16 votes

How does voting work in your country?

Title

I am looking for ALL countries, including the US.

I am going to use this info for an IRL discussion with classmates of how US voting could be improved and what it is like in other countries. Please reply to my comment below with your filled out form, and post discussion on voting as a top-level comment.


Recommended format:

# [Country name]
- Mandatory voting: Y/N
- Voter registration: Y/N
- Required documents for voting: [ID, whatever]
- Ranked choice: Y/N
- Minimum age for country leader: [number]
- System: Fully democratic/electoral college-like
- Significant parties: [number]
- Options for voting: [paper, online, voting machine, mail-in]
- Minimum voting age: [number]
- Maximum voting age: [number if any]
Extra info: 

22 comments

  1. [20]
    Keegan
    Link
    Post your filled out form as a reply to this comment please! It will make it easier for discussion and should keep things uncluttered.

    Post your filled out form as a reply to this comment please! It will make it easier for discussion and should keep things uncluttered.

    6 votes
    1. [5]
      Sahasrahla
      Link Parent
      Canada Mandatory voting: No Voter registration: Yes (You can explicitly go and do it, but it happens automatically when you do your taxes if you check the box to share your info with Elections...

      Canada

      • Mandatory voting: No
      • Voter registration: Yes (You can explicitly go and do it, but it happens automatically when you do your taxes if you check the box to share your info with Elections Canada.)
      • Required documents for voting: Something confirming your address is needed and if you don't have a photo ID you need two pieces of non-photo ID. The list of acceptable ID is extensive, e.g. you could vote with a library card and a utility bill. Or you could just have someone vouch for you if they are assigned to the same polling station as you and can prove their address.
      • Ranked choice: No
      • Minimum age for country leader: 18 by election day, apparently
      • System: Arguably electoral-college like. (To describe it in American terms I like to think of our system as if the House of Representatives and the Electoral College had a baby.) 338 MPs are elected to the House of Commons (you vote directly for your local MP with a first-past-the-post system; if you're a university student I think you're allowed to vote where you live for school or in your home riding) and then the PM is the person who can demonstrably "hold the confidence of the House" by MPs not voting down confidence motions. Most of the time the PM is the person who leads the party that won the most seats but that's not necessarily the case. Coalitions can form but are rare in Canadian politics. In the most recent election there was a chance the Conservative party would win the most seats but not a majority and it was expected if that happened that the incumbent PM (centre-left) would try to remain PM with the support of other left leaning parties. (Actually, this can get complicated. I'll just reply to myself to go into detail.)
      • Significant parties: Arguably anywhere from 2–6 (I'd argue for 2 or 5, depending on how you want to define "significant"). 2 parties typically trade power between themselves, 1 party often has a decent presence and can sometimes be in contention, 1 party is a regional separatist party that can be very influential, 1 party pushes double-digit national support but wins very few seats, 1 party splintered from one of the Big 2 but currently polls low and has no MPs (though its leader was in the debates last election, but he lost his seat). Note that this changes over time. The biggest recent change were the two big right wing parties (right wing western + centre-right eastern-ish) combining to "unite the right" in the early '00s.
      • Options for voting: Paper ballots, mail-in ballots. There are also several days of "advance voting" that function similarly to regular voting (it might be at a different polling station). This recent election there were four days of advance voting Friday-Monday the week before the election. You could also vote almost any time (I think except a week before the election?) by going to a returning office.
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: infinity and beyond
        Extra info: This is just for federal elections. Provincial elections are similar. Other elections can be all over the place, e.g. I've seen voting-by-phone (press 1 for...) for municipal elections and online voting for party leadership. I think ranked choice is also common for leadership elections. I've also seen choices in what you can vote for, e.g. I think there used to be African-Nova Scotian and Acadian specific school board representatives you could choose to vote for in Nova Scotia (instead of the regular member, I think?)—though, I think Nova Scotia might have abolished school boards recently.
      5 votes
      1. [4]
        Sahasrahla
        Link Parent
        Looong comment about edge-cases in selecting the PM. Okay. "Which party forms government and who gets to be PM?" Most of the time it's super simple (the party that gets the most votes wins and...
        Looong comment about edge-cases in selecting the PM.

