Last update: 06-Dec-2013 8:12 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Now that the politics of the country has once again moved to a three-way split, one can recall the general elections of 1981, 1991, 1995 and 2007, in which the prime beneficiary on three occasions was the PNM. The 1981 general election featured the PNM, the ULF and the DAC as the parties that actually won seats, but there was also the ONR, which finished second in the overall vote count and it won no seats.
The breakdown in that general election was that the PNM won 26 of 36 seats with 52.9 per cent of the vote, the ONR won no seats with 22.2 per cent of the vote, the ULF won eight of the 36 seats with 15.2 per cent of the vote, and the DAC won two of the 36 seats with 3.7 per cent of the vote.
The outcome of this election reopened a public debate about the need for some kind of proportional representation because of the fact that the wishes of the second largest group of voters were not rewarded by the first past-the-post system. That is a debate that has continued to the present day in one form or another. In 1974, the Wooding Constitution Commission had proposed a mixed system of proportional representation and the first past-the-post system for elections to the national Parliament.
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