Electoral Reform

We need to encourage more people to participate in elections. I think this can be done if we: 1) reduce the voting age to 16 to increase interest in current affairs and participation in politics of young people, 2) introduce the alternative vote system of voting so that all elected representatives have to receive more than 50% of first or second preferences to be elected, 3) introduce electronic voting and make it easier for people to cast their votes. If there are security reasons why this can't be done from home, electronic voting banks could be set up in public places such as supermarkets so that people can vote while undertaking day to day activities.

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  • Neil Stretton
    tagged this with love 2016-05-03 17:56:10 +0100
  • John Hackett
    commented 2016-04-02 12:46:54 +0100
    Alternative Vote is a poor system – it’s not real PR.

    Still, lowering the voting age would be good, and electronic voting is worth a go, too.
  • Andy Leighton
    commented 2016-04-01 17:09:09 +0100
    This is a bit of a curates egg.
    Votes at 16 – but legally (Article 1 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) you are a child till your 18th birthday; we are talking about forcing youths to stay in education till 18; to your 17th birthday, and there is pressure to increase it to 18 with cost the major barrier, you are required to have an appropriate adult for police interview to ensure, as memory serves, that they " fully understand any question put to them and the import of any answer they may give"…and we’re going to give them the vote?
    AV vote system – I know that STV with multi member constituencies is popular, including with the Electoral Reform Society. The question is, can you name your MP; now can you name your MEPs? I know I can’t, and I’m politically engaged enough to be writing this. I am personally wedded to having one person who you can hold to account…and sack. I am therefore in favour of single member AV constituencies so that every MP has at least the tacit support of a majority of their electorate. The thing with AV is you then have a precious commodity, First Preference votes. Second preferences may be your grudging support for the least worst party of Government, your First is for who you actually support. These could be usefully used to replace the current dogs dinner of a “reformed” House of Lords, more a place of patronage than when the hereditaries were in, with an honestly elected chamber with PR based on First Preferences. It would provide the proper PR element missing from AV and at least make the patronage involved in party lists subject to the vote instead of for life in the Lords. There would be the issue of a second centre of legitimacy through election, the People not the Commons being Sovereign – but the politicians would just have to deal with that – perhaps by making a second or third defeat in the Lords a confidence issue. First Preferences are also maybe a way to take money out of politics, make every first preference worth £x from a public pot and ban outside funding. Public funding of politicians would not be popular, and no Party that blew £30000 on the Edstone stunt should claim poverty for the shame of it, but could surely be sold on the basis of taking the “For Sale” sign off Westminster. The major parties would also have to get off their backsides and work for the First Preferences instead of sitting back and waiting for Second Preferences to get them over the line.
    An interesting idea would be to include a box to give your political money to charity, how much do we value our politicians? It would certainly be an incentive to engage with the electorate.
    Electronic Voting – there are enough issues with postal ballots, and at least then there are bits of paper to refer back to! In some form or other it may be the way forward, but the logistical and security hurdles are well rehearsed and immense.
  • Andy Leighton
    tagged this with neutral 2016-04-01 17:08:58 +0100
  • Paul Richardson
    commented 2016-04-01 16:30:56 +0100
    Forget AV, that’s a busted flush due to the lib dem failed referendum. Proper PR is the only way to ensure proper representation of the electorate. AMS is a sensible compromise between what we have now and pure PR while STV is far the best idea.
  • Rhys Morgan
    commented 2016-04-01 16:22:18 +0100
    Sorry, but electronic voting is a terrible idea. Thankfully, the reasons why have been covered quite comprehensively by Tom Scott for Computerphile – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI
  • Rhys Morgan
    tagged this with dislike 2016-04-01 16:22:16 +0100
  • Dan Wright
    commented 2016-04-01 13:39:30 +0100
    STV (AV with multi member constituencies) would be a good alternative to AV – it would mean in currently Tory areas people could still elect and be represented by a Labour (or Green, Lib Dem etc.) MP.
  • Dan Wright
    tagged this with like 2016-04-01 13:39:29 +0100
  • Glen Mynott
    published this page in Join the debate 2016-04-01 11:25:46 +0100