Assess the Criticisms of the Various Electoral Systems in the Uk

1582 Words Apr 17th, 2013 7 Pages
Assess the criticisms of the various electoral systems used in the UK

In the UK, we have been using the First Past The Post system as our electoral system since we became a democracy. Whilst this system works for us, there are many systems that we could use, these being: Closed Party List, AMS, STV and Supplementary Vote. All these have various strengths and weaknesses to them.

First Past the Post is the system we currently use in the UK, but whilst some may enjoy this system, there are limitations to this system. Perhaps the strongest criticism of the system is that it does not proportionally reflect the voting of the people. What is meant by this is that a party may receive less proportion of seats in the General Election than
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The Additional Member system is able to combine both First Past The Post and Proportional representation. A proportion of sets is awarded through FPTP, while the rest are awarded on a regional list system. The electorate is able to vote for a constituency candidate, and a party as well. Therefore some of the elected representatives have a constituency to look after, whilst other do not. The rest are allocated on a proportional basis. AMS is used in the UK for the elections for the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the London Assembly. The main advantages to this system is that there is a fair degree of proportionality to the votes cast and that voters can vote for both candidates and parties. However, seeing as this party would seeem intitially to be the ideal voting system, there are strong disadvantages which limit its potential. Perhaps the most obvious one is that it fails to provide a majority very often. For example, when used for the London Assembly in 2012, Labour gained 12 seats, the most for a single party, and the Conservatives gained 9, however Labour were still not able to gain a majority of seats as the Green Party and Liberal Democrats won 2 each, showing that if this was used for the general elections, we would end up with another coalition.

Another voting system used is the Single Transferable Vote System. The idea is that people vote just for the candidates and not parties. Several candidates are put up in a

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