Elections have a variety of functions, not all of which are mutually compatible. Different electoral systems will be more or less effective in fulfilling different functions. The functions of elections are:

> to give the voters a choice of who should represent them

> to elect representatives who will act on behalf of their community and of individuals in relation to government decisions and government departments

> to produce a legislature that reflects the main trends of opinion among the electorate

> to produce a government that is in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the electorate

> to produce a strong and stable government

> to confer legitimacy on elected governments.