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British voting system ripe for change

The election campaign brought out the widespread feeling of dissatisfaction with the electoral system, to the point that electoral reform became one of the subjects of debate. In the event, even first past the post failed to produce a decisive result.

Against, it argued that one of the biggest problems of PR is in minority parties either keeping unpopular majorities in power or holding governments to ransom. However, with first past the post, all the parties are bidding for the few hundred thousand decisive votes in a handful of constituencies. That is why so many of their policies are so similar and fail to address real issues. It is corrupting.

Of course the PR system has to be the right one, and that will be difficult. We don’t want voting lists filled up with hacks selected by the party machine, which is what happened at the Euro election last year, and it would not be a good thing to lose the connection between a smallish constituency and its single representative.

Single transferable vote is probably the best way to keep the best of the present system.

Of course no voting system will produce a satisfactory government in the absence of a sound alternative ideology to a flawed libertarianism on the one hand and discredited socialism on the other. Mixtures of the two, such as the LibDems are peddling, are no solution. If you mix two poisons, the result is usually still poison.