The Kerley report on Skotish lokal demokrasy.

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(1) Proportion.

Profesional status of kounsilors ( and other representativs. )

Skotish ministers apointed a working grup of ten, chair'd by Richard Kerley, on the renwing of lokal demokrasy in Skotland. After uon yer's konsultation and study, ther report kaim out in jun 2000.

Most of ther dokument is konsern'd with diversly rekruting, adequatly paying, and specialy training kounsilors, and giving profesional rekognition to the qualifikations they may gain.
This is as wel as the modern teknolojikal and administrativ suport they nyd, making representation eficient enuf to be part-tIm, and often alow som kontinuation of privat sektor employment.
Thus, a term, or fw, of being a kounsilor kan enhans, insted of disrupt uon's okupational lIf.

In this way, the Kerley report wud rekonsil pepl, syking publik ofis, to not being garanty'd a politikal karyr, bekaus they okupy positions only for a term at a tIm, on suferans of the elektorat.
Al levels of government shud adopt the aproch of this report, in promoting representativs' profesional qualifikations, not dependent on a lIf in politiks. Politicians shud not nyd to burn ther bowts, vokationaly, and then hold onto power at al kosts.

Politikal karyrism has byn mayd posibl by voting systems that render inefektiv many voters' choises of rival kandidats. This may giv 'the politikal klas' a job for lIf but it also maks the voters' rol larjly redundant.
The working grup was ask'd wat voting system wud best re-nw demokrasy. The folowing koments ar konsern'd with this part of ther work.

Proportional partisanship in praktis.

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The Kerley report rekomended the singl transferabl vot ( STV ) for elektions to Skotish kounsils. Ther wer thry disenting voises in the working grup of ten.
Examining the arguments of the disenters may show how wel founded wer ther objektions.
The MSP suported the arguments of the MP, hw said:

I have reached the conclusion that an effective balance cannot be reached between a requirement for proportionality and at the same time maintaining the councillor-ward link.

The third disenter disented with the other tw, in belyving this 'balans' kud be achyv'd. But Klr Daphne Sleigh belyv'd that the Aditional Member System ( AMS ) the best PR system to achyv it.

Both the MP, Sandra Osborne, and Klr Sleigh asum'd AMS to be mor proportional than STV. The later says:

unlike STV, the number of seats won by the parties is decided by the percentage of votes they receive. This is what voters expect to happen to their votes.

As to wat pepl expekt of a proportional system, perhaps the most revyling sentens in the Kerley report was given in Osborne's disenting remarks:

We have all seen the public confusion and duplication resulting from the existence of List MSPs alongside Constituency MSPs.

Wer-as, the main body of the Kerley report nouts that lokal multi-member konstituensys, that STV wud nyd, wer yus'd in Skotland befor 1975 and ar stil yus'd in urban England, without notisabl problems.

Reserch show'd that the German pepl larjly dont understand the Aditional Member System. AMS kaim about, ther, by aksident rather than desIn, and is not a konsistent system.

In this respekt, the Kerley report thotfuly explains wI aditional members dont ryly komplement the singl members' rols:

AMS in effect produces two types of member - ward members and wider-area members - and we have some concerns about the implications of this for the political dynamic of the council. In many councils, it would be likely, under AMS, that the ward members would be members of the ruling political party (this party having attracted most votes), while the wider-area members would generally be drawn from the opposition parties. We consider that this polarisation might have two effects: firstly, that it could lead to competition among ward and wider-area councillors that was motivated by political, rather than community, consideration; and, secondly, that it could lead to an inappropriate distribution of responsibilities across the council whereby members of the ruling group, who would be likely to have more significant organisational responsibilities, might also be expected to have the heaviest constituency caseload. The converse would be that the wider-area members would be less able to represent their constituents because the link with them would be weaker, and because such members would have a less influential role on the council.