        Okay. "Which party forms government and who gets to be PM?" Most of the time it's super simple (the party that gets the most votes wins and their leader becomes PM) but not always.

        The basics: Canada is a parliamentary democracy that follows the Westminster model. The House of Commons (often synonymous with "Parliament") is made up of "Members of Parliament" that each represent a geographical area. When you vote you are voting for your local member of parliament. The ballot has the name and party affiliation of the candidates for your riding and you mark an X next to who you want to vote for. The person who gets the most votes in a riding becomes the MP. The party that elects the most MPs will typically form government and that party's leader becomes PM.

        Except it's actually more complicated. First, I said the "House of Commons" is synonymous with "Parliament" but I was being tricky with my wording. It's synonymous because people will say "parliament" when they're just talking about the "House of Commons" but technically parliament is more than that. Parliament also includes the monarch (the Queen of Canada, thankyouverymuch, who just *ahem* happens to also be the queen of the UK and a bunch of other places) and her representative the Governor General, and also the Senate which is an appointment-only unelected body which invites great controversy whenever they try to actually do too much of anything. Why do I bother mentioning any of this fluff? Well, because of my second point that the leader of the party with the most seats becomes PM.

        Here's what actually happens: Remember the Governor General? Well, they're the one who's technically in charge, but they're a bit like a referee. They're supposed to be neutral and have as little influence as possible—their job is basically just to wield their power according to written and unwritten rules to make sure everything goes smoothly. After the election the incumbent PM is given first shot at forming government if they think they can hold the confidence of the house, and if they can't do it the GG will see if someone else can.

        What's confidence? Well, certain votes in the House of Commons are considered "confidence" votes. If the PM fails a confidence vote they can no longer be PM. Basically, MPs can kick the PM to the curb anytime they like with a simple majority. Early in a government's mandate there will be a "Speech from the Throne" (similar to the State of the Union, I guess, except with a literal throne) where they say what they're going to do and if that fails the government falls. The budget is also a confidence vote: can't pass a budget, government falls. And so on. The point is, the PM is supposed to be the person who can survive confidence votes.

        If one party wins a majority of the seats (i.e. a "majority government") this is pretty simple: the leader of the party with a majority is the one who can hold the confidence of the house because of course their MPs will vote with the government on confidence votes (and typically any other vote) except in extraordinary circumstances.

        However, if no party has a majority then there's a "minority government" and that's more complicated. Opposition parties could topple the government at any time no matter who's in charge and frequently a government won't last for a full term. (Sometimes opposition parties bring the government down, sometimes the government calls an election itself to try to win a stronger mandate). Usually in Canadian politics the party with the most seats will form government but convention dictates the GG gives the incumbent PM a sort of right-of-first-refusal even if their party doesn't win the most seats. Why does this matter if it doesn't happen in practice?

        Because it almost did! Recent political drama: so, we had an election like, two or three weeks ago. The incumbent centre-left PM's "Liberal Party of Canada" and the right wing "Conservative Party of Canada" both were unlikely to win a majority and for a time it looked like the CPC would win the most seats. However, the CPC was basically alone on the right and there are, like, 2–4 left leaning parties, I guess? More importantly though no one else liked the CPC. The left-wing "New Democratic Party" and the environmentalist "Green" party wouldn't support the CPC to form government and the separatist "Bloc Québécois" wasn't going to support anyone in particular. So, there was a situation where the CPC looked like they could win the most seats but they had absolutely no hope of surviving a confidence vote because everyone hated them.

        Of course, this led to the CPC leader talking about how the party with the most seats gets to form government in the Canadian system (not true, though it often works out that way) and there was a possibility that we'd end up with a Liberal government with a Conservative opposition that was spreading misinformation about how Canadian democracy works in order to undermine the legitimacy of the government.

        Oh, and here's as good a place to bring it up as any: how does a minority government survive, anyway? Three ways, basically. Two or more parties could combine to form a "coalition" government where the minor partner parties get to put some of their people in cabinet roles. (Similar to "Secretary of X" in the US.) I don't know if this has every happened on the federal level except maybe some weirdness in WWI. The second way is with a "confidence and supply agreement." Basically the government goes to some opposition parties and they come up with an informal agreement where the government will do some things the opposition likes and the opposition will agree to vote with the government on confidence votes. The third way, and typically most common in Canada, is just looking for support from opposition parties on a case-by-case basis and all the parties manoeuvre to either prop up or bring down the government as is useful to them. (This method is also the least stable of the three.)

        More Canadian political drama! So like I said, coalitions are uncommon/unprecedented in Canada, but we came close a couple of times recently. In this election there probably (my opinion) would have been an LPC/NDP or LPC/NDP/Green coalition if the Conservatives had won a plurality and if the LPC were in a very weak position. (The actual result: a "strong" LPC minority where the CPC won the plurality of the popular vote but the LPC got by far the most seats. Yeah that can happen.) However, there was another time recently when a coalition looked possible and it brings up another thing that can happen in Canada's system: a new government forming without a new election.

        Back in the late '00s the newly united Canadian right in the form of the big-tent "Conservative Party" (the upstart Canadian Alliance ate the traditionally more powerful Progressive Conservatives, lots of drama there that's too much of a digression to get into) had a minority government under Stephen Harper. He did some egregious BS (don't remember all the details by now) and the opposition declared their intent to do the unprecedented move of bringing down the CPC government and replacing it with an LPC/NDP coalition (supported by a confidence and supply agreement with the Bloc—that's right, a hybrid coalition / confidence and supply agreement!) Harper, known for his egregious BS, pulled some more egregious BS to counter this: he prorogued parliament (cf: the UK PM proroguing parliament recently during Brexit BS) so that the opposition couldn't hold a confidence vote against him.

        This also threatened a constitutional crisis. Remember the GG, that neutral referee whose main job is to do nothing? Well, technically she's the one who prorogues parliament, not the PM. The PM just "advises" her to prorogue parliament. But should she do that in this case? It was clear to anyone that Harper was only proroguing parliament because he was about to lose the confidence of the House, and could he even do that? The GG would have to make a decision about this which meant Harper was putting her in a position where it wasn't clear what "doing nothing" was and she wanted very much to avoid doing something because when an unelected head-of-state figurehead does something it's very bad. So, she consulted some constitutional lawyers, prorogued parliament like Harper asked for, and by the time parliament sat again the moment had passed and the coalition never materialized. But, it almost happened!

        And all of this isn't even really touching what's happened at provincial levels of government. Lots of weird cases to be found there too. Like, just look at what happened in British Columbia in 2017 where the party with the second-most seats formed government with the support of the party with the third-most seats: (copying from Wikipedia)

        After May 9, it was not immediately clear what form the government would take, as Elections BC does not count absentee ballots until two weeks after election day. This final count would determine the makeup of the legislature, since several seats were won with margins of a few hundred votes or less, and both the Liberals and NDP hoped to acquire enough seats to secure a majority.[8] No seats changed hands, however, after the counting of absentee ballots concluded on May 24, and the initial count of 43–41–3 was confirmed.[9]

        As no single party won a majority of seats, the Green Party was approached by both the BC Liberals and BC NDP to determine whether they would support a minority government or a coalition government headed by either party.[10] No grand coalition or agreement between the two large parties, excluding the Greens, was seriously considered. On May 29, Horgan and Weaver announced that the Greens would provide confidence and supply to an NDP minority government, a position which was endorsed the following day by the members of both caucuses.[11] In response, Clark indicated that she would have the legislature sit in the coming weeks and seek its confidence in a Liberal minority government, while acknowledging that she would likely be unsuccessful.[12] The legislature convened on June 22.[13] On June 29, the Liberals were defeated in a confidence vote; Clark then resigned and asked Guichon to dissolve the Legislature and call a new election. Guichon refused, and invited Horgan to form an NDP minority government.

