Qualified majority. Truth and fiction


It is not a secret to anyone that in the modern world in most countries of the world (the Russian Federation, the United States and others) a democratic legal regime has been established. One of its main characteristics is the supremacy of human rights and freedoms. Hence the election. But not everything is so simple. Many laws require special diligence on the part of voters. This is when a qualified majority comes into play.



But what is it all the same? In simple terms, a qualified majority is an advantage of two thirds, three quarters, or even more votes in any matter. That is, the bill must be approved by absolutely the majority of the meeting participants. This is not so easy to achieve, so people are still not sure about the system of a qualified majority and it is very often heard how politicians are engaged in fierce debates on this matter.

Alternatives and why they are sometimes not suitable?


There are two other options that are preferred in many situations. For example, the absolute majority system assumes that the bill, in order to enter into force, must collect fifty percent of the number of voters and, in addition to them, one more vote. People from all over the world recognize that even one point added to this fifty percent can play a decisive role. This system is actively used in the elections of various political figures, such as presidents, chancellors and so on. Then, accordingly, the object of the hearing is not a bill, but a candidate. But the main problem is that it is very often necessary to hold elections again, because the voters may not come to an agreement. The same drawback, of course, is characteristic of the system of a qualified majority, but to a greater extent.

According to the second alternative, the famous system of relative majority, for the adoption of the bill, he should not get more than fifty percent. It is enough to bypass competitors, and it does not matter how many points. Such a system is very actively used in politics. The United States of America, the United Kingdom and Japan choose the members of their Congresses in this way. In the Russian Federation, State Duma deputies are elected in this manner. The problem with this system is that it greatly simplifies the process of adopting laws or electing members of parliament. That is why it is considered not as consistent and fair as the system of a qualified majority.


The political side of the issue

But where, then, is this strictest system used, if the system uses an absolute and relative majority in elections? Everything is very simple. In the Russian Federation, the system of the majority qualified majority is applied if it is necessary to amend the highest regulatory act, namely the Constitution. To do this is extremely difficult. The lower house of the Federal Assembly, the State Duma, is required to agree to amend two thirds of the votes. As for the upper house, the Council of the Federation, it should support the reform of three quarters of the vote. To achieve such unanimity, of course, it is very difficult. It is for this reason that the system of qualified majority is used primarily for truly global changes that affect all spheres of society.



There is another complication. The Constitution of the Russian Federation itself does not allow changing the first, second and ninth chapters in any way. The irony is that Chapter Nine is devoted to amending the Constitution. But at the same time this ban, albeit with difficulty, can be circumvented. For example, if the deputies of both chambers, the State Duma and the Council of the Federation vote for the convocation of a new Constitutional Assembly, and this bill will gain three-fifths of the votes of all voters, then these three chapters still seem possible to change.

Stock companies


The federal law on joint-stock companies clearly states that, based on the system of qualified majority, absolutely any amendments are made to the charter of a particular joint-stock company, changes in the cost of shares and the decree on the dissolution of the company. As you can see, in the field of economics, the most important issues are also resolved, provided that one of the decisions receives a three-fourths majority. Also, any questions as to whether it is worth reforming the internal structure of the society in any way are also resolved by a qualified majority. In addition to this, the most serious decisions of a joint stock company in the Russian Federation include agreement on major financial transactions. But this list does not end there. Any joint-stock company may prescribe in the charter that other decisions are made by a qualified majority of votes. The main thing is that the questions concern the conduct of the entire meeting of shareholders.

International organizations

Recently, all new countries have joined the European Union. For this reason, in 2014 we carried out a rather serious reform of the Council of the European Union. Now, a decision on any matter is taken only if two hundred and fifty-five members of the Council of three hundred and forty-five (about seventy-three percent) agree. At the same time, these voters should be representatives of fourteen of the twenty-seven countries and sixty-two percent of the population of the European Union.

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