Gergely Karácsony, parliamentary representative, introduced LMP’s (Politics can Be Different’s) proposal for the Hungarian election system. The plan includes a two-rounded, mixed parliamentary election, in which the threshold to obtain mandates would be lowered from five to three percent.
The substitute faction leader finds the reduction of mandates sensible, but not nearly as critical as the current government communicates. The LMP proposal would allow for a 245 seat Parliament; this would be a significant drop from the current 386 mandates in the parliament.
Mr. Karácsony stated that this proposal for consensus includes positive characteristics of many electoral systems. It is important to maintain a system with two rounds. In many of the previous elections the first round allowed voters to vote for parties that are unlikely to win, while the second round allowed voters to choose between two possible alternatives.
LMP’s proposal would allow for 135 majority-win mandates, 25 national list, and 85 compensation list mandates, but would eliminate the need for county-list mandates. The 25 national-list mandates is sufficient to allow major parties to gaurantee mandates for their most important politicians. He emphasized the importance of smaller districts, as larger ones would weaken the ties between the representative and his or her constituents. Naturally, LMP’s proposal would take into account the population differences between regions.
LMP suggests a electoral-district committee for determining the district lines. The committee would be led by the president of the Central Statistical Agency, and members would consist of the president of the National Election Board, and three members delegated by the President of the Hungarian Academy.
Mr. Karacsony believes that the ratio of women to men in politics is alarmingly low, thus he suggested that on national and compensation lists, there be an opposite gender required after two consecutive positions of the same gender. The threshold for gaining mandates in the parliament would be dropped to three percent from five so that small parties can more easily gain representatives and offer future alternatives to voters, but this limit is high enough to allow for easier governing than if there were no threshold.
The plan also has measures to help minority ethnicities and parties gain mandates in the parliament. It was emphasized that LMP would eliminate the support slip system (in which each candidate has to collect a certain amount of support slips to gain a spot on the ballot) in favor for a system with full transparency, requiring candidates to introduce a program and disclose their finances and political history (even under communism) to the public.
Mr. Karácsony Gergely explained to the press that with a so called mandate-simulation, they recalculated the results of the past three parliamentary elections in Hungary using this proposed electoral sytem. The result shows a distribution of mandates where larger parties would receive more mandates than percentage of votes (allowing for easier governing), but parliamentary mandates would be distributed more closely to the actual distribution of votes than they are today. It would take more than the current 52-53% to obtain a 2/3 majority in the parliament; this threshold could only be met with around 60% of the votes.
In response to a question of voter eligibility posed by MTI, LMP can only support voting rights for citizens that are currently residing in the country, but understands the need for a voice in politics by Hungarians outside of the borders of Hungary. LMP believes that an establishment of a committee of sorts in which mandates are distributed based on votes by Hungarians outside of Hungary is a possibility. This committee could have some sort of veto-power, and consultation right. Still, LMP emphasizes that a majority of Hungarians living in Hungary do not support giving Hungarians abroad
the right to vote in Parliamentary elections.