This method is followed in most of
the countries, as it is the simplest form of representation. According to this
principle, the whole country is divided into electoral districts or areas known
as constituency. The electoral districts are drawn so as to contain
approximately equal population, and a single member is elected from each district,
by majority vote.
To make this system work
effectively, the boundaries of constituency have to be redrawn and altered to
keep pace with the growth and variations of the populations.
of the system:
most important merit of this system is that it is the most simple and
convenient form. In this system, the voter is
required to simply cast a vote for the one representative in a
constituency, Secondly the limited area of a constituency enables the voter to
know his area of a representative well. The representative will also strive to
develop the constituency.
Thirdly, since the area is clearly defined and restricted
it is economical for the representatives.
Fourthly this system is being practiced in most of the
countries and has proved to be effective in securing a stable majority in the
legislature and must ensures a strong and stable government.
Demerits of the System:
The system of geographical representation has a tendency
to make the representative a custodian of only local interest, and in his
eagerness to develop his constituency, he tends to ignore the national
The elected representative will act as an agent for
securing every advantage for his constituency at the cost of national interest.
Secondly, this promotes the sons of the soil policy. That
is, voters will prefer to vote for a candidate who is a resident of the
This may end in electing an inferior candidate because he
happens to be a 'local man.' An able candidate may be defeated just because he
belongs not to this constituency but belongs to a different place.
Thirdly, especially at times of by-election the government
can easily concentrate on the constituency and influence the voters to return
their candidate in the election.
Fourthly, the boundaries are to be redrawn frequently to
maintain a balance of population. This provides an opportunity to the ruling
party to make alteration in the constitution its
favour. This manipulation of boundaries of a constituency
is called 'gerrymandering.'
To avoid this unfair manipulation, redrawing of
constituency should be given to a responsible independent body.
Fifthly, under this system a relative majority is required
to win a seat. That is a candidate who secures the maximum number of votes
polled is declared elected. This is called' the first to post the poll'
The one who crosses the post is declared elected. The
Great defect of this system is sometimes, a candidate who has secured 40
percent of the vote will get elected. Considered this Example . In a
constituency 4 parties are contesting namely Party A, Party B, Party C, and
In a constituency where there are say 1000 Party A gets
400 votes, Party b gets 200 votes, Party C gets 180 votes and Party D gets 220
votes. In this example, the candidate Contesting for Party A gets elected even
though he has got only 40% of the votes, which is not a majority. Is only a
relative majority. Even though it cannot be accepted as really democratic, this
system is followed in most of the countries, because the alternatives to this
system are much more complicated, and cumbersome.
Sixthly in this single member constituency exact
representative of the electorate is not ensured. Certain small minorities may
go altogether unrepresentative, and the legislature may not reflect the
minorities in the constituency.
For example, in India, in a constituency, Hindus may be in
majority and Muslims and Christians may be in minority. Normally, the Hindu
candidate will win in the election.
Though Muslims, Christians and other minorities are living
there, they may not get a representative. This applies to linguistic minorities
In India, especially which is caste oriented, schedule
caste and schedule tribes may not get any representation as they are in
This problem is overcome in India by reserving some
constituencies exclusively for schedule caste and schedule tribes. In this,
reserved constituency, only people belonging to schedule caste or schedule
tribes can contest.