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Art for art sake

Art for art sake

Monday, May 6, 2013

Do we change the Simple majority voting system?





How does First Past The Post work?
Under First Past The Post (FPTP) voting takes place in single-member constituencies. Voters put a cross in a box next to their favoured candidate and the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins. All other votes count for nothing and as such FPTP is the very worst system for electing a representative government.

Where is First Past The Post used
To elect members of the lower houses in India and Canada
FPTP is the second most widely used voting system in the world, after Party-List PR.

In crude terms, it is used in places that are, or once were, British colonies. Of the many countries that use First Past The Post , the most commonly cited are the UK to elect members of the House of Commons, both chambers of the US Congress, and the lower houses in India and Canada.

First Past The Post used to be even more widespread, but many countries that used to use it have adopted other systems.

Pros and cons of First Past The Post
The case for
The arguments against
It's simple to understand and thus doesn't cost much to administer and doesn't alienate people who can't count.
Representatives can get elected on tiny amounts of public support as it does not matter by how much they win, only that they get more votes than other candidates.
It doesn't take very long to count all the votes and work out who's won, meaning results can be declared a handful of hours after polls close.
It encourages tactical voting, as voters vote not for the candidate they most prefer, but against the candidate they most dislike.
The voter can clearly express a view on which party they think should form the next government.
FPTP in effect wastes huge numbers of votes, as votes cast in a constituency for losing candidates, or for the winning candidate above the level they need to win that seat, count for nothing.
It tends to produce a two-party system which in turn tends to produce single-party governments, which don't have to rely on support from other parties to pass legislation.
FPTP severely restricts voter choice. Parties are coalitions of many different viewpoints. If the preferred-party candidate in your constituency has views with which you don't agree, you don't have a means of saying so at the ballot box.
It encourages 'broad-church' centrist policies.
Rather than allocating seats in line with actual support, FPTP rewards parties with 'lumpy' support, i.e. with just enough votes to win in each particular area. Thus, losing 4,000 votes in one area can be a good idea if it means you pick up 400 votes in another. With smaller parties, this works in favour of those with centralised support.
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With relatively small constituency sizes, the way boundaries are drawn can have important effects on the election result, which encourages attempts at gerrymandering.

Small constituencies also lead to a proliferation of safe seats, where the same party is all but guaranteed re-election at each election. This not only in effect disenfranchises a region's voters, but it leads to these areas being ignored when it comes to framing policy.

If large areas of the country are electoral deserts for a particular party, not only is the area ignored by that party, but also ambitious politicians from the area have to move away from their homeland if they want to have influence within their party.

Because FPTP restricts a constituency's choice of candidates, representation of minorities and women suffers from 'most broadly acceptable candidate syndrome', where the 'safest' looking candidate is the most likely to be offered a chance to stand for election

Encouraging two-party politics can be an advantage, but in a multi-party culture, third parties with significant support can be greatly disadvantaged.

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What now?
If you’re passionate about making politics better you can comment and provide a better option to build a better democracy.

What do we want of our political leaders





Finally the people has made the choice as to whom should rule the country for the next five years. So what do we want in our political leaders? Because politics is the “art of the possible,” we want leaders who can practice the political art without selling their souls to the devil. We want people who can achieve maximum results for the common good, as they understand the common good, with the recognition that others can legitimately see things differently than they do. And we want leaders who know that there is no perfect and lasting good in this world, and never dare to promise such a thing to anyone.
We want leaders who listen to others, tell the truth and learn from their mistakes. We want leaders who resist reinventing themselves every few weeks to please and appease one or another political constituency or voting bloc. We want men and women who do not demonize their critics and opponents while alleging to respect them deeply. We want leaders who can compromise their convictions within acceptable limits, without betraying their consciences, in order to achieve the best for the most, as they understand the best to be, in cooperation with their political opponents. We want people capable of changing their minds and admitting their errors. And we want leaders who don’t seek “all or nothing” in ideological battles that no one wins and that produce countless casualties. In a word, we want free human beings to lead us, not ideologues or demagogues.
In a word, we want leaders who are not prisoners of power, profit, possession, position, privilege and pleasure. We want men and women who demand from others what they demand first from themselves, and who do for others what they would want others to do for them and their loved ones. We want a nation governed by people whose actions prove their genuine care and respect for everyone.
If such political leaders would emerge in malaysia, and indeed in all nations of the world (whatever their present political systems), their religious convictions, authentic or alleged, wouldn’t matter in the least to some of us. Such leaders would, in fact, be our answer. We would be their strongest, most faithful and most grateful supporters even when we disagree with some of their policies.