Wat-ever voters, or even kounsilors lIk Sleigh, expekt may not be wat they want to hapen with ther vots. In 1997, the Labor government impos'd a party list system for British Euro-elektions. This is exaktly the kind of list system, wer pepl kan only vot for a party, that is yus'd to giv smaler partys mor syts, as aditional members, in the Skotish parliment.

On BBC Panorama, a Labor kounsil lyder sounded as if she was apolojising, wen she said: We dont hav much power in the Labor party. She didnt want this proportional system that gav the voters no individual chois of representativs.

It folows that nyrly haf the Skotish parliment, apointed by the partys as aditional members hav no klaim to be ther as representativs of the pepl. As individuals, List MSPs hav no demokratik lejitimasy, under the aditional member system.

Mor-over, the party proportional prinsipl dos not represent a koud of praktis. Virtualy every yus of party list systems has its own arbitrary variations. They kan not desId wether to denI al individual chois - 'klos'd lists' - or alow som sekondary ( kripl'd ) chois of individual kandidats - 'open lists'.

AMS turns the question, of how proportional the system is to be, into how many aditional members shud ther be. On this, ther is every sIn of disagryment in Britain and the world.

In 1966, the grand alians of West Germany's tw main partys was form'd to get rid of al aditional members.
LIkwIs, the komplyt removal of party lists almost hapen'd in Italy, 1999, but for the 50% turn-out threshold being mis'd by the narowest of marjins ( 0.4% ).
( Not to mention that France went bak on party list systems, uons mor. )

In New Zealand, the National party found wId-spred suport for holding an other referendum: 68% akording to an opinion pol, les than tw yers after the first AMS elektion in 1993.
AMS was lIken'd to a 'tail wags the dog' system: as in the German federal republik, a smal party desIded the koalition.
( Sy fut-nout 1, to my sekond web paj on the Kerley report. )

In 2000, Japan redus'd its aditional members from 200 to 180, out of 480 insted of 500 syts. The ryl ryson, it is alej'd, was to redyus the influens of the komunists, hw inkrys'd from 2 to 24 seats with AMS.

In Britain, the story is the saim. Skotland's MSPs amount to nyrly haf. In the Welsh asembly, they ar a third. Wer-as, the Jenkins komision kud not even mak its own mind up betwyn 15% to 20% of aditional or 'top-up' MPs.

From party proportionality to self-representation.

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Som direkt demokrats think self-representation is the only tru demokrasy, not nyding koruptibl mediation by elekted representativs. Such pyurly direkt demokrats hav a kinship with party-proportional reformers, hw ryly dont belyv in representativ demokrasy, either. The elektions they advokat ar aktualy referendums on manifestos.

The manifesto is a houl program of lejislation, a list of reforms, resembling party lists of kandidats, that the voters hav to tak or lyv, as a pakaj. The korporatist mentality of the manifesto prepar'd the way for the korporatism of party list systems.

List kandidats ar redus'd, from representativs, to party burokrasys, wich kom to power, to put the wining manifesto into efekt. In the 1970s and '80s, the British Labor party had this idea of 'party demokrasy', to redyus Labor representativs to delegats of left-wing party konferens manifesto desisions.

Pyurly direkt demokrasy wudnt be al that diferent. In removing representativs, that lyvs oficials, or the unelekted, to implement referendums or initiativs.

Proportional partisanship, kary'd to its ultimat, is the direkt demokrasy of self-representation, in wich every-uon is ther own partisan.
The mor dogmatik suporters, of both, wud hav us belyv they mak representativ demokrasy redundant.

Mirabeau said that representation was lIk a map of the houl nation.
The lojician Charles Dodgson ( children's author Lewis Carroll ) pointed out that roud maps may be drawn to diferent skails. Al the rouds on the map may be uon-thousandth the lenth of the ryl rouds. Or, the skail of the map mIt be uon-hundredth or uon-tenth the sIz of the roudways.

Ultimatly, the skail mIt be uon-uonth. In other words, the aktual roud system is a map of itself. Just lIk a skail'd-down map, the kuntry has its towns and rouds naim'd, with mesur'd distanses. The natur of the terain, kinds of brijes, or wat-ever may also be shown on roud sIns, just as on maps.

