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An indirect election or hierarchical voting[1] is an election in which voters do not choose directly between candidates or parties for an office (direct voting system), but elect people who in turn choose candidates or parties. It is one of the oldest forms of elections and is used by many countries for heads of state (such as presidents), cabinets, heads of government (such as prime ministers), and/or upper houses. It is also used for some supranational legislatures.

Positions that are indirectly elected may be chosen by a permanent body (such as a parliament) or by a special body convened solely for that purpose (such as an electoral college).

In nearly all cases the body that controls the executive branch (such as a cabinet) is elected indirectly. This includes the cabinets of most parliamentary systems; members of the public elect the parliamentarians, who then elect the cabinet. Upper houses, especially in federal republics, are often indirectly elected, either by the corresponding lower house or cabinet. Similarly, supranational legislatures can be indirectly elected by constituent countries' legislatures or executive governments. The indirect democracy is run by electoral college or president.

An election can be partially indirect, for example in the case of indirect single transferable voting, where only eliminated candidates select other candidates to transfer their vote share to.

Examples

Examples of indirect election are found in many countries.

Head of State

Appointed Head of State

Some countries have non-partisan heads of state who are appointed without any form of election.

Head of State and Head of Government

Head of Government

Usually called prime minister.

Upper Houses

Some examples of indirectly-elected upper houses include:

Some examples of indirectly elected supranational legislatures include: the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, OSCE, the WEU and NATO – in all of these cases, voters elect national parliamentarians, who in turn elect some of their own members to the assembly. The same applies to bodies formed by representatives chosen by a national government, e.g. the United Nations General Assembly – assuming the national governments in question are democratically elected in the first place.

Indirect single transferable voting is used to elect some members of the Senate in Pakistan.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Tradeoffs in Hierarchical Voting Systems, Lucas Böttcher, Georgia Kernell
  2. ^ "Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany".
  3. ^ Waqar, M. (2020). Gender Quotas and Political Dynasties: Explaining Women's Substantive Representation in Pakistan's National Assembly (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University)