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19 April 2010

Why the public is about to see through our dire electoral system

If Cleggmania lasts until May 6, FPTP will come under scrutiny like never before

By James Macintyre

Here’s a little thought: One of the many side-effects of Cleggmania, especially if it lasts until polling day, will be that the skewed electoral system First Past the Post may be scrutinised like never before. Under the ststus quo, not only do general elections revolve around a handful of marginal seats, largely in Middle England and inhabited by around a million people.

As well as that, smaller parties are disproportionately discriminated against. So imagine the scenario in which the Lib Dems do dramatically better in their popular vote — better, perhaps, than one of the other main parties, even — than their seat count, and therefore power, in the House of Commons.

Suddenly, what has been seen as an obscure issue obsessed about by the likes of my colleague Mehdi Hasan and myself, will become mainstream, as anger at the obvious injustices of our system becomes popular and alienation from Westminster is still further enhanced.

 

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