[FROM THE PAPER] THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL

Laura Creighton - Deputy Politics Editor

Dissatisfaction with voting systems has been becoming a more and more prominent issue for young people.

Propelled into the mainstream media recently because of Donald Trump’s controversial and unexpected success in becoming the next president of the United States, more people have become vocally opposed to way votes are counted.

Currently, the United States, like the United Kingdom, uses the majority voting system to decide the winner of the elections, meaning whoever the wins the most votes, wins all of the power, as opposed to a plurality voting system wherein power is assigned respective of how many votes a contender wins.

Majority voting systems come under fire because it causes people to feel like their votes have been wasted if they did not vote for the outright winner, this turns into voter apathy which stops people turning up to the polls on election day, creating a clear trail between unwanted voting systems and a disinterest in voting.

Majority voting systems can also cause confusion when it comes to how votes translate into winners.

In the recent US Presidential election, Donald Trump won more electoral votes, the votes assigned to each state based on the population of that state, i.e. if you win Texas, even by 1%, you win all of their electoral votes. However Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, which were cast by individuals.

Amid the newest, possibly most controversial and least experienced President the United States of America has ever seen, this way of calculating a winner has been the subject of complaint and debate.

The biggest issue faced with voting systems are the difficulty in realistically selecting a candidate everyone will be happy with, and representing each individual vote.

Some countries like Germany, New Zealand and Bolivia use a hybrid of majority and plurality voting called Mixed Member Proportional Representation which utilizes parts of both systems.

Although a lot of people see plurality voting as a fairer system, as votes are not wasted like they are with the alternative, however there are still issues with it due to the higher possibility of coalition governments.

Coalition governments can cause issues due to the clashing interests of parties involved, which can make it very difficult for anything to get done, especially if the parties have stark differences when it comes to those issues.

Although difficult to pinpoint the perfect voting methods to ensure as many people as possible feel represented, people are clearing calling for a new alternative and voting reform, a campaign in Britain to end the First Past the Post system has been picking up steam for some time now as more people are finding their voice.


Should Britain have a proportional voting system?

Yes
No

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