I was at a Young Voters debate in West Norwood on Saturday supporting our excellent candidate for Streatham Rahoul Bhansali. Both the Lib Dems on the panel and the Greens claimed that proportional representation (PR) would be the cure for the problems in parliament and a hung would be good for the country. I made the point that Italy had PR and it didn't stop their parliament being racked by scandal and that a weak government would be hugely damaging for the economy.
The Greens claimed that I only wanted to keep first past the post to protect their belief in a two party monopoly. I find this line of attack deeply hypocritical because as far as I can see the smaller parties only want PR because they think it will get them more seats in parliament.
First past the post (FPTP) isn't a perfect system, but neither is PR, indeed no voting system is. The biggest problem with PR is that it creates very weak executives who have to do back room deals to get a workable majority. This means that far from being fairly representing the views of the bulk of the electorate, the government's actions are dictated by parties with a very small electoral mandate.
Logically a PR derived coalition government should be led by the party with the largest pool of MPs in coalition with the party that has the next highest number of MPs until a majority of created. That would reflect the wishes of the voters more than I minority party jumping into bed with the biggest party.
I'm not sure the Lib Dems, SNP or the Greens would be too happy with that because they would still be excluded.
When minority parties call for a hung parliament in the name of fairness, what they are actually calling for is the chance to wield power far greater than their electoral support justifies. I call that hypocrisy.
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