Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



International
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

International Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Major shake-up of U.K. voting system planned

Hasan Suroor


Plan to drop first-past-the-post system

Voters will have to rank candidates by preference


LONDON: The British government on Monday announced controversial plans for a major shake-up of the country's electoral system that could see the traditional first-past-the-post elections replaced by proportional voting if people say “yes” to the proposed change in a referendum to be called next year.

Reducing House's size

Other proposals include reducing the size of the House of Commons from 650 to 600, redrawing parliamentary constituencies to “equalise” their size, and a fixed five-year term taking away the traditional power of the Prime Minister to decide when to call a general election.

Announcing the plans in the Commons, the Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described them as a “hugely significant'' package of reforms that, he claimed, would see power shift from the executive to legislature and make the Commons more representative of the people.

“We've a fractured democracy today,” he said pointing out that because of the variations in the size of constituencies people were not equally represented and the first-past-the-post system was unfair to smaller parties.

The most contentious is the move to switch from the current voting system to Alternative Voting (AV) which would require voters to rank candidates in order of preference. A candidate getting more than 50 per cent in the first round would be elected. If no one gets more than 50 per cent in the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and voters' second choices are allocated to those remaining. The process would continue until a winner emerges.

Conservatives opposed

The Conservatives are opposed to the plan and Prime Minister David Cameron has said that his party would ask people to vote against it when a reference is held on May 5, 2011 setting the scene for tensions within the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

Labour broadly supports the idea but has questioned the date of the referendum which will clash with the elections to the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and local elections in England.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



International

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

FIFA World Cup Chandraayan I


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2010, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu