Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is the government representative?

Dear Kin Lian,

I've gone through most of the comments on the General Election. I believe ONE very important point has been overlooked: For a Government to be truly representative of the people, the power it exercises and the mandate it earns has to be PROPORTIONAL to the percentage of total votes polled during the general election. The reference is to the French proportional electoral system. 

Thus if a party wins 66% of the total votes polled it wins ONLY 66% of the total seats in parliament. 34% of the votes being won by the Opposition parties. The Oppositon as a whole get 34% of the seats. The seats won by each opposition party is proportional to the percentage of votes won. 

By this measure, omitting other factors, in the last parliament, the Opposition as a group was entitled to 34% of seats, that works out to 34% of 81 seats, that is, to round off, -  28 seats! 

 The INCUMBENT party has, morally earned only 53 seats, since it won only 66% of a total votes and therefore 66% of 81 seats. It has a mandate only to that extent and no more. 

If the incumbent party wants to dominate 90% of the parliamentary seats, it has to go out there and poll 90% of the total votes. If the same said party wants to control 100% of the seats, SIMPLE -  all it has to do is to go out there and win 100% of the total votes, that is, every single vote polled, not  one vote less!
PS. please post this piece on your website.


Tan Choon Hong said...

You are absolutely right on the moral issue of deserving only 53 out of 81 seats. This presupposes the electorate in the walkover constituencies would vote the same way as the ones the party won.

Regrettably, we inherited the British parliamentary system of so called “first past the post” or “winner takes all” to determine who gets into parliament. What has been overlooked is that the winner takes all, the winner also has to work for all. The delaying of public spending like home upgrading in opposition wards is thus a travesty of the system that our former colonial master did not intend as their legacy.

Singapore's 5 Minute Investment Diary said...

You are actually writing about "proportional representation" and different types of voting systems.

Western Europe has the richest diversity of democratic voting systems other than Britain's "first past the post".


Google search results of "proportional representation"

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