AD proposes 2.5% votes threshold for MP election, gender-balanced candidates lists

Alternattiva Demokratika says that the electoral system itself isn't representative, in submissions on proposed gender corrective mechanism

Alternattiva Demokratika has submitted two proposals for better party and gender representation in Parliament
Alternattiva Demokratika has submitted two proposals for better party and gender representation in Parliament

Alternattiva Demokratika has proposed a 2.5% vote threshold to ensure that third parties have a chance of being represented in Parliament and for electoral lists to contain a gender balance of candidates.

In submissions made on the last day of the government’s consultation period for its proposed parliamentary gender corrective mechanism, AD said that the problem of representation in Parliament has a singular cause - the fact that the electoral system itself isn’t representative.

AD said that it had repeatedly proposed that Article 52 of the Constitution be emended so that a party which reaches a threshold of 2.5% of first count votes is assured representation in Parliament which corresponds to the votes obtained.

It reiterated its suggestion that there be a 2.5% vote threshold for a party to be guaranteed representation in Parliament proportional to the votes obtained in a general election.

Moreover, it proposed that parties be obliged to submit list of candidates to the Electoral Commission which are balanced when it comes to the genders of those on the list.

Despite various constitutional amendments meant to ensure that both Malta’s biggest parties are proportionally represented in Parliament according to the percentages of votes obtained in an election, legislators had failed to make any provisions for a third party to be elected to the House of Representatives, AD highlighted.

When it comes to gender equality, AD went on to say that it was important that there be a balance in Parliament between all genders.

“The balance needed is not only that between men and women, but those who do not identify as male or female should also be included in this exercise,” AD highlighted.

The best way to address the gender imbalance in Parliament is for parties’ electoral lists needing to be balanced in terms of gender, AD said, both when it comes to men, women and those who don’t identify as male or female.

Voters would then vote for parties, not individuals, and candidates would then be elected in the order established in the electoral list.

This should be a requirement for the list to be accepted by the Electoral Commission, the party said.

“AD thinks this is the most practical way of ensuring that we move towards a gender balance in parliamentary representation. The electorate will be asked to vote for a party and not for an individual candidate. Candidates will then be elected in the order set out in the list presented by the political parties themselves,” it said.

AD added that the list could be drawn up on a district or national basis.

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