Religion and Reform. Political Polarization in South and Southeast Asia: Old Divisions, New Dangers, 1. Retrieved from <https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/08/18/malaysia-s-political-polarization-race-religion-and-reform-pub-82436>. Site accessed on 16 Mar 2022.


[24] See footnote 23 above.


[25] Adib Povera. (2018, Jul 18). ‘Real flaws are gerrymandering, malapportionment’. New Straits Time. Retrieved from <https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/505239/real-flaws-are-gerrymandering-malapportionment>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[26] Federal Constitution (Malaysia), art 113(2).


[27] Federal Constitution (Malaysia), thirteenth schedule 2(c).


[28] Ooi, K, H. (2018 Mac 19). How Malaysia’s Election is Being Rigged. New Naratif. Retrieved from <https://newnaratif.com/malaysias-election-rigged/#_ftn1>. Site accessed on 12 Mar 2022.


[29] See footnote 27 above.


[30] See footnote 28 above.


[31] Federal Constitution (Malaysia), thirteenth schedule 2(d).


[32] Jones, M. (2018, Jun 8). Packing, cracking and the art of gerrymandering around Milwaukee. Wis CONTEXT. Retrieved from <https://www.wiscontext.org/packing-cracking-and-art-gerrymandering-around-milwaukee>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[33] Jacques, H. (2018 May 8). Malaysia election falls prey to ‘gerrymandering’. Financial Times. Retrieved from <https://www.ft.com/content/ecb87f18-51d7-11e8-b3ee-41e0209208ec>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[34] See footnote 33 above.


[35] See footnote 2 above, 6.


[36] Nagel, J. H. (2015). Proportional Representation. In J. D. Wright (Ed.). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition) (pp. 205-209). Retrieved from <https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.93109-X>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.


[37] Palese, M. (2018, Dec 26) Which European countries use proportional representation? Electoral Reform Society. Retrieved from <https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/which-european-countries-use-proportional-representation/>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022; See also footnote 43 above.


[38] See footnote 36 above.


[39] See footnote 36 above.


[40] See footnote 36 above.


[41] Amy, D. J. (n.d.). What is "proportional representation" and why do we need this reform? FairVote. Retrieved from <https://www.fairvote.org/what_is_proportional_representation_and_why_do_we_need_this_reform>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.


[42] See footnote 2 above, 17.


[43] See footnote 2 above, 17.


[44] See footnote 36 above.


[45] Galindo, G. (2020, Aug 3). Belgium breaks own record for longest period without government. The Brussels Times. Retrieved from <https://www.brusselstimes.com/124777/belgium-breaks-own-record-for-longest-period-without-government>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.


[46] Rankin, J. (2020, Sept 30). Belgium agrees on government nearly two years after previous one fell. The Guardian. Retrieved from <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/30/belgium-agrees-on-government-nearly-two-years-after-previous-one-fell>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.


[47] Birnbaum, M. (2019, Dec 20). Without a government for a year, Belgium shows what happens to politics without politicians. The Washington Post. Retrieved from <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/without-a-government-for-a-year-belgium-shows-what-happens-to-politics-without-politicians/2019/12/19/5c13cb48-20de-11ea-b034-de7dc2b5199b_story.html>. Site accessed on 19 Mar 2022.

[48] Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). (n.d.). List PR - Disadvantages. Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). Retrieved from <https://aceproject.org/main/english/es/esf02a.htm>. Site accessed on 17 Mar 2022.


[49] See footnote 2 above, 64.


[50] See footnote 36 above.


[51] Difford, D. (2021 Nov 15). What’s the difference between open and closed list proportional representation? Electoral Reform Society. Retrieved from <https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/whats-the-difference-between-open-and-closed-list-proportional-representation/>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[52] Shugart, M. S., & Wattenberg, M. P. (2003). Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: A Definition and Typology. In Shugart, M. S., & Wattenberg, M. P. (Eds.), Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? Oxford University Press.


[53] See footnote 2 above, 17.


[54] Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). (n.d.). Mixed Electoral Systems. Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). Retrieved from <https://aceproject.org/main/english/bd/bda01c.htm>. Site accessed on 7 Mar 2022.


[55] Fair Vote. (n.d.). Mixed Member Systems. Fair Vote. Retrieved from <http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=2046>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[56] See footnote 51 above, 9-24.


[57] See footnote 55 above.


[58] See footnote 52 above.


[59]See footnote 52 above.


[60] Amalia Salabi. (2020, January 17). Malaysia Electoral Reform: Things Must Considered and Watch. rumahpemilu.org: Indonesia Election Portal. Retrieved from <https://rumahpemilu.org/malaysia-electoral-reform-things-must-considered-and-watch/>. Site accessed on 7 Mar 2022.


[61] EIC. (2015, October 13). The pros of mixed-member proportional representation. The Peak: SFU’s independent student newspaper since 1965. Retrieved from <https://the-peak.ca/2015/10/the-pros-of-mixed-member-proportional-representation/>. Site accessed on 7 Mar 2022.


[62] See footnote 61 above.


[63] Santhiram, S. R. (2022 Mar 17). What a low voter turnout ultimately means for Malaysia. Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved from < https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2022/03/17/what-a-low-voter-turnout-ultimately-means-for-malaysia/>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[64] EIC. (2015, Oct 13). The pros of mixed-member proportional representation. The Peak. Retrieved from < https://the-peak.ca/2015/10/the-pros-of-mixed-member-proportional-representation/>. Site accessed on 20 Mar 2022.


[65] Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). (n.d.). MMP - Disadvantages. Administration and Cost of Elections Project (ACE). Retrieved from <https://aceproject.org/main/english/es/esf03b.htm>. Site accessed on 7 March 2022.


[66] See footnote 2 above, 62.

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