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

Assess the advantage of using proportional representation electoral systems

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Assess the advantages of using proportional representation electoral systems? The Labour government in 1999 paved the way for the use of proportional representation (PR) in elections in the UK. By the turn of that century PR had been used in elections to European parliament, the Scottish parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Greater London Authority Assembly and for the Mayor of London elections. Proportional representation is the principle that parties should be represented in an assembly or parliament in direct proportion to their overall electoral strength. There are many electoral systems that are PR in the UK, such as; additional member system, single transferable vote, and regional party list, supplementary vote and alternative vote (both SV and AV are seen as middle ground between PR and majoritarian systems such as FPTP). In 2011 there was a referendum to change the Westminster electoral system from First pass the post (FPTP) to alternative vote, 68% said no, meaning that we are better off with a majoritarian system. ...read more.


The cabinet, however would be more powerful as it would contain minsters from more than one party who could bring a government down by resigning if they were unhappy at Prime ministerial dominance. The relative weakness of a PM in a coalition government is highlighted by the plight of David Cameron in the conservative/Lib Dem coalition government. He had to abandon preferred policies like reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600. On the other hand, many argue that PR is not the way to go, as they still view the majoritarian system (FPTP) as still effective; ?if it ain?t broke why fix it?. In an age when large portion of the electorate abandons its previous partisan affiliation, it is helpful if electoral systems enable voters to judge individual candidates, irrespective of their parties? reputations. Since the late 1990s, this has been underlined by the introduction of a ?closed list? PR system, which has ?depersonalised? voting in Britain?s European elections. In the general election of 2015, the fate of most candidates was sealed by the status of their parties. ...read more.


Single-party government are stable and cohesive, and so are generally able to survive for a full term in office. This is because the government is united by common ideological loyalties and it?s subject to the same party disciplines. Coalition governments, by contrast, are often weak, unstable, and often create gridlock in order to propose new legislation, not to mention that there is no clear manifesto to follow so the electorates do not know what they are voting for. In conclusion, there are arguments for and against the clam that PR systems should be chosen to change the Westminster electoral system from First pass the post (FPTP). Those who argue that it should be change consider that FPTP is un-proportional between votes and seats and is a two party system, unlike PR. Others argue that PR is not fit for Westminster elections because it creates hung parliaments, creates confusion upon what choices the people have on who to choose or on what they will represent when they are in power. In my opinion I this that PR will not be fit as the Westminster electoral system because it will undermine stability and accountability. ...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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The introduction of some form of proportional representation would give voters more choice and ...

    for the individual voter to vote for a constituency representative who they believe will do the best for their local community while in Westminster.

  2. Electoral Systems Assignment

    As I have alluded to previously, the introduction of a PR electoral system would typically raise the number of ethnic minority groups and women into government, as well as increasing the number of smaller party member within government. To many people, this is a very positive factor; it promotes the

  1. There are two main types of electoral system in the UK:First Past the Post ...

    Smaller parties are not fairly treated under FPTP. Although they may have a sizeable national support across the country, they do not get a proportional number of MPs because there are not enough votes concentrated in constituencies to let them win seats.

  2. Distinguish between the effects of FPTP and other electoral systems in the UK

    The SNP however only had 491,386 votes yet they managed to gain 6 seats, this is because FPTP favours parties who's support is concentrated in certain constituencies.

  1. rights and their limitations

    In particular, it possibly violates the fourth amendment in the Bill of Rights, which states that "the right of the people to be secured in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but

  2. 'Britain is in desperate need of electoral reform. The FPTP system is undemocratic.' Discuss.

    Only 114 seats were estimated to be uncertainties between Labour and the Conservative's in 2001. This could contribute to an apathetic attitude amongst the electorate, as, if people don't believe that their vote counts, they won't bother voting at all, which could contribute to an even lower turnout.

  1. Electoral Systems.

    The Supplementary Vote (SV) How the System works: With the supplementary vote, there are two columns on the ballot paper - one for the first choice and one for the second choice. Voters are not required to make a second choice if they do not wish to.

  2. The case Against Electoral Reform

    This can also give other advantages in areas such as party funding. And finally the last and damning disadvantage to using this system in Britain would be the mass confusion it would cause because the public would be confused on what exactly to do with their two votes-it may not

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