The Pros and Cons of Proportional Representation (PR)

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The results of recent elections in Britain raised many significant questions about current political situation in the country, particularly concerning electoral system. Therefore the problem of “crisis” in democracy of Britain was the subject of wide speculation among analysts and political scientists over last years. In addition it is widely recognized that the traditional electoral system in the UK-first past the post- is the main cause of that crisis and should be replaced as part of a plan to reconstitute the democratic culture (Kelly 2008). By longstanding critics of the system, opponents advocate the use of proportional representation (PR) for selecting MPs. Due to this problem it is going to be a referendum on changing the electoral system of the country's parliamentary elections. Arguments in favor of the adoption of proportional representation in UK have been made much more widely in recent years than in the case in favor of maintaining the current system of the majority vote. In this essay I would like to help restore the balance pointing out some misapprehensions in the critique of the plurality vote and to indicate some disregarded advantages of the present electoral system in Britain. The principal advantage of PR is its association with greater fairness rather than the majoritarian system. This is related with the following factors: firstly, there is an opportunity for each political party to gain seats in proportion to the number of polls, secondly voters have wide range of parties for voting. With several parties constituents have a huge variety and are more likely to find a party which represents their political beliefs rather than in a two-party system. John Stuart Mill (1861), the most known stickler of PR, emp... ... middle of paper ... ...native. Works Cited Center for Voting and Democracy. 1996. Dubious Democracy. 2nd ed. Chandler, J.A. 1982. Plurality Vote: A Reappraisal. Political Studies. Sheffield: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Colman, A. M. 1992. Arguments against proportional representation. Politics Review, 2(2), 14-15. Curtis, J., Fisher S., Lessard-Philips L. 2007.Proportional Representation and disappearing voter. British Social Attitudes: Perspectives on a changing society, ed. A.Park 119-25. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Guinier, L.1994. Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy. New York: The Free Press. Kelly, R. 2008. It is only made things worse: A critique of Electoral System in Britain. The political quarterly 79(2):260-261. Lijphart, A. 1997. Unequal participation: Democracy’s unresolved dilemma. The American Political Review 91(1):1-14.

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