So a remarkable percentage of

So a remarkable percentage of French voters ticked the box marked “Jean-Marie le Pen” on their presidential ballots. And yet the nation seems outraged and surprised, with thousands pouring onto the streets to protest at their own action and inaction. After all, they were the ones who voted in the way they did – or, more importantly, didn’t vote at all.
This lends more weight to my old argument about the need for compulsory voting with the proviso that each ballot should carry a “none of the above” option.
The result also illustrates what can happen when you have too many political parties – the vote becomes fragmented, and a small party can easily wield far more influence and power than its mandate would suggest. Look at Germany – the Greens hold the balance of power there, even though the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats are both far larger parties representing far more of the electorate. Consequently, the Greens have pushed their manifesto to the forefront of the agenda. I suspect that as a result of this weekend’s ballot in France, we shall see a more right wing agenda in that country, even though 49% of voters voted for socialist candidates.
The question is – how do you ensure that minority interests are represented, but not at the expense of the majority?