PR has various disadvantages. First, it promotes the lack of linkage between constituents and
their representatives (Barkan 108). Secondly, it impedes consolidation through its lack of
sustainment of democracy’s vertical aspect. According to Barkan, PR is not ideal for agrarian
societies, particularly in Africa. Instead, SMD systems suit such societies since they promote
effective representation, an essential ingredient of democracy.
Reasons Andrew Reynolds’ argument is better than Joel Barkan’s
Reynolds’ argument is supported by more evidence from different countries, unlike
Barkan’s argument that relies on southern African countries. Reynolds’s used evidence from
countries across different continents in the world and these include Zimbabwe (three elections),
Zambia, Malawi, USA, Canada, UK, India, and New Zealand (Reynolds 121). On the other
hand, Barkan used data from southern African countries only to substantiate his claims.
Therefore, Reynolds’ argument seems to be more reliable as it involved a broad range of data
from different countries across the world compared to Barkan’s argument.
Secondly, Barkan seems to be more interested in majority representation that quality
representation that is an important element of democracy. From his argument, Barkan believes
that the majorities should not be underrepresented as is common in proportionality systems
(Barkan 115). On the other hand, Reynolds argues that a proportionality system allows
minorities to feel secure and accounted for unlike plural systems (Reynolds 123). It is evident
that from Reynolds’ point of view, proportionality systems have higher chances of decreasing
regional divisions that are common recipes for chaos in emerging democracies. Therefore,
Reynolds’ argument on the idea of quality representation through proportionality systems seems
more convincing as minorities will feel safe as their interests will be protected unlike in
plurality-based systems where they are not represented accordingly.