5 comments on “Proportional Representation is not Necessarily Un-Conservative

  1. The least-bad type of electoral system is multi-member constituencies, i.e. you merge 600 existing constituencies into 150 ‘super’ constituencies (containing four existing constituencies each), each party can field up to four candidates in each ‘super’ constituency and the four candidates with the highest number of votes get allocated one of the four existing constituencies (i.e. the bloke with the most votes chooses first, and so on).

    So smaller parties would only field one candidate (the best they can hope for is getting their topy guy into fourth place) and the bigger parties can risk it and field two or even three or four (but risk diluting their own vote so that the other parties sneak past).

    Of course, you can have ‘super’ constituencies with two or any number of members, or even one single one for the whole country, if you take it to the ultimate extreme. But no party lists, please!

    • You’re obviously entitled to your opinion. But your system would certainly not be Proportional. What’s more, your system would encourage tactical voting – and even tactical standing, as you’ve described, with parties having to guess how well they’re going to do in a given contituency. It would also weaken the constituency link, since the constituencies would be vey large indeed (over 200,000 electors per constituency).
      Actually, your system sounds at least as bad as the current system, which does at least have the merit of being simple!
      If you’re going for PR, a system of first past the post plus party list top-ups to get proportionality, seems best to me.

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  3. I totally agree. I’m a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party, but I feel that we need a change for something better.

    I feel that FPTP is on its last legs now, and that super-low turnout levels at general elections of between 59% and 65% show that people are disenchanted by the system. Why vote when you know who’s going to win in your constituency anyway? Why vote when the results are distorted so beyond belief that government elected rarely reflect voters’ views?

    The old argument of ‘it will never work in Britain’ has been dismissed by now; not only does it work brilliantly in countries like Germany and the Republic of Ireland, but since 1997, such systems have worked fine in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (and if it works in Northern Ireland, where politics is – or at least was – extremely ‘adversarial’, to put it mildly, then I don’t see why our politicians should have any problem in putting aside petty differences)

    I think that AMS would be a brilliant answer. With AMS, you get to retain the constituency-MP link, get extended choice, a simple system and broad proportionality. (Of course, of a 50:50 ration of constituency MPs and top-ups).

    Then, perhaps have STV (or at worst AV) for local elections, there’s the closed list for EU elections, and Bob’s your uncle! Or perhaps STV for EU elections, too?…

    Saying that, I think I will be voting against AV next May. I see it as pointless; no more proportional than FPTP, and I don’t like the idea of those who voted for the least popular candidate (most likely being the BNP) being the decision maker in a constituency. Best to keep what we have for the time being and carry on pressing for the real thing in the near future!!

    • I’m not sure there really is any such thing as a “fair” voting system myself. Personally I think we should stay with FPTP. I don’t fancy a system that effectively guarantees the Lib Dems a permanent place in government.

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