Wednesday, 11 February 2009

PR or first past the post?

The Israeli election generated, amongst other things, these two posts from Alex Massie and Matthew Yglesias respectively. Both Messrs Massie and Yglesias observe pertinently that the precise configuration of an electoral system is less important than the quality of the men and women who make that system a reality. As Alexander Pope versified, 'Of forms of government let fools protest/Whatever is best administered is best.'

Some electoral arrangements are obviously worse than others - would you have liked to count and report opposition results in Saddam Hussein's Iraq? - but usually this has more to do with externalities, i.e. people, than quirks of systems.

For what it's worth, I prefer systems, like the multi-member constituency model, which try to reduce the 'wasted vote' side-effect of the Westminster Model. It must suck to be a Lib Dem in a rock-solid Tory or Labour constituency. Suck more than usual, that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment