Why I think that PR is not a good idea

Germany faced with days or weeks of political uncertainty after CDU wins election by only three seats.
Meanwhile, half-way around the world, New Zealand faced with days or weeks of political uncertainty after Labour Party wins election by only one seat.
In both cases, we see either a situation where a minor party representing a tiny minority of voters holds the balance of power (with the result that their policies become the policy of government) or two major but diametrically opposed parties attempt to create a government together (resulting in impasse and conflict).
In a society reliant on personality and soundbite, consensus politics seem unlikely ever to be successful. Whilst first-past-the-post is seriously flawed, I think it offers a better option than the forms of PR employed in the above two nations which are leaving them with weak government or power disproportionately offered to the smallest minorities.

2 Replies to “Why I think that PR is not a good idea”

  1. Yes, I agree – it is definitely a flaw in the system. However, I still think that PR is the only system that offers people a chance of staying involved in the political process – New Zealand had something like an 80% turn-out.

  2. Perhaps, but if it was PR that drove the high turn-out, then surely we would see a higher turn-out in European elections here, which operate a rather convoluted form of PR. I believe that there is also a form of PR for the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, but I don’t believe that they achieve enormous attendance at the polling stations either.

Comments are closed.