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Why is it so hard to determine the differences between electoral systems?

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Why is it so difficult to decide which is the best electoral system? Voting systems are either majority rule, proportional representation or plurality voting. Given the simplicity of majority rule, those who are unfamiliar with voting theories are often surprised that another voting system exists, or that majority rule systems can create results not supported by a majority. If every election had only two choices, the winner would be determined using majority rule alone. However, when there are three or more options, there may not be a single option that is preferred by a majority. Different voting systems may give very different results, particularly in cases where there is no clear majority preference. All voting systems have their similarities and differences. For example, different voting systems have different forms for allowing the individual to express their vote. In preference voting systems voters order the list of options from most to least preferred. ...read more.


The AV vote is very similar to STV and FPTP which can sometimes cause confusion. In AV instead of simply putting an 'X' on the ballow paper, they have the chance to rank the candidates on offer. This system has its advantages and disadvantages as all electoral systems do. It is believed that it more accurately reflects public opinion, Coalition governments are no more likely to arise under AV than under FPTP, however it can be less proportional than FPTP and there is no transfer of power from party authority to the voters. Under Party List voters elect candidates in multi-member districts, or sometimes an entire country. The more members per area increases the proportionality of the system, and in and open list system the size of the ballot paper. Party-List systems guarantee a high degree of party proportionality, however closed party lists are completely impersonal, weakening any link between the representative and a regional area. ...read more.


However, this can be seen as a negative, as it obscures what voters are actually voting for, as candidates from the same party can stand for radically different things, therefore a voter has no way of expressing which side of the party they support. In conclusion it is difficult to decide what the best electoral systems are, because all of the different electoral systems that are on offer to the people can not please everyone. The trend between the electoral systems is that if they have an accurate representation of the people then usually they do not have a strong link between the people and their MP. When the people are represented accurately there tends to be a weaker MP link with more MPs to one constituency. The world of electoral systems can be very confusing, not least because there are so many varieties of system, some of which involve complicated counting procedures. Therefore if not everyone is pleased with the results that are given there is no electoral system which is the best electoral system. ...read more.

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