Britain is in need of a new electoral system

The only thing that has been certain this election is that our voting system has passed its expiry date. Let’s face it : the two-party system does not work anymore, apart for Labour and Tory that is. The rise of smaller parties like the Greens and UKIP means that people are increasingly looking for an alternative to the two main parties, but sadly will never get their opinions represented in parliament under this system. This election, more than 5 million people, UKIP and Greens voters, are now disappointed that their votes did not translate into seats. In other words : their votes do not count. If anything, this election has shown us how undemocratic our current political system is.

During this campaign, young voters have been asked time and time again to go down to the polling station and cast their votes. Yet, some might as well not have bothered voting. Between “safe seats” and the damning First Past The Post system, there is very little chances to get a parliament that represent UK voters. In our FPTP system, voting takes place in constituencies that elect a single MP. Voters put a cross in a box next to their favoured candidate and the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins. All other votes count for nothing.

To give you an idea about how archaic our system really is both Natalie Bennett from the Green Party and Nigel Farage, who resigned (and unresigned) as leader of UKIP, should have respectively had 25 and 83 seats under a fair voting system where the amount of votes for parties equalled seats in parliament.  FPTP also means that UKIP, now the third favourite party in the UK, has only one seat.

Our first past the post system is an affront to democracy, giving us not the government we voted for, but one we need to endure because of an unfair voting system.

A preferential voting system was turned down in a referendum in 2010. This system would have allowed voters to rank candidates on the ballot, so that if their first vote fails, their second choice is still counted. This overly complicated system was no much better than the current as it is also not a representative voting system. This is why after this election, Britain needs to put in place a system that actually reflects what the British voted for and finally say goodbye to our semi-democracy.


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