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First Past The Post - who here is for it and why. Watch

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    like the title says above.
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    First Past the Post is a disgustingly undemocratic electoral system that ensures that only one person need bother to vote.

    First Past the Post ensures (in the majority of cases) a government is put in place that can effectively implement it’s manifesto pledges.

    I would argue with you all day that both of these are completely true statements.

    Here is my “informative” part, to the best of my abilities.

    Currently, in the UK, we use an electoral system caled First Past The Post (FPTP).

    Basically a constituency is made up of many people, there are 646 MPs, and each one represents roughly the same amount of people.

    In the FPTP system, People vote for who they want to be their local MP, and the person with the most votes wins.

    So, literally, if one person gets 10,000 votes and the second place person gets 9,999 votes, then the person with 10,000 votes becomes the MP and the person in second gets nothing, either for himself or for his party.

    This means, and did mean in England in 2005, that the ruling party can actually have less votes than the party that came second. In England in 2005, Labour ended up with more MPs than the Conservatives, despite actually getting less votes (although across the UK, they did get more votes).

    The main problems with this is that it means that if you are a party that has wide narrow support (Lib Dems) then you do nowhere near as well as parties which have deep support (Labour/Cons).

    For example, in the 2005 General Election, the Lib Dems ended up with 22.1% of the vote but got only 9.6% of the seats, with Labour getting 35.3% of the vote and 55.2% of the seats. Something which is, it can easily be claimed undemocratic.

    It does also (rightly or wrongly) give rise to independents.

    For example, “Health Concern” Gained 0.1% of the votes yet still gained a seat in the House of Commons.

    In the mean time UKIP, Britain’s 4th largest party ended up with 2.2% of the votes but did not even get one seat.

    There are undoubtedly positives to this system, even if there are some undemocratic disadvantages, the two in fact are one in the same.

    Best example of this would be the BNP. They get enough votes that if all BNP members moved into about 8 constituencies they would probably win all the seats. We see this as a (strangely) undemocratic positive to our political system, and rightly so. However, despite the fact that I despise the party, if people vote for it, shouldn’t they get it?

    So, what is the alternative?

    Something like proportional representation?

    Basically, there is an argument for, get the amount of votes, and then allocate the seats accordingly. So,i f a party gets 10% of the votes, they get 10% of the seats and so on.

    As democratic as it gets I would argue, but rises the problems of a hung Parliament (Which I will discuss in my next post).

    Pure PR however would lead to a system where no-one has a constituency MP, a local representative who can redress your grievances in Parliament.

    There are however “Hybrid Schemes” which are basically “PR with a constituency link.”

    Do you want an example? Try every single election which takes place in all of the devolved assemblies in the UK eg Scotland, NI, Wales and London.

    London can be my example.

    basically, London in London Assembly elections is split into 14 FPTP seats. This ensures that everyone in London has an assembly member.

    Then, to make things proportionate, there is a “top-up” system which seeks to rebalance things. 11 seats are allocated in this way. As a result we can say in London that we have a constituency member and a proportionately representative Assembly.

    In effect it means that if your Constituency member you voted for gets 9,999 votes and the other person gets 10,000, then your vote was not a wasted vote because it can still be counted when it comes to the top up list.

    This does however mean that if the Assembly was to be a form of Parliament instead of a scrutiny panel which barely scrutinises (no doubt a topic for a later post) that there would be a “hung parliament) with the Conservatives only controlling 11 of the 25 positions.

    On top of this, the BNP do have an assembly member due to the Top up lists, albeit one who is more or less seen as a clown with in the chamber and is ignored and ridiculed whenever he dares utter a word from his corner in his sickly cream suit.

    But still, if the people vote for it, isn’t it what they and we ultimately deserve? And with the possibility (again) of there being a coalition government with the Lib Dems being a part of it it is looking more and more likely that electoral reform might have to be seriously considered in the near future….

