In or out England is now facing an uncertain constitutional future.
There is no doubt that the language of Brexit has contributed ( see the previous post) but the voting system has also made a major contribution.
First-past-the-post is a voting system that consistently and unpredictably skews election results in ways few can predict until the votes have been counted.
First Past the Post’s is an old colonial voting system?
Canada, the U.S. and the UK are the last countries hanging on to first-past-the-post – and even the UK uses proportional systems for its devolved assemblies.
One of the most common laments about electoral reform is that politicians will never change the system that elected them.
More than half of Uk voters live in constituencies where the result is a foregone conclusion. Living in a “safe seat” makes voting feel especially futile.
In most elections with first-past-the-post, about half the voters cast a ballot which elects no-one and has no impact on the election result.
It certainly does not encourage people to turn out and vote.
With Brexit. The adhesive that binds parties together under first past the post is diluting
When one party has 100% of the power with 39% of the vote, there’s no need to take anyone else’s views into account – even when voters want them to do just that.
With proportional representation, no matter what party you support or where you live, your vote counts. Politicians know they must pay attention to every voter and every riding!
With proportional representation, parties must work together. Cooperation between parties in a coalition or other cooperative agreement – shared credit and shared accountability – becomes the norm.
With proportional representation, you vote for what you truly believe in.
Brexit is the first step in fixing politics at the centre, to reform the electoral system.
Politics, they say, “is dominated by the far-left and the far-right”.
Decision-making is easier for big parties when it rests with a small group of strategists whose main job is to cater to their party’s base of voters and make their party look good.
English two main parties have good reason to fear transition to proportional representation, but not necessarily for the reasons often cited.
Because proportional representation substantially increases the number of parties overall. It would challenge their monopoly on political power in Westminster.
It would reduce their ideology to an argument about their side being better than the other.
It would enable people to vote for parties that more closely represent their own views, without the fear that this party will not be accordingly represented in Parliament.
It takes us away from binary choices and towards a system that is based on power-sharing and compromise.
Look closely and what could be the embryonic beginnings of a new party are there but with the first past, the post electoral system makes it difficult for new parties to win seats in general elections.
Sometimes first-past-the-post even produces a “wrong winner” election – when one party receives more popular support, but another party gets to govern with a majority!
Bolstered by a two-party system that discourages fluidity of ideology and legitimises binary decision-making. This enables the two main parties to clash in a partisan manner that is unrepresentative of a diverse country and makes complex issues such as leaving the European Union more difficult to resolve.
Many proportional representation systems mean you’ll have more than one candidate of the same party to choose from.
This means voters can ensure the candidates from each party get elected, and those that aren’t responsive to voters aren’t re-elected.
Ask any Algorithm. The current event in English Parlement renders First Past the post wrong.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.