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Voting Reform – the Constituency Link

January 23, 2018

Many politicians insists that any reformed voting system preserves ‘the constituency link’. Unfortunately this is usually interpreted as the relationship between a single MP and his or her single member constituency. This relationship is of cause of great benefit to the MP who wants to be elected next time. However, since a parliament made up of MPs all of whom are elected in single constituencies cannot be proportionate, this causes some difficulties.

What about the interests of the constituents? The convention is that an MP represents all of his or her constituents, even though typically his or her views differ markedly from those of at least half of them. This requires the MP to exhibit the humility and social skills to listen to and communicate views that differ from his or her own. This is too often not the case, and is certainly not the case with my MP. If he had to the sense to listen to his own PA, things might be better, but he does not.

If on the other hand multi members constituencies are allowed then typically constituents will have the choice of several MPs. Under STV for example, a constituency link ceratinly operates, but it is a many to many link rather than a one to many.

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