Thursday, 25 February 2010

Delegated Voting

Christopher Kavanagh e-mailed me an interesting proposition on a new voting system a few weeks ago - delegated voting. I have to say that, to a certain degree, I'm a convert.

The problem with all the current voting systems that we either have or are being touted as replacements, such as First Past the Post, Alternative Voting, or indeed the Single Transferable Vote, is that they are all based on the assumption that MPs' votes are equal.

Why should they be? After all, assuming we're not going for full Proportional Representation (which I disagree with, not least of all because it tends to lead to weak coalition governments. Hitler was democratically elected by a PR system), and we want to maintain the constituency link, MPs don't represent the same number of voters.

So, instead, have a voting system that is based on the assumption that electors' votes are equal.

Thus, I propose a sort of hybrid between PR, AV and Delegated Voting.

In the House of Lords, a full PR system. Lords do not have constituencies, so we have no link to preserve. The number of seats a party gets is proportionate to the percentage vote they receive. This also means that the parties can then place the candidates best suited to the job into the Lords, rather than simply the most popular ones, so the House of Lords can still function properly as a chamber of scrutiny for legislation. And on top of that, a PR system would likely mean that the Government would not have an outright majority in the Lords. Good.

In the House of Commons, an AV system, where constituency boundaries are redrawn at each election to approximately equalise the votes. Voting takes place on a preference basis, so the eventual MP has an absolute majority. But, with a slight modification...

When votes take place in the House of Commons, an MP should not have one vote for himself. He should have one vote for every registered elector in his constituency.

So some MP's votes are worth more than others, but rightly so, as they represent more constituents.

Just a thought...

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