(function() { (function(){function c(a){this.t={};this.tick=function(a,c,b){var d=void 0!=b?b:(new Date).getTime();this.t[a]=[d,c];if(void 0==b)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+a)}catch(l){}};this.tick("start",null,a)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var h=0=b&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-b)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load;0=b&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,b),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt", e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&0=c&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var f=!1;function g(){f||(f=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",g,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",g); })();

Friday, May 04, 2007

Why PR is Evil

The Scottish elections are still up for grabs but one thing looks certain, there will be more than 100,000 spoiled ballot papers. There are further problems because of the mismanagement of postal votes and the computerised voting system. The essential problem however is Proportional Representation which created the necessity for computerised voting systems in the first place and has generated the spoilt ballot papers.

Proportional Representation seems appealing because it ‘makes every vote count’ but this is a misleading slogan. By defintion, in any given vote the minority parties' votes in parliament never count and by employing PR we take the decision about whose voice should be heard out of the hands of voters and give it to politicians. In fact, we disproportionately favour the party which comes third in any election, which is absurd. P.R. gives hugely disproportionate power to third parties who are able to keep themselves in power almost indefinitely because their support becomes essential for the formation of a working majority. Politicians should be preoccupied with the common good of the whole people. Thus, they should be able to convince anyone to vote for them. P.R. leads politicians to appeal to classes or ideological groups instead of the whole people. P.R. weakens local party organisation and centralises power in central H.Q. because they are the one’s who decide who belongs to the list and in what place. This in turn breeds a smug and eventually corrupt metropolitan political elite. Finally, as the present elections have made abundantly clear, P.R. hopelessly confuses the electorate and leads to an unacceptable number of spoiled ballot papers.

The use of P.R. is another example of the British, whose system of democracy has been a resounding success for centuries, succumbing to a national loss of nerve and adopting a failed system invented by foreigners which doesn’t even work for them. However bad our political elite may be they look lily white in comparison with our European neighbours. Political corruption is endemic across Europe and P.R. is the most noticeable unifying feature of their political cultures. Let us never forget that P.R.’s greatest contribution to history was bringing Hitler and Mussolini to power.