The British Voting System, Undemocratic

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 276
  • Published : February 8, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
This essay will be dealing with the question how the British voting system tends to be undemocratic in comparison with two other European voting systems - the French and German. The United Kingdom counts five distinct types of elections: UK general elections, elections to national/regional parliaments and assemblies, elections to the European Parliament, local elections and mayoral elections.(wikipedia, 2008).According to the facts and in comparison with the French and German systems, the British voting system might be undemocratic. Held generally each four years ( in the UK, Ireland, Norway) or five years( in France), elections suppose a certain democracy. But what is a democracy? Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, democracy is the chance for every European adult to periodically vote on who they think should run the country locally and nationally. Considering this definition of the term democracy, we can then say that Europe only became “democratic” in the early 1990s. ( Europeans Politics, 2005, pp 133). The voting process is quite the same and simple in all Europeans democracies: the voter enters a private space with a ballot paper, marks its preference on it and then deposits it in a ballot box for later counting. (Europeans Politics, 2005, pp 134). Each party gets a number and percentage that has to be translated in number and percentages of parliamentary seats.

The voting system in the UK, well-known as the First-Past-The-Post-system, is a single member constituency with a simple majority system. In other words, all candidates have to gain more votes than any rival in that constituency to become a Member of Parliament. (BBC News, 2001) There is no obligation to win the majority of the votes contrary to other electoral systems. For this reason, this system works according to the simple majority. Under the FPTP, a candidate needs a minimum share of the valid votes and it goes as follow: 50%+1 in a two-person race; 33 1/3%+1 in a...
tracking img