Proportional Representation: Simon Jenkins misses the point repeatedly

For the day that’s in it, here’s some dreadfully ignorant rubbish from Simon Jenkins on Proportional Representation.  He completely ignores the existence of non-list-based forms of PR, he ignores the fact that horse-trading and deal-making exists within parties and not just between them, and even bizarrely claims that the Germans, Danes and Italians “plead with Britain to stick with first-past-the-post”.

More importantly, as is common is this type of apologia for a voting system that is broken by design, he completely fails to ask the question, is first-past-the-post actually just?  Is it right to allow the majority of the votes cast to have no influence whatsoever on the formation of government?  Is it fair that only voters in marginal constituencies matter?  It’s been well established that there is no perfect voting system, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make a judgement on whether a system is fair or not, based on the balance of the various desirable attributes it satisfies.  Surely fairness should be at least as important a consideration as “strong government” or “the constituency link” or whatever other dubious pleasures FPTP is supposed to provide.

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