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We don’t have a sovereign and a prime minister, but the one thing we do have in common with our British cousins is the concept of “first past the post,” that is the candidate with the largest vote count in any constituency wins.
This leads to some grumbling among the losers. For example, in the late UK election, the Scottish National Party received 1,454,436 votes or 4% of the total cast. The United Kingdom Independence Party received 3,881,129, or almost 13%. Guess which party got 56 MPs and which one got just one?
Which led to this Tweet this morning:
How many votes it took to elect each MP last Thursday UKIP: 3.86m Greens: 1.15m LD: 299,000 Lab: 40,000 Con: 34,000 SNP: 26,000 DUP: 23,000
— Electoral Reform Soc (@electoralreform) May 11, 2015
“PR” stands for “Proportional Representation.” Under this type of system, voting districts are ignored. Large blocks of urban votes are used to wipe out the voices of suburban and rural voters out of “fairness.”
If you were listening, you could hear the same high-pitched whine on these shores last fall when the GOP took 57% of the House seats with approximately 52% of the national vote. A progressive, liberal Democrat front group, FairVote.org started complaining in every media outlet that would give them a platform. And the whine about the Senate was even worse as the media latched on to FairVote’s myth of a 20 million vote majority for the new Democrat minority (subsequently debunked by Sean Trende).
Of course all of these arguments are made using results where parties were using different rules, the very knowledge of which effects the outcome. The idea is to make every election a national election.
And if FairVote and other progressive organizations had their way they would do away with the entire Senate since small states like Delaware get equal representation to a state the size of California. That’s, you know, not fair.
Other things that they think are not fair include anything more than a signature to vote, losing one’s right to vote through committing a felony on your fellow citizens, and well, actually being a citizen.
The idea of any electoral reform is to rig the game for your fellow ideologues. The husband and wife team that runs FairVote — Rob Ritchie and Cynthia Terrell — are longtime Dem operatives (she worked for both Tom Harkin and Douglas Wilder).
All proposals of this type are enthusiastically supported until the moment that they don’t work. Peruse the Twitter feed of UK leftists this morning. Had someone granted their wish before last Thursday, not only would they have awoken to another five years of a coalition government under David Cameron, they would be looking at Nigel Farage of UKIP as Deputy Prime Minister.
Now who’s the swivel-eyed loon?