Category Archives: Presidential System

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

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Achieving Political Fission

Ian Birrell in the Guardian (Monday 27th September 2014) ponders whether a Conservative split may be the catharsis the party needs, concluding:

Yet what really binds the many decent and tolerant conservatives to those misanthropes filled with fear and rage against modernity?

Fear.

To be “conservative” implies an element of holding on to the past – because it has to be better than an uncertain future. Too often this can overpower any search for change for the better.

Two problems stoke this fear.

Continue reading

Who we vote for

One of the little understood issues with our present system – indeed with all Parliamentary systems (as opposed to Presidential systems) – is what we are actually voting for at a General Election.

We are voting for representatives not governments – despite what the media coverage says. From this flow a number of consequences and not a little confusion. Continue reading

Worrying about the US & Elections in general

As we approach the US elections (tomorrow), I wonder what will decide it.

Who is the candidate best able to lead the USA (in the view of Americans – taking a wide view)?

Or:

  • Who wins the Electoral College?
  • Who wins the court battles?
  • Who wins the advertising war (a function of funding)?
  • Who wins the media battle where the media is deregulated and in places highly partisan?
  • Who is unable to vote because of last-minute “found” irregularities in their registration?
  • Who is unable to vote because voting out of working hours has been restricted?
  • Whose vote is not counted because the voting machine in certain districts did not properly cut out their chad?
  • Who is unable to vote because post-Sandy, there is no power for voting machines or polling stations are closed or moved?
  • Who is unable to vote because post-Sandy, they have more vital things to do?

Is this the best way to decide who leads the USA and, by definition, the Western World? Continue reading

Electoral Colleges

Watching the run up to the US Presidential Election reminds me of the dangers of electoral colleges.

It’s all about the so-called swing states, or battleground states, because much of the US is heavily Democrat or Republican, and therefore unlikely to change hands.

But that is also in effect what we have in the UK. Continue reading

Laboured understanding of AV

Reading the comments on the 2010 Labour Leadership Election on the BBC Daily Politics message board I worry about the ability of some to understand AV (Alternative Vote).  And the continued press and media comment does not fill me with confidence that all will be clear by the time of the referendum. Continue reading