Tag Archives: split votes

Is AMS truly democratic?

Democratic Audit are carrying out an audit of democracy and ask:

What does democracy require for an electoral system?

  • It should accurately translate parties’ votes into seats in the legislature (e.g. Parliament)
  • In a way that is recognized as legitimate by most citizen (ideally almost all of them).
  • No substantial part of the population should regard the result as illegitimate, nor suffer a consistent bias of the system ‘working against them’.
  • If possible, the system should have beneficial effects for the good governance of the country.
  • If possible, the voting system should enhance the social representativeness of the legislature, and encourage high levels of voting across all types of citizens.

How democratic are the reformed electoral systems used in mayoral and devolved elections? Democratic Audit UK, 18 January 2016

It then applies these criteria to its audit of the AMS system used in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and London Assemblies.

I take issue with two of these criteria – which are fundamental to the examination of the Additional Member System (AMS). Continue reading

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

UKIP Vote split

Nigel Farage stated today (BBC Today in Politics 1 March 2013)  in response to UKIP pushing the Tories into third place in the Eastleigh by-election (result):

The UKIP vote was split by the Tories

Daniel Hannan (Conservative MEP) blogging on the Daily Telegraph (The Eurosceptic Right wins more than half the vote, the Europhile Left gets in with less than a third) urged the Tories and UKIP to come to a pact.

Between them, the two Centre-Right parties secured 53 per cent; yet the Lib Dems got in with 32 per cent. This is worse than the SDP/Labour split of the early 1980s. It is more like the Conservative/Reform split in Canada in the 1990s, a split that gifted the Left vast parliamentary majorities on a minority of the vote for over a decade.

Imagine Eastleigh being replicated in 100 constituencies at the 2015 general election. Or in just 50. Yet again, the first-past-the-post system would see an essentially Eurosceptic electorate return an essentially Euro-integrationist House of Commons.

Oh dear, what to do? Continue reading

Eastleigh Cons

Oh what a pretty mess!

The Cons want to win the forthcoming Eastleigh By-election caused by the resignation of Chris Huhne (BBC News Website 4 February 2013 Chris Huhne quits as MP after guilty plea) but a number of obstacles stand in their way:

  • “Gay Marriage” is pissing off the Conservative grassroots and may cause conservative voters to stay at home – it may pay Clegg to get this election called early (if he can) whilst the issue is fresh in the blue rinse minds.
  • Nigel Farage stood for UKIP in Eastleigh in the 1994 by-election

On the other hand the Liberals may find that some of their voters (those sickened by some of the actions of this coalition) drift off to Labour or the Greens.  Will they also suffer from the claimed Conservative fury at the Lib Dems for voting against the “redrawing boundaries to help the conservatives” bill?

So will the by-election be a lottery?

Might Cameron be wishing that this election was to be run under AV?  What might happen? Continue reading

uKippered – need an Alternative?

So a Tory campaign group lead by Michael Fabricant is recommending an electoral pact with UKIP (BBC News 26 November 2012)

He says an electoral pact with UKIP – in which the Conservatives would promise a referendum after 2015 and in return UKIP would not stand against Tory candidates – could help the Conservatives win an extra 20-40 seats at the next election.

This is surely nearly the ultimate in cynicism.  He is recommending that the Conservatives prostitute themselves to UKIP in exchange for extra seats.  Who wins seats should be up to the electorate. Continue reading

Other benefits of STV

STV (Single Transferable Voting) is often promoted as a means to get a more representative result.  There are, however, other significant benefits:

  1. Voters can choose between different candidates of the same party; this breaks the power of the selection committees.
  2. “Split votes” are almost impossible, so a disgruntled candidate can appeal over the heads of their party direct to the electorate.  Protest votes also become irrelevant – you can vote for what you want.
  3. Mini “one party states” are unlikely, so parties and candidates do not get complacent, and at every election, there is something to fight for, so with a bit of luck the electorate actually gets engaged. Continue reading