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Elective Constituencies

Choose who you vote for
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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.

pocmloc, Mar 01 2013


       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.
scad mientist, Mar 01 2013

       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.
pocmloc, Mar 01 2013

       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 or 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 member.   

       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.
MechE, Mar 01 2013

       These are great ideas! Post them anew and we will bunn!
pocmloc, Mar 02 2013

       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.
MechE, Mar 02 2013

       Got a link, [MechE]?
pocmloc, Mar 02 2013

       Honestly don't. I've encountered it written in a few different places. The core idea, that a person gets a 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.
MechE, Mar 03 2013


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