Because these things bother me, earlier on today I was wondering what would the election result looked like of instead of our current system -first past the post (FPTP) – we’d used the form of proportional representation used in the last European elections. The answer can be summed up in five words; very different, no Conservative majority.
And because I’m a lazy bastard, thankfully those nice people atThe Electoral Reform Society did all the heavy lifting, as the method used at European elections is a tiny bit complicated. But just because something is complicated, it doesn’t mean it isn’t fair, just that to properly understand it requires some effort is all.
Anyway, here’s what we could have had,
The Conservatives would’ve lost 77seats, leaving them with 288 whilst Labour would’ve gained 14 meaning 216 The really big winners wouldn’t have been the Lib Dems up 59 from 11 to 70 , nor the Greens jumping from 1 to 11! Neither would it have been the Brexit party who would gained 10 seats, bringing their total to, er, 10!
No, the real winner in all of this would be us, the electorate. It would’ve seen another hung parliament and probably another election, but why is that such a bad thing. If the electorate realize that their vote has consequence might it not focus the mind?
Indeed, as I pointed out only a few weeks ago,
If the Liberal Democrats were in the least bit serious about being democrats, they would’ve demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of democracy by having vigorously campaigned for a change the present electoral system with the Brexit party. Had this bizarre sounding but eminently sensible alliance been effective, democracy could have been the winner on December 13th. If, the morning after the 2015 election, the Lib Dem leader, Vince Unable had launched the campaign for reform by highlighting the discrepancy between share of the votes versus number of seats in parliament of all main parties.
He could’ve made the point that voting reform was well overdue because whilst the Liberal Democrats had won of 7.9% of the vote, that this had translated into 8 MP’s, whereas the S.N.P had got of the 4.7% of the vote but 56 MP’s. The S.N.P., like democracy when it works to their advantage, but here’s the thing – democracy doesn’t have options, you can’t chose which bits you like or don’t like of the democratic process, either your in or your out. Yes, it’s all well and good wanting another referendum on independence, but when they had one, they chose to stay part of the UK. If you choose not to fight in English, Northern Ireland or Welsh constituency’s, fine. It’s your choice. You chose to be here. Suck it up like everyone else has to.
After the 2017 election, this would have even greater consequences, as we know only too well. The Liberal Democrats had won of 7.4% of the vote in that one that this had resulted in only 12 MP’s, whereas the S.N.P ‘s 3% became 36 MP’s. Had the made this an issue one of fundamental importance of democracy that the method of electing a government had to be if so it was to have any legitimacy in the eyes of the governed. Had they done so, there is every possibility that a vote on reforming the voting system to make it truly democratic could have taken place in the recent European elections which, if successful, would have had a far more beneficial effect on our democracy than overturning the referendum result and ignoring 17.4 million people.
Of course such an alliance would require the support of Nigel’s Farrago. if it was to truly cross the political divide, and not simply be a case of centre-left complainers complaining, they’d need his support to have any chance of success. Now leader of the Brexit party, but in 2015, he was leader of UKIP, remember them? With him, well, they’d be pushing at an open door. In 2015 UKIP won 12.6% of the vote which got them all of er….1 MP. Had the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party together campaigned for a fairer voting system then possibly. If Vince Unable had said in 2014, in 2017, or her election as Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swindle had said, upon being elected Lib Dem leader, ‘I may disagree with the Brexit Party – in fact, I vehemently oppose everything they stand for – but being Liberal Democrat, I believe that if you voted for the Brexit Party, your vote should count for something. As a Liberal Democrat, but a democrat first and foremost I don’t believe that any vote should be a wasted vote. ’
But they didn’t with the result we are where we are because of it. Mind you, her plan to unilaterally revoke Article 50 was a vote winner, wasn’t it?
And what chance a change to the voting system, doing away with FPTP, a method used in one other European country, that textbook example of democratic excellence, Azerbaijan? As much chance as I have of winning gold at the next Olympics in the 100 meters. Why would any party that has consistently benefitted to from FPTP want to change it?
Just keep reminding yourself that ultimately it’s the 27.3% of the electorate who fucked us over, granted the voting system didn’t help matters, but a voting system first and foremost needs people to vote in it.
Unless you’re in Russia.