• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline a case for and against electoral reform in the UK.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline a case for and against electoral reform in the UK The debate over electoral reform is nothing new, it has been around for decades and in real terms is a debate as to whether or not we should scrap the current first past the post system for a new one. To most the issue is of minor concern and most of the electorate will be unaware of it significance even though it is them that will decide the outcome of the debate. The political parties, however, consider it to be a priority in particular parties such as the Lib Dems and the Greens who feel that they are being hard done by the current system. What is important to realise is the legitimacy of the calls for electoral reform. First past the post undoubtedly has unfair elements to it. The fact that a Conservative government can have 18 years of uninterrupted rule without at any stage getting more than 43% of the vote. Or in 1951 and1974, when one party can come into government when the other actually got more votes demonstrates this. Changing our system has difficulties too; it is a bit of a catch 22 situation though. Why would a government propose a bill which would change the very system that has put them into power? ...read more.

Middle

It has become more common for MPs to be elected with the support of less than 50% of the voters- at present 312MPs of a total of 659 are in this position. Fans of first past the post would say to this that very few systems are exactly proportional (and those that are have coalitions) and that any disadvantages of the current system that are covered up will give way to new disadvantages of a new system. Fortunately our Tony Blair is aware of this so he hasn't leapt on the bandwagon of electoral reform yet. Soon after he came to power Tony got Lord (ex-Labour and now Lib Dem) Jenkins to investigate and produce a report on the possible alternatives to first past the post. However in a bid to keep everyone happy Tony told Roy that anything that he came up with must preserve the two main strengths of the current system. The deliver of a single strong government and the MP-electorate link. Lord Jenkins finally came back with an alternative of a system in which voters list candidates by preference. If no candidate gets 50% of the first preferences, the least popular candidate is eliminated and his second preference votes are reallocated. This process continues until one candidate gets 50% of the votes. Also with AV plus there are `top up MPs'. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can probably expect this referendum to come just as the current Labour government id dying and looks as though it might lose and will then pull an ace out of the pack, a referendum on electoral reform which could stop the Tories from ever winning a government again. Currently Labour will be not keen to change the system. They have tried different systems on smaller scale elections in the UK, for example the Scottish and Welsh assembly elections and the London mayor elections. Labour have ironically lost in each of these elections (except in Wales where they later formed a coalition with the Lib Dems) and these bad experiences of other electoral systems can only make the idea of scrapping first past the post less appealing, as many Labour MPs will tell you. My personal view is that any electoral system will have disadvantages and will be disliked by some. Some parties will always feel unfairly represented. Therefore these aren't good grounds to call for reform and taking this into account, first past the post is a good alternative. Arend Lijphart, a leading academic expert on the subject, concluded in his study of 27 countries between 1945 and 1990 that "electoral systems tend to be very stable and resist change" and if this is true I think we should follow the clear advice of Sir Paul McCartney and "Let it Be." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Information Systems and Communication section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Information Systems and Communication essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Database Coursework on a Vehicle Rental System: Analysis

    5 star(s)

    Rental Details The following details will be held in the rentals table: * Rental ID * Customer ID * Vehicle ID * Model * Daily Rental Price * Date Rented Out * Number of Days * Date Due Back * Total rental price * Anything else I feel is necessary

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Ecommerce Case Study

    The website must keep the customers attention and at the same time encourage them to continue exploring further into the products and listings. By having an eye catching and user friendly website it can help to encourage customers to perhaps purchase more than they intended or to return to the website in the future.

  1. Using examples, discuss the advantages/disadvantages of proportional representation systems compared to the ‘first past ...

    The party list system, involves all parties choosing a list of candidates. The electorate then vote for the party of their choice and seats are filled by the same proportion of candidates being taken off the top of parties' lists as their proportion of the votes.

  2. Feasibility Report

    night, this will result in the smooth running of the Perfect Pie Company. The introduction of a new computerised system within the Perfect Pie Company will ensure that all invoices concerning new and existing orders can be prepared and added to deliveries in an instance.

  1. Data Processing Task. Mr Peters, the man who runs this particular Samsung store ...

    =([Subtotal]+[VAT]+[Delivery Price]) VAT This is calculated by multiplying the subtotal by 0.2 =[Subtotal]*0.2 Subtotal This is multiplying the quantiy by the total price. This will be done by using a text box in the subform. The textbox is called Text16 =[frmOrderDetails Subform].[Form]![Text16] Data dictionary: Primary key field: Provides information about an entity and uniquely identifies the entity.

  2. ICT support

    ICT should knownetowrk operating systems administrative features * Administrator or similar needs help on an issue such as new hardware installation ICT support staff will have to travel to organisation and provide general support in what ever is required. Support will need to know a broad idea of what kind

  1. Database Coursework on a Rental System: Design

    Data cannot be queried. Desktop Publishing Software (such as Microsoft Publisher): These packages can be used to create promotional material for an organisation, such as posters. They enable the insertion and manipulation of graphical images. However, beyond that they are rather limited in what they can do.

  2. Electoral Reform it

    It is known that a Labour supporters vote is worth far more than a Conservative or Liberal Democrat vote and that because of this tactical voting is encouraged. Also the first past the post system provides pre-elected candidates for each constituency therefore meaning that due to the local mp candidates

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work