Electoral Commission & IRO

David Marsay djmarsay at dera.gov.uk
Wed Nov 4 05:52:52 PST 1998

David Catchpole wrote:

> ...But not because the commission believes that "IRO" is absolutely
> inferior to any other single-member election system. It's simply that
> there is a recognition that single-member systems suck, especially in
> dense suburban spreads like Britain.

Agreed. I've already noted that any 'fair' single-seat method 
would be more likely to give a Labour or coalition government even 
when the Tories have a majority of the votes cast nation-wide. All to 
do with demographics!

> It is actually possible to have a "majority" parliamentary system which is
> still more representative. It involves having a vote at large to decide
> the "winning party" and then to make the votes responsible for its
> majority count only for it and its allies. By now, basically everyone will
> be gasping their chests and cursing me for even daring to suggest a
> not-really-proportional system. I know it's wicked, but it might just
> work, especially in countries where preferences do not necessarilly

I'm not clear what you are suggesting. I am also not sure about PR in 
general.  I understand  concerns that strict PR would lead to 
weak governments.

I do think:
1) a party with > 50% of the vote should have > 50% of seats. 
2) the parties with bigger votes overall should have more seats 
3) there should be some quota (2%?) such that parties who achieve 
that quota have at least one seat.
4) the government should generally broadly reflect the proportions of 
votes for each party, but not necessarily precisely.

It seem quite reasonable to me to elect constituency members and then 
use a 'top up' to bring the number seats into line with the above 

I must also say that I like the idea of being able to vote for a 
candidate without having to vote for their party! (and vice-versa).
Sorry, but apparently I have to do this. :-(
The views expressed above are entirely those of the writer
and do not represent the views, policy or understanding of
any other person or official body.

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