Should the Uk Reform Its Electoral System for General Elections?

552 Words3 Pages
Should the UK reform its electoral system for general elections? Electoral reform is a change in the rules for governing elections. It usually involves the replacement of one electoral system with another. As it stands the UK currently uses the first-past-the-post system, in 2010, the coalition held a referendum about the change from FPTP (first past the post) to the AV (alternative vote) system. FPTP is an electoral system where the voters select a single candidate by marking an ‘X’ next to his/her name. In 2005, Blair made one of the weakest governments the UK has seen having only 355 seats and a 32% majority. FPTP provides a clear-cut choice for voters between the two main parties but unfortunately the third parties often wither away because FPTP excludes smaller parties from ‘fair’ representation. The current FPTP system questions whether the UK is a democracy or not. Within the UK’s society there are many things which make it democratic, having free and open elections is one, enabling the choice of who represents the citizens. It is usually that a single party forms government, and this is due to the fact that since single party governments are stable and cohesive, and they are generally able to survive for a full term in office. Also, this is because the government is united by common ideological loyalties and is subject to the same party discipline. This is why the electoral system shouldn’t be reformed. The AV system means that voters vote preferential order, if no candidate reaches 50% then the candidate who received the fewest votes is dropped, and then the 2nd preferences are used and so on until a candidate reaches 50%. This is a far better system because it allows smaller parties to be heard. This system favours the Liberal Democrats, which is why in 2011 May 5th 2011, a referendum was held on whether to replace the first past the post electoral
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