I don’t know where I stand on PR. It sounds good but then you ask what the effect would be on parties like the the BNP. I did some fag packet accounting and based upon the BNP’s shocking 1.9% of the vote I figured that they would have perhaps 12 MPs under a PR system. I decided to go check this out and found the following recent blog post
They’ve done their homework and discovered what actually happens in those countries that have already adopted a PR system.
In reality this really isn’t the case, most countries that operate a PR System of voting have a percentage cut off, this cut off is typically 5 or 10%, meaning a prospective MP would first have to achieve either 5 or 10% of the popular vote in order to progress through the PR system of selection.
In the case of the BNP they would based on the 2010 General Election results only have 3 candidates that could have progressed through the PR selection process if we applied the 10% cap (which seems from my research to be the most popular), so at best the BNP would have 1 and at an outside the BNP would have 2 MPs.
So the BNP wouldn’t get their share of the pie. Great! Good riddance. But if you’re argument is that PR is representative then you have to ask yourself if you’re just fixing the rules to suit your own situation. Where does this leave parties like the Greens?
What the 10 or 5% system seems to propose is a system in which every party is equal but some parties are more equal than others. The result is messy ethical knot spaghetti. Isn’t it simpler to recognise that the democratic process has some serious failings whichever way you cut it? My concern would be that PR would create an environment where centre-left liberals would flourish for the simple reason that the majority of the UK is economically illiterate and historically ignorant. Do I want a system that ignores the wishes of the ignorant? You bet ya! and so do you.
So what’s the answer? I don’t know. Transferable Vote?
Democracy is a reasonable way to throw out a complete bastard and pretty useless for everything else. The democratic process seems like the tyranny of a numerical majority to me. Another option would be competing governments and Scottish independence would be a good start towards that.
I suppose my ideal would be a strong constitution where democracy was reduced to a simple administrative task of selecting guardians.