Debates

Democracy

Curator: 
Debate ID: 
20
Bibliography: 
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/kirkaldyandcowdenbeath/">Anthony Wells, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, UKPollingReport, 2010</a></p> <p><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/">BBC News, UK 2010 general election results (accessed 24/05/11)-</a></p> <p><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7522153.stm">BBC News, &#39;SNP stuns Labour in Glasgow East&#39;, 25/07/08 -&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/election2011/constituency/html/36117.stm">BBC News, Vote 2011 Scotland elections, Kirkcaldy, 11 May 2011,&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9482000/9482460.stm">BBC Radio 4, Today, Coalition &lsquo;more radical than Thatcher&rsquo;, 11<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;May 2011,&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14749972,00.html">Belgium renews efforts to form a new government, DW-World.de, 3rd January 2011,&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/8461452/Belgium-wins-Guinness-World-Record-for-political-impasse.html">Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph, &#39;Belgium wins Guinness World Record for political impasse&#39;, 19/04/2011</a></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-would-av-help-or-hinder-the-bnp/6273">Cathy Newman, Channel 4 fact check, &#39;Would AV help or hinder the BNP?&#39;, 13/04/11 -&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jan/27/house-of-lords-reform">Deborah Summers, &lsquo;Labour&rsquo;s attempts to reform the House of Lords&rsquo;,&nbsp;<em>guardian.co.uk</em>, 27 January 2009,&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/04/yes-to-av-fairer-politics">Ed Miliband, Yes to AV is yes to a fairer politics, guardian.co.uk, 4th May 2011,</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/orderedseats.html">Electoral Calculus, Majority Sorted Seats,</a></p> <p><a href="http://ippr.org.uk/publicationsandreports/?title=&amp;author=&amp;theme=&amp;pubdate=&amp;pg=3">Guy Lodge and Glenn Gottfried, The Worst of Both Worlds, Institute of Public Policy Research, January 2011&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/proportional-representation-must-be-the-way-forward-for-australian-politics-20110429-1dzr6.html">Klaas Woldring, Proportional representation must be the way forward for Australian politics, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd May 2011</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blogs/press_releases/archive/2010/03/03/mps-expenses-scandal-has-mixed-results-march-3-2010.aspx">Hansard Society,&nbsp;<em>Audit of Political Engagement 7 The 2010 Report</em>, 3 March 2010</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.cpaafrica.org/uploadedFiles/Information_Services/Publications/CPA_Electronic_Publications/How%20can%20Parliamentarians%20Best%20Re%20Engage%20the%20Public.pdf">&lsquo;How can Parliamentarians best re-engage the public?&rsquo;, CPA/Wilton Park conference, 9-13 June 2003&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ca81e332-8540-11e0-871e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NMncfkN3">Matt Steinglass,&nbsp;<em>The Financial Times</em>, &lsquo;Dutch coalition loses Senate majority&rsquo;, 24/05/11&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.neweconomics.org/sites/neweconomics.org/files/Spoiled_Ballot.pdf">Nic Marks, Ruth Potts and Perry Walker, Spoiled Ballot, New Economics Foundation, 2005,&nbsp;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Further Reading: 
<p>Websites:<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/"> The Electoral Reform Society (UK) &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/pr"> Proportional Representation (The Guardian)&nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.fairvote.org/">Fair Vote (US)</a>&nbsp;<br /> <a href="http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/polit/damy/prlib.htm"> PR Library (Mount Holyoke College) &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Radical-renewal/?var_recherche=PR"> Red Pepper (left wing perspective from the UK) &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.politicsresources.net/"> Richard Kimbler&#39;s Political Sciences Resources &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.eca.gov.au/systems/proportional/proportion_rep.htm"> Electoral Council of Australia&nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://www.politics.co.uk/briefings-guides/issue-briefs/domestic-policy/elections/proportional-representation/proportional-representation-$366642.htm"> Politics.co.uk Issue Brief &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://ippr.org.uk/publicationsandreports/?title=&amp;author=&amp;theme=&amp;pubdate=&amp;pg=3"> Guy Lodge and Glenn Gottfried, The Worst of Both Worlds, Institute of Public Policy Research, January 2011 &nbsp;</a><br /> <a href="http://ippr.org.uk/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=814"> Guy Lodge and Glenn Gottfried, The Right Alternative?, Institute of Public Policy Research, 18/04/11 &nbsp;</a><br /> <br /> Books:<br /> <br /> Reflecting All of Us : The Case for Proportional Representation (New Democracy Forum Series, Robert Richie, Steven Hill , Joel Rogers<br /> Proportional Representation and Local Democracy, Mark Lazarowicz<br /> Proportional Representation, Vernon Bogdanor<br /> Representation (Key Concepts) , David Runciman , Monica Brito Vieira<br /> Rethinking American Electoral Democracy (Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation), Matthew Streb</p>

Using the electoral system of Proportional Representation (PR) means that the percentage of the popular vote that a party wins becomes the percentage of the seats that party receives in parliament. The person elected to sit in that parliament is usually decided by means of party lists, where the party lists its candidates in order; if it wins 34 seats in parliament, the first 34 candidates on its list are elected as members of that parliament. Many countries use it for national elections, though there are variations in how it is done.

Other countries do not operate PR in elections but use majoritarian systems instead, which give the majority of the seats to the party with a plurality of the vote. Under this system each constituency (a defined geographical area) elects its own representative(s) from among a group of rival candidates competing only for that constituency. In the UK, elections are organised on a First Past The Post (FPTP) basis, where the candidate with the highest number of votes is elected to represent that constituency; in an area where more than two parties attract significant support this usually means the winner has little more than 40% of the popular vote (a Scottish MP was once elected with only 28% of the votes in a tight four-party contest). In Australia, the Alternative Vote (AV) system is used, where voters list candidates in order of preference; candidates with the fewest votes are progressively eliminated from the count and their ballots are individually transferred to the voter's next preference until one candidate receives over 50% support and is duly elected.

The above outline simplifies the situation in most countries, where varying forms of PR may be used, perhaps by having very large constituencies with multiple representatives elected by PR from party lists, or by using PR for some elections and a constituency system for others. Recently, Italy has moved away from PR while the UK has begun to use it for elections to the European Parliament and in the new Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and London assemblies.

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