Part One

Why did Theresa May play hide and seek with the electorate, when she wasn’t making U turns?

Or

What is the point of voting with our current system, it just isn’t fair!

So, in case you’ve been on a different planet for the last few months, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, after months of stating that she would not be calling a General Election, called a General Election, performing the first of her many u-turns.

Last Wednesday evening there was a televised ‘debate’ with 7 party leaders on the BBC. Except there wasn’t. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn did show up, after a bit of playing hard to get, but Theresa May didn’t.

However, I will try to steer clear of talking about politics in this post and stick to the mathematical inequities of our system.

1. You don’t directly have the chance to vote for the Party Leader of your choice.
Much has been made about the leadership qualities of the respective Party Leaders and in the past I have spoken to people who mistakenly believed that you are voting for the Party Leader of your choice. Hypothetically I may think to myself, “I think that Nicola Sturgeon Leader of the Scottish Nationalists would make a good P.M. I’ll vote for her”.

I can’t, her name will not appear on the ballot paper I am handed next Thursday, nor will the SNP.
The UK is divided into 650 Constituencies. You vote for one of the candidates put forward by the political parties.
Let’s look at my constituency “Old Bexley and Sidcup”. I will have the following choice of parties: BNP, Christian Peoples Party, Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat or UKIP.
As I predicted – no SNP candidate. Why am I denied the chance to register my support for the SNP? Probably because I live in London and the SNP doesn’t enter candidates for constituencies out side of Scotland. So despite being Scottish on my mother’s side and a fan of Runrig, who lost keyboardist Pete Wishart in 2001 when he became an MP for the SNP, I am cruelly denied the chance to show my (hypothetical) support for the SNP.

The UK uses a “first past the post” system. The candidate with the most votes wins the constituency for their Party. The Party who wins most constituencies becomes the government. The advantages of this system are it is quick, cheap and generally produces a clear winning Party avoiding the “horse trading” that goes on in other countries with more complicated systems that can lead to some strange coalitions.

Mathematically it can produce some anomalies

Tomorrow- why bother?

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2 thoughts on “The General Election 2017

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