Opinion: Is our voting system broken?

Opinion: Is our voting system broken?

By Martin Brisland.

With a General Election on 4th July, I have come across two things I found of interest. A 2023 poll by Peerless Democracy found that 75% thought that British politics is not working. Plus, Belarus is the only other European country that shares our first past the post voting system.

Maybe these two are connected?

The country faces many problems including falling living standards, an NHS with record waiting lists and environmental degradation. Maybe the problem with sorting these and many other serious issues isn’t the players on the stage but the whole Westminster system?

Our first past the post system meant that, in the 2019 election, 100% of political power was gained with 44% of the votes gaining 56% of the seats. The main argument for keeping the current system is that it allegedly produces strong government rather than trying to form unstable coalitions of different interest groups.

How do we repair the system to make all votes count equally?

Is proportional representation the way to end minority rule?

Would it lessen the influence of wealthy donors and media barons?

Would it give the Green Party more than the one MP they currently have? They are currently around 6% in opinion polls.

Of course, proportional representation would also give a voice to right wing groups such as Reform UK, who are at about 12% in the opinion polls.

Should the imminent election be the last held under the present system?

We do seem to be out of step with other countries in Europe and many feel there is little point in even using their hard-won vote.

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