Wasting Your Vote?

An example of a ballot paper.
Image via Wikipedia

“The fact is that the voters do not choose the Prime Minister. Under the crap FPTP(First Past the Post) system used in the UK and three of its ex-colonies, the voter does not directly choose the next Prime Minister, the voter does not directly choose the next Government, the voter only chooses the next MP for that constituency.

First Past the Post means that all votes that are not cast for the winning candidate are wasted. Thrown away. Discounted. Pointless. Unvalued. Futile. Senseless. Ineffectual. Pointless. Fruitless. Cast in vain. Worthless. Hollow. Disapparated. Not even recycled.”

Richard Lawson talks tactical voting and a less than perfect voting system.

Some say our voting system appeals due to it’s easy to understand nature. It’s an entirely black and white outcome scenario and is easy to understand. In Australia, where voting is compulsory (and yes people do trudge to the polling station usually on a Saturday to spoil their ballot paper rather than receive a fine for not voting) there is a system where you get to express second and third preference votes. OK you still end up with a dominant two party system but your vote for a single issue party is not wasted as it can be redeployed via a second and third preference. Many would argue that this is not  ideal but hey life is all about compromise sometimes.


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