Making Meaningful Electoral Choices: Reviewing current debates on reforming South Africa’s electoral system

“This paper was commissioned by the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) with the aim of contributing to, or resuscitating, the debate about electoral systems reform in South Africa. To this end, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) made a commitment to produce a paper/report that aimed to achieve the following objectives: Reconsidering and enhancing the quality of public debate on an appropriate electoral model for South Africa.
Providing better clarity on the nature of available electoral models and their relative advantages and disadvantages.
Conducting a review and synthesis of the different electoral models as they have been proposed. Providing a comparative dimension from places in which a mixed system is in use. Producing a report summarising the different proposed options with an in-built comparative dimension. Incorporating relevant inputs to the workshop, infusing them into a workshop report. Publicising and disseminating the final report to key stakeholders and other interest groups in South Africa. Conceptual approach in its examination of the objectives and rationale for electoral systems reform in general, and as they pertain to South Africa in particular. Finally, the paper recommends a mixed electoral system as the most appropriate compromise between the current proportional representation (PR) electoral system and different variants of constituency-based systems.”