First Past the Post versus Proportional Representation Voting Systems

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Britain is considering changing current first past the post voting system (FPTP) to proportional representation (PR). The main reason is that FPTP is “quasi-democratic” voting system under which there is only one majority party ruling the government and it does not represent wishes of all voters as some votes are wasted. Whereas, PR seems to be the best alternative voting system with proportionality of seats in mandatory places, more parties ruling government and etc. Let us look at these two voting systems and analyze whether PR is suitable and alternative change for FPTP and do advantages of PR outweigh disadvantages. First of all, let us start with First Past The Post. FPTP is the current voting system which is used for …show more content…
In 1997 Labour pledged a referendum on PR, but it was postponed and it has been argued that two strong political parties, Labour and Torries, would have lost the most if there were any changes in voting systems. If the referendum took place in 1997 elections, Labour majority would have to share, approximately, from 46 seats to 166 MPs with Liberal Democrats. Liberal Democrats gained 16,8% of the total votes, but won less than 10% of the total seats. To clearly understand the concept of PR and how does it work, two most common forms of PR must be evaluated. They are Single Transferable Vote (STV) and Additional Member System (AMS). In Single Transferable Vote (STV) each voter has only one vote. As in the name of the system word “Transferable” occurs, so votes may go from a candidate who is first preference, to the second and continues if there is no opportunity for a preferred candidate to win or a candidate already has enough votes. In this case it is not obligatory to have a majority of votes, because all is needed is just to reach a “quota” of 50%. Candidates, who have the least votes are eliminated and votes are redistributed. Using this voting system, voters have more choice than in any other systems. Additional Member System is the fusion of FPTP and Party List. Also it is known as Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). Under