It’s very hard to write anything original in this election. You either repeat the events of the day or what other journalists have already published about the implications of policy announcements (something I’m guilty of too). How do you write anything that will stand out yet still stay relevant? Talk about something else!
I will therefore talk about what should be done post-election, when the losers have finished licking their wounds and the winners have gotten over their hangovers because besides the NHS and Brexit there are more fundamental problems that need solving, primarily, our electoral system.
Within that there are two elements that need to be changed; who votes and how they vote.
- Who should vote?
I am a strong believer that before the next election the voting age should be lowered from eighteen to sixteen. I won’t go into an in depth explanation in this article but my arguments, justifications and conclusions can be found here.
- How should we vote?
At the moment we use the first-past-the-post system. At county level you vote for your chosen candidate. If that candidate wins and becomes an MP the seat they’ve won contributes to the tally of their party. If that party gets the majority of the seats, they ‘win’ because they have the biggest proportion of seats. If they don’t then we have a hung parliament followed by a coalition.
The other system is called Proportional Representation whereby the number of votes a party wins correlates to the number of seats they get. If Party A wins 52 per cent of the votes they should have 52 per cent of the seats.
So why should we change?
My principle argument is that it creates a problem called the ‘County vs Country Crisis Point’. Every election voters are forced to choose between county or country. They may love their Labour MP but dislike the idea of Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. Correspondingly, a voter may adore their Conservative MP but would prefer a Labour or Liberal Democrat prime minister.
My view is that we should switch to a system of Proportional Representation along the lines of what is used in France, where they have two separate elections two weeks apart. In one election they elect their president and two weeks later they elect their national assembly. This way, voters do not face the county vs country crisis point and it gives a better representation of the public’s preference. If applied in the UK the same system would follow; we’d vote for our prime minster one week and two weeks later for our parliament.
Food for thought? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.