B795 - Electoral Reform (Proportional Representation) Bill 2015 Watch

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Birchington
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B795 - Electoral Reform (Proportional Representation) Bill 2015, TSR Government

Electoral Reform (Proportional Representation) Bill 2015
An Act introducing the additional-member system for Westminster elections.

BE IT ENACTED IN ACCORDANCE by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949,and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1: Number of Members of Parliament
(1) The House of Commons shall consist of 600 members.
(2) 300 of these members shall be elected by instant-runoff voting in single-member constituencies.
(3) The remaining 300 of these members shall be elected via a list system by the Sainte-Lagüe method as described in section 7 of this Act.

2: Electoral Region Boundaries
(1) The electoral regions shall consist of the nine regions of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
(2) The nine electoral regions in England are the responsibility of the Boundary Commission for England.
(3) The Wales electoral region is the responsibility of the Boundary Commission for Wales.
(4) The Scotland electoral region is the responsibility of the Boundary Commission for Scotland.
(5) The Northern Ireland electoral region is the responsibility of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.

3: Constituency Boundaries
(1) The constituencies of the Isle of Wight, Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney & Shetland shall be protected.
(2) The remaining 297 constituencies shall contain a population of between 180 000 and 250 000, of which:
a. 249 shall fall within England with the exact boundaries to be decided by the Boundary Commission for England.
b. 14 shall fall within Wales with the exact boundaries to be decided by the Boundary Commission for Wales.
c. 25 shall fall within Scotland with the exact boundaries to be decided by the Boundary Commission for Scotland.
d. 9 shall fall within Northern Ireland with the exact boundaries to be decided by the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.
(3) Each constituency must be located within a single electoral region.
(4) Due to population changes the number of constituencies allotted to each boundary commission may be adjusted in future to ensure the constituencies contain as equal populations as possible.

4: Allocation of Regional MPs
(1) Each electoral region shall have the same number of regional seats in the House of Commons as it contains constituencies.

5: General Election Procedure I: Constituency Elections
(1) At each general election, voters will have a ballot paper, coloured white, which they will use to express a preference for their constituency MP by ranking the n candidates from 1 to n.
a. It shall not be compulsory to rank all of the candidates – a valid vote need only contain the number 1 by the first-choice candidate – but ballot papers with missing or tied ranks are void.
(2) Each constituency will elect one MP as follows:
a. If one candidate receives over 50% of all first-preference votes cast, they will be elected as the MP for that constituency.
b. If no candidate receives over 50% of all first-preference votes cast, the lowest-placed candidate and all other candidates who are mathematically incapable of reaching 50% of the vote by means of transfers are eliminated, and their votes transferred to the next-preference candidate.
c. This process is repeated until one candidate receives 50% of the vote.

6: By-Election Procedure I: Constituency Elections
(1) Upon the incapacitation of a constituency MP, a by-election in that constituency shall take place following the same procedure as that of a general election set out in section 5 of this Act.

7: General Election Procedure: Regional Elections
(1) Each party wishing to stand on the regional list may submit a list of up to double the number of regional seats in that region.
(2) At each general election, voters will have a ballot paper, coloured yellow, which they will use to express a preference for a regional list party, by drawing a cross or other clear mark by the name of one party.
(3) The regional seats will be allocated according to the following formula:
a. The number of regional list votes for each party is counted.
b. Seats are allocated to parties by the Sainte-Lagüe method until the total number of seats for that region (both constituency and regional) has been allocated.
c. Parties receiving less than 5% of the regional list vote in a region are not allocated seats in that region, unless they have won at least two constituency seats nationwide.
d. The number of regional seats allocated to each party is the number of allocated seats minus the number of constituency seats won.
e. If the calculation in (d) leaves any party with a negative number of regional seats (overhang seats), then seats are removed from parties in reverse order to which they were awarded by the Sainte-Lagüe method until there are no overhang seats.

8: By-Election Procedure: Regional Elections
(1) Upon the incapacitation of a regional list MP, the next eligible candidate on the party’s list from the previous general election fills the seat.
(2) If there is no further eligible member on the party’s list, a by-election is held in the electoral region using the procedure described in section 5 of this Act.

