Votings systems and the death of democracy

In the USA and the UK variants of "First Past the Post" voting systems are used.

These system inevitably result in two dominant parties who can govern without actually representing the votes or views of the majority of their populations. In the USA the President can be elected with only 20% of the public vote.

Power oscillates between Republicans/Democrats and Conservatives/Labour, without the majority of voters being represented purely as a result of the voting system.

As a result people become disillusioned and don't vote. Why vote, one of the two main parties will always win and neither represents your views?

Although I do vote I find it very frustrating that I stand no change of my views being represented.
Anybody else in the same boat?

Search on Youtube for CGP Grey and you will find an excellent series of short informative and often humerous videos. One of them clearly describes the problem with First Past the Post;

I much prefer the Proportional Representation system that is used in Ireland. On the voting slip you number the candidates 1,2,3 etc in order of preference. When the votes are counted the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and his/her votes are allocated according to the second preferences marked on the voting slip. Etc. etc. until a candidate has so many votes that eliminating another candidate could not cause the 2nd placed candidate to overcome him/her. (Hope that makes sense)

However in Ireland each constituency is represented by between 3 and 5 Members of Parliament and I am not convinced that that is a good idea or a necessary part of PR. It has the effect that local political issues take precedence over national issues and, in practice, local government becomes emasculated.

...R

Robin2:
....
However in Ireland each constituency is represented by between 3 and 5 Members of Parliament and I am not convinced that that is a good idea or a necessary part of PR. It has the effect that local political issues take precedence over national issues and, in practice, local government becomes emasculated.

Say the 5 Members were replace with just 1. That one Member could get in with 20% plus one vote.

One argument for First Past the Post is that you normally get 'strong' governments not coalitions. It is true you tend not to get coalitions but the Government you do get is highly unrepresentative.

ardly:
Say the 5 Members were replace with just 1. That one Member could get in with 20% plus one vote.

I don't think that is correct.

With the Single Transferrable Vote system used in Ireland the quota (minimum to be elected) is calculated like this

number of valid votes
-------------------------------   + 1
number of seats + 1

so in a single seat constituency the winner would have 50% + 1

In contrast, in a 5 seat constituency the 5 elected members would, between them represent about 84% of the valid votes.

...R

Robin2:
I don't think that is correct.

With the Single Transferrable Vote system used in Ireland the quota (minimum to be elected) is calculated like this

number of valid votes

-------------------------------   + 1
number of seats + 1



so in a single seat constituency the winner would have 50% + 1

In contrast, in a 5 seat constituency the 5 elected members would, between them represent about 84% of the valid votes.

...R

Sorry, I though you were complaining about having 5 Members. Having 5 members does mean your vote counts. Maybe it does mean local issues start to become more important but is that a bad thing? Anyway I am sure people are smart enough to know who they want to represent them Nationally and who they want Locally.

The voting system in Russia seems to work well.
They usually have a great turn out, the majority of people vote correctly and if they don't it can be corrected.

China's system will save huge amounts of money since there will be no need to spend any money on voting.

In the Philippines, God, through the Pope, supports the Prime Minister.

In USA and Canada, the popular vote is ignored so minority voters are garrenteed to be represented properly.

All the above allow the rich to be fairly treated, as they should, since there are not very many of them.

ardly:
Sorry, I though you were complaining about having 5 Members. Having 5 members does mean your vote counts. Maybe it does mean local issues start to become more important but is that a bad thing? Anyway I am sure people are smart enough to know who they want to represent them Nationally and who they want Locally.

Yes I am complaining about having large constituencies with multiple Members. I spent my career in the Civil Service dealing with them in one way or another.

A single-seat PR system is more representative than a single-seat first-past-the-post system. With a first-past-the-post system in the worst case if there are 20 candidates the winner would only need 5% +1 .

The problem with national vs local is that with multi-seat constituencies the National Parliament gets bogged down in local issues that really should be a matter for Local Government.

...R

larryd:
All the above allow the rich to be fairly treated, as they should, since there are not very many of them.

Unfortunately there is too much truth in that.

It is not difficult to see Democracy as a sop to the majority so that they don’t prevent the minority in their pursuit of even greater wealth.

…R

The one thing that democracy has going for it is the ability of using gerrymandering to make things more fair.

example, Texas

Democracy is over rated and I don’t think it is the best form of government in all situations. Especially when you add money. Xi and Puten have an advantage that democratic societies do not: they do not have to worry about the next vote, they can plan for the long term. Competition always produces the best outcome in business, but i don’t think it works the same way in politics.

Should Trump become dictator or king? For the good of... long term planning to our new owner's wishes.

The only people who can think this is good are the ones who think they will be on the in-charge side.
What a shame that the majority of those are fool tools.

larryd:
The one thing that democracy has going for it is the ability of using gerrymandering to make things more fair.

The Supreme Court just kicked out the GOP effort to keep the Pennsylvania districts as they drew them.

Qdeathstar:
Democracy is over rated and I don’t think it is the best form of government in all situations. Especially when you add money. Xi and Puten have an advantage that democratic societies do not: they do not have to worry about the next vote,

I cannot possibly overstate my disagreement with that.

To my mind the most important feature of democracy is that the incumbent goes away quietly when his term expires. The President of the USA probably has more power (certainly more military power) than any other individual but they have all gone away gracefully (assuming they were not impeached first).

Democracy has many shortcomings. But it is better than anything else that has been tried.

...R

Democracy is overrated, what a dictator's and a wannabe dictator's supporters believe.

How else can the party of exclusion and their sycophants expect to win? How else can everyone be forced to worship Mammon god of wealth?

Hi,
In Australia we have PR AND COMPULSORY VOTING for all over 18yo.

We vote a majority or coalition party into government, Senate and House of Representatives.

The ruling party elects the Prime Minister, so if he/she does not do a good job, he/she can be replaced without impeachments or assassinations.

Hence 5 Prime Ministers in one 5 year period.

Tom.. :o

TomGeorge:
Hi,
In Australia we have PR AND COMPULSORY VOTING for all over 18yo.

What percentage of spoilt votes is there (from those that are forced to vote but don't give a damn who gets in)?

Henry_Best:
What percentage of spoilt votes is there (from those that are forced to vote but don't give a damn who gets in)?

Whatever the number I think I would prefer it to the absence of any voting paper.

...R

Here we have a minority party doing everything possible to keep whole demographics from voting. Every election next morning comes with reports of judges throwing out votes and other dirty tricks that you usually don't hear about until much later if ever.

When we got bribes unlimited, that's what wrecked our voting system. Corruption and lies are totally expected, hello Putin!

Henry_Best:
What percentage of spoilt votes is there (from those that are forced to vote but don’t give a damn who gets in)?

Hi,
I did a bit of trawling and found this table of stats for informal votes.
Informal.jpg
Tom… :slight_smile:

Robin2:
Whatever the number I think I would prefer it to the absence of any voting paper.

There is the intermediate between forcing people to vote and not allowing people to vote. It's the system that we have in the UK at the present. You can choose whether to vote or not.