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Report No. 255

(ii) Stability

4.10. Because parties are granted seats in accordance with their vote share, numerous parties get seats in the legislature in the proportional representation system, without any party gaining a majority. This detracts from the stability of the system. Coalition government becomes inevitable, with challenges to such governments also becoming frequent. This is also why the Constituent Assembly decided that proportional representation would not be suited to the Parliamentary form of government that our Constitution lays down. In the Constituent Assembly Debate on 4th January 1949, Dr. BR Ambedkar noted that:166

166. Constituent assembly Debates (Proceedings) Vol. VII dated 4th January, 1949,

"Proportional representation is not suited to the form of government which this Constitution lays down in the House where there is a Parliamentary system of government, you must necessarily have a party which is in majority and which is prepared to support the government. One of the disadvantages of proportional representation is the fragmentation of the legislature into a number of small groups.

Proportional representation would not permit a stable government to remain in office, because Parliament would be so divided into so many small groups that every time anything happened which displeased certain groups in Parliament, they would, on that occasion, withdraw their support from the Government, with the result that the Government losing the support of certain groups and units, would fall to pieces. Our future government must do one thing, namely, it must maintain a stable government and maintain law and order."

Challenges of this sort are likely to become even more prominent in cases of legislative actions that require more than a mere simple majority to be carried out, such as constitutional amendments.167

167. McKaskle, supra note 155

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