Friday, May 26, 2006

Proportional Representation: Quota Notes reports on the British Columbia referendum, which gained 57% of the Vote for a change to STV, but narrowly failed to meet the difficult 60% double majority requirement.

QN also reports on Blair's victory in the British general election of 2005. With 35.2% of the vote, New Labor retained government with 55.1% of the seats in the House of Commons. "Coupled with the relatively low turnout of 61.3%, this was the lowest level of expressed support for a government since the 1832 Reform Act, and prompted The Independent newspaper to begin a “Campaign for Democracy” spearheaded by a petition for proportional representation."

This type of lopsided result is inherent in first past the post or single member systems, dearly beloved by the party or grouping that magically manages to transform a minority of votes into an absolute majority of parliament, but liked not so much by the majority of votes that acquired a minority. In these conditions, reform finally may become possible.

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