‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Knowing that every vote makes a difference, makes a difference

I've previously noted the unfairness of the UK electoral voting system in Scotland, which gives Labour an unearned majority there:

(Data: BBC)

But the system in the Scottish Parliament works far better. Each person gets two votes, one local and one party-list-based regional. In aggregate, here is what happened in 2011:

Data: Wikipedia

... bang on for Labour, slightly generous for the SNP. Not a bad hybrid, either: voting first for a local candidate, and then for a party, rather than combining the two and effectively voting for a Prime Minister (with all the personality-cult garbage that brings in its wake).

Even more interesting is the difference between how the two votes were cast:
Data: Wikipedia

In the regional contest, when it was no longer simply First Past The Post, and the vote was more likely to be taken into account even if one chose a minority candidate, the voting share for small parties leapt from 1% to 12%. Knowing that every vote makes a difference, makes a difference.

Electoral Calculus predicts that in next year's UK General Election, even under FPTP, UKIP may get over 14% of votes cast - and NO seats - so goodness knows what the voter behaviour would be under some form of proportional representation. Perhaps this month's European Parliament elections will give us a clue, and the differences between those results and GE 2015 could be worked up into some yardstick of democratic deficit.

Not, of course, that the EU Parliament decides anything, as Pat Condell points out in this splendid rant (htp: James Higham):

- which leads me to wonder why on Earth Alex Salmond would wish Scotland, if and when divorced from the rest of the UK, to remain in the European Union (or rather, join, legally speaking, not that the EU has much respect for law if it gets in the way of power).

I've already suggested that Scotland might do better to join forces with Norway and Iceland, maybe even Denmark (which, you'll recall, was expected to vote against the Lisbon Treaty and so the government cancelled the referendum and went ahead anyway). With North Sea fishing and oil, and firm Icelandic-style treatment of banksters, plus the energy and technical creativity of its people, a Kalmar-Union-plus might just work. Rather that than tie your jollyboat to a sinking megavessel like the EU.

One more question: should Scotland get independence, will the Scot Nats have outlived their usefulness? And has the shrewd Salmond already planned for that? Salmond the EU Commissioner? Salmond for EU President?


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1 comment:

A K Haart said...

I think the AV vote was our last chance and "we" blew it. UKIP may be a final opportunity to put a stick in the totalitarian wheel, but "we" will screw that up too. The ship has sailed.