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

What are the arguments for and against a system of proportional representation for Westminster elections?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Waldo Jan. 26th 2003 What are the arguments for and against a system of proportional representation for Westminster elections? For Westminster elections the present electoral system is called first-past-the-post (FPTP) which is considered as unfair and undemocratic in many aspects, such as giving a disproportionate number of seats to parties for their percentage of votes received. So the issue of electoral reform to a proportional representation (PR) system which is used throughout Europe has arisen. Under a PR electoral system, a party's seats in the House of Commons would be, more or less, in proportion to the votes cast this party gets in the general election, depending on the type of PR system used. PR electoral systems have many supporters, and they indeed have many advantages to replace the present system. PR systems are seen as more representative than FPTP system mainly because the percentage of seats in the legislature is proportional to the votes cast, so more voters' wishes are represented, especially with the free list system which is seen as ...read more.

Middle

From the Liberal Democratics' view, this can be seen as a good thing, for it may curb "elective dictatorship" (to use Lord Hailsham's phrase), and because of the competition among parties, MPs may work harder with high attendance in the House of Commons. In October 1997, Lord Jenkins in his report (an Independent Commission on the Voting System) advocated a system of AVPLUS. (Moyra Grant 1999, P.46) Under this system, 80-85 per cent of MPs are elected in single-member constituencies, and a top up of 15-20 per cent members are chosen from parties by a regional list system, to achieve a more proportional outcome. If this system had been used in 1997, Labour would have had fewer seats, but they would still have won the election with a clear majority. Furthermore, opinion polls suggest that about 60 per cent voters would now welcome a PR electoral system. (Moyra Grant 1999, P.39) The main advantage of the FPTP system is its simplicity, one person has only one vote to support one candidate, and the candidate with the most votes wins the constituency, though usually without an absolute majority of votes cast. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance in Italy, the PR electoral system is regarded as a major cause of weak coalition government. So in a referendum in 1993, a majority of Italians voted to abandon PR and adopt the FPTP system. (Bill Jones, Dennis Kavanagh, Michael Moran, Philip Norton 2001, P.149) Every coin has two sizes, PR electoral systems also have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the view from different angles. Because of the success of PR electoral systems used in other parts of Britain and the Western European countries' elections, the shortcomings of the FPTP system, Lord Jenkins' report, and mainly because the Blair government has considered the possibility of a future referendum on changing the electoral system, the prospects for a PR system have certainly taken a large step forward. (Bill Jones, Dennis Kavanagh, Michael Moran, Philip Norton 2001, P.153) However, each type of PR systems has disadvantage, and mainly because the two dominant parties, Labour and Conservative may not favour PR for they will both lose seats. Thus for Westminster election the prospect of a PR system is still in uncertainty. ...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)

    Often the way in which data is held and manipulated within an organization is inefficient or wasteful, so a computerized system is developed to replace a manual storage system, or to replace an inefficient computerized system. In other words, if there is a better and more cost-effective method of handling data, businesses will obviously want to use that method!

  2. Feasibility Report

    all this information into a pie chart, a bar chart, line chart. They can also filter the data they've entered and query the spreadsheet, this will save the company save time as all records or information is on the computer system.

  1. ICT Spreadsheet System

    Supplier Name Text 30 Name of the suppliers. Supplier Address Text 60 The location of the suppliers Contact Numbers Numeric 14 Telephone numbers of the supplier Names of Contact Text 20 Names of people who might need to contacted. Number of clients using this supplier Numeric 100 How many clients are getting supplied.

  2. Before the system can be installed and used by hatch end cars it is ...

    Test 15- Entering Surname: Input- lalalalolololelele Actual output- The data entered was successfully accepted. Test 16- Changing telephone details of a member: Input- Enter 02084256897 in member ID 22 home telephone field. Actual output- The new home telephone number of member ID 22 was successfully changed.

  1. Implementing a new system for Mastercare.

    No information about staff, products or suppliers will be given out that is not already known by the staff. My client thinks that a password system will need to be created for the database to prevent unauthorised access to the system and they also think that separate login usernames and passwords should be used for the different users.

  2. Cunha & Ribeiro Ltd: Stock Control & Invoice Database

    How is it presented? The information is presented in the form of a bill or receipt. 13. How often is the information provided? This information is provided at the end of each sale. 14. What is the information used for?

  1. Database Coursework on a Rental System: Design

    Other features include the locking of cells to ensure that they are not accidentally overwritten and the defining of data types to cells or cell groupings that includes date, currency and percentage data types. The limitations of this type of generic package include a lack of security, concurrency and data redundancy and inconsistency.

  2. Electoral Reform it

    However, if no candidate receives 50% of the vote a second ballot is issued and the two top candidates 'run off' one another. This then means that one party will win an overall majority. Although this system is a logical one, the smaller parties do not tend to benefit and

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