Simple majority – What it is, definition and concept

A simple majority happens in a vote when the people who vote in favor constitute a greater number than those who vote against. It is a formula widely used in politics.

In any type of voting, be it political, social or of any other nature, there are several types of majority. Generally there is the simple, the absolute and the qualified or qualified. We speak of a simple majority when in any vote there are more votes in favor than against. That is, more yeses than noes. It is a form of voting widely used in politics, it is easier to obtain and it is accepted to unblock situations of blockage and lack of consensus.

For example, a vote in which there are two options (which is the most common). There are a total of 100 people with the right to vote and two possibilities are established, A and B. A obtains 55 votes and B 45, voting A has won by a simple majority, but also by an absolute majority. Now, let’s say that the figure of abstention comes into play. Option A gets 40 votes, B 35 and 25 people abstain. We say that A has won by simple majority. Although it has less than half the support of those with the right to vote, it does have the majority of those who have voted for both options.

If the case were to vote between three options or more, for example, between painting the house red, green, blue or pink. We say that the most voted color wins by simple majority. Although the other options add up to a greater number. For example, out of 10 people have voted red 4; green 2; blue 2; and pink 2. Red has won by a simple majority although the other options add a majority (absolute).

See also  Carl Icahn - Economipedia

Simple majority in politics

The simple majority, like the other types, is widely used in politics. The most used along with the absolute majority. It serves, as we have mentioned previously, to overcome deadlock situations, thus improving governance. Although, on the other hand, it has the disadvantage that it does not reflect the real majority of voters, which is achieved through an absolute majority.

This happens because of what is described in the previous examples, an option can be approved with 40% of the votes if the other option only receives 35%, assuming that the remaining 25% abstains. In politics, some cases in which this formula is used are the following:

  • The election of the Prime Minister in a second ballot.
  • Amendments to a law by the Senate.
  • The approval of a law by Congress after vetoes established by the Senate if two months have passed.
  • Ordinary laws.
  • The president’s trust issue.

Difference between simple majority and absolute majority

There are differences between these two approval formulas. The first is its use, one is used for some things and the other for different ones. For example, the simple is used for ordinary laws and the absolute for organic. The absolute is used for the first vote in the election of the Prime Minister in parliamentary regimes, the simple one for the second if it has not been achieved previously.

But the most interesting difference is how it works. The simple majority, unlike the absolute majority, is not interfered with by figures such as abstention or blank votes. It is achieved simply if the votes in favor constitute a greater number than the votes against. On the other hand, the absolute is obtained if the votes in favor constitute the majority of all the people with the right to vote.

See also  How do central bank decisions affect your life?

For example, out of 100 people, option A gets 40 votes, B 30 and there are 20 abstentions and 10 blank votes. The simple majority allows option A to be approved, since it is the most voted. While, to be approved by an absolute majority, option A should obtain at least 51 votes.

Leave a Comment