9: Application to The Student Room
(1) This Act shall not affect the election procedure of the TSR Model House of Commons as set out in its Constitution and Guidance Document.

10: Commencement, Short Title and Extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Electoral Reform Act 2015.
(2) This bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
(3) Shall come into force on 1st of June 2016.


Notes
This bill would introduce the Additional Member System (AV+) as used in elections to the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Parliament and London Assembly, as well as other national legislatures such as the German Bundestag.

300 constituency MPs will be elected by instant-runoff voting (AV - members of last term's Government who saw a previous draft of this bill should note this change) with a further 300 MPs appointed from 12 regional lists (the 9 English regions, Scotland, Wales and NI) based upon votes cast to ensure a proportional outcome. This will also have the effect of fixing the House of Commons membership at 600.

Needless to say this will also not apply to the MHoC on TSR.
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Aph
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Given birches recent ruling on this saying that as far as TSR is concerned we like in an imaginary UK where there is only PR this would be a step back so nay.
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Saracen's Fez
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Aye. Nice to see my first bill of the term up for debate.
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Green_Pink
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Aye This would be a fantastic change which gives us a fully proportional electoral system where everybody has an equal say, whilst retaining the important convention of local representation.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Aph)
Given birches recent ruling on this saying that as far as TSR is concerned we like in an imaginary UK where there is only PR this would be a step back so nay.
Why is AV+ a step back from D'Hondt?
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Aph
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Why is AV+ a step back from D'Hondt?
Moving to a less proportional system which is at the mercy of political bodies. For instance the SNP could change the Scotland boundaries so that they win everywhere.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Aph)
Moving to a less proportional system which is at the mercy of political bodies. For instance the SNP could change the Scotland boundaries so that they win everywhere.
They couldn't change the top-up region, and in any case the SNP are not the Boundary Commission.
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Aph
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
They couldn't change the top-up region, and in any case the SNP are not the Boundary Commission.
The way I read section 2 is that the leaders of the regions have the power to change the boundaries.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Aph)
The way I read section 2 is that the leaders of the regions have the power to change the boundaries.
The Boundary Commissions have the power to change the boundaries, that's quite clear, and is no different to how it is now.
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tyroncs
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I oppose this bill,

AV+ I agree with in it's concept but you have just picked out the number 600 out of nowhere, then decided to split it into two lots of 300 for no apparent reason. I mean the whole purpose of it is to give the larger parties an advantage whilst maintaining regional links but all you have done is made it so there is little to no advantage and made the regional links pointless by making the constituencies far too large.

Unless you want to make it more of a 450-150 split, why not use STV instead? Sure it is a more complex voting system but it maintains proportionality whilst also making larger constituencies still make some sense.

(1) The constituencies of the Isle of Wight, Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney & Shetland shall be protected.
So you will have one constituency which is over 10x smaller then the average one? I know why it should be protected but that is indefensible.

ballot papers with missing or tied ranks are void.
Well if a ballot paper had one candidate ranked first and two ranked second, surely their first ranking candidate should still be counted in that case? It is a minor point I admit, but there is no reason for a first choice vote in that case to not count
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username1524603
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No. The number of MPs for the size of the population is not as even as it should be, I do not like the obsession with local MPs which forces a tamed down version of PR, and I do not like voting on statements which will have no impact on our TSRian country. Tyroncs raises good points which I would add to; a numbering error missing out a number should not void a ballot paper.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by tyroncs)
I oppose this bill,

AV+ I agree with in it's concept but you have just picked out the number 600 out of nowhere, then decided to split it into two lots of 300 for no apparent reason. I mean the whole purpose of it is to give the larger parties an advantage whilst maintaining regional links but all you have done is made it so there is little to no advantage and made the regional links pointless by making the constituencies far too large.
OK, the number 600 is arbitrary, but any number would be really. It's the number that Cameron chose for his plan to reduce the number of MPs, and I certainly back him in that aim.

Unless you want to make it more of a 450-150 split, why not use STV instead? Sure it is a more complex voting system but it maintains proportionality whilst also making larger constituencies still make some sense.
If you had, say, 5-seat STV constituencies, that would only be 120 constituencies, significantly less than the proposed 300.

