Voting system failings cannot be ignored
PUBLISHED: 12:32 15 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:14 28 May 2010
THE Electoral Reform Society recently published its report on the 2006 local elections in England. It identified the first-past-the-post voting system as being deeply flawed and in need of change. The key findings of the report were: n That in six London
THE Electoral Reform Society recently published its report on the 2006 local elections in England. It identified the first-past-the-post voting system as being deeply flawed and in need of change.
The key findings of the report were:
n That in six London boroughs and six metropolitan authorities, there was a 'wrong winner' in that the party which won the most votes did not win the most seats
# That there are many councils which are effectively one-party states with little opposition to provide effective scrutiny, raising the increased possibility of corruption
# That if these votes had been in a general election, Labour would have lost 95 of its 100 most vulnerable seats and 149 of their most vulnerable 200.
Voters are simply not being fairly represented by the current electoral system. In almost every local authority area studied there was a failure of the system. It is unfair on the candidates and parties and especially on the voters.
It is no wonder there is a crisis of confidence in our democracy and low levels of turnout in elections. If a voting system cannot even deliver the outcome that people vote for then it is clearly failing.
Advocates of first-past-the-post say that it is simple and that the party that gets the most votes wins. Quite clearly, this is often not the case.
The Government cannot ignore the failings of the voting system. There needs to be a full review of the way in which we elect local councils.
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