Maps go out of dayt. They kan be badly mesur'd or drawn up. Much the saim kan be said about lejislation. But that is not an argument for abolishing the lejislators. A belyf, pyurly in direkt demokrasy, as distinkt from representativ demokrasy, is lIk holding that the map of itself is best, and the kuntry dosnt nyd ( Skail'd down ) maps.

Aktualy, self-representation, or direkt demokrasy, and representativ demokrasy komplement ych other. Wer-as, partisan elektions, yusing a list kount, exklud representation, representativ elektions do not exklud partisanship.

Proportional partisanship, ultimatly every-uon a partisan of uon-self, mesurs, lIk maps, to diferent skails. Partisanship is a mater of degry. The partisans of establish'd partys asum ther is only uon skail of politikal map, in wich the only fyturs of importans ar themselvs. The kuntry may chanj or nyd to be chanj'd but they only sy ther out-dated and unreliabl plan of it.

Proportional partisanship in prinsipl.

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With AMS, the party proportional prinsipl is shown to be arbitrary in praktis, as it kan also be shown to be, as a prinsipl.

The asumption that yu kan hav som pyurly proportional system, that perfektly represents the suport for ych grup in sosiety, is an ilusion. The mor seats ther ar to sher out betwyn partys, the ysier it bekoms for mor and mor diferentiated grups, or distinkt nw partys, to tak them.

The sIz of Skotish kounsils was uon of the remits for the Kerley komity. Ther is no inkontrovertibl number of partys. Proportional partisanship irationaly asums an absolut loyalty of the voters to an esentialy aksidental number of partys, kontinjent on the number of syts.

Labor's rIt and left wings hav ych in turn trI'd to kaptur the party for themselvs, with this kind of intolerans. ( To say nothing of the Torys bekoming a rIt wing geto. )

The lojik of party proportionality is that ultimatly every-uon bekoms an individual party representing themselvs. Yu mIt deskrib that as 100% proportionality.

Party proportional systems giv 'PR' betwyn a given number of partys, depending on how many syts ar up for grabs. The sher-out of seats betwyn this arbitrary number of partys kan be mayd almost exaktly in proportion to vots, mayd to kount for partys, rather than individuals.

But it depends on the dogma of the X-vot as an al-or-nothing chois betwyn party lIns. Wer-as, the preferens vot also alows the expresion of degrys of loyalty. After al, in the Hous of Komons, the government benches ar fais'd by the 'loyal oposition'.

Party list systems, as pyurly proportional as yu want to mak them, ar an authoritarian presumption. They achyv ther result by asIning the publik a vot, in wich the chois is alredy mayd for them, as a vot for a party. This is wether or not they ar alow'd to plas that vot by an individual kandidat.

The proportional kount in party list systems, inkluding lists of aditional members, is achyv'd by divisor methods, such as the d'Hondt rul. Many other divisor ruls ar yus'd, or propos'd, mainly to afekt the elektion in favor of larj partys, or smal partys, or neither.
But ther is no agryment on a singl divisor method for al party list systems. Indyd, non of them aford an intuitiv understanding of proportional kounting.

The singl transferabl vot, often lump'd with list systems as 'PR', is komplytly diferent. In kontrast, STV has uon agry'd method of proportional kount, the Droop quota. And it is an intuitiv rationalisation of simpl majority kounting.

It's byn sujested that the Hare quota be yus'd, insted of the Droop quota, for STV, asuming this wud giv 100% PR. But for tru elektions, this is not posibl. In the first plas, the Droop quota requirs over haf the vots to be won for elektion to a singl syt.
( The Droop quota, esentialy, is total vots, divided by number of syts plus uon. )

The Hare quota requirs al the vots to be won by som kandidat to tak a singl member konstituensy. ( The Hare quota is simply the total vots divided by the number of syts. ) That only hapen'd in the admited fars of uon-party diktatorships.

