There are certain times when unselected drinks come out of the vending machine. It happens due to the error of the vending machine, not one’s mistake. Similarly, the mismatch of intentions and results also occurs in Korean elections. Voices are raised for a new election vending machine, which is related to the implementation of a new election system, interlinked proportional representation system. Nowadays, there is an urgent call for a change in the overall election system, in a way that could represent voters’ thoughts more effectively.
The interlinked proportional representation system is a system that distributes seats for political parties in proportion to the percentages of votes each party receives. The key is that political parties with higher approval ratings across the country can take more seats and strengthen the proportional representation system. This also means that voters’ intentions would be better represented in the election results.
Yet, some people are still wary of the change. They point out that the system would result in the change from the two-party system to a multiparty system. The change weakens stability and makes it prone to the collusion for checking the ruling party and the President. However, as negatively it may seem, it can also be viewed positively since the multiparty system is more effective in representing the various interests and voices of a society. Even if the multiparty system seems unstable, it is crucial to create a political system that goes along with the plural social structure.
Changing the subject to the advantages of the system, the system primarily enhances the influence of the voters’ opinion in the election, correlated to voters’ participation. When people start to recognize that their participation is highly reflected in results, more people would actively take part in the election process and try to speak out as much as possible. Participation of the public is crucial since it is the true essence of democracy. In fact, according to article one, paragraph two of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, “The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea shall reside in the people, and all state authority shall emanate from the people.” Since the sovereignty shall reside in the people, it is undoubtedly true that the election system should be improved in a way that represents the people’s will very well.
According to the Democracy Index from England’s economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), among eight out of 10 democratic countries adopt the interlinked proportional representation system as their election system. The remaining two countries, Canada and Australia, adopt the single-member electorate system and in Canada, some people still conduct crusades claiming that their current election system does not ensure democracy. The fact that a lot of democratic countries adopt the interlinked proportionalsystem is worthy of notice. Actually, according to the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), the voting rate of Germany, a representative country which adopts the system, is about 78.4 percent, which is the second highest among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. This could show a plausible link between election systems and vote rates.
Despite the fact that Korea is a democratic society, there are still a great number of nations who are discontented with the unequal structure of society and unreasonable politics. Complaints in politics should start to make a change through the reform of the current election system. A cautious approach to the change in the original system could be a cornerstone for achieving fair representation and pluralistic democracy together by strengthening proportionality and ensuring a multi-party system.