The democratic world according to LocalParty.Org
The term democracy is generally used for
a broad range of electoral systems. The term democracy
used on this site describes only the specific form of democracy delivering Equal
Representation. In such a democracy, voters do not only pick but also get the person or party of their choice to represent them. Very few nations in the world have this form or democracy.
On the map below, nations delivering
equal representation are shown. Nations with the pure winner-takes-all
system (district elections) do not fall under this specific banner, because
almost 40% of the voters do not receive representation (except by the winner); these
voters do not live in a nation with equal representation. Voters with an empowered president also do not live in a democracy of equal representation, because a president is a winner of a race.
The following map of the world shows the three varying degrees of equal representation
in the world. The first form in dark green shows the few nations that make the voters'
choice be the only vote that matters. As you can see, the majority
of these nations are found in Europe (but not exclusively).
Sources used to compile this
graph are based on 2005 data from: CIA
World Factbook, Worldpolicy.org, NationMaster.com , and WPmap. As disclaimer, not all nations may deliver in reality what on paper is their official governmental format.
second form of equal representation is taken up by nations with
proportional elections that additionally have presidential elections also, shown in lighter green. As
is obvious, presidential elections are never proportional: they
are an addition to a democracy, and that addition is in itself a winner-takes-all election, and should therefore be considered
a specific mix of proportional plus district elections. Central-American,
South-American and African nations tend to have this form of democracy
if they have proportional representation.
The third level
of equal representation is taken in by those nations with a peculiar use
of proportionality: People vote for their representatives in districts,
but some importance to equal representation
is then delivered in the result as well. If a nation votes in districts and the districts have more than one seat per district — or when the end results of all districts are
adjusted afterwards to include the overall vote as well — then such nation
is shown in blue. Important nations in this category are: Germany,
Japan, Australia. Here is the visual once more:
Data sources do vary, so the following graph shows how much of the national distribution
of income ór distribution of consumption the top 10% in a
nation can call their own. All versions of government are shown, and the three versions of equal representation are the ones to the right. What you should immediately note is the white space above the forms of government to the right.
Please note that the distribution of
consumption usually shows a lower level of inequality than the distribution
of income. Various aspects on this graph may therefore be further
skewed than they already appear. Of great interest is the difference
found between the nations with proportional elections one
with and one without a president: they show almost opposite results.
Nations with proportional elections without a president all remain
below the level as found in the United States, while nations with
proportional elections that also elect a president show many above that level. Additional source: NationMaster.com
Did you notice how nations without a president did so much better for all? Please note that many district-elected nations have a president, too, but not all.
The next graph looks at the ten percent of the population that
find themselves at the economic bottom side in their nations. The
graph shows that the nations are positioned a tiny bit further apart
from each other due to a different scale (a single percent marker is
used on the left side instead of a ten percent marker, already indicating how the data among the poor are tabulated at such a distinctly different level than among the rich). The trends
remain visible nevertheless. Many nations in top and bottom position
of the previous graph come back in opposite places in this graph.
The bottom ten percent of society in the United States fall below the bottom
ten percent of nations of three other categories of systems.
Sometimes important information is not available for most nations,
for instance, for the issue of the population living below poverty.
The international standard for poverty is expressed as living below
half of what is considered the national median income. It is important
to note that various nations have their own definition for poverty:
the United States basically multiplies the food-needs for a family
three times to get its definition, while the nations in the European
Union use 60% of the median income as the definition. That way,
they end up with similar figures for people living below poverty.
The next graph shows, however, that expressing the poverty level
in one and the same way puts them further apart.
Do you have problems understanding what is being said here? Is it hard to imagine various forms of democracy, with some being smarter and more representative than the others? Will it help you to imagine a painting or a photo on the one hand and the real 3D world on the other hand? Both do show reality, but the 2D image is only true from a static and specific position. With a 3D image — think bronze statue, for instance — you may experience it while walking around it. With 2D you can look at the picture, but with 3D you can see all sides.
Now, when you vote and you can only pick a winner, do you agree you live in a political 2D world? Because, your world does not contain the dynamics of a political 3D world. When you vote in a district, your vote is not translated into a 3D delivery, because you ended up with a single winner for the collective district. Your vote does count in the political tally, but your political voice is not translated in the outcome. The winning politician of your district listened to you particularly during election times. And that is different for a 3D democracy where the politican elected by your vote desires to particualrly deliver your point of view at the table of decision makers.
As an informed voter, you do know that 2D is never just black and white; you would simply not accept that kind of system. Rest assured, black and white is always a dictatorship (which is a mind set in which there is a politically-accepted collective right and a politically-accepted collective wrong). Winner-takes-all is not like that at all, and it should therefore better be seen as a red and blue system, not a right-and-wrong system. Still, winner-takes-all is not like full-representation either, since while it may contain darker and lighter realities there never is any yellow.
Still having trouble understanding it all, politically? Then you will like the Visual Displays for sure.
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