The will of the people should be the basis of government, and this obligation is linked inextricably to the electoral system.
- All peoples have the right to self determination and to have control over their wealth and natural resources. By virtue of that right, they have the right to freely determine their political status and to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
- All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
- It is, however, for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with; it has to satisfy itself that the conditions do not curtail the rights in question to such an extent as to impair their very essence and deprive them of their effectiveness; that they are imposed in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and that the means employed are not disproportionate (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, loc. cit.). In particular, any conditions imposed must not thwart the free expression of the people in the choice of the legislature – in other words, they must reflect, or not run counter to, the concern to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of an electoral procedure aimed at identifying the will of the people through universal suffrage (see Hirst, cited above, § 62, and Yumak and Sadak v. Turkey [GC], no. 10226/03, § 109, ECHR 2008. The Court is not required to adopt a position on the choice between one electoral system and another. That decision, which is determined by historical and political considerations specific to each country, is in principle one which the State alone has the power to make (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 34).
- Although the Covenant does not impose any particular electoral system, any system operating in a State party must be compatible with the rights protected by article 25 and must guarantee and give effect to the free expression of the will of the electors.
- Tak[e] all necessary measures to eliminate laws, regulations and practices that discriminate, directly or indirectly, against citizens in their right to participate in public affairs on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or on the basis of disability.
- ...[T]he general aim of all of these electoral systems purportedly remains the same, namely, to translate the will of the general electorate into representative government.
- Democratic elections require that there be an election system in place to convert the will of the people, expressed through their votes, into seats or mandates to be held by elected representatives (in legislative bodies or other public offices).
- Finally, the system should, as far as possible, act in an electorally neutral manner towards all parties and candidates; it should not openly discriminate against any political grouping.
- Different kinds of electoral system also result in different relationships between individual candidates and their supporters. In general, systems which make use of single-member electoral districts, such as most plurality/majority systems, are seen as encouraging individual candidates to see themselves as the delegates of particular geographical areas and beholden to the interests of their local electorate. By contrast, systems which use large multi-member districts, such as most PR systems, are more likely to deliver representatives whose primary loyalty lies with their party on national issues.