Thursday, 29 August 2013

An electoral system-booze selection analogy.

Imagine you had an event you needed to buy drinks for, and were restricted to only one option of wine, beer, or spirits. Which would you choose, given your 10 guests had the following preferences?

Person 1302
Person 2203
Person 3231
Person 4032
Person 5321
Person 6132
Person 7230
Person 8203
Person 9302
Person 10230

Wine is the clear winner and beer only narrowly beats spirits. In a proportional representation system, most people get their first or second choice. 

However, in a first-past-the-post one-person-one-vote system as currently employed in UK general and local elections, beer would win because it was the first choice of most people. The fact that more people didn't rank it at all than the other options counts for nothing.

In this event scenario, you would of course provide more than one option. Unfortunately, the only way this can happen in British politics is when two of the three collude against the other. And that, as we know, tastes foul.

Hardly anyone voted to change our stupid system. If only the 'yes to AV' campaign had come up with something like this?!

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