Thursday, 31 October 2019

Brexit and the voting system

Anthony Tuffin of STV Action writes:

Never has PR been more needed than now.

So, there is to be a general election on 12 December, but what can a First Past The Post (FPTP) election settle about Brexit?  FPTP is like a lottery.  With four or five main parties in England and more in other parts of the UK, one party could win an overall majority of MPs with only about 30% of the votes in the country.

Would it be right for the Lib Dems to keep us in the EU if they formed a government with such little support?  Would it be right for the Conservatives to take us out of the EU on whatever terms they liked if they formed a government with such little support?  In either case, how would the other 70% or so react?

Any form of party PR would eliminate the possibility of either of those events.  PR by STV would go farther.  For example, if X% of a party’s voters voted for Remain candidates and Y% voted for Leave candidates, about X% of that party’s MPs would be Remainers and about Y% would be Leavers.

Equally, an FPTP election could result in another hung or balanced parliament; i.e. what we have now, which wouldn’t achieve anything.

Most of you probably knew this already, but please spread the word.  Brexit has made more people than ever aware that there is something wrong with UK politics, but few realise what a difference changing the voting system would make.

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