Much has been said about the “usurious” claim of MMSD for the mayoral seat in Curepipe in light of its single seat. We must however concede that voter support for MMSD is not aptly reflected through its single seat gained via the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) ward system. Had seats been instead allocated according to a Proportional Representation (PR) system, MMSD could have been entitled to 3 seats by virtue of its 24% share of the votes. This would have added more meat to its claim as the “king maker”.
Further shortcomings of the FPTP ward system are evident in Beau Bassin-Rose Hill and Port Louis. In Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, PTR-PMSD was shut out of seats despite attracting 35% of the votes. In Port Louis, Front Solidarité Mauricien (FSM) scored a creditable 8.6% of the votes and could have been allocated 2 seats out of the 24 seats under a PR system with a 5% threshold for seat eligibility. The FPTP ward system has also embellished the 11-7 score favoring PTR-PMSD in Vacoas-Phoenix. With its 54,962 votes versus 53,985 votes for MMM-MSM, PTR-PMSD deserves at most a single seat advantage there.
By virtue of its proximity to its inhabitants, municipal representation should be as inclusive to the highest degree. It can for example be less political compared to constituency representation and it can also serve as incubator for civic organizations and small parties to prove themselves. As such, there is much merit in the implementation of a PR voting system, which won’t be much different from the current ward voting system.
Specifically, each party submits a Party List with at least 1 woman in every block of 3 candidates and each voter casts 3 “Party List” votes. All 3 votes can go to say Party List A or 2 votes for Party List A and 1 vote for Party List B or 1 vote each for Party Lists A, B or C. Such a panachage PR voting system should deliver a rainbow representation of parties, gender etc. which would be more responsive to the concerns of the voters. The second row in the table gives an idea of the seat allocation under such a PR system.