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Assess the advantage of using proportional representation electoral systems

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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