What do you call a system in which candidate with most votes wins?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Here in the US, elections are held under a system where the candidate receiving the most votes (this is technically called a "plurality") wins the election.  If one candidate gets one less vote than the other, they lose and get nothing.  This system is usually called a "winner-take-all" system.

Many political scientists criticize this system because they believe it denies representation to the people who voted for the losing candidate.  In the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain won 45.7% of the vote.  You can argue that the people who voted for him (almost half the people) are unrepresented now.

People who don't like this argue that it would be better to have something more like what's called a "proportional representation" system like many European countries have.  In that system, if your party wins 45% of the vote, they get 45% of the representatives in the legislature.

So: our system is called "winner-take-all" and it can be distinguished from "proportional representation" systems where even parties that don't get the most votes do win something.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Process by which people choose a candidate or a proposal is called election. Elections can be of different type depending on who all are are entitled to vote, the weightage given to vote of each person entitled to vote, and the number of votes required by a candidate or a proposal to be selected. An election system in which the candidate receiving maximum number of votes wins is called system of simple majority. In a system like this when there are many candidates in an election, a candidate can win an election even by securing very small number of votes, which may be much below 50% of the total votes.

To ensure that the candidate or proposal elected in an election is truly supported by majority, a minimum proportion of votes to be casted in favour may be specified. For example it may be specified that the winner must secure at least two thirds of the total votes. This is called the system of two third majority.

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The system in which two candidates compete and the candidate with the most votes win is called an election.

crystaltu001's profile pic

crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The system where the two candidates compete and the candidate with the most votes win is called an Election. Elections are held if a couple of people want to compete and see if they get the most votes and win. Sometimes people aren't always the ones competing, elections can be held to pass laws and rules.

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