The Pros And Cons Of Proportional Representation (Pr)

1412 words - 6 pages

The results of recent elections in Britain raised many significant questions about current political situation in the country, particularly concerning electoral system. Therefore the problem of “crisis” in democracy of Britain was the subject of wide speculation among analysts and political scientists over last years. In addition it is widely recognized that the traditional electoral system in the UK-first past the post- is the main cause of that crisis and should be replaced as part of a plan to reconstitute the democratic culture (Kelly 2008). By longstanding critics of the system, opponents advocate the use of proportional representation (PR) for selecting MPs. Due to this problem it is going to be a referendum on changing the electoral system of the country's parliamentary elections. Arguments in favor of the adoption of proportional representation in UK have been made much more widely in recent years than in the case in favor of maintaining the current system of the majority vote. In this essay I would like to help restore the balance pointing out some misapprehensions in the critique of the plurality vote and to indicate some disregarded advantages of the present electoral system in Britain.
The principal advantage of PR is its association with greater fairness rather than the majoritarian system. This is related with the following factors: firstly, there is an opportunity for each political party to gain seats in proportion to the number of polls, secondly voters have wide range of parties for voting. With several parties constituents have a huge variety and are more likely to find a party which represents their political beliefs rather than in a two-party system. John Stuart Mill (1861), the most known stickler of PR, emphasized the significance of full spectrum of choices and representation of their various interests. "I cannot see," he wrote, "why the feelings and interests which arrange mankind according to localities, should be the only ones thought worthy of being represented."
Another important reason for changing electoral system is higher voter turnout. Overall public participation estimated to be 10-12 rercent higher in countries with PR than in appropriate countries having FPTP (Lijphart 1997). This is mostly because of the trust of people that their vote would be reckoned, supporters of small parties are likely to be represented by delegates to share their political views and beliefs.
According to many researches PR provides better representation for racial and sexual minorities. The 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act in USA leaded to increase in number of Black and Latino members in House (Guinier 1994). Due to increase of representation, PR in turn inspires minority communities to activate and win access to authority.
Also it could be argued that PR finishes gerrymandering, the process of drawing distinctive lines for political purposes. If to believe the words of congresswoman E, Johnson the redistricting process...

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