... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Idea for Electoral Reform

Everyone feels we have a need for electoral reform.  We have a hung parliament, people continuing to call for proportional representation (as always happens around election time), and a stale out-dated, un-elected upper house - The House of Lords.

I propose a simple solution which I feel will come some way to solving all these problems.  Step one:
Abolish the House of Lords
Out with the unelected illegitimate great grandchildren of King George/Henry/Edward and some forgotten peasant maiden; out with the bishops; and out with those who bought their seats.

Step two:
Keep the House of Commons UNCHANGED
Yes, keep the parliamentary elections as they are.  You go and you vote for your local candidate, the MP you wish to sit in the Commons to represent you.  Each constituency gets one seat and that's that - no change there.
Here we see my constituency Withington winning a seat in the House of Commons for the Liberal Democrats.
And here we see anyone who voted Conservative or Labour being pissed off that their vote is now pointless - lost, the democratic process ends for another 5 years.  This is the cause of popular disenfranchisement.

Here we see the House of Commons as it currently is, with the Conservatives hold a non-majority lead.  Notice the apparent massive difference in influence between Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Step three:
Create a new Upper House
Lets call it 'The House Formerly Known as Lords', or even better 'The Upper House'.  Create a number of seats therein - let's say 300.  It's a good number, not too high to get unwieldy, but high enough for our purposes.

To fill these seats we use Proportional Representation.  Let's look at the current full UK Scoreboard, paying particular attention to Votes and %.

Conservatives lead Labour by 41 seats and 1,932,907 votes.  Labour lead Liberal Democrats by a massive 199 seats, but only 1,817,580.

We continue to fill the House of Commons using the number of seats, however we fill the Upper House using the percentage of total votes across the whole country.

Based on my number of 300 seats in the Upper House, this would give:
Conservatives 108 seats
Labour 87 or 88 seats
Liberal Democrats 68 (possibly 69)
Democratic Unionist Party 1 or 2
Scottish National Party 3

Parties will then be allowed to fill their seats with representatives of their choosing (as long as they don't also sit in the Commons, and have no other conflict of interest).

Some details would need to be worked out such as how to represent Sinn Fein's 1.5 seats, and what to do with tiny minority parties.

Also this system would give the much hated British National Party 5 or 6 seats.  However this is what happens in a free democracy.  Unpopular stupid opinions are thought, expressed and sometimes agreed with. Giving them the 5 or 6 seats that they have earned will allow them to express their idiotic views, and for the majority to respond appropriately, and it will also have the major benefit of helping BNP voters to feel they are being heard.  This I feel will be a major step towards enabling everyone to feel they have an active part to play in parliamentary politics and a voice that is being heard.  It may also result in a swing away from extreme party support, which may have only had it's resent upsurge as a way of protesting against the stagnation and bullshit of the major parties.

In Summation

Conduct the elections exact as always.
Continue to fill the Commons seats based on number of constituencies won.
Abolish the Lords and replace with an Upper House.
Fill the Upper house based on percentage of total votes.

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