Debra, For all of us who haven't been paying attention, could you please explain how PR works. Thanks
There are various systems of PR but they all share a feature - they try or (more or less) make sure that the number of votes roughly reflects the number of seats gained.Single Transferable Vote (STV) used in council elections in Scotland has multi-member wards and you number candidates 1,2,3 .... in order of preferance.Avoiding the maths, imagine 99 people in a room and you were trying to elect 4 people. A group of 20 should get their man/woamn elected ... but that only leaves a group of 19 whose candidate will fail. So everyone who wants to be elected stands against a wall and everyone else queues up in front of them A queue of 20 means you are elected. Surplus people can move on to help elect someone else. The poor soul with just 2 people can give up and join another queue. Eventually you should end up with 4 queues of at least 20 ... and some remmant. The numbers on the ballot paper are simply instructions about the queues.For the Scvottish Parliament, the system is different and is know and Additional Member (AMS). We elect constituency MSPs by first past the post (as Westminster) and then additional members are added to correct the unproporional nature of the system. With 16MSPs ina region, a party with over 6% of the vote SHOULD get some representation (but it does depend a little on a few other factors). By contrast First past the post used for Westminsiter, only requires and MP gto get more votes than anyone else. There have been MPs elected on just 29% of the vote ... just a few percent ahead of their nearest rival. Sorry for long post ... but you did ask!
The Guardian has an interesting Datablog giving some number breakdowns.http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/10/proportional-representation-general-election-2010
So based on last week's vote we'd have 6 or 7 Greens and about 12 BNP?
I am happy to take on the BNP and the nonsense they spout - and if we have to deal with them in ofice, then so be it. That is democracy. But also, parties will need to be more responsive to people under a decent PR system - and that should help maginalise the truely bad amongst those who offer themselves for election.
I am happy to address most contributions if they are coherent. Comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will be posted.Please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.