Popular attitudes toward the South African electoral system

SOURCE: Democratization
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2004
TITLE AUTHOR(S): R.Mattes, R.Southall
KEYWORDS: ELECTIONS, ELECTORAL SYSTEM, POLITICAL PARTIES, PUBLIC ATTITUDE
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2391

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

This article is based on a survey of popular attitudes towards the pure list system that is South Africa's proportional representation electoral system. While the reported findings are broadly positive there are some notable exceptions, located disproportionately among racial minorities and also among sizable numbers of black respondents. Pure proportional representation is unlikely to produce the values that the respondents say they most want from a voting system. The significance of the survey's findings is analysed and reasons are advanced for making changes to the electoral system. The government has opted to retain the status quo for the time being but in the longer term this could be negative for South Africa's democracy.