Friday, 11 February 2011

Idea 11 - STV for the Scottish Parliament.

STV for the Scottish Parliament.

Since the adoption of the Single Transferable Vote in 2007, Scotland has been ruled by four different electoral systems. Some work better than others. Yet it is undeniable – regardless of whether or not you support or reject it – that the use of STV for Scottish Local Government elections has had a transformative impact.

Not surprisingly, we think it has been a resounding success. Despite the scaremongering from opponents, STV has on the whole produced stable and more consensual decisions and ensured on-going competition in the local political marketplace.

It would be hyperbolic to suggest that the creation of coalition councils has ushered in a new era of “new politics”, but it has ultimately benefited our local democracy. Why?

1. Multi-member wards “remove political ownership” of electoral areas.
2. Council coalitions and multi-member wards increase the number of “political synapses” within councils and across council boundaries.
3. Council coalitions make for “more mature and considered” politics.
4. Tight competition in the political market improves service provision.

It is our belief that the next stage in the democratic evolution of Scotland should be the replacement of the Additional Member System (AMS) with STV for the Scottish Parliamentary election in 2015.

Those campaigning hard for the vote for a change campaign are rightfully supporting the campaign for AV in future Westminster elections; but let’s face it it’s difficult to get excited by a flawed system like AV.

The same cannot be said for the adoption of STV in Holyrood elections. It would end the “half-way house” and the two tiered system that doesn’t work.

Click here to read our RDII report that covered this issue.

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