Is your vote for a smaller party on Wednesday a wasted vote?

Is your vote for a smaller party on Wednesday a wasted vote?

With the 2019 elections on our doorstep, Briefly.co.za evaluates the topic of voting for a small party and the implications thereof.

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South Africans will take to the polls tomorrow as the 2019 elections are upon us.

Based on recent trends, the popularity of the ANC has dropped over the last few elections.

The opposition parties, such as the DA and EFF, have shown notable growth, but voter apathy still plays a major role.

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Many South Africans don’t support the major political parties, but rather refrain from voting than casting a vote for a lesser-known party.

The common belief is that a vote cast for a small party is a wasted one, but is this necessarily the case?

The answer lies in the electoral system employed in Mzansi.

Countries such as England and USA utilise a constituency system, where people of a specific area vote for a representative.

In this system, a vote for a smaller party is often a wasted one.

However, South Africa has adopted a proportional representation system so parliamentary seats are determined by the popular vote.

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Based on a report by Biz News, this system results in less wastage when small parties are voted for.

Briefly.co.za gathered that political parties require 0.25% of the vote to acquire a seat in Parliament.

So for the previous elections, a minimum of 30 000 votes was enough to secure a seat in Parliament.

In essence, if the party is able to secure 0.25% of the poll, the votes they receive are not wasted as they will have representation in Parliament.

One clear advantage of a small party is that they might focus more strongly on a specific issue than the larger parties.

An example of this was when paternity leave was granted for fathers due to the passing of the Labour Amendment Bill by the ACDP.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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