Ballot will have 2 questions: May 30, 9: May 30 Attorney General David Eby announced Wednesday he has recommended to cabinet that voters be asked whether they would like to keep the current first-past-the-post voting system, or move to a proportional representation voting system.
The Act, which served as the Union's constitution untilestablished a parliamentary regime along the lines of the Westminster model, composed of a directly elected House British electoral system Assembly and an indirectly elected Senate. However, the franchise was largely restricted to white men: Only in the Cape Province a significant number of black and Colored mixed-race men were entitled to vote under a "color-blind" franchise based on property requirements.
Nevertheless, only white men could be elected to Parliament. The South Africa Act was the result of a political compromise between the two major white ethno-linguistic groups - the Afrikaners, descendants of 17th- and 18th-century Dutch, French and German settlers, who speak Afrikaans a derivative of 17th-century Dutch and comprise the majority of South Africa's white population; and the English speakers.
The Act made no provision whatsoever for an eventual extension of the right to vote to all adult citizens regardless of race - a serious flaw which was perpetuated British electoral system successive South African governments.
Even the limited Cape franchise was subject to amendment, albeit by a two-thirds majority of the members in both houses of Parliament, voting together in a joint sitting.
As a result, South Africa's white minority - which accounted for less than one-fourth of the country's population when the Union was established in - achieved complete political control over a largely disenfranchised non-white population.
In the franchise was extended to white women, but not to black or Colored women. A year later the literacy and property requirements were repealed for white voters but were retained for black and Colored voters.
These measures effectively diminished the value of the vote of Colored and black men in the Cape Province. The Representation of Natives Act of removed black males from the common voters' roll in the Cape.
Instead, the act - passed by the required two-thirds majority of the two houses of Parliament sitting together - entitled blacks in the Cape Province to elect three white representatives to the House of Assembly and four Senators. The Act also established an elected Natives Representative Council that had advisory powers only.
At the same time, the Native Reserves that had been set aside for exclusive occupation by blacks who accounted for more than two-thirds of South Africa's population at the time were increased to thirteen percent of the land area of the Union.
Members of the House of Assembly MPs were chosen in single-member constituencies by the first-past-the-post system, under which the candidate obtaining the largest number of votes in each constituency was elected to office.
A provision in the electoral law allowed urban constituencies to be overloaded with fifteen percent more voters, and rural constituencies to be underloaded by the same amount.
As a result, fewer votes were needed to win a constituency seat in the country than in the cities. The loading of urban constituencies, which had been agreed to in during the course of the negotiations leading to the establishment of the Union, was a crucial factor in the outcome of the May general election, in which the Afrikaner-based National Party NP and its allies secured a majority of seats in the House of Assembly, despite receiving fewer votes than the ruling United Party UP.
The NP came to power on a platform of strict separation between the races, called apartheid in Afrikaans - literally, "apartness". Under apartheid, existing racial segregation and discrimination policies were codified and extended, to cover every aspect of life in South Africa.
The Group Areas Act, also enacted inestablished segregated residential and business sections in urban areas for each race. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of made marriages between whites and non-whites illegal, while the Immorality Amendment Act of prohibited sexual relations across the color line.
The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act of allowed local authorities to provide separate and unequal amenities for the various races. The Bantu Education Act of provided for separate - and inferior - educational facilities for blacks, while the Extension of University Education Act of prohibited blacks from attending white universities, except with special permission on an individual basis; it also established segregated colleges along ethnic lines for blacks, Coloreds and Indians.
The Industrial Conciliation Act of allowed the government to reserve skilled jobs for whites only. The Appeal Court promptly declared the act invalid, as it failed to meet the requirements laid out by the South Africa Act, under which the Cape franchise could be modified only by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Parliament sitting together.
For the next four years the Nationalist government, which did not have the required majority, sought to circumvent the constitutional provision by a number of means, to no avail. Finally, in the government pushed through Parliament a Senate Act that enlarged the Upper House from forty-eight to eighty-nine members, elected in a way such that the Nationalists secured the majority required to modify the Cape franchise.
Under the South Africa Act Amendment Act ofpassed with both houses sitting together, Colored voters were removed from the common roll and placed on a separate roll, returning four white members to represent them on the House of Assembly.
The Senate Act was challenged in the courts, but the Appeal Court confirmed the validity of the Act, on the grounds that Parliament was sovereign, and could pass any law it wished.
The four Colored seats were abolished inwhile the previously enlarged Senate was reduced to fifty-four members in The government treated blacks as "tribal" people.
They were tolerated in the urban areas only as "temporary sojourners" working for whites; when their services were no longer required, they had to return to the Native Reserves. The Bantu Authorities Act of provided for the establishment of government-appointed tribal, regional and territorial Bantu Authorities in the Native Reserves and abolished the Natives Representative Council.
Under the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act ofwhich abolished black representation in Parliament, the reserves were consolidated into eight eventually ten self-governing areas, initially called Bantu Homelands or Bantustans, and later Black States; each homeland was designated for a separate African ethnic community.
Despite the existence of a second and third generation of urban-born blacks, many of whom had adopted Western ways and forsaken tribal customs, the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of made every black South African, irrespective of actual residence, a citizen of one of the homelands, effectively excluding blacks from the South African political system.
Between andSouth Africa granted "independence" to four homelands: Nonetheless, these homelands, located in overcrowded and unproductive rural areas, remained politically and economically dependent on South Africa, and none was ever recognized internationally as a sovereign nation.
Pass laws, which required non-whites to carry documents authorizing their presence in restricted areas, were extended by the Natives Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents Act ofwhich despite its name replaced the pass with a reference book - the much-hated "dompas" - issued to all blacks over the age of sixteen.
The reference book always had to be carried by the holder and produced on demand; failure to carry the pass book was a criminal offense punishable by a prison sentence.Historical Background.
The South Africa Act passed by the British Parliament in merged the self-governing British colonies of the Cape, Natal, Orange River and the Transvaal into the Union of South Africa, a dominion within the British Commonwealth.
Source: Electoral Commission Who is responsible for changing the system? The system was introduced by the UK government through the Electoral Registration and Administration Act which became law on 31 January An Electoral System for All Why Canada should adopt proportional representation.
Democracy in Canada is at a critical juncture.
The Liberal government has committed to moving beyond our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system and replacing it with .
An Electoral System for All Why Canada should adopt proportional representation. Democracy in Canada is at a critical juncture. The Liberal government has committed to moving beyond our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system and replacing it with .
This article originally stated that the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system is the most common form of voting in the democratic world. In fact, proportional representation is the most common. A VERY, VERY SHORT HISTORY. To understand fully any country's political system, one needs to understand something of its history.
This is especially true of the United Kingdom because its history has been very different from most other nations and, as a result, its political system is very different from most other nations too.