Category Archives: House of Commons

Vote Swapping

There was an article on the BBC Website last week (23 April 2015 : Election 2015: Does ‘vote swapping’ work?) discussing the idea of vote swapping.

In vote swapping two people in different constituencies agree to trade votes in the hope that they can both have more influence on who forms the government.

Even though I intensely dislike the effect of our current First Past the Post¹ voting system, I feel uneasy about mechanisms such as these which “buck the system”. Continue reading

Is Representative Democracy failing us?

Matthew Flinders on Democratic Audit (2 July 2014) ponders What is the problem with democracy?

Could it be that we need to give those politicians we elect just a little more leeway and ‘space’ in order to allow them to focus on delivering their promises? Could it be that politicians have become too sensitive to the immediate demands of the loudest sectional groups or the latest focus group or what’s trending on twitter?

I think we also need to get our minds back round what we mean by a “representative democracy” and whether it is still working (at least sufficiently for us to want to continue with it). Continue reading

STV for MPs electing a Speaker, but not for us!

So in the by-election for a new deputy speaker there are seven candidates and according to the BBC News website (15 October 2013 Deputy Speaker: Seven Conservative MPs to contest ballot):

The election will be conducted under a system known as single transferable vote, where MPs will be able to list their preferred candidates in order of one to seven on the ballot paper.

If no candidate secures 50% plus one of the votes in the ballot, the candidate with the least votes will be eliminated and their preference votes re-distributed to other contenders. This process will continue until a winner emerges. Continue reading