An Electoral Idea

After the last UK elections in 2010 loads of people got interested in electoral systems. Of course I was one of them. But I think that in talking about changing the First Past The Post FPTP all of them (at least the ones I’ve read about or heard about) put the onus of change on the voter.

So here’s my idea. And quite possibly it’s all been done before and I’m just another guy who’s stumbled onto someone else’s idea.

The idea is that in a British system that we still vote with FPTP but give the MPs a proportional vote in government or bills.

So each MP then gets a differing voting weight according to how her party has done nationally. Now I guess the Lib Dems aren’t exactly the toast of the country but to represent the fact that a quarter of the country voted for them but they could only get about a tenth of the MPs, each Lib Dem MP should get a weightier vote.

So the UK election of 2010

UK election 2010
No of MPs National vote % Voting power per MP
Conservatives 306 36.1 0.77
Labour 258 29 0.73
Liberal 57 23 2.62
SNP 6 1.7 1.84
Green 1 1 6.5
Sinn Fein 5 0.6 0.78
Democratic Unionist 8 0.6 0.49
Plaid Cymru 3 0.6 1.3
SDLP 3 0.4 0.87
Alliance 1 0.1 0.65
Speaker 1 0.1 0.65
Independent 1 0.1 0.65
Total MPs 650  


Of course if a party doesn’t get an MP in then they don’t have any say. What I think is the advantage of this system is that then there are very few wasted votes. Real grass root movement parties like the Green party will gain the influence they deserve. Of course if the BNP get an MP in then they might have influence as well. Independents seem to lose some influence but I’m not sure whether their influence in bills and government support really count.

Also parties will have to campaign beyond their votebanks and a safe seat is no longerĀ  ‘safe’ in the traditional sense for the party because every vote counts towards the weightage of the MP.

Another advantage is that there needn’t be a huge and expensive campaign to educate the electorate in how to vote rather that the 650 in parliament and they officials of parliament need to know and understand this.

This is just something I came across in random thinking and I will be surprised if someone else hasn’t thought of this.


Poem on the Underground

Proud readers
Hide behind tall newspapers.

The young are all arms and legs
Knackered by youth.

Tourists sit bolt upright
Trusting in nothing.

Only the drunk and the crazy
Aspire ro converse

Only the poet
Peruses his poem among the adverts.

Only the elderly person
Observes the request that that seat be offered
to an elderly person.

D.J. Enright (1920 – 2002)
From London: Poems on the Underground

I quite liked this poem. London buses are a world away. Maybe I’ll write something one day.


yes that’s how we mallus say it. the lovely dosa was a part of our meal today. Kiarna was so quiet. enjoying the taste of a time past. It’s funny to think that a 3 year old has a past.

I had a version of kothu parota. twas yum.

And Luiza had bits of lots of things.

Thank God for the Sri Lankans. Another country brings a taste of home close.

Thanks Phil and Jenny.

Merry Mary Making Mad Mayhem Mingling with the Mop

Now it was Mary’s turn. Freddy had died a horrible death with a mug breaking his back and Harpic all over him. Mary landed up in our bathroom and artfully hid in the mop. So she didn’t have a horrible death. She was swiftly transferred to a bucket and dropped at the gate. And there she sat glumly looking at the wall wondering why Freddy didn’t have the same sense she did… *sigh*

they don’t fit

I enjoyed watching the first part of Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring) when it came out. But I missed one of the most enjoyable bits or should I say characters of the book.

Tom Bombadil.

A deep mysterious character, full of power, completely in control, yet simple, humble and rustic. Peter Jackson the director of the LOTR series it seems omitted Tom because he didn’t really add to the narrative. The narrative is not jerky or interrupted without him and his episode in the Fellowship of the Ring. Pity, because there is something really intriguing about him.

While on Wikipedia I stumbled on to this interesting article. It set me thinking (which normally is an unproductive exercise). Why is he in the story? Is his character important or is he just a concept or an ideal which many people say he was?

I chewed over it for a while and I thought…


Who appears and disappears in the space of 3 verses in the bible. (Gen 14:18-20)

some similarities…

We meet him on Abraham’s journey like the fellowship who meet Tom on theirs.

Melchizedek seems to have a timeless quality: ‘Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life…’, mirroring Tom Bombadil who was there at the beginning before the dark lord entered and Goldberry describes him as ‘he is’.

Melchizedek serves bread and wine and some of the best bits of the book are the meal times that the Hobbits have with Tom.

Melchizedek is the king of Salem meaning peace, and he doesn’t participate in the war that just took place, even though there seems to be an alignment with Abraham and his purpose. Tom also seems almost disconnected to the ring. It has no power over him and he doesn’t join the battle though he does seem aligned with the hobbits.

The only speech that Melchizedek makes is in poetic terms, and Tom Bombadil can’t help but sing all the time.

Most oddly, neither of these powerful characters seem to have anything to do with that particular story itself. They seem to come in and out of the story like a pleasant interupption. A non-comical pleaser.

So why are they there? Tom Bombadil gets a very brief mention towards the end of LOTR but we don’t really get to know about him more. Melchizedek’s character is however expanded, thousands of years later. And this gives us the clues to these mysterious characters and to the reason why they need to be in the narrative…

Melchizedek’s name reappears in the book of Psalms as a prophecy. Later Jesus quotes a portion of this Psalm. And much later the writer of Hebrews compares Jesus to Melchizedek. The mystery surrounding Melchizedek himself isn’t really cleared but we can see a bit more into his purpose within the overall story. He seems to point towards the bigger purpose of the story or the overall big picture. At interesting junctures Melchizedek’s name pops up, giving us signs to the overall scheme of things. Tom Bombadil also seems to point to the bigger picture. In the Silmarillion, (the expanded history) LOTR seems to be a rather short tale within the Big Story. But Tom is there from the beginning and will probably be there in the end, when the dark lord is finally vanquished and the second music begins.

For us who continuously flounder in the small picture, Melchizedek and Tom Bombadil give us hope that there is something more out there and that something might be truly good.