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Any suggestions for a fair system of voting?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Dermot

Dermot Report 7 May 2013 16:13

No matter who I vote for, the Government always wins.

Andysmum

Andysmum Report 7 May 2013 14:14

I think the referendum for some form of Proportional Representation at Westminster produced a NO vote for two reasons.

1. It was for the Single Transferable Vote system, which Scotland uses for local elections, and which is quite difficult to understand.

2. Both the major parties are against the idea as they would both lose lots of seats and any chance of an overall majority. So the Vote No campaign was well organised - and succeeded.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 7 May 2013 10:30

You have some lovely avatars, Huia. And 54 years wed!! How many younger folk will achieve that?

I have just got up so will need to read what you wrote more carefully later - but it does look a similar pattern to what we have when we elect our Government in Wales (and two countries very similar in terms of sheep, terrain and population - though it would be nice to have Auckland attached to Wales for some decent weather and a few hot geezers).

I was just thinking about electing MPs to Westminster. Where we used to live in South Northants, the Tories always got in. As long as he or she was a farmer, ex public school, supported fox hunting and spoke dismissively about council tenants, they would get in with a large majority.

And in the Rhondda, there is a popular saying that if a monkey was picked by Labour, he or she would get in. We actually have a very good MP (Chris Bryant) who used to be a Tory in his early days and is quite posh and was once a Vicar :-0 :-0. Oh, and he bats for Surrey ;-)

So no value in voting for Tories or UKIP or BNP in Rhondda. And no value in voting for Labour, UKIP or BNP in South Northants under present Westminster FPTP system.

Huia

Huia Report 7 May 2013 09:36

In New Zealand a few years ago we changed to Mixed Member Proportional. There are 60 electorate seats in which First past the post is used, and we also have a vote on the party of our preference. Those votes are used to make up the Proportional part of government. It is not perfect but much better than the 120 being chosen by FPP. Under FPP we once (maybe even more) had a government which won the most seats in the house, despite the fact that their total votes nation-wide were less than the other party. And of course smaller parties didnt usually get a look in, although in 1981 one party won 2 seats but had over 21% of the country-wide vote. Under proportional they would have been entitled to many more seats. That is why we changed to MMP. You could still get independents in with MMP, if they can win an electorate seat.

Personally I would like the electorate seats to be chosen by Single Transferrable Vote. That way, you would get the most preferred person winning the seat, rather than the one who gets the most votes initially. Under FPP, with 4 candidates in an electorate the winner needs does not even have to have over half the votes cast to win the seats.

Not sure if I have explained things clearly, I am off to bed soon.

Porkie_Pie

Porkie_Pie Report 7 May 2013 09:30

John, Compulsory voting only serves in terms of the numbers voting it doesn't make the politics or the outcome any better.

Roy

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 7 May 2013 09:20

ChristinaS. Some countries have compulsory voting. It seems to work. Is it not a bit like safety belts? I hate safety belts and would not wear mine if I did not risk a fine of £60.

Also, £60 fines for not voting could swell our meagre coffers and allow the UK to give a bit more to foreign aid, food banks, NHS, schools etc.

ChristinaS

ChristinaS Report 7 May 2013 09:10

We had a referendum here a couple of years ago for proportionate voting.

I have no idea why, but the vast majority voted against it. It would have got us out of this unfair situation.

As for compulsory voting. Why would we want someone who has no interest in politics, and can't be bothered to vote, to be forced to put their cross against someone?

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 6 May 2013 23:33

Yes, AndysMum. You are right about Wales having same system.

In fact, Leader of Plaid Cymru (Leanne Wood) represents a larger regional constituency. She has decided next election to stand for a constituency, so it will be make or break for her. In Wales, the system seems to result in no overall majority. Labour are always strongest party, but even with a "landslide" last time, they only managed to secure 30 seats out of 60 - so need Liberal help to get anything through.

Andysmum

Andysmum Report 6 May 2013 22:59

Here in Scotland, and also I think, in Wales, we have a different system. It isn't perfect, but it gives a better balance than the Westminster system. A brief description follows.

