Minority and Functional Representation

  • For the proper functioning of democracy, it is essential that system of representation should be such that it should be able to represent minority and majority both in a balanced manner.
  • Minority is a group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society. Proportional representation advocates that only those candidates should be considered elected in a position to get a fixed quota of votes and not just more votes than other candidates.
  • Two methods of proportional representation are popularly suggested for securing these objectives. They are the single transferable vote method or the hare system, and the list method or the list system. The method of Single Transferable vote system ensures the maximum utilisation of possible votes.
  • The List system provides for the distribution of seats among political parties in proportion to the popular votes secured by them. List System sees to that people from all communities are represented. Due share is also given to the parties that lend their support to minorities.
  • Principles of list system are multi-member constituencies, one person one vote, every individual votes for the list of a particular party and quota is fixed for winning elections.
  • The other methods of minority representation are second ballot system, cumulative vote system, limited vote system, communal electorates, reservation of seats, nominations system.
  • Functional Representation is also known as occupational representation. This system is opposed to the system of territorial representation. Functional Representation holds that each functional class (doctor, engineers) or group should have the right to elect its own representatives.

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