Friday, May 07, 2010

UK Votes: The Last Shall Be First

Nick Clegg had an absolutely abysmal night last night as Lib-Dem support evaporated into thin air. The Tories of David Cameron are likely to form a government with their large plurality. However, that is dependent on Clegg agreeing to support the Tories at least in the near term. So, through the magic of minority government Mr. Clegg gets a considerable amount of power today. Unsurprisingly, the Lib-Dems want more minority governments - or as the Brits call them hung parliaments - like this one so they can continue to be the kingmaker. So, the question is what would parliament look like under PR? I decided to run a quick and dirty PR projection. Two assumptions: 1. Each nation (England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland) is administered separately. 2. The minimum threshold is a fairly average 5% of the vote in the given nation. Here we go:

Conservatives: 251
Labour: 203
Liberal-Democrats: 161
SNP: 12
Plaid Cymru: 5
DUP: 5
Sinn Fein: 5
UCU: 3
Alliance: 2

Interesting to note that the Green Party which won a seat in Brighton last night would be shut out of a PR based parliament for getting only 1% of the vote. Likewise, the independent winner in Northern Ireland would be out. If you lowered the threshold to 3% UKIP would have won seats in England. While this parliament would give Gordon Brown a better shot of staying on, it isn't all that much more functional than the one that was actually elected.

1 comment:

Michael Morrison said...

You can't complain that some parties are not represented when your parliament (or congress) is based on districts that are in turn based on geography.
I have suggested, for the United States which is now being so rapidly pressed into more race- and class-consciousness, that Congress be divided into three houses, not just two.
Keep the Senate representing states and keep one other house representing geographically based population, but create a third house to represent groups.
For example, all left-handed Hillbillies could petition to have a representative, and all blonde orthodontists could have one.
Place of residence wouldn't matter, but probably some sort of number would.
For example, any group that reached, say, 100,000 members could have a representative.
Obviously no person could belong to two groups, but still everyone would then have a Senator, a Representative for his or her congressional district, and everyone would have a representative -- and we'd need a new name, too -- for his or her chosen group, either race or gender or religion or occupation or political philosophy.
I'd love to see some responses to this idea.

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