Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

RIP FPTP?

There is an excellent post from Cabalamat on Amused Cynicism today which argues that the First Past the Post electoral system is now dead and it needs to be buried.


It uses data from Political Betting to show how the European vote has drifted more and more towards the smaller parties in the last 50 years and that people are getting more and more used to and comfortable with this level of pluralism.

The conclusion that he comes to however is interesting and very controversial. He thinks that the minor parties (Lib Dems, UKIP, Greens) should all come together and field candidates who when elected will implement a referendum on electoral reform and once it is passed dissolve parliament. It's an interesting idea but it is unlikely to happen for a plethora of reasons.

I think the central thesis is right though. Nobody responsible for implementing the new electoral systems in this country in the last few years has dared to bring if FPTP. It just wouldn't wash and the only reason we have it for Westminster is for historical reasons. But it has long ceased to be fit for purpose and most people who do not have a huge vested interest in the existing system, and even some leading Tories and Labour members are now openly speaking out about reform.

I wouldn't say it is dead yet but I would be very surpised if we still had it for Westminster elections 20 years from now.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sooner than you think?

Paul said...

If these unspeakable bastards are allowed to 'reform' it everyone else will be stitched up. Mark my words.

Mark Reckons said...

The AV proposal Brown has just come out with could mean a less proportional system!

cabalamat said...

He thinks that the minor parties (Lib Dems, UKIP, Greens) should all come together and field candidates who when elected will implement a referendum on electoral reform and once it is passed dissolve parliament.

This would be the most effective way for the LD/Green/UKIP parties and their supporters to get what they want. If they don't do this, it'll be because they weren't sensible enough to get their collective act together. I am not responsible for other people's stupidity.