A footnote on electoral systems

In today’s Observer, columnist Nick Cohen describes closed-list electoral systems in rather unflattering terms: “Straw wants a modified version of the closed list system, the neatest swindle ever dreamt up by machine politicians.”

While I think there were good reasons for introducing a closed-list system in South Africa in 1994, the time has come to revamp it. The flood of talent that entered Parliament then has now largely departed, and measures to renew standards are urgently needed.


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I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.

One thought on “A footnote on electoral systems”

  1. Good to see another entry at last.

    But you don’t make your views on closed-list systems clear. Are you with Cohen or against him? I think I’m with him – direct representation certainly has its flaws but at least you can vote out the worst offenders

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