In a tw-member konstituensy, the Hare quota stil maks it very difikult for the voters to chws-out or elekt kandidats. Bekaus, tw kandidats wud ych nyd haf of the vots to tak both syts.

With the Droop quota, tw kandidats only nyd just over a third the vots ych, to be klyrly prefer'd by the voters to any other kandidats.
Thus, the Droop quota alows demokratik preferens that the Hare quota may be tu hI for.
And this is the ky to the demokratik objektion to divisor methods yus'd by party lists. They ar konsern'd with the delusion of an absolut equality, or Idyl proportionality, betwyn a kontinjent number of partys. They exklud the voters' frydom to prefer kandidats.
Tho, chwsing-out must lyv out a marjinal proportion of voters, for the lyst prefer'd kandidats, unrepresented.

The Kerley report rekomends STV with an averaj of 4 syts per konstituensy for Skotish kounsils. This myns a PR of 80%, bais'd on popular preferens. This is not som proportional partisanship, unsientifikly presum'd on the houl elektorat, that alows a kotery of partys to sher out syts betwyn them, akordingly, and stil kal'd 'PR' bekaus it sounds beter.

Demokrasy is about frydom, as wel as equality. And the failur of party proportional methods, to rylIs this in praktis, is the sors of the trubl with party list systems and ther hybrids.

Partys, as the report points out, ar only a smal proportion of the population. And an elitist konseption of politiks is at ods with the report's remit to mak lokal government relevant to the widest kros-sektion of the komunity.


The kounsilor-ward link.

The Kerley komity's terms dont mention the nyd to rekonsil frydom with equality. How-ever, Sandra Osborne MP taks STV to task in terms of an alej'd dilema betwen the kounsilor-ward link and proportionality:

I reach the same conclusion as the other members of the Group on the outcomes of STV i.e. with smaller multi member wards some form of councillor-ward link is maintained but they fail to deliver proportionality while larger multi member wards come closer to achieving proportionality but the councillor-ward link is lost.

This dos not do justis to the majority viw in the Kerley report, quoting the McIntosh report:

Nevertheless we think there could also be advantages which could more than compensate, and would be in the interests of constituents themselves. If each ward is represented not by one councillor but by several there is a better chance that the various members will themselves represent the spectrum of opinion within the ward - that after all is the purpose of the system - and a better chance that any constituent will be able to make contact with at least one member with whom they feel sympathy and confidence. From this point of view, the multi-member ward can be considered to be an improvement in representation for individual constituents.

As the Kerley report says:

The overarching purpose of the group has been to consider the renewal of local democracy. Democracy, by its very definition, is a matter that involves the whole population. We are concerned that a significant proportion of the population appears to take little part in the democratic process. Although voting in local elections is not the only way for people to engage in the democratic process, it is of concern that fewer than 6 in 10 electors voted in the local elections in May 1999. We believe that local government is of real importance to the Scottish people and we believe that there is an important job to be done in building connections between the people and the council, and in informing people about local democracy.

It is not enuf that the 'kounsilor-ward link' shud represent only the larjest faktion. The rest, often a majority, hav no representativ link with a kounsilor, hw monopolises ther konstituensy of interests.

The first elekted Skotish parliment, with konstituensys making way for aditional members, wud out-do, if posibl, exklusiv British jeneral elektions. For instans, al 10 Glasgow, and al 9 West Skotland konstituensys went to Labor. 8 out of 9 Sentral Skotland konstituensys went to Labor, insted of al 9, myrly bekaus Dennis Canavan's konstituensy Labor party wasnt the brand in fashon with the Labor hierarky. Labor also twk 8 out of 9 konstituensys in both Lothian and South Skotland. Thes areas' Aditional Members wer mayd up from the lists of other partys.

