King Prajadhipok's Institute released its study on the advantages and drawbacks of different election methods yesterday.
As per the study, the strength of the multi-MP method used in the 1975, 1996 and 2007 elections lay in its simplicity and the ability to get candidates from several different groups in society. However, the biggest drawbacks of this method are that it creates a gap between MPs and voters, is not equal among small and large constituencies and reduces the influence of political parties.
On the other hand, the single MP per constituency method brought voters closer to their MPs because the MPs have to be directly responsible and accountable for problems in their constituencies. The drawback of this method is that political parties have less influence, which means small parties are all but left out. Also, votes cast for the losing MP candidates are not taken into account and cannot be translated into anything.
The party-list system’s strength is that no vote is regarded a loss, so the system is able to truly and fairly reflect the representation system. The system also offers a chance for minority groups to be voted into Parliament. The drawback, however, is that this system may result in a weak, unstable coalition government.
Having a mix of one-MP-per-constituency system and the party-list one has the advantage that all votes derived from minority groups are taken into account. Also, small parties have the chance to represent their votes and are given a role to play. The drawback, however, is that the election process becomes more difficult as it requires two ballot papers for each voter and there is a bigger possibility for invalid cards.
Getting all senators appointed is advantageous because all individuals chosen will be knowledgeable or specialists in their fields. However, they may lack a connection with the people.
Elected senators, on the other hand, are more connected to the people, but problems arise when there is political interference.