Legitimacy Crisis in Democratic Systems. Election Credibility and Fair Vote Representation Model
Wide participation of citizens in the selection of leaders into public offices lends credibility to democratic system and enhances the level of acceptance of the elected leaders among citizens. However, the increasing volume of invalid votes in the recent times has cast lots of doubts on the level of citizen’s participation in the national elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the study explored vote counts and voting eligible population dynamics using election data from seven countries: five selected African countries and two developed countries during period 2000-2015.Through a systematic analysis and percentage change, twenty-four national elections were analyzed in the light of fair vote representation model proposed in the study. The study findings reveal that the level of citizens’ participations in national elections in five selected Sub-Saharan African countries has considerably declined and that vote representation was poor throughout the period (2000-2015) compared to the United Kingdom’s parliamentary elections which have moderately increased with fair and substantial vote representation over the same period. Therefore, there was no evidence of increase in the level of citizens’ participation in national elections in the five selected countries. Governments of these countries should channel resources and policy towards developing democratic structures and allow them to grow without political interference.
Keywords - Election, Election Turnout, Fair Representation, Voting Eligible Population, Working Population