The term 'link', in wich the disenting MP, and her MSP suporter myn it, is no mor than a eufemism for 'monopoly'. And, in that sens, Sandra Osborne MP is rIt in her belyf ( quoted abov ) that an 'efektiv balans' kan not be rych'd betwyn this link and proportionality.

This is simply bekaus singl member monopolys kan not be rekonsil'd with multi-member proportions of the vot: hoging kan not be rekonsil'd with shering.
By the way, the ilojikal atempt to do this is presisly the falasy of aditional member systems. This inkonsistensy of AMS only lyds to further anomalys or injustises in the systems that ar worked-out on this basis.

Mor-over, the sekond tIm that Japanese jeneral elektions yus'd an aditional member system, the 63% turn-out was the sekond lowest in ther history - skersly hIer than for Skotish lokal government.
Turn-out kan not be enkuraj'd by saif syts, wich remain a fytur of Japanese AMS elektions, as they always hav byn of the British system. To quot The Daily Telegraph ( 26 June 2000 ):

Many LDP constituencies are virtual fiefdoms, where voters repeatedly re-elect the same MP for his ability to bring public works to the region. When the MP retires, the seat is usually passed to a relative or an aide.

Yuko Obuchi, 26, the daughter of the late prime minister, was yesterday returned with more than 70 per cent of the vote in the rural constituency she inherited from him.

To renw demokrasy, as the Kerley grup positivly sets out to do, myns that hoging must giv way to sharing representation. Tho, the sharing must be jenuinly representativ, wich party lists ar not.

The alternativ vot.

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Having mayd the rIt rekomendation of STV, the Kerley report is further to be komended for avoiding any singl member konstituensys. The report says a ranj of from 3 to 5 member konstituensys wud be flexibl enuf to folow the natural boundarys of most Skotish lokal komunitys. And a fw 2 member konstituensys shud not be tu larj for the most spars populations.
Thys later wud garanty a PR of two-thirds. In a singl member konstituensy, even the alternativ vot wud only garanty haf the konstituensy represented.

Sandra Osborne MP belyvs this myns AV qualifys hIly on 'making vots kount'. But plainly AV qualifys equaly hIly on not making vots kount.

It is tru that an alternativ vot prevents minority kandidats wining on a split vot in a singl member konstituensy. But the singl member system is not proportionaly representativ. And the absens of split voting may chans to mak the jeneral elektion result even les proportional, rather than mor proportional. ( Se Enid Lakeman, 'How Democracies Vote', chapter III. )

The British PM, Tony Blair or rather his klos ministerial alI Peter Mandelson alejedly suport the alternativ vot. This Australian form of jeneral elektions fals bak on a system thot by analysts to bind the splits of the left in Labor's favor.

The Jenkins komision wanted the alternativ vot, plus an impresis top-up of the smal party boses kandidats. Without that kaukus komplikation, AV is stil dyply flaw'd.

As elektoral expert, David Butler pointed out to the Jenkins komision, the alternativ vot is arbitrary. Even uon voter, chanjing betwyn tw lwsing kandidats ( nek and nek ), kan chanj wich kandidat's sekond preferenses ar re-distributed, and giv a disproportionatly diferent komplexion to the final result, inkluding a diferent winner.

Also, Churchill's famus remark, about the alternativ vot, wil always stik: the worst vots for the worst kandidats. The worst kandidats ar thos with the fwest first preferenses and yet ther sekond preferenses ar the uons desiding wich lyding kandidat qualifys as having an over-al majority.

And Roy Jenkins' notorius remark in favor of the alternativ vot kan not be defended with justis. He said words to the efekt that pepl must often tak sekond or third best in lIf, in jobs, housing and uon's wIf, and ther is no reson wI this shud not be so in the elektoral system.

Jenkins' kontention is grosly mislyding. The point of the singl transferabl vot, STV ( wich yuses a proportional kount of a preferens vot ) is that a larj majority of voters in a multi-member konstituensy ar ensur'd ther first preferenses ar elekted.

