Electoral systems that use closed party lists (such as the one we now use for the European Parliament) are often criticised because they don’t enable individuals to be held accountable. People are forced to choose between parties, not individuals. Yet the hard truth of the matter is, FPTP has the same problem ... the evidence we have from the other side of the Irish Channel suggests that some proportional systems encourage politicians to engage with the community precisely because they allow people a variety of different elected representatives from which to choose. The Single Transferable Vote system used there means that politicians not only compete against candidates from other parties but with candidates within their own: being able to demonstrate that you, personally, are doing a good job is therefore at an absolute premium.I've said similar things myself here before, but James has summed up the argument incredibly well. One to bookmark for future reference methinks.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The Constituency Link: Time to Cut the Umbilical?
Must pay more attention. James, who I read regularly, also it seems writes at the New Politics Network blog, which I must have missed despite looking at the site a few times. Got there via Make my Vote Count (which I read at least once a week), and find this excellent article on the merits of multi-member constituencies: