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Measuring the Fairness of Seats Allocation

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The conversion process of votes into parliamentary seats has become a recurring debate in Indonesia. Many election activists insist the Government should implement a conversion system that can maximize representation proportionality so that the election result is fair. In order to measure the fairness of a conversion process is by comparing the percentage of seats acquisition with the percentage of votes acquisition by political parties. If the seats acquisition is commensurate with the votes acquisition, then the conversion process can be considered as fair.

“If Political Party A acquires 10 percent of votes, then it would be fair if they get 10 percent of seats in the parliament. In the 2014 Elections, the votes-to-seats allocation is not fair,” says Masykurudin Hafidz, the National Coordinator of the Network of Voters Education for the People (JPPR) (10/26).

Here is the list of votes and seats acquisition of the 2014 Elections:

No. Political Party Seats Acquistion Votes Acquisition Fair/Unfair Details
1 PDI Perjuangan 109 19.4% Fair
2 Golkar 85 15.1% Unfair 6 seats surplus
3 Gerindra 68 12.1% Unfair 5 seats surplus
4 Demokrat 58 10.4% Unfair 3 seats surplus
5 PAN 43 7.8% Unfair 5 seats surplus
6 PKB 52 9.3% Unfair 5 seats lacking
7 PKS 39 7.0% Unfair 1 seat surplus
8 Nasdem 39 6.9% Unfair 3 seats lacking
9 PPP 37 6.7% Unfair 2 seats surplus
10 Hanura 30 5.4% Unfair 14 seats lacking

“In 2014 Elections, with Hare Quota allocation method, only PDI Perjuangan receives seats allocation fairly. Golkar, Gerindra, Demokrat, PAN, PKS, and PPP receive more seats than they should. Meanwhile, PKB, Nasdem, and Hanura receive less than they should,” Masykur explains.

In the new Election Law Bill, seats allocation method is regulated in Article 399. The Article states that seats allocation is conducted by dividing all valid votes received by each political party with a divisor index of 1.4 and followed by odd divisor number of 3, 5, 7, and so on. This method of seats allocation is called as Modified Saint Lague method. According to Masykur, this kind of method will only increase disproportions and threaten the fairness of seats allocation.

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