The Additional Member System AMS - Harrow U3A by malj


									Mixed Member Systems

      Mike Allen
        Mixed Member Systems

• These are hybrid systems that seek to combine
  some of the advantages of the simple majority
  system with PR.
• Essentially part of the legislature (parliament) is
  elected by the simple majority system and these
  are "topped up" by another system, usually the
  list system in order to make the final result
• It is sometimes called MMP short for Mixed
  Member Proportional Representation,
       The German system 1
• Half the Bundestag (their Parliament) is
  elected by the simple majority system and
  the other half of the seats are elected by
  the list system.
• The voter in Germany has two votes, one
  for an individual candidate and one for a
       The German system 2
• The parties win seats in the Bundestag in
  proportion to their votes.
• The first to be elected would be those elected
  under the simple majority system
• The remainder from the party list which would be
  used to top up the totals.
• Thus a party might have an allocation of 30
  seats according to its share of the vote but had
  only won 3 seats under the simple majority
  system. It would receive the other 27 seats from
  its list.
       The German system 3
• To win any seats a party must win at least
  3 seats in the simple majority election or
  5% of the vote nationally.
• It has produced a highly stable system.
• This is the system that has been used for
  the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh
  Assembly and the London Assembly
     The Jenkins Report 1998 1
              AV Plus
• Set up in December 1997 by the Labour
  government with the support of the Liberal
  Democrats, to investigate alternatives to
  the single member plurality (or "first past
  the post") electoral system used for British
  general elections.
• A referendum was planned on whether to
  change the voting system.
     The Jenkins Report 1998 2
              AV Plus
• Around 500 seats to be elected by AV in
  single member constituencies.
• Each elector would get a second vote to
  cast at a county (or equivalent) level. In
  Scotland and Wales, these areas would be
  the same as the ones used for the
  additional members in the Scottish
  Parliament and Welsh Assembly.
      The Jenkins Report 1998 3
               AV Plus
• Each voter would choose either their favourite
  party, or their favourite candidate from the list
  proposed by their favourite party. This means
  that they do not have to accept the order of
  candidates set out by the party, i.e. the lists are
  'open' rather than 'closed'.
• These a votes are used to top up the
  constituency results to make the overall result
            Advantages 1
• It has all the advantages of PR.
• Elected MPs would have the support of a
  majority of their local electorates.
• Being able to rank candidates increases
  voter choice, as does having both a
  constituency vote and a regional vote.
• Nearly every elector would have at least
  one vote that would have an effect on the
  overall election result.
               Advantages 2
• Parties would have an incentive to campaign
  across the whole country, and not just in the
• The final result will be fairer, with parties having
  a share of MPs based on their support among
  the electorate, rather than on electoral arithmetic
  and geographical oddities.
• AV+ will produce majority governments when
  the voters express a desire for one, but will force
  them to work together when the electorate
  choose not to give any one party a clear
• Tactical voting is no longer necessary.
•It has all the disadvantages of PR and since it is a very
accurate system it would mean that there would always
be minority or coalition governments if used in the UK.
•All existing constituency boundaries would have to be
•Ballot papers would be more complicated than FPTP
•It creates two classes of representative, which in turn
creates animosity between them and a confusion of
Adapted from
              Summary 1
Simple Majority or FPTP
• Simple system producing mostly clear
  decisive results with 1 party overall
  majority goverrnments.
• Unfair in terms of seats won and votes
              Summary 2
Alternative Vote
• Preferential voting in single member
• Fairer to small parties especially the
  Liberal Democrats.
• Would produce overall majorities most of
  the time.
• Not PR although results slightly more PR.
              Summary 3
Single Transferable Vote
• Preferential voting in multi-member
• Roughly PR.
• Highly complex and confusing.
• Would produce coalition or minority
               Summary 4
List System (Party List, Regional List)
• Large multi-member constituencies.
• Voter votes for a party.
• Seats allocated to party lists according to
  proportion of votes.
• Simple in concept complicated in practice.
• PR therefore fairer.
• Would produce coalition or minority government.
                Summary 5
• Additional Member or Mixed Member Systems
• Half or three quarters of legislature elected by
  FPTP in single member constitutencies.
• Remainder elected by another system –most
  popular the list system.
• Produces PR whilst retaining advantages of
  single member constitutencies.
• Would produce coalition or minority government.
• The Choice comes down to
• Either the simple majority system which
  produces one party majority governments that
  are said to be strong and stable but which
  underrepresents small parties
• Or to PR which is fair in seats that are won
  according to votes cast but which produces
  coalition governments where small parties may
  have unfair amounts of power
           Personal View 1
• For a long time I have thought that they
  arguments are finally balanced but I
  favoured FPTP.
• I have changed my mind for 2 reasons.
• The decline of the 2 party vote from
  around 90% 1945-1970 to 65.1% in 2010.
• The decline of the turnout from an average
  of 76% 1945-1997 to 62% 2001-2010.
             Personal View 2
• There has been a major disillusionment with
  British Politics amongst the people and major
  reforms are necessary to try to re-engage
  people with the political process.
• For that reason I favour PR with a mixed
  member system similar to that in use for the
  Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.
• I will vote in favour of AV in the referendum as a
  step towards further reform in the future.

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