Friday, 29 April 2011

Elections, Majorities and Strong Government

Reflecting on the sad record of government misbehaviour, I’m inclined to prefer that they should be weak. The ‘No to the Alternative Vote’ campaign thinks otherwise. It wants one party governments with an overall parliamentary majority, and thinks we are more likely to get those with the present First Past The Post (henceforth FPTP) system than with the Alternative Vote (henceforth AV)

However, although majority one party government may be less likely with AV, it would not be impossible, while FPTP frequently fails to produce that supposedly desired state.

Were it vital to have a single party majority, that would suggest changing the system to make sure that is achieved, possibly by giving additional parliamentary seats to the largest party. I wouldn’t support that, but it does seem to be a consequence of the No Campaign’s argument.

From their point of view it might not even be the most popular party that received the majority.

In 1951 FPTP gave a parliamentary majority to the Conservatives, even though they received fewer votes than Labour, and in February 1974, although no party had an overall parliamentary majority, Labour formed a minority government after winning more seats than the Conservatives even though they had fewer votes.

No comments :