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Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)

What is the Mixed Member Proportional voting system?


In Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) there are two types of MLAs. District MLAs represent electoral districts and are elected using First Past the Post. Regional MLAs represent groups of electoral districts called regions. They are elected from a party list so that each party’s share of seats in the legislature roughly matches its share of the province-wide popular vote.

Mixed Member Proportional

Regional seats are allocated to parties within defined regions, not the province as a whole. District seats and regional seats – added together – roughly match the party’s share of the vote. A party must get at least five percent of the vote to get any regional seats.

In some forms of MMP, voters have two separate votes: one for a district candidate and one for a party. In other forms, voters cast one vote for a candidate that also counts for the candidate’s party. If MMP is adopted, a legislative committee will decide after the referendum if voters have one vote or two.

MMP ballot

A sample MMP ballot assuming a two-vote model and closed party list

MMP is used in a number of countries at the national or sub-national level, including Germany, New Zealand and Scotland.

Characteristics of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)


Voting There are two possibilities:

  • Voters have two votes – one for a candidate and one for a party
  • Voters have one vote and vote for a candidate. This vote counts for the candidate and the candidate’s party.

In both cases, the regional member is elected from a list of candidates prepared by the party. There are three possible types of party list:

  • Closed list – voters vote for a party’s list of candidates
  • Open list – voters vote for an individual candidate on the party’s list
  • Open list with party option – voters vote for a candidate or endorse a party’s list of candidates

If MMP is adopted, a legislative committee will decide whether voters have one vote or two and what type of party list is used

Counting
  • The total number of seats a party gets is based on its share of the popular vote province-wide
  • The candidate with the most votes in the district wins the district seat
  • District seats are “topped-up” by regional seats so that the total number of seats a party gets roughly matches its share of the popular vote province-wide
  • A party must get at least five percent of the vote to get any regional seats.
Results
  • Results are largely proportional at the provincial level
  • Regional seats are allocated within defined regions
Representation
  • Between 87 and 95 MLAs
  • British Columbians have one MLA representing their electoral district and several MLAs representing their region
  • If MMP is adopted, at least 60 percent of MLAs would be district MLAs, but the exact ratio of district MLAs to regional MLAs would be decided by a legislative committee after the referendum
Electoral districts
  • Districts would be larger than they are now and there would be fewer of them
  • If MMP is adopted, a legislative committee will determine the number of MLAs in each region after the referendum
  • If MMP is adopted, an independent electoral boundaries commission will determine district and regional boundaries