AltInst: Consensus PR

From: David Chapman <>
Date: Thu Jun 04 1998 - 10:14:59 PDT

To all members of the AltInst discussion group

I would be very grateful to have your comments on the following paper, "Two
Electoral Systems for Westminster: A Submission to the Independent
Commission on Voting", which I have placed on the Democracy Design Forum
Website <>

or it can be accessed directly at:

I should be pleased to have your comments on it as soon as possible, as I
will shortly be presenting it to the Jenkins Independent Commission on
Voting, which is considering a new electoral system for the UK.

The paper makes proposals for modifications of PR (1) to strengthen each
MP's link with a geographical constituency, (2) to avoid extremism and
sectionalism in the parties and (3) to avoid instability in the government.
In other words, it seeks to modify PR so as to overcome the principal
objections made to it.

A new system of proportional representation is proposed, which makes use of
the present UK single-member-constituency areas. Each candidate stands in a
"territory", consisting of a cluster of several of the present
constituencies, as many as their party decides. For example, a party
expecting not more than one-third of the seats is likely to divide the
country up into three-constituency territories, one per seat. Thus each MP
has his or her own territory, and can maintain close contact with the
electors who have voted for him or her.

The system gives the three major parties a strong incentive to become
moderate and inclusive one-nation parties, responsive to all sections of
electors. The reason is that they get seats not just for first preferences,
but for their second-preference votes as well. A further effect of the
system is that some two of these three major parties will always be able to
form a majority government, without having to include any splinter parties
in it.


David Chapman

Dr David Chapman
Democracy Design Forum
Coles House, Buxhall, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 3EB, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1449 736 223
Fax: +44 (0) 1449 612 274

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Received on Thu Jun 4 10:45:52 1998

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