“The British Electoral system is in need of a reform.” Discuss

Topics: Voting system, Election, Voting Pages: 2 (999 words) Published: June 23, 2014
“The British Electoral system is in need of a reform.” Discuss The British Electoral system is a voting system used to make democratic decisions. We are currently using the FPTP system to elect MPs to Westminster. There have been many calls to change the system currently used to elect MPs to Westminster. However, there has been evidence to show that the majority of people’s preference is the FPTP system. The outcome of the referendum that was carried out in May 2011 provides support for this. This referendum asked the public whether the alternative vote should be used instead. 32.1% votes yes whilst 67.9% voted no. Supporters of the current electoral system claim that the advantages of FPTP far outweigh the disadvantages. FPTP is a simple plurality electoral system. A candidate has to gain a minimum of one vote advantage over their nearest rival in order to secure victory. The larger the margin, the outcome is the same victory in that seat. A winning margin as small as one is all that is required for the winning candidate. Only one MP is returned per constituency. The ‘winning post’ in a constituency is determined after all the votes have been counted. To win the general election, a party must gain 326 seats. This therefore means there is a predetermined finishing post. The above shows that the FPTP system is one that is easy to understand and operate. Other systems may require calculations to take place after all the votes have been collected, however FPTP does not require this. The main advantage of FPTP is that it is a simple system and easy for the voter to use. The voter chooses just one candidate from a pre-established list by placing an ‘X’ in their choice. There is no need to rank the candidates or make more than one preference – as is the case for other systems – which limits any confusion or complications. Other systems may have a huge number of spoilt papers under various types of PR as a result of voter confusion. In Scotland, when STV was used,...
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