    I wrote this before the last election. So bare with me...
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    (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
    I despise it because it encourages party politics, and party politics is precisely what's wrong with British politics.
    :facepalm2:
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    A reform to the single member simple plurality system or an introduction of a new majoritarian system would suit this country best i.e alternative vote+ or single transferable vote. The problem with fptp as already mentioned is that it's clearly very undemocratic. The fact that a party can win government with a majority on as little as 36% of the overall vote shows that this system is flawed (and i vote labour). It's supposed to enhance the link between constituency candidate and voter (at least compared to PR systems) but lets be honest it doesn't do it at all. When most people vote, they don't give a damn about whos their constituency candidate. All they see is Conservative, Labour, Liberals so on. Not only that but it also has the potential to create coalitions anyway as we've already seen. However with a new majoritarian system, we could have a little more PR but still keep a majoritarian govt and if we do have to have a coaliton then, it will be a fairer coaliton due to more PR. It's not just here that has a problem with the simple plurality system. Even the american presidential elections use this crappy system through the elctoral college. I mean look at the 2000 elections, bush won presidency despite having a lower percentage of the popular vote than Gore. I mean a system that allows that to happen, must show that it is incredibly flawed.
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    I support FPTP cuz its easier. And PR sux, cuz like if you follow the PR system it will take ages to finish the poll. Its like in FPTP the one who gets the major percentage of votes win, very simple to understand, whereas if you follow the PR, someone needs to have more than 50% votes to be determined as a winner, so say like there is an election and it turns out like Candidate A got 30% candidate B got 40%, candidate C got 15 % and candidate D got 15% of the total votes. Now if we follow the FPTF then its very simple to say that candidate B is the winner. However for PR nobody gets more then 50% votes here. So like you elimate the ones with lowest votes and then the ones with top votes again run for another election until one of them gets more than 50% votes. And it keeps going on going until a winner has been decided. So it turns out to be a costly one as well.
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    Meh.

    Anything that works in favour of Labour is a good thing for the country.
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    (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
    I despise it because it encourages party politics, and party politics is precisely what's wrong with British politics.
    eh what

    i would say that mass electoral democracy and centralised government encouraged party politics more than FPTP itself, which is pretty much a relic from a time when we had much looser party affiliations and MPs were more constituency representatives than party representatives (maybe that is a utopian fairy tale that i just made up because it's 5am and i'm drunk but let's soldier on), buttttttt PR doesn't really get rid of party politics, it simply improves some aspects of the process of representation that are distorted by having FPTP and a strongly party-affiliated commons... actually party politics is probably impossible to get rid of in an electoral representative democracy... maybe you could elaborate on what you think party politics actually is.
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    (Original post by Huskaris)
    First Past the Post is a disgustingly undemocratic electoral system that ensures that only one person need bother to vote.

    First Past the Post ensures (in the majority of cases) a government is put in place that can effectively implement it’s manifesto pledges.

    I would argue with you all day that both of these are completely true statements.

    Here is my “informative” part, to the best of my abilities.
    Currently, in the UK, we use an electoral system caled First Past The Post (FPTP).
    FPTP is it's informal name. It's formal name is 'single member simple plurality'.

    Basically a constituency is made up of many people, there are 646 MPs, and each one represents roughly the same amount of people.

    In the FPTP system, People vote for who they want to be their local MP, and the person with the most votes wins.
    It's worth mentioning that most people don't only vote for candidates due to their affiliation with a certain party. And not on the candidates personal credentials.

    So, literally, if one person gets 10,000 votes and the second place person gets 9,999 votes, then the person with 10,000 votes becomes the MP and the person in second gets nothing, either for himself or for his party.
    Here you should just say that the winning candidate only has to get more votes than anyone else. Even if it is 1 more vote, and often they will win with a low percentage of the overall vote.
    This means, and did mean in England in 2005, that the ruling party can actually have less votes than the party that came second. In England in 2005, Labour ended up with more MPs than the Conservatives, despite actually getting less votes (although across the UK, they did get more votes).
    Not quite sure what you are saying here. Labour won with only 35.2% of the overall vote and had a majority. However they still had the largest share of votes. The general election includes the whole of the uk so it is irrelevant who had the most votes in certain parts of the UK.

    The main problems with this is that it means that if you are a party that has wide narrow support (Lib Dems) then you do nowhere near as well as parties which have deep support (Labour/Cons).

    For example, in the 2005 General Election, the Lib Dems ended up with 22.1% of the vote but got only 9.6% of the seats, with Labour getting 35.3% of the vote and 55.2% of the seats. Something which is, it can easily be claimed undemocratic.

    It does also (rightly or wrongly) give rise to independents.

    For example, “Health Concern” Gained 0.1% of the votes yet still gained a seat in the House of Commons.

    In the mean time UKIP, Britain’s 4th largest party ended up with 2.2% of the votes but did not even get one seat.
    You can elaborate a bit more on this point by saying that the independent are elected because most if not all of their voters are concentrated into one constituency. Whereas smaller parties such as ukip have a fair amount of support but spread over many constituencies. Also this will arguably still be a flaw in many other electoral systems, apart from pure PR.

    There are undoubtedly positives to this system, even if there are some undemocratic disadvantages, the two in fact are one in the same.

    Best example of this would be the BNP. They get enough votes that if all BNP members moved into about 8 constituencies they would probably win all the seats. We see this as a (strangely) undemocratic positive to our political system, and rightly so. However, despite the fact that I despise the party, if people vote for it, shouldn’t they get it?

    So, what is the alternative?

    Something like proportional representation?

