Weighted Representation

Off the usual jazz/singing topic I wanted to share something a musician friend of mine has brought to the table after yesterday’s general election.

Weighted Representation

A drummer from Nottingham could well have come up with a simple, easily implemented solution to the obvious shortcomings of our First Past The Post democratic system.

Weighted Representation would ensure EVERY VOTE counts in parliament.

Aside from the cost and hassle of implementing the much talked about Proportional Representation system, its main drawback is the loss of ‘local’ MPs – a voice to represent each community in parliament.  This is not necessary with Alan Parker’s weighted system:

As things are currently with FPTP, the party with the most votes would still win and form a government.  However, MPs votes within parliament would be weighted to reflect the total UK votes for their party.  For example; if 5% of the country voted Green, they should have 5% of the voting power in parliament even if they only have 1 MP (weighted at 32.5 per vote).

Below is a print of the election results in 2015 with the weighted aspect added.  The formula is; total number of MPs (650) times % of vote divided by number of MPs.  So Labour MPs would be worth 0.85 and conservative 0.72 (however UKIP’s 1 MP would have had a weight of 81.9 and the Greens’ 24.7)

Last night Labour made gains in almost all boroughs even when they did not win the seats.  In my local borough of Broxtowe, Conservative candidate Anna Soubry held her seat by 861 votes – the breakdown was as follows; Conservatives 25981, Labour 25120, Lib Dems 2247, UKIP 1477, Greens 681.  It is clearly unfair that the 25k+ votes for Labour’s Greg Marshall count for naught and for that matter the votes for the other parties’ candidates.  Weighted Representation would ensure they still count in parliament and have an impact on our country’s policies and direction.

There are some snags, for instance this year UKIP did not gain an MP but did gain substantial votes – for this reason a representative would perhaps have to be ‘added’.  There would also need to be a low % cut off wherein very small parties/independents may not gain enough votes to create a parliamentary representative.  But it would also mean that the SNP, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and other regional parties could submit representatives across the UK to represent their communities in London and elsewhere? It would remove the need for tactical voting – everyone could support the candidate they want to, regardless of if they are in a safe seat – more candidates will be put up & all votes count.

It took Alan 2 minutes to input the data from last night’s election to his model:

There are discussions to be had around this potential new democratic system but I think it has legs – do you like this idea?  Discuss and share it!