In Summary
  • To achieve that, we need to change our election system to one based on proportional representation, where every vote actually counts.
  • Kenya had stability, peace and growth during the Grand Coalition Government of 2008-2013, when a larger section of the population felt represented in the government.

The idea behind democracy is that everybody should have an equal say in how their country, or society, is run.

Unfortunately, Kenyans have been denied that right by our unfair voting system. Since Independence, a single-member constituency winner-takes-it-all system of election has become a tradition.

But it is unfair as it ignores the wishes of millions of people keen on voting for issues that are closest to their heart. However, it is outside our imagination that there is a better and fairer system.

It is imperative of free democracy that every vote counts. To achieve that, we need to change our election system to one based on proportional representation, where every vote actually counts.

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

This system is underpinned by two basic principles: That all voters deserve representation and that all political groups, though founded on different ideologies, deserve to be represented in our legislative assemblies in proportion to their strength on electorates.

First, proportional representation uses multi-member constituencies, such as counties. Instead of electing one person in each constituency as we do, several people are elected.

These ‘constituencies’ may be relatively small — like Lamu County, with only three members of the National Assembly — or large, like Nairobi City County, with 17.

This requires the electorate to vote for various parties presenting a list of candidates in that county. The parties then win seats in a multi-member county according to the proportion of votes they get.

If a party garners 40 percent of the votes in a 10-member county, they get four of the seats.

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