        Also worth noting: aside from elections and coalitions and whatever else the PM can also be replaced by their party. Remember, the PM is just the leader of the party that's formed government and if the party kicks them out they're no longer PM. The PM can also resign or get sick or whatever else. (In general, getting rid of a PM is pretty easy as long as there's sufficient political will to do it. There's no need for something like impeachment or any other kind of trial.)

        In summary: power is held by parliament and the person who has the support of parliament will be PM. Canadians elect Members of Parliament and these people will support their party leader to be PM, but if no party has a majority then it comes down to what arrangements the different parties and their parliamentarians agree to.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          Kuromantis
          Link Parent
          Offtopic but long enough that the dots/squares that render the 'details' box just stop popping up eventually and don't come back until the bottom of the comment. Weird bug.

          Looong comment about edge-cases in selecting the PM.

          Offtopic but long enough that the dots/squares that render the 'details' box just stop popping up eventually and don't come back until the bottom of the comment. Weird bug.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Keegan
            Link Parent
            What browser are you using? I couldn't confirm on Firefox mobile or on "Desktop mode".

            What browser are you using? I couldn't confirm on Firefox mobile or on "Desktop mode".

            2 votes
            1. Kuromantis
              Link Parent
              Chrome mobile for Samsung phones.

              Chrome mobile for Samsung phones.

    2. deing
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Germany Mandatory voting: No. Voter registration: Automatic, in the county your primary residence is in Required documents for voting: the already mandatory ID or a special document authorizing...

      Germany

      • Mandatory voting: No.
      • Voter registration: Automatic, in the county your primary residence is in
      • Required documents for voting: the already mandatory ID or a special document authorizing you to vote if you aren't in the register because you e.g. moved very recently
      • Ranked choice: No.
      • Minimum age for country leader: President (almost entirely ceremonial), 40; Chancellor (head of Executive), 18
      • System: More electoral-college like, the President is elected by a combination of the federal parliament and an equal amount of representatives of the state parliaments, the chancellor is elected by parliament
      • Significant parties: Six (CDU/CSU [christian democrats], SPD [social democrats], B'90/Grüne [green party], FDP [liberals], Die Linke [leftist party], AfD [far-right populist party])
      • Options for voting: In person and per mail
      • Minimum voting age: Federal minimum age is 18, some states have lower voting ages for their elections
      • Maximum voting age: None.

      Extra info:
      The federal parliament is elected in a pretty odd way: You vote for a "direct candidate" in your district, which gets a seat based on simple majority of votes, and for a party, which directly determines the balance of power in parliament. If a party has more direct representatives than they should have going by their total percentage in the second vote, all other parties get extra seats to accomodate this, if the party has a larger second-vote percentage than they'd get seats with their direct representatives, they get extra seats until the distribution matches the second vote as exactly as possible. This has the side-effect of the parliament having a unknown (and in the last years, ever-increasing) size before the results are in. Also, to receive any seats the party must either have at least three direct representatives or 5% of the second vote.

      4 votes
    3. [2]
      mat
      Link Parent
      United Kingdom Mandatory voting: No Voter registration: Yes Required documents for voting: None Ranked choice: No Minimum age for country leader: 18 System: Fully democratic Significant parties: 2...