So you will have one constituency which is over 10x smaller then the average one? I know why it should be protected but that is indefensible.
You kind of contradict yourself here, but it's an unfortunate consequence of geography.

Well if a ballot paper had one candidate ranked first and two ranked second, surely their first ranking candidate should still be counted in that case? It is a minor point I admit, but there is no reason for a first choice vote in that case to not count
That's a fair point, how do you suggest that is phrased?
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
No. The number of MPs for the size of the population is not as even as it should be, I do not like the obsession with local MPs which forces a tamed down version of PR, and I do not like voting on statements which will have no impact on our TSRian country.
Why is this any less proportional than any other method?
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JoeL1994
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As well as agreeing the points that tyroncs and Wellzi have previously stated, I couldn't bear to see local responsibility of an MP diminish overnight. No way can one person elected locally represent 180,000. There's a reason my constituency is an island of red in a sea of blue, electorates can vary massively over the space of a mile.
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Rakas21
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'Nay'.

The status quo is perfectly fine and also Birch recently used that we replace the Commons so we are a 50 member D'Hont chamber rather than Mhoc+UK (i support his ruling).
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by JoeL1994)
As well as agreeing the points that tyroncs and Wellzi have previously stated, I couldn't bear to see local responsibility of an MP diminish overnight. No way can one person elected locally represent 180,000. There's a reason my constituency is an island of red in a sea of blue, electorates can vary massively over the space of a mile.
You have then got 300 other MPs spread across the country that are also representing people.

(Original post by Rakas21)
'Nay'.

The status quo is perfectly fine and also Birch recently used that we replace the Commons so we are a 50 member D'Hont chamber rather than Mhoc+UK (i support his ruling).
I don't see why we should rule out having debates on this sort of issue just because of the practicalities of running a Model HoC.
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username1524603
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Why is this any less proportional than any other method?
Regions where support for a party is highly concentrated will dominate the seats at a regional level but may lose out on a national level. If we take three regions each with 50 seats in to be an example, in region 1 Party A secures 100 votes, Party B secures 40 votes, and Party C secures 60 votes; Party A will end up with 25 seats, Party B 10 seats, and Party C 15 seats. In region 2 Party A wins 10 votes, Party B 40 votes, and Party C 30 seats, giving each party 6, 25, and 19 seats respectively. In region 3 the voting share is the same as region 2, thus the seat share is identical. Counting up all seats Party A has 37 seats, Party B has 60 seats, and Party C has 53 seats, however, at the election all parties received a total of 120 votes. In a true PR system each party would have 50 seats each to accurately reflect the voters.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
Regions where support for a party is highly concentrated will dominate the seats at a regional level but may lose out on a national level. If we take three regions each with 50 seats in to be an example, in region 1 Party A secures 100 votes, Party B secures 40 votes, and Party C secures 60 votes; Party A will end up with 25 seats, Party B 10 seats, and Party C 15 seats. In region 2 Party A wins 10 votes, Party B 40 votes, and Party C 30 seats, giving each party 6, 25, and 19 seats respectively. In region 3 the voting share is the same as region 2, thus the seat share is identical. Counting up all seats Party A has 37 seats, Party B has 60 seats, and Party C has 53 seats, however, at the election all parties received a total of 120 votes. In a true PR system each party would have 50 seats each to accurately reflect the voters.
But it would turn MPs into voting machines with no link to their constituents.
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username1524603
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
But it would turn MPs into voting machines with no link to their constituents.
I think MPs are already voting machines with their local link be used come election time to garner votes. I would prefer to live in a truly proportional nation where all parties are reflected on a national basis by the number of MPs they deserve than I would in a nation where parties are disproportionately represented to allow for a myth of a local MP. I do not believe a system which allows an MP from hundreds of miles away to be parachuted in to spend most of their time in London can be considered localised.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
I think MPs are already voting machines with their local link be used come election time to garner votes. I would prefer to live in a truly proportional nation where all parties are reflected on a national basis by the number of MPs they deserve than I would in a nation where parties are disproportionately represented to allow for a myth of a local MP. I do not believe a system which allows an MP from hundreds of miles away to be parachuted in and spend most of their time in London can be considered localised.
That depends on the local MP. Some of us have very good local MPs, even if they're not originally from the area.
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