    Basically, there is an argument for, get the amount of votes, and then allocate the seats accordingly. So,i f a party gets 10% of the votes, they get 10% of the seats and so on.
    As democratic as it gets I would argue, but rises the problems of a hung Parliament (Which I will discuss in my next post).
    Most of the problems of hung parliaments are superficial. Most countries that have PR systems and constant hung parliaments get things done just as easily as a majoritarian government.

    Pure PR however would lead to a system where no-one has a constituency MP, a local representative who can redress your grievances in Parliament.

    There are however “Hybrid Schemes” which are basically “PR with a constituency link.”

    Do you want an example? Try every single election which takes place in all of the devolved assemblies in the UK eg Scotland, NI, Wales and London.

    London can be my example.

    basically, London in London Assembly elections is split into 14 FPTP seats. This ensures that everyone in London has an assembly member.

    Then, to make things proportionate, there is a “top-up” system which seeks to rebalance things. 11 seats are allocated in this way. As a result we can say in London that we have a constituency member and a proportionately representative Assembly.

    In effect it means that if your Constituency member you voted for gets 9,999 votes and the other person gets 10,000, then your vote was not a wasted vote because it can still be counted when it comes to the top up list.

    This does however mean that if the Assembly was to be a form of Parliament instead of a scrutiny panel which barely scrutinises (no doubt a topic for a later post) that there would be a “hung parliament) with the Conservatives only controlling 11 of the 25 positions.

    On top of this, the BNP do have an assembly member due to the Top up lists, albeit one who is more or less seen as a clown with in the chamber and is ignored and ridiculed whenever he dares utter a word from his corner in his sickly cream suit.

    But still, if the people vote for it, isn’t it what they and we ultimately deserve? And with the possibility (again) of there being a coalition government with the Lib Dems being a part of it it is looking more and more likely that electoral reform might have to be seriously considered in the near future….
    Yes the Additional memeber system you are reffering to is a suitable system to replace the simple plurality. However it is widely accepted that the most popular and fairest system to replace fptp is either; the alternative vote system or the single transferable vote system.
    I wrote this before the last election. So bare with me...
    I'll give you a B for your effort.



    Yeh I felt like criticising your work. So what, "I'll do what ah want"

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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    eh what

    i would say that mass electoral democracy and centralised government encouraged party politics more than FPTP itself, which is pretty much a relic from a time when we had much looser party affiliations and MPs were more constituency representatives than party representatives (maybe that is a utopian fairy tale that i just made up because it's 5am and i'm drunk but let's soldier on), buttttttt PR doesn't really get rid of party politics, it simply improves some aspects of the process of representation that are distorted by having FPTP and a strongly party-affiliated commons... actually party politics is probably impossible to get rid of in an electoral representative democracy... maybe you could elaborate on what you think party politics actually is.
    Really, what about the Americans? Need I mention the tea party movement republicans and the blue dog democrats. Party politics is arguably an agreement with candidate/politician and party that can be broken at anytime, without consequences.
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    (Original post by Law123mus)
    Really, what about the Americans? Need I mention the tea party movement republicans and the blue dog democrats. Party politics is arguably an agreement with candidate/politician and party that can be broken at anytime, without consequences.
    i don't know what relationship that was meant to have with what i said but ok.

    Party politics is arguably an agreement with candidate/politician and party appears to be nonsense, please restate
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    i don't know what relationship that was meant to have with what i said but ok.

    Party politics is arguably an agreement with candidate/politician and party appears to be nonsense, please restate
    I don't know, I too am intoxicated with vodca and beer. BAD MIX!!!!
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    (Original post by Law123mus)
    I don't know, I too am intoxicated with vodca and beer. BAD MIX!!!!
    yeah me too lul
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    Strong government is good government, any other method of voting( proportional voting -AV, AMS, STV, SV etc.) would ALWAYS result in a coalition. As we've seen from these last few weeks, a coalition results in the government parties compromising their values, whereas if they have a clear, outright majority, and hence, mandate to govern then they will be a far more effective government.
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    (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
    I despise it because it encourages party politics, and party politics is precisely what's wrong with British politics.
    Are you blind? Party politics is endemic to an elected parliament. Changing the voting system won't get rid of it - chances are it will intensify.

    You fail.
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    On the OP - I can personally see the good points and bad points to both arguments. FPTP brings disproportionate results, but government is more accountable as it tends (tends) to return single party majorities. PR brings about more accurate results, but I think government is less accountable if it is a coalition.
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    I wouldn't want any more coalition Governments where no-one is happy with the outcome.
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    As others have mentioned there are major issues with SMSP-its undemocratic nature, the fact that a vast majority of MP's get nothing like a majority of the vote and its encouragement of tactical voting. However it also has strengths-it encourages strong government (if, indeed, that is a strngth) and it has the constituancy link. IMO AV is a better method and retains many strengths but ultimatly I'd want to move to an AMS+ system.
 
 
 
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