Indirect Election: Meaning, Merits and Demerits
Indirect election is the type of election where the voters do not elect the leaders, rather the electorate elects people (delegates) who then elect the leaders. The voters vote for a pool of delegates or electoral college who will vote for the candidates.
This system is used in the United State of America and Germany. The voters relinquish their voting rights to a selected representative (previously chosen in an election) to elect the political leaders on behalf of the people.
The election comes up in two stages: Firstly to elect the electors and in the second stage political leaders are elected.
Nigeria used indirect elections in 1951 where the Regional Assemblies acted as electoral colleges to elect members of the House of Representatives and in 1963 where the president was elected through an electoral college.
Merits of Indirect Election:
(i) It promotes informed electors to vote on behalf of the ignorant majority. The delegates are knowledgeable and better informed. They will vote rationally.
(ii) It reduces the tension, thuggery, and indecencies associated with elections e.g riots, snatching of ballot papers and boxes, arson, etc.
(iii) It is cost-effective.
(iv) It reduces triggering tendencies.
Demerits of Indirect Election:
(i) Indirect voting is undemocratic, many qualified voters may not be allowed to vote.
(ii) There may be a defective representation by the delegates.
(iii) It discourages mass political participation.
(iv) It is time-consuming as the election comes in two stages.
(v) The candidates can easily buy their way to position as electors are fewer in number.