The Staggers 5 May 2010 Proportional representation for dummies . . . by John Cleese An SDP/Liberal alliance broadcast from 1987. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up So it took the New Yorker to remind us of a party political broadcast, shown 23 years ago, that may prove helpful today. Here's the ex-Python John Cleese explaining the inequity of first-past-the-post and the benefits of proportional representation in a 1987 election broadcast. In the previous election, the SDP/Liberal alliance had gained a 26 per cent share of the vote, which in turn translated into just 23 seats. Or, as he notes: It took 40,000 voters to elect a Labour MP, only 33,000 to elect a Conservative and it took ten times that number -- 340,000 voters -- to elect one Social Democrat or Liberal MP. UPDATE: In the interests of balance, and in case anyone is thinking of voting for a party that might insist on electoral reform, here's the front page of today's Daily Mail. If you don't get the symbolism of a blind Britannia walking dangerously close to the edge of a cliff marked "Hung Parliament", the headline is there to help you out. Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter. › Is a petrol bomb a weapon of mass destruction? Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!