Thursday, September 20, 2007

Letter to the Electoral Commision

I understand that you are interested in increasing the participation of the public in the electoral process.
If so, you should know that turnout is inversely proportional to the size of the constituency majority in UK General Elections.
There is a plot of the 2001 election on this page: http://www.greenhealth.org.uk/Democracy.htm that demonstrates the relationship. Majority 4000, turnout 60%: majority 17,000, turnout 50%.

It seems that not all UK voters are ignorant of how the system works. Some realise that in a "safe seat" the chance of their vote bringing about a change is negligible, so they, not unreasonably, choose not to participate.
Under PR systems, a far greater proportion of votes count toward the outcome.
I would be very grateful if the Electoral Commission could take account of, and comment on, this observation. Do you accept the data and interpretation, and if so, does this induce you to advocate PR as an instrument for increasing voter participation?

2 comments:

Jim Jay said...

utely, so many people are disenfranchised by the current electoral system - I think it's very difficult to know what the people of this country actually want by looking at elections because of the enormous distortions the system throws into our voting behaviour.

DocRichard said...

The Electoral Commission told me they knew about this; so the Government knows, but they still pretend they want to know why people do not vote, and try to install dodgy things like electronic voting.