Posts Tagged ‘STV’

We need a truly proportional voting system

26/05/2015, 02:56:34 PM

by Reg Barritt

The outcome of the 2015 general election has placed the first past the post system of election of MPs to Westminster and local councils under greater scrutiny than ever.

Use of First Past the Post for both local and general elections now stands stripped of its main justification: delivering strong government, representative of the wishes of the electorate.

A great deal has been made of the claimed overwhelming victory of the Conservative party and the so called devastating loss suffered by the Labour party (a false interpretation by our media that even the parties themselves have been far too quick to buy into).

In fact, the swing in seats was influenced by relatively small shifts in votes in relatively few constituencies, only further skewed by the distortions of an unrepresentative election result in Scotland.

The time has come for change.

At this point in a discussion, the result of the AV referendum is often raised by opponents of electoral reform.

But AV is not a PR system and was never going to be what the people would want instead of First Past the Post.

As the facts of pluralist politics become harder to ignore the debate rightly turns to how to respond.

The answer lies with the Single Transferable Vote.


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Only electoral reform can rescue democracy from MPs

19/01/2011, 04:34:02 PM

by Alex Hilton

The referendum debate is getting a little personal, with yes and no campaigners bickering and name calling. Which does Labour little good, because we’re the only party split on the issue. So I will write in the spirit of comradeship. No calling of names like “analogue” or “swivel eyed”. No abuse.

Except of MPs of course. They deserve everything they get.

Remember, that’s where this all came from, the expenses scandal. In the days of the Jenkins review, the electoral reform debate was entirely about fairness. And that didn’t get very far. But the expenses scandal highlighted the other really big problem of FPTP. That of accountability – and that’s an issue that isn’t going away.

MPs are desperately trying to forget the expenses scandal. They want you to believe – they want to believe themselves – that it was a few rotten apples who are now facing the courts or who have resigned in disgrace. But if the sum total of politicians who face trial reaches even twenty, that won’t include any of the MPs who stuck to the rules (that they made to suit themselves) in their over claiming – like the capital gains tax flippers. Nor any of those who weren’t greedy but who turned a blind eye to their colleagues’ behaviour. Which adds up to nearly all of those in Parliament at the time.

I do still have a lot of respect for some of those people, particularly those who achieved most and who represented people best. It’s just a lot less respect than it used to be. (more…)

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Nick Palmer ponders the politics of the AV referendum

28/05/2010, 08:45:56 AM

Let’s suppose that the coalition holds for the next couple of years at least. If so, we can assume that the LibDems will insist on the referendum on the alternative vote without delaying it for years.  Regardless of the rights and wrong of AV, what are the political implications?

First, cui bono? Well, AV is great for medium-sized centre parties, since they are normally everyone’s second choice, and their voters often get to choose between the other parties, effectively giving them an extra vote.

It’s also quite good for small parties: they probably won’t win more seats (especially if they’re on the political fringes), but at least their supporters can show their support on the first round before giving others their second preferences. It is correspondingly not so good for big parties, especially if they think that the other big party will get more of the second preferences. (more…)

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