tirsdag 24. mars 2009

British political system

It seems that I have one more thing to post today - Something on the British Parliaments. So I'll write a tad on the "first past the post"-thing and how this works.

First off, the UK is divided into constituencies (counties or "states", you might say). There are 646 of these constituencies, and each one elects one MP (member of parliament) through the first past the post-system. This means that if there are two candidates, and if one scores 50,1% of the votes, he has won and his opponent gets nothing.

This causes an enormous amount of votes to be wasted: There are mainly three parties in England - Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats are a bit smaller by number of votes, however this causes them to lose an insane amount of seats in the parliament. This causes the system to be largely controlled by two parties: Labour and Conservatives. This is very unfair to smaller parties.

However, it also provides strong cabinets. The cabinet will always have support in the majority of the parliament, whereas in Norway we get weak alliances and the cabinet can't do what it wants to do. Currently, our cabinet consists of three different parties, and they tend to disagree. And they are the first government in quite some time to hold the majority of our parliament. In the UK there's no way to ensure that the cabinet doesn't become tyrannic, it can only be removed by a majority in the parliament.

This means that when the have elections in the UK, they vote for their next five-year long dictatorship.

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