The age-based proportions method differs worldwide; from compulsory seats in parliamentary assemblies, boards, Local Government Councils (LGCs), political parties to charity organizations. Dahlerup (2005) recognises two forms of democratic age-based proportions, viz., reserved seats and candidate proportions. Reserved seats are a form of proportion, which by law, a certain number of seats for a particular electorate is specified. In Uganda, particular electorates in this group are; the youths, women, persons with disabilities (PWDs), the workers and the army (Good fellow, 2017:1570).
A small proportion of candidates for election is stated regarding candidate proportions, and every political party list is mandated to obey. This form of proportion can be set in the national Constitution, subsidiary legislations and or rules governing individual political parties. Nevertheless, in other cases, political parties might espouse a voluntary proportion method minus any law. Dahlerup (2005:142) states that proportions can be gender-based or age-based in which an upper limit for either sex or age group is fixed for candidates on party lists.
Okedele (2020) notes that whereas every type of proportion seems to be worldwide, reserved seats are famous to Africa in the form of affirmative action and national parliamentary Proportions Are More Prominent In Africa And South America. 2021 | Journal of Governance and Accountability Studies (JGAS)/ Vol 1 No 1, 29-41 30 Reserved Seats Are Visible in the National Parliament and Local Government council (LGC) politics in Uganda where one-third of all seats are reserved for women in proportion to the number of party seats (Kadaga, 2013:32) and so are other groups such as the youths.
The rationale behind political proportions is that they have been appreciated as a political measure in a number of nations trying to cure political limitations that specific electorates suffered in the winnertakes-it-all electoral system (Bieber & Wingerter, 2020). It is recognised that choice of political aspirants has often disadvantaged certain groups, mainly the youths, women and PWDs’ rise to political influence in comparable statistics. Obtainable literature describes the consequences associated to socio-cultural-economic as well as political organisations such as democratic structures and ideology of a political party on recruitment of the youths, women and PWDs into political spaces (Franzmann, 2019:332).
Studies consider age-based proportions to attract legitimacy from the plight of youth under representation attributable to discriminatory practices of political parties and the government as a whole (Weinmann & Grotz, 2020). Proportions are thus presented as key in raising representation in openly elected institutions such as Parliaments and LGCs.
There are several benefits ensuing from the adoption of youth proportions, they include: recompense for concrete obstacles thwarting the youth from achieving a reasonable portion in political spaces, reducing limitations of symbolic youth in institutions; guaranteeing an age-based stable political authority that involves youth aspirations and interests, facilitating critical discussions and building coalitions across boundaries for a common purpose (Kassman & Vamstad, 2019:485). These strategies are believed to consolidate young people in energising essential changes in systems of governance, changes in power-sharing as well as economic prospects.
While these benefits are likely to follow a normative version of youths’ historical isolation, comparable opinions on the introduction of the YPPs focuses on youth involvement, political parity, the political leaders, strategic objectives as well as the method of transferring international norms. I have suggested, in this article, that political proportions are:
(i) a consequence of youths’ struggles to rally more youths for political representation;
(ii) Applied by political parties owing to the transmissible outcome and are incorporated by political leaders for consolidating influence over party legislatures and political pessimists;
(iii) a key influence to the normative philosophies of parity and representation with assertions of justice and democratic processes; and
(iv) predisposed by trans-national actors and systems using information distribution and online crusades.
However, assertions on age-based proportions have encountered censures from pessimists who note that in fulfilment of parity, the optimists favour certain groups against the men and the women (hereafter called others); by giving favour to the youths, administrations and political parties which become one-sided and nondemocratic.
Consequently, the pessimists look at proportions as unfair since they reduce preferences available to the voter since the set from which to choose is restricted, which forbids capable contenders. When enacted into law, the pessimists look at proportions as meddling in party administration and interests upon which community groups are superimposed is important to note.
The proponents are perceived as aiding individual group rivalry with respect to material gains. In the earlier proportion report sequence on African performance, it can be observed that: when we take the genuine omission of the youth s as the initial idea, i.e., when we appreciate that several complications thwart the youths from joining the arena of policymaking, then proportions are not understood as favoring to others, but as recompense for every hindrance that the youths encounter. When all these obstacles are detached, proportions will no longer be essential. In this case, proportions become transitory. It may take years, yet, before every societal, traditional and partisan obstacle thwarting balanced representation is eliminated.
This opinion emphasizes that there are obstacles and there is a necessity for recompense with regard to age-based proportions suggestive of issues of parity and justice. By appreciating the progressive approach of proportions, academics ease the pressures projected of the age-based disparities in disrespect of the others’ category, which can be controlled by governments and political parties. At any rate, statistics express the nature of representatives – the age-based rationality concerning the features of representatives.
There is, as a consequence, an incomplete signal of relegation of others’ regarding their functional roles. In this view, we can observe age-based proportions as a defense for expressive and representative standing for representation. This opinion is line with such assertions that present proportions as being espoused for political schemes of leaders and parties or as a world-wide style based on universal standards. Nevertheless, the degree to which we can regulate proportion representatives to this form of illustration is a subject of discussion seeing ideas favoring the critical mass theory which advocate that critical communities may turn to critical actions.