      United Kingdom

      • Mandatory voting: No
      • Voter registration: Yes
      • Required documents for voting: None
      • Ranked choice: No
      • Minimum age for country leader: 18
      • System: Fully democratic
      • Significant parties: 2
      • Options for voting: Paper, mail, proxy
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: n/a

      Extra info: Voting is done using First Past The Post. Which I believe is, mathmatically, about the worst possible system going. Hooray! Members of Parliament are elected for each constituency and the part with a majority (or a party who can form a coalition with a majority) then chooses who is Prime Minister, usually the party leader but I don't think that's actually required. We do not vote directly for the PM (or other government roles), although people often talk as if we do. Technically the government is formed by the Queen and governs with her permission but that's largely just ceremonial. There is a tonne of weird pomp and pagentry that goes on in Parliament to do with this and other stuff.

      3 votes
      1. Greg
        Link Parent
        That makes the "Significant Parties" question more interesting to answer, too! Although there are only two (Labour and Conservative) that have any realistic chance of forming a government, their...

        Voting is done using First Past The Post. Which I believe is, mathmatically, about the worst possible system going. Hooray!

        That makes the "Significant Parties" question more interesting to answer, too! Although there are only two (Labour and Conservative) that have any realistic chance of forming a government, their combined total of the popular vote tends to hover around 70% and the one that takes the absolute majority of Parliamentary seats usually takes 35-40% of the total popular vote.

        Unlike the US, where two parties take almost the entirety of the vote, there are several others (Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP) who have a strong presence in certain constituencies and are each likely to have a double-digit number of MPs voted in overall.

        These minority parties do have a meaningful impact on the national political landscape: most recently, the Conservative party had to make a deal with the DUP to prop up their position, and in 2010 there was a full coalition deal between the Conservatives & Lib Dems (which almost destroyed the Lib Dems in the subsequent election, and actually brought us closer to only having two viable parties overall).

        2 votes
    4. ibis
      Link Parent
      Australia Mandatory voting: Y Voter registration: Y Required documents for voting: just name Ranked choice: Yes Minimum age for country leader: I don’t know System: Fully democratic/electoral...

      Australia

      • Mandatory voting: Y
      • Voter registration: Y
      • Required documents for voting: just name
      • Ranked choice: Yes
      • Minimum age for country leader: I don’t know
      • System: Fully democratic/electoral college-like
      • Significant parties: 4 ( liberal, labor, greens, nationals, (arugably 5-6 with One nation and Palmer United))
      • Options for voting: in person , mail-in
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: don’t know/ none?
      3 votes
    5. [3]
      Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Brazil Mandatory voting: Yes, if you're between 18 and 70, no if you're between 16 and 18, above 70 and illiterate. Voter registration: voter ID Required documents for voting: any document with a...

      Brazil

      • Mandatory voting: Yes, if you're between 18 and 70, no if you're between 16 and 18, above 70 and illiterate.
      • Voter registration: voter ID
      • Required documents for voting: any document with a photo and the ID
      • Ranked choice: no
      • Minimum age for country leader: 35
      • System: fully democratic (candidates running for any area above 200k voters win immediately if they reach above 50% of the vote, if they don't the 2 most popular run again to get the winner like in the US.) Except for the amount of seats given to the states, which is only proportional if it is between between 8 and 70 seats (out of 513)
      • Significant parties: total parties are 32 but the 2 largest ones last election ate up 75% of the vote and the 5 largest ate up 95%
      • Options for voting: DRE voting machine.
      • Minimum voting age: 18 for obligatory, 16 if possible
      • Maximum voting age: 70 for obligatory
      3 votes
      1. matpower64
        Link Parent
        This sounds off, we are obligated to register to get a voting ID (Título de Eleitor), no? And the previously mentioned voter ID (Tïtulo de Eleitor). The coolest thing about our system IMO,...

        Voter registration: none ,unless you're between 16 and 18 and wanot to vote.

        This sounds off, we are obligated to register to get a voting ID (Título de Eleitor), no?

        Required documents for voting: any document with a photo

        And the previously mentioned voter ID (Tïtulo de Eleitor).

        Options for voting: DRE voting machine.

        The coolest thing about our system IMO, although...

