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A possible alternative UK electoral system

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:18 pm    Post subject: A possible alternative UK electoral system Reply with quote

The present UK electoral system is a cause of considerable dissatisfaction, in particular the fact a party such as UKIP or the Greens can enjoy considerable total support spread around the country, but end up with very few MPs.

I therefore suggest, for discussion, a possible alternative, that is simple to apply, easy to understand, and transparent.

Divide the country into a smaller number of constituencies than at present, about 300* sounds right.
In each of these constituencies, persons may stand for election exactly as at present, and be voted for by the inhabitants, one person, one vote, in a secret ballot as at present.
The candidate with the most votes goes to parliament as at present.

In addition to the 300* elected as above, another 200* members of parliament will be appointed on the basis of total votes cast. They get one member for every 0.5% of the total votes cast across the country.
So if a relatively small party gets 4% of the total votes across the country, they get 8 appointed members (from a list that they publish before the election as a part of their manifesto)
If a larger party gets 40% of the total vote, then they get 80 members appointed.
A very small party with 0.5% of the total vote gets one appointed member. Since of course one can not appoint part of a member, the percentages would have to be rounded to the nearest half a percent.
That is 0.249% if rounded to the nearest half a percent is nil, and gets no appointed member.
0.251% rounded to the nearest half a percent is 0.5%, and gets one appointed member.
10.2% rounded is 10% and gets 20 members.
This rounding to the nearest half percent might result in the number of appointed MPs being slightly more or less than 200* This matters not.

Before a party can have ANY appointed MPs, they would have to win an outright majority in at least one constituency. So the both UKIP and the Green party would receive appointed MPs as above.
The monster raving looney party and the BNP would receive nothing as they have not won a constituency. This would keep out non serious contenders.

The merits of this system are simplicity, no complex ballot papers with first and second choices.
One person, one vote and the candidate with the most votes wins, who can fail to understand that !
The appointed MPs would be appointed in a very simple and readily understood way. The number of votes cast in each constituency would be a matter of public record as at present, and simple maths that can be checked by anyone would determine the appointed members.

*numbers are indicative and could be made more or less, but keeping the same principle. 500 in total is a nice round figure, and a little less than the present number.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds very much like the Additional Member System used in the Scottish Parliament. Each constituent has two votes. Details here:


The first vote is used to elect a constituency MSP on First Past The Post. The second vote is a party vote which is used as follows:

The constituencies are grouped into larger regions, and each region has the opportunity to elect 8 MSPs (in addition to the constituency MSPs). The second vote is a party vote and vote share is used to determine which parties get the eight seats, on a PR basis.

It gives me the opportunity to, say, vote for an SNP MSP to represent me, but also to vote for, say, a larger number of Green MSPs in the parliament, which I would like to see.
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Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tbh, this doesn't sound very simple. Why the requirement for a constituency MP first? > 0.5% of the country voted for a party, surely they deserve the representation they want whether 'serious' or not.

It does also break down the ties to local areas in the same way MEP party lists do. Do you even hear about MEPs much? no, they don't need to be visible to get your support as the donkeys who vote one way or other will keep them in their jobs!

2 or 3 party constituencies, larger obviously, might work though, still voting for the person as well as the party - so I'd get to cross 2 or 3 boxes maybe, or maybe still just one vote per person...
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look at this one. Very simple to understand.

    Parliament will be truly representative- each 1% of the UK vote returns 1% of MPs.

    Votes are not wasted even if your party doesnt win a constituency MP -as by pooling the national vote it has a chance of a nationwide MP

    You can weight your voting between parties by being able to score 3,2,1 or 0.

    An independent candidate may be elected as a constituency MP without having to get a national vote

    An area with near-equal votes for the top 3 parties may return an MP from eachnearly everyone will have a local MP from a party they voted for.

I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As mentioned before, I tend to favour a straight-up separation of powers with an elected executive and separate elected legislature using either FPTP or STV. Perhaps with a small House of Lords style body appointed on a purely meritocratic/technocratic basis, not a place for heriditary peers and semi-retired politicos who've been kicked upstairs.

If you want national/regional parliaments, have a seriously reduced Westminster and as many powers devolved to the regions as possible. True federalism as opposed to the piecemeal hash that is present devolution. This may mean the end of "England" as a unified political entity.
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