h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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The advantages of a FPTP (first past the post) electoral system where each constituency returns one MP (member of parliament) are that (a) every voter has a representative who they can expect to represent them, and (b) that's the way it always has been done, always will be, and is just obviously correct.
The disadvantages are that the number of MPs for each party bears little relation to the overall percentage of votes cast, and that people living in safe constituencies effectively have no say in the colour of the resultant government. The system is weighted towards big established parties and away from a fair representation of the spread of political opinion in the population.
This idea is for a fixed number of constituencies, each returning one MP, as we have in the UK at the moment. The difference is that the constituencies are not geographical but are elective.
i.e. the voter gets to choose which constituency their vote is cast in, but they are the bound to have the winner of that constituency as their elected representative, until the next general election.
The constituencies would be numbered from 1 to however many constituencies and therefore MPs are required for the forthcoming parliament.
The rules for candidates wishing to stand would be largely as they are at present.
I think that the candidates should have to register their intent to stand first. Then the voters should have to register which constituency they wish to have a vote in. Then let the campaigning begin.
||I like the concept, but it seems like it would lend itself to gaming the system.
||For example, say there was a candidate who was really well liked by 30% of the population. That 30% might then all elect to vote for that candidate who would win by a landslide. But that 30% of the population would then be under-represented. The way to get the most influence would be for like-minded people to coordinate their voting so they got just enough votes for many MPs, but then you get infiltrators who promise to vote one way, but then don't, making all the candidates supported by the group loose. To compensate for that, law might be passed allowing people to assign their votes to an organization that will dole them out optimally, but that's not good if you don't fully agree with any of the organizations.
||You could address that by giving additional voting power to MPs with more constituents, but then it seems like power would often end up concentrated in a small group of people. That might have certain advantages, but would be a major change in the system.
||No to all the above; the way to deal with infiltrator danger is to make sure that is factored in when deciding what constituency to join... like shops factor the cost of shoplifting into their prices.
||I prefer a straight proxy system. You can give your
proxy vote to anyone who wants it, and any
person who holds at least X (where X is an
arbitrary number that isn't to big, but keeps the
body from being excessively large) proxies is
entitled to a seat.
||That person then votes those proxies straight up.
Yes, it means that some candidates would have a
million votes, and some would barely make the
floor, but so what, it makes it truly one person
one vote. With no geographical restrictions, it
would also allow you to shop around for a
candidate who truly represented your values.
||This system would allow proxies to be withdrawn
transferred at any time, although there would
probably have to be some caveats to that to
prevent people from gaming the system by pulling
a block out at the last minute and unseating a
||The floor should also be set at least low enough
that a person could physically visit and talk to that
number of citizens in a month or two, which
would allow local grass roots campaigns to seat
someone if desired.
||These are great ideas! Post them anew and we will bunn!
||Mine is decidedly not original to me.
||and [big] as far as finding a member who is a perfect
match, no you probably wouldn't, but you'd have
better luck than any current system. And if you find
someone (anyone) who is a better match, well you
give them your proxy. If enough people agree, they
end up with a seat.
||Honestly don't. I've encountered it written in a
different places. The core idea, that a person
seat by holding the votes of a certain number of
people rather than by a formal election largely
comes from "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by
Heinlein, as a throw away comment by the
Professor. The others, I can't remember.
||But it's basically how publicly traded companies
are run already.