        Extra info:

        The electronic voting machine isn't very transparent, it is a closed source blackbox built on top of Linux, it doesn't emit proof of whom you have voted for (they say this is for vote secrecy, but it is used to cast doubts on the system).
        Furthermore, obligatory voting isn't very effective, as most Brazilians aren't interested in voting for most candidates except for executive positions (Mayor, Governor and President), this ends up with them voting for any Joe Schmoe on legislative branches, mostly those who throw pieces of papers with their number near people's voting zone.
        And last, but not least, people usually give "strategic votes": by their logic, it is either candidate X or Y who will win, so they don't vote for candidate A, B, C thinking it is useless. This is why you don't see smaller parties getting to executive positions or getting to "second-half".

        3 votes
      2. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Some extra details: for executive positions (president, governors, and mayors), if a single candidate gets more than 50% of the votes, he wins the election right there ("primeiro turno") if that...

        Some extra details:

        • for executive positions (president, governors, and mayors), if a single candidate gets more than 50% of the votes, he wins the election right there ("primeiro turno")
        • if that doesn't happen, there's a second turn in which we must decide between the first two.
        • even though voting is mandatory, the consequence of not voting is meaningless. I live near to a Citizens Service Center, and the price of the bus ride to my voting place is bigger than the fee for not voting.
        1 vote
    6. Sheep
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Portugal Mandatory voting: No Voter registration: All citizens automatically become eligible for voting as soon as they turn 18 because all citizens in Portugal are required to have a national ID...

      Portugal

      • Mandatory voting: No
      • Voter registration: All citizens automatically become eligible for voting as soon as they turn 18 because all citizens in Portugal are required to have a national ID (document required for voting) from the moment they are born (Yes, babies have national IDs. Yes taking their picture for them is a lot of work!)
      • Required documents for voting: either a national ID, a passport or a driver's license. Every citizen has a national ID so they usually go with that.
      • Ranked choice: No
      • Minimum age for country leader: 35
      • System: If we're talking presidential elections then it's a simple popular vote (person with the most votes across the country wins), with a second round between the 2 top candidates if the top candidate in the first round doesn't get more than 50% of the votes.*
      • Significant parties: 6 parties are almost always in office, with 2 being bigger than any other (the centre-left Socialist Party and the centre-right Social Democrattic Party). Though in the most recent election we now have 9 different parties in office.
      • Options for voting: Paper and mail-in. There is not electronic voting of any kind allowed.
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: Infinity!

      Extra info:
      *If we're talking government then it's a bit more complex (wikipedia article for reference). The rules are all the same as described above (except for the minimum age of the MPs. MPs can be 18 or older). So basically each district has a set number of MPs that will be elected for the assembly (for a total of 250 MPs). Every district is composed of several parishes, and each parish elects a party (not a candidate) via a first-past-the-post vote, and then the MP seats are distributed across the parties depending on the votes of all the parishes inside a district, who then decide which of their candidates for that district will have a seat.

      Another important bit of info is that presidential and government elections are publicly funded. Yes, people's tax money pays for each candidate to run. There is usually no donation gathering on behalf of the candidates/parties because of this. Although if they don't get above a certain number of votes, they will be in debt to the government depending on how much of the funds they spend (and if they don't spend anything then they don't owe anything).

      Because elections are publicly funded, every candidate is also legally required to have a small time slot on a public TV channel where they can share their campaign. This is to assure that no candidate is left out and also that no candidate can just buy time slots on TV and drown out the competition.

      These two last points often benefit independent candidates the most, since no one has to be affiliated with a party to feasibly run for president, and in the last election it was an independent candidate that won (although he was obviously a popular figure beforehand, having been on TV a lot, but the point still stands he was and is completely independent)

      3 votes
    7. The-Toon
      Link Parent
      United States Mandatory voting: N Voter registration: Y* (how you get registered varies drastically between states) Required documents for voting: Can't say, other than it's exceedingly varied...

