Indirect Election | Definition, Features, Characteristics | Advantages and Disadvantages
What is an Election?
An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. – Wikipedia
What is Indirect Election?
Indirect election is the method by which the representatives are elected in two or more stages. In the first stage, the voters elect an intermediate body of able and responsible people. This body is known as an electoral college. At the second stage, the electoral college select the representatives of the people.
The constitution of the United States of America, for example, provides that an electoral college should choose the president of the country. In some countries like Germany, Italy, India and Nigeria, the major political parties usually elect their leaders and representatives through indirect election or primaries.
The disadvantages of indirect election include the following:
Indirect election may not allow the will of the people to prevail. As such, it is largely on undemocratic. Indirect system of election does not directly involved electorate in the final choice of their representatives.
The indirect election system conflicts with the purpose and primary aim of representative government that the people should elect the leaders of their choice.
The electoral college is usually prone to bribery and corruption and may therefore not truly represent the interests of the mass.
It may be too complex to operate.
Indirect election prevent the emergence of an enabling environment for cultivating public spirit among the people.
In modern times, the development of the party system has reduced electoral college to a mere formal contraptions. In the United States, for example, the actual choice of the president is made by the electorate voting by States and not by any electoral college.
The system is prone to manipulation by political leaders and bosses to improve their own candidates on the electorate and manipulation of delegates.
Indirect election system does not offer a wider political participation in the state. It is absolutely no room for wider political participation.
The people may be apathetic to vote and subsequent elections.
The final political office holders voted in by the representatives seem to be an imposition on the people.