OVERSEAS MODELS

Parliamentary systems

 

UK

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a House of Lords and a House of Commons.
  2. Only members of House of Commons (Members of Parliament or MPs) are elected by public voting.
  3. During a general election, each of the 650 constituencies will elect one MP by the first past the post system.
  4. The MP who retains the confidence of the House of Commons will take on the office of Prime Minister, usually the leader of the dominant party or coalition that controls the majority of seats.

Reference:
David M. Farrel, “Comparing Electoral Systems”, Prentice Hall, 1997, p.12-14; “How MPs are elected”, www.parliament.uk, available at: http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/electing-mps/.

 

Japan

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a House of Councillors  and a House of Representative.
  2. Members of both houses are elected by public vote.
  3. Of the 242 seats in the House of Councillors, 147 are elected from 47 prefectural constituencies by single non-transferrable vote, and the remaining 96 are elected by open list proportional representation from a single national list.
  4. Of the 480 seats in the House of Representative, 300 are elected from single seat constituencies by the first past the post system, and the remaining 180 are elected from eleven separate electoral blocs under the party list system of proportional representation.
  5. The Prime Minister (内閣総理大臣 Naikaku-sōri-daijin ) who retains the confidence of the House of Commons will take on the office, usually the leader of the dominant party or coalition that controls the majority of seats.

Reference:  
Chapter IV and V, The Constitution of Japan, Birth of the Constitution of Japan, National Diet Library, available at: http://www.ndl.go.jp/constitution/e/etc/c01.html;
“(2) Composition of the Cabinet, Cabinet System of Japan, Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet”, available at: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/cabinet_system/index.html.

 

Canada

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a Senate and a House of Commons.
  2. Only members of the House of Commons are elected by public voting.
  3. All the 308 seats in the House of Commons are elected by the first past the post in each of the country’s electoral district.
  4. The Prime Minister who retains the confidence of the House of Commons will take on the office, usually the leader of the dominant party or coalition that controls the majority of seats.

Reference:
The Constitution Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Victoria, c.3, available at: http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Canada/English/ca_1867.html.

 

Australia

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
  2. Members of both houses are elected.
  3. Of the 76 seats in the Senate, 12 are allocated to each of the 6 states, 2 each for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Senators are elected by proportional voting.
  4. Each of the 150 seats of the House of Representatives represents one electoral division of Australia.
  5. The Prime Minister is usually the parliamentary leader of the dominant party or coalition that controls the majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

Reference:
Parliament and Government, Parliament of Australia, available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Work_of_the_Parliament/Forming_and_Governing_a_Nation/parl;
Senate, Parliament of Australia, available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate; Members, Parliament of Australia, available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members.
 
Semi-presidential systems

 

France

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a Senate and a National Assembly.
  2. Members of the National Assembly are directly elected while Members of the Senate are indirectly elected.
  3. All of the 577 seats in the National Assembly are elected by a two-round system in each single-winner constituency.
  4. Senators are elected indirectly by approximately 150,000 officials, including regional councilors, department councilors, mayors, city councilors in large towns, and members of the National Assembly.
  5. The President is elected by a two-round system. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round, a run-off vote would be held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round.

Reference:
Constitution of October 4, 1958, Assemblee Nationale, available at: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/index.asp;
Title II The President of the Republic, Constitution of October 4, 1958, Assemblee Nationale, available at: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/index.asp;
Title IV Parliament, Constitution of October 4, 1958, Assemblee Nationale, available at: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/index.asp.

 

South Korea

  1. The National Assembly is a unicameral legislature.
  2. Of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, 246 are elected by the first past the post system from electoral districts, and 54 through a proportional representation system where seats are distributed to parties based on the percentage of total votes they garnered.
  3. The President is elected by nation-wide universal suffrage with the first past the post system.

Reference:
Korea, South, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ks.html;  
http://www.korea.net/Government/Constitution-and-Government/Legislature;
The President, Executive Branch, Korea.net, available at: http://www.korea.net/Government/Constitution-and-Government/Executive-Branch.
 
Presidential systems

 

United States of America

  1. Bicameral system, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives; members of both chamber are elected.
  2. Each of the 50 states has 2 seats in the Senate regardless of the population, adding up a total number of 100; Senators are directly elected on a state-by-state basis.
  3. A candidate for Senate must be a citizen for at least 9 years who is at least 30 years of age and must be an inhabitant of the state which he or she seeks to represent at the time of the election.
  4. For Senate elections, some states adopt the first past the post system while some states adopt a run-off system.
  5. The House of Representatives has 441 seats in total; the number of representatives for each state is proportional to each state’s population.
  6. A candidate for the House of Representatives must be a citizen for at least 7 years, at least 25 years of age, and an inhabitant of the state which he or she seeks to represent at the time of the election.
  7. Representatives must be elected from single-member districts by the first past the post system.
  8. The President is indirectly elected by an electoral college, using the absolute majority system; members of electoral college are chosen by popular vote on a state-by-state basis; the number of electors in each state is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the state is entitled.
  9. All candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives and Presidency are nominated in partisan primary elections.

Reference:
Constitution of the United States, United States Senate, available at: http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#a1_sec3;
Our Government, the White House, President Barack Obama, available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government.
 
Socialist systems

 

China

  1. The National People’s Congress (NPC) is a unicameral legislature. 2,987 deputies were elected to the current 11th NPC.
  2. All citizens of the PRC who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election to be a NPC deputy.
  3. NPC deputies are indirectly elected by the deputies of people’s congresses (at the Central Government level) for Provinces, Autonomous Regions and Municipalities; the latter deputies are in turn indirectly elected by the deputies in people’s congresses in the level below.
  4. The number of candidates for NPC should exceed the number to be elected by 20% to 50%.
  5. NPC deputy candidates receiving the votes of a majority of the deputies voting are elected.
    1. The Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China is formally approved by the NPC upon the nomination of the President. The candidate for President is proposed by the NPC presidium for deliberation by all the deputies for election through voting by the NPC. Both the President and the Premier are selected once every 5 years.

Reference:
China’s Electoral System, About Congress, NPC, available at: http://www.npc.gov.cn/englishnpc/about/2007-11/20/content_1373251.htm;
The Election of the President, China Factfile, Chinese Government’s Official Web Portal, available at: http://english.gov.cn/2005-09/02/content_28476.htm.