We publish three letters from Oxfordshire residents together on the same theme – our current electoral system does not result in most votes counting and should be replaced by a more democratic system.
Further to your recent article reporting on MP Layla Moran’s plea for people to vote tactically in the May local elections – I too am tired of wasting my vote in elections. The fact is that, in our current system where only the candidate with the most votes wins, too often, my vote, and the vote of many others, simply doesn’t count.
This leads to a crazy situation in many local elections where, actually, more people have voted against the winning candidate than for her/him.
When I realised this, I discovered that the way to achieve what I wanted, namely a Council run differently, was for me to vote, not for my preferred candidate (who actually came a distant third last time) but for the candidate with the best chance of unseating the incumbent.
The truth is that I will land up voting for someone who definitely isn’t my preferred candidate simply because she has a better chance of winning. So, this is where my vote will have to go. It’s an absurd system for sure – hopefully someone will get round to changing it in the future. I understand that Wales and Scotland have a fairer and more democratic system for their local elections.
Anyway, thank you to Ms Moran for raising the issue and I look forward to the other parties also sharing their views on how our electoral system can be made fairer. We need a truly democratic system which means I don’t have to vote ‘tactically’ and in which every vote for a party/candidate actually counts.
Name and address provided
Making my vote count.
When I vote in local or national elections, I want my vote to be counted but also to count. Unfortunately, in a ‘first past the post‘ voting system such as ours, how much my vote counts is variable. If there isn’t much between two popular parties then my vote counts for a lot; on the other hand, if it’s a race where two or more parties split the vote against another party, my vote often isn’t worth very much.
These days I find I am more and more likely to vote for the party that could beat the party whose views I most dislike. You might think this is a negative view of politics, but I would say that I have to vote like this by a voting system that doesn’t value everyone’s vote equally.
It’s interesting to compare the overall party vote share in Cherwell District Council elections in 2019. The vote share of the Conservative Party was 42.5% and they won 9 seats. The combined vote share of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Greens was 48.9% and they only won 8 seats. Cherwell District Council elections, 2019.
I think that politics would be improved if we changed to a voting system that was able to reflect voters’ opinion more fairly. I would then be able to vote ‘for’ a party rather than ‘against’ another party. Until that time comes, I shall continue to cast my vote where it counts most.
Name and address provided.
In view of the recent decline in standards of the major parties, many people must be feeling the need for new blood among our elected representatives.
How to bring this about?
In Westminster and Local ‘First Past the Post’ elections, this can be achieved by ‘tactical voting’, which takes place when a voter chooses a candidate whom they wouldn’t normally support, in order to prevent another candidate from winning.
For example, if your party is unlikely to win in your constituency, you might pick a candidate from another party with a greater chance of winning. In other words, vote for a candidate from the party that came second in the last election!
You are voting not so much for who you really want to get in but, by proxy, for who you want to keep out!
As an example of Ward voting results:-
Party A 40% Party B 35% Party C 15% Party D 10%
It is easy to see that if a small proportion of voters in parties C and D voted for party B, then Party A would be supplanted!
All this, of course, would not be necessary with a more democratic system of voting, e.g. ‘Proportional Representation’, which many parties favour.
Let us hope that, if enough of us vote tactically, we can oust inadequate ‘sitting tenants’ and replace them with community-minded, far-seeing councillors with integrity!
Name and address provided.
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