Introducing PDR: A Bold Proposal for Fairer Representation
I have come up with an improved method for electing MPs, and I'd like to share it with you. But before I do, let me provide some context.
Currently, the UK utilises the outdated "first past the post" voting system, which needs to be reformed. In 2011, there was a referendum on adopting the Alternative Vote system, but the complexity of the proposal led to people choosing to stick with the status quo. It was a missed opportunity.
Fast forward to 2019, and Boris Johnson's campaign, filled with misleading statements, resonated with certain voters, granting him a substantial 80-seat majority. Despite the majority of votes going to Remain-supporting parties, the constituency boundaries worked in favor of Boris and his team of right-wing politicians.
So, what can be done to address this issue? I've explored various complex voting systems, but they tend to be convoluted and difficult to grasp. Hence, I propose a straightforward alternative: Proportional Division Representation (PDR).
Under PDR, we would still have one constituency MP, preserving the vital link between constituents and their elected representative. The system would remain a first-past-the-post model, but with a crucial twist.
We would still have 650 MPs elected, but when they vote in Parliament, their votes would be weighted or scored based on their party's total votes across the country in the election (and recalculated after subsequent by-elections). To illustrate this simplicity, consider the 2019 election and the Green Party's single victory in the Brighton constituency, with a national vote share of 2.7%.
In my PDR plan, when Caroline Lucas votes in Parliament, her divisional vote carries a "score" or "vote power" of 17.55, which is 2.7% of 650. Similarly, for Labour, with a national vote share of 32.2% and 202 MPs, each Labour MP would have a "score" of 1.04 when voting.
As for the Conservatives, despite winning 365 seats out of 650, their 43.6% national vote share would translate to a "score" of 0.764 for each Tory MP's vote.
During legislative voting, all Ayes and Noes would be tallied, adding the "score" or "vote power" of each participating member. The option with the highest total would prevail.
This approach ensures that the single vote of Caroline Lucas and the Green Party carries substantial vote power, representing the considerable number of individuals nationwide who share their views. Conservative MPs would need to collaborate more closely to achieve their legislative goals, acknowledging that while PDR still operates within the first-past-the-post framework that granted them their seats, all the previously "lost" votes in those constituencies now invigorate the votes of the remaining opposition MPs.
Under PDR, every vote across the country during a General Election would hold significance, even in "safe seats" where many individuals refrain from voting due to perceived futility. Tactical voting in swing seats would no longer be necessary.
Furthermore, this system might influence voting habits positively, as people would be more inclined to vote for the candidate they genuinely prefer, rather than solely based on winning probabilities or opposition to specific individuals.
A key feature of the PDR system, which helps to exclude fringe parties, is the requirement for a party to secure at least one seat in order to participate in the divisional voting process. This feature acts as a natural filter, preventing parties with extremely limited support from exerting influence in the legislative decision-making.
Importantly, transitioning to this new system would be easier as the voting process for individuals remains unchanged—they still vote for their preferred local MP.
In summary, I believe the Proportional Division Representation (PDR) system presents a compelling solution by incorporating proportionality into the existing first-past-the-post system. It preserves the constituency-MP relationship, ensures fairer representation, and encourages wider voter engagement.
Please share my PDR concept with your friends, family, and colleagues! I'd really like to know if you see any flaws in my idea. You can comment below....