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Would you be for a proportional voting system?

AidanAidan Clever idiotPosts: 2,648 Boards Champion
edited December 2019 in Politics & Debate
Pros:
  • A more fair representation for voters in parliament
  • Voters of smaller parties better represented, reduce the dominance of the two-party system
  • No gerrymandering, or the altering of constituencies to bias a party in an election
Cons:
  • May be harder for a party to get a majority, more indecision in parliament
  • Areas of the country less represented, local issues overlooked
  • Short-term disruption from a radical change in the system

Are there any more pros and cons you can think of, and what do you think?

While a compromise may be more democratic whilst facilitating the representation of areas of the country, it may also be complicated and potentially reduce voter turn-out.

Also, in the comments, what do you think about the House of Lords?- a house of unelected, mostly upper-class individuals with the power to scrutinise, make, and delay legislation.

Would you be for a proportional voting system? 4 votes

Yes
50%
SkivePoppyB 2 votes
No
50%
LaineGreenTea 2 votes
A compromise between the current and proportional system
0%
"Do, or do not, there is no try" <(•.•)>              

Comments

  • MikeMike Screen addict 🎮 LondonPosts: 2,916 Community Manager
    edited January 4
    This is such an interesting issue. There was one election (can't remember which at this point) where UKIP got something like 12% of the national vote but no seats in parliament, which seems bonkers. I'm personally not for UKIP but it seems like a bad system when that's possible. And giving every single vote some tangible impact, regardless of the outcome for their constituency, is an appealing prospect.

    That said, there are clear risks like you mentioned Aidan. At this point, I'd like to see us give it a shot in some way but I don't know whether that would be logistically possible. Changing the system would be pretty radical and I doubt the government would be prepared to do that on a trial basis.

    Also, in the comments, what do you think about the House of Lords?- a house of unelected, mostly upper-class individuals with the power to scrutinise, make, and delay legislation.
    Never been a fan of the HoL, personally - mostly for the reasons you mentioned. I studied Law at A-Level and I don't think any of us could really put together a convincing case for them existing. Our teacher was certainly quite anti, so maybe that rubbed off on me. Also, if you look at coverage of the HoL on YouTube they spend a concerning amount of time asleep (there are even compilations).

    What are your thoughts @Aidan? :)
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 233 Super Moderator
    You should check out the way Scottish elections are run. We used the Additional Member System. We have constituencies and regions, and each voter gets two voters; one for their constituency and one for their region.
    Aidan
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,163 Skive's The Limit
    Yes
    PR may not be perfect but it’s clearly a better and more democratic system than FPTP.
    In a true democracy all votes should be equal, but this is clearly not the case under FPTP. 

    Im not sure that the increased difficulty in achieving a majority government is necessarily negative. 

    Since 1935 most U.K. governments have been single-party 'majority' governments, but not one of them had the support of a majority of voters. 

    Coalitions are quite common elsewhere and are successful. FPTP suppresses political diversity.

    As for the House Of Lords, I’ve yet to see any decent argument as to why this outdated and undemocratic institution shouldn’t be done away with or replaced with a second elected and accountable legislative body.


    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
    Aidan
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 2,648 Boards Champion
    I think we should trial something in regards to another voting system somehow, to see if it's more democratic and representation in parliament is closer to each party's vote share.

    The reason I was thinking about the house of lords was because if it were abolished we would have another house to utilise that could potentially play a part in a more fair system of representation. 

    I'd gotten more interested in politics in the lead up to the election and just afterwards, but that interest has mostly left me now. I don't ever see myself not voting in elections or referendums (because voting is important for the system to work) but maintaining an interest in politics all the time is certainly time consuming and boring after a while.

    Skive said:
    Im not sure that the increased difficulty in achieving a majority government is necessarily negative. 

    Since 1935 most U.K. governments have been single-party 'majority' governments, but not one of them had the support of a majority of voters. 

    Coalitions are quite common elsewhere and are successful. FPTP suppresses political diversity.


    I agree actually thinking about it now. UK politics is polarised, with votes being for either the Conservatives or for Labour with other votes being seen as 'wasted' depending on the constituency you're in. I'm sure more people would vote for the small guys if they knew their vote would matter- and the outcome depending on a vote share instead of winning in an area.
    "Do, or do not, there is no try" <(•.•)>              
  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Posts: 827 Part of The Mix Family
    Aidan said:
    Pros:
    • A more fair representation for voters in parliament
    • Voters of smaller parties better represented, reduce the dominance of the two-party system
    • Less chance of an absolute majority promotes cross-party cooperation and compromise
    • No gerrymandering, or the altering of constituencies to bias a party in an election
    • Increased voter turnout in previously 'safe' seats
    • Over 40% of countries already use the system, so it is well-tested and works effectively from a practical and logistical perspective
    Cons:
    • *There are many forms of proportional representation - one form needs to be chosen before debating whether changing over is beneficial or not*
    • May be harder for a party to get a majority, more indecision in parliament
    • More divided vote makes it harder for bills to be passed
    • Areas of the country less represented, local issues overlooked - systemic change may not restore public trust in political system
    • Short-term disruption from a radical change in the system
    • More prone to political swings (e.g. sharp rise in nationalism), as two-party systems tend to stay close to, and fight for, the centre ground
    • Coalition agreements are vulnerable to collapse (as with Italy), causing political turmoil
    • Favours highly-populated areas (i.e. cities)

    Are there any more pros and cons you can think of, and what do you think?

    While a compromise may be more democratic whilst facilitating the representation of areas of the country, it may also be complicated and potentially reduce voter turn-out.

    Also, in the comments, what do you think about the House of Lords?- a house of unelected, mostly upper-class individuals with the power to scrutinise, make, and delay legislation.
    Hey :) great question! Have added a few more pros and cons to the debate x
    Aidan
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,163 Skive's The Limit
    Yes
    I would point out that whether PR favours urban areas or rural areas (as it currently does) is far less important than making sure that everybody is equally represented. When 40,000 people living in Arfon have as much representation in Parliament as 110.000 people living on the Isle Of Wight then something is wrong. It means some people's votes are worth more than others. That is fundamentally at odds with the principle of democracy.,
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
    Aidan
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 2,648 Boards Champion
    I agree. Something that got me with the last election is the amount of SNP MP's in Westminster with a proportionally small vote share, and the fact the Lib Dems got the largest rise in vote share this election since the last one but (I think at least) they actually lost 1 seat.
    "Do, or do not, there is no try" <(•.•)>              
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