Yes, but playing the Devil's Advocate for a moment, surely the person chosen to represent people in a particular constituency is the one that most of the people in that constituency vote for? In all bar one constituency that person was not the UKIP candidate.AutomaticEarth wrote:Had someone from outside the UK posing a really good question:
'How come from a vote-share basis that the SNP can have over 50 seats and UKIP have 1 seat even though they have over 15% of the vote'?
I said 'First past the post buddy, first past the post'.
They said 'what's that?'
I said 'Exactly buddy'
If UKIP had polled the majority of the votes in 50 of the constituencies in which they were standing, they too would have had 50 seats. But they didn't.
Don't get me wrong; I do see the absurdity of the mismatch between seats and national vote share. However, to change it, one would have to question the whole idea of electing a local person to champion the needs and views of the constituents in parliament. Maybe that should be questioned, as the current system has mutated beyond that elegant simplicity; the candidates aren't always local, and once in the chamber, they aren't always permitted to vote on what's right for their constituents.
I suppose it hinges on what we think is the most important function of parliament; providing a national arena in which local people can have their say via their representative, or providing a broad church of political views with which to reach consensus on national issues.
If the former, I'd say stick with FPTP but introduce a local residency requirement of, say, at least five years prior to the election. If the latter, then introduce a system that more accurately reflects national share of vote, so a richer mix of parties ends up sitting in parliament.
Maybe we need both. Off the cuff idea; replace the Lords with a National Council who are elected on a share of the vote basis. These debate and recommend policy. Policies then go to the Commons to be ratified by local representatives who are locally elected on FPTP and always have a free (non-whipped) vote. These representatives wouldn't even have to be party-aligned.