The UK first past the post system is a simple voting system

From: Barry M Jones, Bixley Lane, Beckley

Friday, 20th August 2021, 6:00 am
A simple voting system

With tongue-in-cheek, Robert Sorrenti credits Germany’s high GDP to proportional representation (13/8/21). He should in fact credit only half to PR, and the other half to first past the post as Germany (and Italy) use a mixed PR/FPTR electoral system. Since WWII the Italians have flipped between pure PR to mixed (75% FPTP, 25% PR; now 37% FPTP, 61% PR, 2% ex-patriots) but all to no avail as mixed systems still lead to unstable, chaotic coalitions. The British devised the 2-vote German system that divides the ‘Bundestag’ (lower house): 299 seats by FPTP (local MPs) plus 299 by PR of party candidates from each German state, selected from party lists. Known as the Additional Members System in the UK, even this is flawed for a party must achieve 5% of the votes (unhelpful to independents). If through tactical voting a proportional imbalance results, additional unelected PR ‘balance seats’ are created. Hence in 2017 the 598 seat ‘Bundestag’ was increased to 709 seats... but to whom do these additional PR members owe allegiance - constituents or party?

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