Plurality Voting - Explained
What is Plurality Voting?
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What is Plurality Voting?
A Plural Voting system, as opposed to a single winner electoral system, is one in which each voter casts one vote to choose one candidate amongst many, and the winner is decided on the basis of the highest number of votes garnered by a candidate. Its also known as winning by a relative majority when the winning candidate receives the highest number of votes cast but doesn't account for more than or equal to 50% of the total votes cast. It works best in a two party system.
How Does Plurality Voting Work?
It is a common system of voting used to choose candidates for the lower house - Lok Sabha, in India, members of parliament in the United Kingdom, Canada, and United States of America.
Advantages of a Plurality Voting System
- Its an easy system of voting.
- Doesn't require complicated repeat voting procedures to declare a winner.
- People understand and navigate the system with ease.
- Requires fewer operational and monetary resources to hold and execute than other systems of voting.
Disadvantage of Plurality Voting
When the number of candidates is more than two, or much higher, the winning candidate might secure his victory by a very small margin of votes, reflecting poorly on the choice of the people. The Absolute Majority and Proportional Representation alternatives are employed as devices to overcome the disadvantages of Plurality Voting Systems. Plurality Voting isn't limited to polling for governments, its also used to select directors, board members, officers, trade union leaders, etc., in large organisations, corporates, and professional associations.
How is Plurality Voting different from a Majoritarian System?
In an electoral process with majoritarian voting system, a candidate or government needs to secure more than 50% of the total polls, votes cast, or total seats contested over, to emerge as a clear winner. If no clear majority is won by any of the contesting parties or candidates, a second Plural Vote is held between the top few candidates with the highest votes, in order to establish a clear majority. This is repeated until one candidate emerges as the clear winner with more than 50% of the total votes cast. In a Plurality Voting system, a candidate with the highest number of votes cast, even if its only one more than another candidate, is the clear victor.
Process of Plurality Voting
- Voters cast their vote to elect a candidate amongst many.
- The candidate with the highest number of votes wins.
An Example of Plurality Voting in Action
A group of friends is trying to decide upon their next traveling destination. 5 friends are in favour of going to Paris, 8 cast their vote for a trip to Rome, and 6 cast their ballots for Amsterdam. In this scenario, Rome is the winner and their next destination. Rome wins not by securing more than 50% or a majority of the vote, it wins based on Plurality Voting - by bagging the highest number of votes.
- Corporate Governance Law (Intro)
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- Berle-Means Thesis
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- Corporate Charter
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- Supermajority (Voting)
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- Stock Split
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- Proxy Statement
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- Activist Investor
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