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Electoral Reform in the Uk

  • Date Submitted: 12/10/2013 01:59 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.9 
  • Words: 696
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The Westminster electoral system operates under a first-past-the-post system, which operates under a simple plurality principle in that 50%+1 of the vote constitutes a winner. It has been a part of the British system for over 300 years, although in recent years parties such as the Liberal Democrats have advocated its abolition in favour of more proportional systems such as the AV; however, the larger parties such as Labour and the Conservatives stand by its use.

The FPTP system can be seen as creating strong and stable governments because of the long history of majority governments, the 2010 election gave the first government since 1979 that has not been a majority rule. This shows that the system that is in place has been successful in delivering strong governments in recent years, although there have been some exceptions; however the 2010 election can be seen to have highlighted the cracks in the system. It showed that if a party doesn’t get the majority it can create an unstable government through either a party governing with a minority rule, or through a coalition which reduces strength because of cross party disputes. Either way, the system can be seen as not ensuring a strong and stable government because of the 2010 elections outcome.

Another way the system can be seen to create strong governments is the precedent of landslide victories, winning parties often get a large percentage of the seats available; for example, in the 1997 election, Labour won 63.4% of the seats making Tony Blair the first Labour Prime Minister since 1979. This can be seen as creating strong governments because it means the ruling party have the ability to pass bills and legislation through the Commons because of their majority. It means the party do not have to worry about another party they are in coalition with disagreeing with their aims; they can carry out their manifesto with little resistance. However, these landslide victories are as a result of a large amount of wasted...


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