Інституційні чинники пропорційності парламентського представництва українських політичних партій
Institutional Aspects of Proportionate Parliamentary Representation of Ukrainian Political Parties
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In political science the assessment of institutional development is an important criterion for determining the level of democratic governance. Therefore, the role of formal political institutions is significant for the functioning of the political system. It concerns the functioning of the executive, legislative, judiciary, and has expression in the mechanisms of mediation between public authorities and citizens. In the article the participation of political parties as such mediators is shown. Political parties, in this context, perform the numbers of functions in order to promote the principle of political representation through elections and parliamentarism. Therefore, political elections aimed at the expression of public opinion may apply as a tool for representative government. Thus, democratic elections and the formation of the parliament can be evaluated according to the criteria of transparency and proportionality of political representation. The implementation of these principles in a democratic political system depends on several factors related to the type of electoral system and those political institutions that affect the electoral process. For instance the representation of political parties in elected bodies depends on the threshold for parties or blocks (in the case of a proportional system), voter turnout and the method of determining electoral quota; as well the number of political parties participating in the elections; and the rights of voters to vote «against all». The article examines the impact of the electoral system on proportionate representation of political parties in parliament during the elections to the Ukrainian parliament (2002-2014). As for the constitutional amendments and electoral legislation in 2004-2014 years, we focus on the type of electoral system, the methods for calculating the electoral quota, threshold for political parties, the number of political parties-participants of the election process, as well as indicators of voter turnout. In order to analyse the proportionality of parliamentary representation of political parties we consider the indices of disproportionality. Overall, the disproportionate representation of political party as a phenomenon is caused by the existence of threshold (in the case of a proportional electoral system) and single-member constituencies (in the case of the majority electoral system). The level of proportional parliamentary representation of political parties in Ukraine is moderate. At the same time, the downward trend of proportional representation is obvious. This is due to the increase in unrepresented voters who vote for political parties that do not win seats. In this regard, we can state that a high threshold helps large parties in the election competition. However, as a result, the disproportionate representation of political parties may rise because of the high percentage of voters whose interests are not represented in parliament. In other words, the essential electoral support for non-influential parties, their overall percentage and dispersion of voters who support political parties that do not pass in parliament, is a factor of disproportionate representation. That is, the level of proportionate representation refers to the total number of political parties that compete in elections.
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