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Proportional Representation

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Introduction

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION What is proportional representation? Proportional representation is a broad term for a group of electoral systems that distribute a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates get in elections and the percentage of seats they receive. Proportional Representation includes systems like STV, AMS and AV+. It is often distinguished from plurality voting systems, where disproportional seat distribution results from the division of voters into multiple electoral districts, for instance in first past the post districts. Though we do not use PR in general elections, countries like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland use PR on a regular basis. Explain the workings of the AMS and the STV in the UK Additional member systems have been in use, since devolution in 1999, for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are elected in one of two ways: (1) ...read more.

Middle

This latter rule prevented both the British National Party and the RESPECT Unity Coalition from winning a seat each. STV is not used for elections to the UK Parliament at Westminster but is used for all Assembly and local government elections in Northern Ireland, and will shortly be used for all local elections in Scotland. In Northern Ireland Assembly elections involve six seat constituencies, while local elections currently use constituencies of between five and seven seats. For European elections Northern Ireland serves as a single three seat constituency. Local elections in Scotland will use constituencies of three and four seats. All official STV elections in the UK use the Gregory method of counting votes.STV is also used by many private organizations. For example, it is used in many British university students' unions (and promoted by the National Union of Students as the fairest way of running elections), for all elections within the University of Cambridge and for electing board members in The Co-operative Group.Because it was invented ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of more proportional systems has affected the UK in both good and bad ways. The Additional Member System has given the chance for minority parties to have their views heard through fairer representation. the green party and the UKIP both benefited from the 1999 and 2004 elections to the European parliament thanks to the list system. For instance in Scotland and Wales it has led to a broad-based government with the use of AMS. Also, AMS has caused coalition governments in and Some people believe that under such a system though, candidates can be elected on a small proportion of the vote, while the most popular one can lose, and this opens the door to extremists like the BNP, and those with a questionable democratic mandate. It also upsets the balance of executive authority, so that minority parties end up as the power brokers in government. Every objection to PR so far could on the other hand apply to FPTP not PR. Not to say that there are no bad points to PR on the contrary, the turnout for the electorate is still disappointing. ...read more.

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