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Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) Recap Scotland’s voting system uses the AMS This is a combination of two types of voting First Past.

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Presentation on theme: "Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) Recap Scotland’s voting system uses the AMS This is a combination of two types of voting First Past."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) Recap Scotland’s voting system uses the AMS This is a combination of two types of voting First Past the Post (FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR)

2 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) Recap FPTP – used to elect constituency MSPs PR – used to elect regional MSPs

3 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) Recap FPTP – used to elect constituency MSPs PR – used to elect regional MSPs

4 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) FPTP – candidates stand in an area (e.g. Glasgow Shettleston) and whoever gets most votes wins PR – Parties stand in region (e.g. Glasgow) and are awarded MSPs based on the total number of votes they receive (number of seats won is proportional to number of MSPs)

5 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) PROS Produces a more proportional result than FPTP. Produces more coalitions – more than one party in control so more views heard. Less votes are wasted compared to FPTP system. More parties are represented unlike FPTP where biggest parties dominate. More views heard.

6 Pros and Cons of the Additional Member System (AMS) CONS Choice of candidates – parties choose who goes on party list of regional candidates so voters have less say. Conflict between constituency MSPs and regional MSPs – who is more important? Creates confusion because too many MSPs in area – who do you contact about a problem? Could lead to extremist parties, e.g. BNP, getting representation. Coalition governments are less stable than having one party in charge.

7 Pros and Cons of First Past the Post (FPTP) PROS Easy to understand – whoever gets the most votes wins. No confusion over who represents you – only one person – stronger bond between constituents and MSPs. Constituents have one representative to contact if they have any problems. Creates stronger government as there is less chance of minority or coalition governments.

8 Pros and Cons of First Past the Post (FPTP) CONS Unfair as too many votes wasted. Rewards parties who have lots of support in certain areas but penalises parties who’s support is spread across country. Unfair as candidates can be elected with less than 50% of vote.

9 Questions 1.Explain how votes are wasted in the FPTP system. 2.Why is it easier for smaller parties to be elected using the AMS system? 3.Do you think it is a good or bad thing that smaller parties have a better chance of gaining MSPs? Explain your answer. 4.Which system, FPTP or AMS, do you think is better for elections? Give at least two reasons for your answer.

10 Extension Q 1 (b)

11 There are many reasons why some people are unhappy with the AMS system. The first reason is that many believe the system produces too many MSPs. For example…

12 Happy with the way AMS has worked Fairer/more proportional so voters choices more likely to be reflected in Parliament. Each voter has two votes so able to split vote – greater choice. More representatives to choose from ie constituency and 7 regional MSPs. Unlikely to produce majority government which may exert too much power (with minority of votes). Has resulted in 8 years of coalition government with reasonable stability and now produced minority government – with reasonable degree of success (so far). Unhappy with the way AMS has worked Complex voting system may cause confusion as in 2007 with many ‘lost’ or ‘wasted’ votes. Does not produce majority government therefore need for coalition and now minority government having difficulty in getting legislation passed. Two types of MSP elected with some confusion over roles. Not completely proportional – still over-represents larger parties ie Labour and SNP while under-representing smaller parties.


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