Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Suggestion: Elections to the House of Commons should be staggered by region/nation within the UK

   The United Kingdom is, in spite of devolution, a rather centralised state and it is one where a sufficient number of people feel that power is too centralised in one corner of the country.  We also have a voting system which many regard as unfair.  I have a suggestion that I do not claim will cure any of these, but I do feel that it would be of some help:

What I propose, is that instead of having nation-wide General Elections every five years in which every seat in the country is up for election, we should have a system whereby elections to the House of Commons are staggered so that the different parts of the United Kingdom elect their MPs during different years in a five year cycle.  One year, for example, it might be Wales and Northern Ireland electing their MPs, while the next year it might be Scotland and East Anglia.  Therefore, Scotland, Wales, Northern and the nine Regions of England will each have an election every five years, meaning that during three years of a five year cycle, there will be two elections in the year, while in the remaining two years, there will be three elections in the year to the House of Commons.  By-elections will happen as normal with the duly elected MP serving until his/her division of the United Kingdom next has an election.

Such a system would, in my opinion, by beneficial for several reasons.  One, it would serve to greater incentivize governments to be more accountable since the next election would always be soon and they may well loose their majority in the House of Commons in any year.  Two, it would force politicians in Westminster to pay attention to every region and nation within the United Kingdom, albeit with different regions/nations being in the limelight at different times.  Three, it may well even reduce tactical voting, since in a potential scenario where the outcome of an election in a certain region will not impact who has a majority in the House of Commons as a whole, the voter will feel more able to vote with their conscience.

Before each election, there would be be a mandatory televised debate in which every political party contesting a majority of seats within that nation or region would be invited to send a representative, with that representative having to be someone who is standing for the election in that nation or region.  Said debates would also help to 'zoom in' attention to each part of the country, more so than UK wide televised debates do, of course.

Thus that is a suggestion of mine.  Feel free to express your views on it in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. There must be a reason why no countries organise their national elections like this (at least, I don't think anybody does). It must be that the electorate wants a clear-cut result which represents the majority vote across the whole country. They don't want a change of Prime Minister and government triggered by a vote in regions they don't live in.