Friday 7 May 2010

The Boris case against the electoral system

David Cameron is an enormous fan of the British electoral system. You may recall why.

"I want us to keep the current system that enables you to throw a government out of office", David Cameron told The Observer.

Next Left was puzzled by this claim. Our minor quibble was that Britain kicks its government out less often than any other major western democracy.

So even David Cameron may this morning be wondering why our fantastic electoral system seems to make it much more difficult than it looks.

The New Statesman showed that Boris Johnson was on to this point in his recent Telegraph interview.

Although my side won the debate and I was listening to the arguments, I have to accept that there are arguments that are difficult to despatch very easily. There is an unfairness in the current system. The advantage of first-past-the-post is that it delivers a decisive result. But that very virtue may be disproved. If it turns out that we wanted to kick them out and we didn't, that is a big argument against FPTP.

So was Boris right - and Dave wrong - about first-past-the-post's ability to throw the government out?

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