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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subject20 years ago my country would never have considered it
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=30453&mesg_id=30517
30517, 20 years ago my country would never have considered it
Posted by tohunga, Sun May-08-05 06:38 PM
but after the electoral reforms of the mid 90s- held pretty quickly, after we came out from two terms of a conservative govt. who fucked everything up, badly and obviously (which might sound familiar to the americans)-- well, we had a mass petition, a referendum, and a resultant change of electoral systems.

the end result was that the Greens polled over 5%, and ended up with (i think) 8% of the vote, and 8% of the seats in Parliament. this was enough to act as a left-hanging 'anchor' on the Labour Party, and- to use one small example- the Greens opposed the growth of genetically modified crops in our country. the fact that they had this leverage in Parliament meant that they could actually coerce the majority government into supporting a ban on GM crops, because the centre-left party (Labour) wouldn't be able to get a majority vote on something else without the support of the Greens. they end up trading issues, kind of like swapping baseball cards but it seems to work pretty well.

that may not be exactly how it went down. but it's prety close. and that's the sort of dynamics that you get when you translate the actual number of votes a party gets, into actual representation in government... aka a multi-party system. not the "three party system" as you know in the US, or here in the UK, or even in that progressive bastion, Canada. the small parties are completely extraneous there-- they can get local representation, but due to the majority-favouring mechanics of the FPP system,they don't do a thing.

the biggest barrier to bringing this change about is the apathy of the general population. if they don't know that there's a better way to elect a government, then how can they work towards it?