Additional Member System (AMS), also known as Mixed Member Proportional

AMS is a hybrid voting system. It combines elements of First Past the Post where voters mark an X next to the candidate they want to represent them in their constituency, and proportional representation, where voters select from a list of candidates for each party who represent a larger regional constituency. This helps to overcome the disproportion often associated with First Past the Post elections.

Under AMS, each voter typically gets two votes – one for a candidate and one for a party.

Each constituency returns a single candidate, in the style of First Past the Post. The votes for the party list candidates are then allocated on top of these constituency seats to ‘top up’ the number of seats won by each party to represent their share of the votes proportionally. These are the “additional members”.

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 6 May 2013 22:28

John, That's an idea!!

...When I win the lottery......

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 6 May 2013 22:26

Lot's of important countries do not make voting compulsory eg USA, France. Even if it was a lot of people would not bother anyway creating another mess for the courts to sort out as 'cos many would refuse to pay the fine on the basis they have a right to take no interest / dislike them all. And of course many would spoil their paper as a sign of that ...

The FPTP system may seem unfair but usually succeeds in its main aim of choosing a government. Even with the coalition there was no need for secret deals between 3 4 or 5 parties as goes on elsewhere. It is intuitive that the winner takes all in elections. If you go to the races you'd be a bit miffed if the bookies paid out on the 3rd place as it had the most backing ... so would the bookies.

What is definitely unfair is the wild variation in the size of constituencies for which the LibDems have blocked reform.

As it is the EU elections next year will be on a "list" proportional basis where no voter not a member of the party machinery will have the slightest chance of choosing their MEP. Fairer ? In a pig's eye. Just take a look at what is going on with the Labour list.

The popularity of the 100 000 vote for a debate in the Commons and web sites such as 38 as well as the huge increase in the use of judicial review makes it clear that MPs are going to have to open up debate beyond the Commons to a degree most of them can barely imagine.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 6 May 2013 21:42

Isn't that percentage vote system what they use for European elections. We have some UKIP MEP's (one is representing Wales!!). And he looks and sounds like an out-of-work bank clerk:-( :-(

Have just thought of a job I might get after retirement. Change my surname to ABOVE and first names to None Of The. Then borrow a deposit off the bank. Hey presto, MP for Rhondda.

Unless Chris Bryant (the sitting Labour tenant) changes his name to Dont Give A T*** :-S :-S

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 6 May 2013 20:17

Agree Dermot, which is why an 'I don't want to vote for any of you' box would show what we (the voters) think :-D

Dermot

Dermot Report 6 May 2013 20:07

Until politicians in power keep the promises they made to get our vote - which they rarely do - then the voting system is irrelevant.

Joeva

Joeva Report 6 May 2013 18:31



Make voting compulsory as they do in other countries.

I get sick of hearing about complaints about the government of the day, and then they admit ' I have never voted in my life' :-|

Mayfield

Mayfield Report 6 May 2013 17:43

Thanks for your comment maggie, I was wondering about changing my screen name from Mayfield to Billy no Mates!

I agree there should be proper " I don't trust any of you" box as at the moment they just write it off as people being daft and messing up the paper.

Mayfield ;-)

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 6 May 2013 15:30

First thing we need is a 'none of the above' box on ballot papers.
Then, if you get enough people who don't want to vote for any of the people standing, a re-shuffle has to take place.
At least we would have SOME say.
I always vote, even if it's to spoil my ballot paper - but as far as the counters are concerned, I am just an idiot who doesn't know how to vote, rather than someone protesting!!

Mayfield

Mayfield Report 6 May 2013 11:58

It’s a shame we can’t have a system where the sway a party has in government is directly proportional to their % vote. It’s a nonsense that Tory voters living in a Labour stronghold and vice versa might as well flush their vote down the toilet together with supporters of minor parties as it will never be able to influence policy.

Trouble is I can’t think of any way to make it work, if say there were 100 seats available in parliament and they were allocated by % of the vote that would leave independents completely out in the cold and the MP’s would have even less attachment to their constituency.

I suppose an independant body (how on earth would you get that!) might re-draw all the boundries to create marginal seats throughout the whole country, but as there are vast blocks of support it does not seem practical.
Any suggestions for a more democratic system?


Mayfield