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Here, there's been quite a stir about the electoral system and how it can be unfair to certain political parties.
You see, the UK has something called the "First past the post" system [Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-past-the-post ] , somewhat similar to those in the US Presidential election and the Singapore General Elections. Basically, the electorates are divided into constituencies, and the person with the most votes in each constituency wins for that constituency. Sounds fair, right?
Well, arguably, no. Let me explain using the example of the US Presidential elections of 2000, between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
In the US, the candidate with the most votes in each state wins all the electoral votes, or 'tickets', for that state. The tickets are allocated in a way that should more or less reflect the population in that state. So, a large state like California would have something like 55 'tickets'. A candidate that gains 270 tickets wins the election. (Yes, this is an oversimplification. But for simplicity's sake, let's assume that's true.) In 2000, Al Gore received the most number of votes [50.9m, compared with 50.4m for Bush]. However, due to the way the 'tickets' have been assigned, Bush was able to win the election with 271 tickets, even though he didn't get the most votes.
[Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2000 ]
In the UK, there has been criticisms being fired at the voting system, too. Mainly, the percentage of votes for a party does not translate into the proportion of seats in the House of Commons received by that party. This has often put smaller parties, like the Liberal Democrats, at a disadvantage, as they would require much more votes to translate votes into seats. In contrast, the incumbent Labour party can still remain the largest party in power, even if they came in third place in terms of votes. Many have said this is unfair, arguing that there should be a more direct translation between votes and seats. Gordon Brown himself has thrown in his own idea into the hat - Alternative Voting
[Read: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8068583.stm ]
Why am I blogging about the electoral system in the UK? Well, I thought it would make an interesting Mathematical/Political/Philosophical debate. How would you solve a problem like the Electoral system, be it in Singapore, the UK, or the US, to make it more representative of the people? Or does it not matter, whether we get the same level of representation in Congress/Parliament as we do in terms of public sentiments? What is the most fair, efficient way to run an election and decide the winners?
Just my two cents' worth.