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 longer  ‘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.

 

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musings of a 3 yr old

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Voodoo

Voodoo. No my grandfather never practised it. He just fed it. And it was very faithful, living to a ripe old age of 14. Silly names for a dog. Sillier names for his grandchildren. I was ‘chuni chuni.’ (Pronounce the ‘chu’ with ‘oo’) I forgot what the others were called. The precocious grandson that I was, I once deemed it unfit to be called such an uncouth name and requested he call me Sunil. Grandpa half upset, half mischievous refused and merely did the very Malayalee act of saying ‘shu’ to catch my attention.

He was a lovable man. Tall and handsome and very self assured. Not in an arrogant way though it could’ve been misconstrued to be that. I spent many hours on his hospitable lap whether it was listening to his stories or reading comics especially reading the little mandrake cartoons in the manorama. More about mandrake later.

In his lap jokes about bishops and Chinese men abounded. Sports exploits entwined themselves with funnier ones on stage. Once grandpa had acted as a woman in a play after which a man propositioned ‘her’. ‘I was soooo good, you see!’ Grandpa said without a trace of improper pride. I was very privileged one day to hear a really long story from Grandpa. It must’ve taken 4 or 5 days. It was about this boy who grew up in a village and went to college and so on. On the 3rd day I achieved enlightenment. It was Grandpa’s own life story. This realization was quite exciting but in my excitement I wanted him to hurry to the bit where I came into his life. It was a great story. And I enjoyed being part of it.

My grandpa was a nice bishop. Yes, I know that their existence is disputed. But guess what? He traveled 2nd class. Yes he did. Promise. I saw it myself. We dropped him at the railway station and all his ‘friends’ were up ahead in 1st class coach while grandpa said it was a waste of the church’s money and boarded the normal coach. Yes he was nice. He didn’t have the airs of many of the other bishops and he didn’t crack little children’s hands when he shook hands like one Marthoma bishop did mine. Yes I’m a biased grandchild but if you knew grandpa you would be too.

Being a bishop means a lot of different things. It means responsibility, power, money, spirituality and whole mixed bag savory and unsavory items. Most of these didn’t affect grandpa but he had one weakness. He was naïve. He trusted people too much. He was innocent as a dove. But he didn’t have the full measure of the serpent’s wisdom. As a child I could see it. When politics flew around him he would very unusually flounder. Maybe the particular times were evil in the church and Grandpa belonged elsewhere.

I was the last person to be with Grandpa. I reached my customary place in his lap and we read our daily dose of Mandrake comics. As I was late for school I finished and went to have breakfast. After a few minutes the maid who was sweeping the garden rushed in. Grandpa was gone. Gone. As he would’ve wanted. A simple life. A simple death. A simple man.

Jesus said something about Nathaniel in John 2. I think he might’ve said the same of M. M. John. Maybe they’re joking about it right now.