Monday, 27 December 2010

Anyone want to support FPTP?

Tactical voting is when you don't vote for the person or party that you want to win, but you vote for someone else in order that your least favourite candidate doesn't get in. You only find this type of voting when you have a first-past-the-post system. If there is a two-horse race then if you prefer the third of even fourth placed party you are going to waste your vote. In fact there is a strong argument that says if you vote for anyone other than the winner then your vote is wasted.

On this basis most people will waste their vote. Elections are won and lost in the marginal constituencies and this means that the vast majority of the electorate are almost wasting their time by voting. It also means that someone with a bit of money can distort our democracy. This is one factor in the declining number of voters but what tactical voting meant in 2001 and 2005 is that Liberal Democrats voted for Labour when they thought Labour could beat the Tory, and Labour votes went to Liberal Democrat candidates if they had a chance.

So not only are the number of voters declining but most people waste their vote. On top of that you can't tell who they really want to vote for anyway. Does anyone want to support FPTP?

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