16 May 2009

The Safer The Seat, The More They Fiddle Their Expenses.

This blogger has crunched the numbers - since under our present Westminster system about 2/3 of seats are safe, this has serious implications.

Time for PR me thinks.


  1. On the facts, this is probably correct.

    But under PR (which I support, but for other reasons), there is even less scope for the voter to punish the worst troughers - they can only punish the worst-troughing-party, and as all parties are as bad as each other, that gives the voter no scope at all, in practice.

  2. Sorry Mark depending on the system chosen it is the exact opposite. The standard STV used in Scottish Council elections means not only can you chose between parties but you can also rank the candidates within parties as well.

    At the moment if you want to vote labour and your Labour MP is implicated you have to vote for them. Under STV you could rant then at the bottom of your selection of Labour Candidates.

  3. mark,as you know there are open systems where the party does not decide who is elected. But even under a closed pr system like the euros, the electorate still has a much wider choice. PR is about more choice, more competition of ideas. It is ironic that tories only want more choice when it is restricted by wealth , but not real choice like PR.

  4. Pete, that's a fair point.

    Neil H stumbled across the 'least bad of both worlds' electoral system which is 'First past the post with top up seats' as used in real life in Baden Wuerttemberg in Germany (where you just get one vote that is counted twice).

    But this would require some tweaking to enable people to chuck out particular troughers while still voting for their favourite party. I'll have to give this a think.

    PS, to be fair to the Tories and UKIP - what's wrong with the idea of taking cash vouchers instead of a 'free' state school place? Isn't that more choice for all?

  5. mark, i think the market works fine for ipods and toasters, but health and education are different. The market has no ethics.