      United States

      • Mandatory voting: N
      • Voter registration: Y* (how you get registered varies drastically between states)
      • Required documents for voting: Can't say, other than it's exceedingly varied
      • Ranked choice: N
      • Minimum age for country leader: 25 in the house, 30 in the Senate, 35 in the US.
      • System: Electing local representatives in the house, representatives for the state in the senate, and electoral college for the president.
      • Significant parties: 2
      • Options for voting: Varies by state
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: N/A
        * No in North Dakota, barring some city elections
        † Except in Maine, some primaries, and some local elections which use ranked choice
        Extra info: Everything varies greatly depending on the state, and everything has minor exceptions which I didn't mention.
      3 votes
    8. mrnd
      Link Parent
      Finland Mandatory voting: N Voter registration: N Required documents for voting: Official photo ID (id, passport, driver's license or temporary voting id) Ranked choice: N Minimum age for country...

      Finland

      • Mandatory voting: N
      • Voter registration: N
      • Required documents for voting: Official photo ID (id, passport, driver's license or temporary voting id)
      • Ranked choice: N
      • Minimum age for country leader: 18 i think?
      • System: President: Direct personal vote, with two rounds if nobody gets >50% of votes in the first round. Parliament: open list D'Hondt.
      • Significant parties: 8
      • Options for voting: paper, advance voting, mail-in
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: -
      2 votes
    9. Soptik
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Czech Republic Mandatory voting: N Voter registration: N (Required only when citizen wants to vote outside their city or lives in foreign country) Required documents for voting: Proof of identity...

      Czech Republic

      • Mandatory voting: N
      • Voter registration: N (Required only when citizen wants to vote outside their city or lives in foreign country)
      • Required documents for voting: Proof of identity (ID, driver license, ...)
      • Ranked choice: N
      • Minimum age for country leader: 40
      • System: Plurality voting / proportional representation, depends on elections
      • Significant parties: 6 (up to 8, depending on elections)
      • Options for voting: paper
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: n/a

      President round: If no one gets over 50% votes in the first round, two candidates with most votes are selected to compete in the second round. If there is a tie, our next president will be decided randomly.

      General rule for most (all?) elections with political parties which can gain seats somewhere: Parties with less than 5% votes don't get any seats, everyone with at least 5% gets at least one seat. Parties with higher vote percentage tend to get more seats/vote in order to not shatter power into so many parties.

      2 votes
    10. smoontjes
      Link Parent
      Denmark Mandatory voting: N Voter registration: N Required documents for voting: Citizenship Ranked choice: N Minimum age for country leader: None I think System: Representative democracy...

      Denmark

      • Mandatory voting: N
      • Voter registration: N
      • Required documents for voting: Citizenship
      • Ranked choice: N
      • Minimum age for country leader: None I think
      • System: Representative democracy
      • Significant parties: 14 in parliament
      • Options for voting: Only paper and mail-in
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: None
      2 votes
    11. Odysseus
      Link Parent
      Japan Mandatory voting: No Voter registration: Yes, Automatic once a citizen reaches voting age Required documents for voting: They mail you this ticket to your registered address Ranked choice:...

      Japan

      • Mandatory voting: No
      • Voter registration: Yes, Automatic once a citizen reaches voting age
      • Required documents for voting: They mail you this ticket to your registered address
      • Ranked choice: No
      • Minimum age for country leader: 25
      • System: Representative Democracy - Prime Minister is appointed by the National Diet
      • Significant parties: 8
      • Options for voting: In-person, mail-in allowed for special cases (disability)
      • Minimum voting age: 18
      • Maximum voting age: None
      1 vote
    12. Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Austria Mandatory voting: N Voter registration: N Required documents for voting: Official photo ID like driver's licence, passport, etc. Ranked choice: N Minimum age for country leader: 35...

