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  • Hello Internet

  • The UK had an election we need to talk about because after the debates finished, the people

  • voted and the ballots tallied the results were this:

  • But parliament ended up looking like this:

  • Which isn't, exactly, representative. And by not exactly, I mean at all.

  • Red earned 30% of the vote and 36% of the seats, which is sort of close, but the rest

  • is madness: Orange earned 8% of the vote but got one eighth of that while Yellow's 5% just

  • about doubled, and purple earned 13% and got squat.

  • Meanwhile blue's 37% of the people booted to 51% of the seats in parliament. The blue

  • boost is even bigger when you consider that 51% of the seats gives basically 100% the

  • control.

  • How'd this happen?

  • In the UK -- national elections aren't really national, they're a bunch of local elections.

  • The UK is divided into constituencies, each of which elects one member of parliament (M.P.)

  • to represent them. This local / national divide is where the trouble begins.

  • Imagine a parliament with just three constituencies, and it's easy to see how it wouldn't always

  • align with citizens. Some people think this sort of result is fine -- “it's all *about*

  • winning local elections,” theyll say. “Each M.P. represents their constituency.”

  • And while the imbalance in this example is extreme, but it's the same problem in the real

  • election and this same argument is given, but there are two more problems with it in

  • reality land.

  • 1) Few citizens have any idea who their MP is, they just know what party they voted for

  • -- what party they want to represent their views on the national level. And pretending

  • like it's a local election is a bit disingenuous. -- in practice it's an election for how the

  • nation will run -- not really for who is going to represent a tiny part of it.

  • and even if it were

  • 2) The individual constituencies are worse at representing their citizens than parliament.

  • Indulge this spreadsheet-loving nerd for a moment, will you?

  • The difference between what a party earned at the polls and what they got in parliament

  • is the amount of misrepresentation error.

  • If we calculate all the errors for all the parties and add them up we can say the Parliament

  • as a whole has 47% percentage points of misrepresentation error. That sounds bad looks like a utopian

  • rainbow of diversity compared to any local election because the local elections have

  • *one* winner. Out of the 650 constituencies 647 have a higher representation error than

  • parliament. These are the only three that don't and they're really unusual for having

  • so many of a single kind of voter in one place.

  • Most places look the The Wrekin which is dead in the middle a mere one-hundred and one points

  • off. Note that the winning candidate didn't reach a majority here. Which means more than

  • half of constituencies elected their MP with a minority of voters.

  • The worst is Belfast South at the bottom of the list. Hilariously unrepresentative. Less

  • than a quarter of the voters get to speak for the entire place in parliament. This is

  • the the lowest percentage an M.P. has ever been elected by.

  • So when people argue that the UK election is a bunch of local elections 1) people don't

  • act like it, and 2) It's even more of an argument that the elections are broken because they're

  • worse on this level.

  • These local elections are unrepresentative because of the terrible 'First Past the Post'

  • voting system -- which I have complained mightily about and won't repeat everything here -- go

  • watch the video -- but TL;DR it only 'works' when citizens are limited to two choices.

  • Voting for any party except the biggest makes it more likely the biggest will win by a minority

  • -- which is exactly what happened.

  • That citizens keep voting for smaller parties despite knowing the result is against their

  • strategic interests demonstrates the citizenry wants diverse representation -- but that successes

  • is the very thing that's made this the most unrepresentative parliament in the history

  • of the UK.

  • People happy with the results argue the system is working fine -- of course they do. Their

  • team won.

  • But Government isn't a sport where a singular 'winner' must be determined. It's a system

  • to make rules that everyone follows and so, we need a system where everyone can agree

  • the process is fair even if the results don't go in their favor.

  • If you support a system that disenfranchises people you don't like and turbo-franchises

  • people you do -- then it doesn't look like you support representative democracy, it looks

  • like you support a kind of dictatorship lite. Where a small group of people (including you)

  • makes the rules for everyone.

  • But as it is now, on election day the more people express what they want the worse the

  • system looks which makes them disengaged at best or angry at worst and GEE I CAN'T IMAGINE

  • WHY.

  • This is fixable, there are many, many better ways the UK could vote -- here are two that

  • even keep local representatives.

  • And fixing voting really matters, because this is a kind of government illegitimacy

  • score -- and it's been going up and may continue to do so unless this fundamentally broken

  • voting system is changed.

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B1 parliament local election voting earned system

Why the UK Election Results are the Worst in History.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/05
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