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Electoral Systems - Proportional Representation

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1 Electoral Systems - Proportional Representation
S4 Standard Grade Modern Studies Electoral Systems - Proportional Representation

2 What we will do today… Learn about Proportional Representation (PR) – an alternative to First Past the Post Learn about the ‘pure’ form of Proportional Representation – National List System Learn about the PR system used to elect local councillors in Scotland – Single Transferable Vote (STV)

3 But first….. What is the name of the voting system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons (General Elections) How many constituencies are in the UK? Under the FPTP system, how is a government elected? What is a ‘marginal seat’? Who are the Opposition? Some people think the UK electoral system (FPTP) is unfair. Write down two disadvantages of FPTP Write down one advantage of FPTP How did you do?

4 Voting systems used in Scotland…
Local councils in Scotland (from 2007) are elected by a system called the Single Transferable Vote (STV) Voting Systems in the UK The British electoral system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons is known as ‘First Past the Post’ You need to know about these three systems for your exam. You will need to be able to explain the voting system used tp elect MPs to the House of Commons and the voting system used to elect MSPs to the Scottish Parliament. On top of this you will need to be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of different voting systems. The voting system used to elect MSPs to the Scottish Parliament is called the Additional Member System (AMS)

5 What’s the alternative to FPTP?
Many people would like to see a change to the First Past the Post system The Liberal Democrats, for example, have long campaigned for a system of Proportional Representation Proportional Representation is a ‘group name’ – it is the name given to many different types of voting systems that try to share out seats in proportion to votes PR is when the electoral system is such that the proportion of MPs/MSPs a party gets should be the same as the proportion of votes they get at the election. For example, if a party gets 20% of the vote they should get 20% of the MPs/MSPs. Look at picture – what’s it saying Clip – note down some advantages of FPTP mentioned by G Brown. Mention some advantages of the alternative vote system Gordon Brown mentioned – more choice, better representation, etc.

6 National List System Under this system each party makes up a list of people they would like to be MPs/MSPs. The most important people go at the top of the list. Voters choose a party only - not a candidate. All ballot papers across the country would be the same: Voters simply put an X next to the party they want to vote for. % of votes = % of seats So if Labour got 40% of the vote, the first 40% of the people on the Labour list would be elected, and so on.

7 National List Cont’d… The National List is a form of Pure Proportional Representation Activity: Look at the sheet I gave you last week regarding the 2005 General Elections. Calculate how many seats each party would have won had the system been the National List 646 X percentage of votes 100 I’ll take you through the first party – you calculate the rest Party Seats under FPTP (2005) Seats if National List Labour 356 228 Con 198 209 Lib Dems 62 143 Other 30 66 Labour – 228, Conservative – 209, Lib Dems – 143, Other – 66 What are the advantages to this sort of system? Can you think of any disadvantages?

8 Advantages and Disadvantages of the National List System
the result is much fairer and represents the views of the voters much better than FPTP smaller parties do much better, e.g. Liberal Democrats, and no party dominates in the Parliament. leads to a weaker government as no party is likely to have an overall majority (over half the MPs/MSPs) - parties must join together to form a government - this is called a COALITION government you vote for a party and not a candidate, which means there are no constituencies and you do not have a local representative. Example – Isreal. Uses this system. Never get policies pushed through. Always dealings behind closed doors. Take a Note

9 Textbook Questions F/G: pg21-25 (answer all the questions beginning at pg22) pg27-28 (questions on pg28) G/C: pg61-66 (begin with only answering question 3 on pg62) pg68-69 (questions 1-3 on pg69)

10 Single Transferable Vote

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