      Austria

      • Mandatory voting: N
      • Voter registration: N
      • Required documents for voting: Official photo ID like driver's licence, passport, etc.
      • Ranked choice: N
      • Minimum age for country leader: 35 (president is formal country leader only,
      • System: Fully democratic/electoral college-like
      • Significant parties: 5
      • Options for voting: Paper, mail-in
      • Minimum voting age: 16
      • Maximum voting age: None

      The country leader (president) is mostly a formal leader only. It's his job to then formally declare a party leader as head of state, who then forms the government. Who gets declared is decided by voting. There are also more parties active, but they are so small mostly that they are not important.

      1 vote
  2. Sahasrahla
    Link
    On the subject of how to improve electoral systems I'm pretty happy with the way Canada's system works except that I would much prefer a proportional voting system. Right now members of parliament...

    On the subject of how to improve electoral systems I'm pretty happy with the way Canada's system works except that I would much prefer a proportional voting system. Right now members of parliament (who vote on laws and choose which party forms government) are elected with a "first-past-the-post" system where the person with the most votes wins even if they don't have a majority. Some problems this causes:

    • Canada is a multi-party system and "vote splitting" is a big concern, e.g. a right wing party might win a riding with 35% of the vote even if the combined vote share for left leaning parties is significantly higher. (Currently Canada has one major right wing party and a few left wing parties.)
    • Because vote splitting is a concern (mostly on the left) this leads to "strategic voting." Many people won't vote for the party they support and will instead vote for the party they think has the best chance of beating the party they hate in their local riding. Not only does this create a chicken-and-egg problem for smaller parties trying to get traction (can't vote for them because no one votes for them!) but the "strategic" choice isn't perfectly known. e.g. In the last election a Green candidate won a seat that should have been a battle between the much larger Liberals and Conservatives and any strategic votes for the Liberals made a Conservative victory more likely.
    • With strong support (but far less than 100% of the votes) a single party can win all or most of the seats in a region which exacerbates regional divisions in the country. If the minority of voters who supported other parties had fair representation then the partisan division wouldn't be so stark.
    • Parties can win a majority of the seats with (historically) as little as 38.5% of the vote. This means a party unpopular with the majority of Canadians can hold absolute power.
    • The percentage of seats won by each party can be wildly different than the percentage of the popular vote they earned. In Canada's 2019 election:
    Party Popular Vote Share Percentage of Seats
    CPC 34.41% 35.80%
    LPC 33.07% 46.45%
    NDP 15.93% 7.10%
    BQ 7.69% 9.47%
    Green 6.50% 0.89%
    PPC 1.64% 0%

    Personally I'd prefer a "mixed member proportional" system as described in this video from Fair Vote Canada. My least favourite system (of ones being seriously discussed in Canada, and including FPTP) would be ranked ballots. I think ranked ballots are great if you're choosing only one thing (e.g. a party leader, or voting directly for a president) but they're terrible for electing MPs who go on to choose the government. I want my vote to support the party I support and help them get MPs elected. A ranked ballot would just be a formalization of strategic voting and in practice would lead to most NDP or Green votes turning into Liberal votes.

    3 votes
  3. timo
    Link
    The Netherlands Mandatory voting: No, last turnout for general elections was ~82%. Voter registration: No, every citizen is automatically registered for voting. A ballot is mailed to each citizen,...

    The Netherlands

    • Mandatory voting: No, last turnout for general elections was ~82%.
    • Voter registration: No, every citizen is automatically registered for voting. A ballot is mailed to each citizen, which they need to bring when voting.
    • Required documents for voting: Identity card/passport and their voting ballot.
    • Ranked choice: No.
    • Minimum age for country leader: Don't know.
    • System: Fully democratic.
    • Significant parties: 13 parties in the House of Representatives, some small ones are even in the government. It really depends on what you find significant.
    • Options for voting: Paper.
    • Minimum voting age: 18
    • Maximum voting age: No

    Extra info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Dutch_general_election

    2 votes