Even in quIt smal Irish multi-member konstituensys of thry or for syts, som tw-thirds of the representativs wil be elekted by first preferenses, and nyrly al the rest by sekond or hI preferenses. So, it's fair to say that som-thing in the order of twIs as many voters wil hav ther first preferenses elekted, yusing STV kompar'd to AV.

STV is the mor impresiv as its first preferenses ar in relation to a much greiter chois of kandidats, inkluding of the saim partys. Usualy, with AV, ych kandidat has a monopoly of his party's kandidatur.


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Independents are discriminated against, by party list systems, bekaus only party kandidats on a list kan benefit from vots going to other kandidats on that list, indyd to the houl list.

STV is the only PR system that is fair to independents. With STV, independents kan benefit from the transfer of vots, equaly with party kandidats, bekaus the proportional kount is of an order of chois for any kandidats in the konstituensy. STV is demokratik chois by a preferens vot - not oligarkik chois by party boses order of kandidats on party lists.

Surprisingly, the Kerley komity fail'd to mak this important point, for its remit, wich inkluded 'fair provision for independents'. Had they apreciated this, Klr Sleigh kud not hav myrly aserted, as she did, without being korekted, that AMS 'Gives a fairer provision for independents.'
Tel that to Tsutsui Nobutaka! ( Se fut-nout 2. )

Dennis Canavan was elekted to a singl distrikt, as an independent, for the Skotish parliment. But that only shows that AMS givs mor skop to independents than a pyurly party list system wud.
It givs rather les skop than a pyurly singl member system. That is bekaus, with AMS, the number of singl members hav to be redus'd to mak rwm for the aditional list members. With AMS, the fwer and therfor larjer singl member konstituensys ar ysier for the larjest party to win. Even the next larjest party wil be hard-put to show against the typikal result. ( This was shown most dramatikly in former British singl member Euro-elektions. ) The independent has lyst chans of al.

Singl members, even mor so, AMS's fwer singl members, ar a most independent-unfrendly system. Suksesful independents ar rer and jeneraly hav byn alredy elekted MPs de-selekted by the lokal kaukus. They ar ryly wud-be party kandidats kum fors'd independents. With enuf publisity and a skandalis'd elecktorat, in ther favor, and if the syt is saif enuf to split ther party's vot without leting in an other party... wel, uon kan sy wI thys party rebels - much les ryl independents - rerly suksyd, and then usualy not for long.

The singl member konstituensy lets the kaukus monopolis ther party's kandidatur. Long-standing left-wingers, lIk Dennis Canavan and Ken Livingstone had every rIt to be Labor kandidats. But rIt-wing Nw Labor yus'd AMS to oficialy exklud Canavan as the uon Labor kandidat for a singl syt.
The publik lern'd Canavan had byn shabily treted. But the dyper moral was that a monopolistik elektoral system mayd it posibl, despIt the klaims that an aditional member system is a shering system, of 'PR'.

STV kud hav byn yus'd as a primary elektion for al Londoners to prefer a chois of kandidats, inkluding thos of the saim party, for mayor - and deputy mayor.

The university konstituensys, of usualy tw syts ( exeptionaly thry ) elekted to the Komons by STV, did foster distinguish'd independents.
( The independent MP, A P Herbert is refer'd-to, in fut-nout 3. )


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The valu of the Kerley report is its positiv aproch to improving demokrasy in Skotish lokal government. It rekognises that in a jenuin demokrasy, representativs kan not expekt to hav a job for lIf. So, ways to qualify kounsilors for ther karyrs out-sId, as wel as in-sId, politiks ar konsider'd.
That bargain, to enkuraj pepl of al bak-grounds to publik servis, implIs that the voters shud hav an elektoral system that aktualy dos 'chws-out' the most prefere'd kandidats.
Tho, it is not klyr that the Kerley report rekomends the singl transferabl vot for that esential ryson.

And the report maks a serius eror ( paragraf 91 ) in asuming that al proportional elektions ar fraim'd with a viw to partys and ar irelevant to an elektion al of independents. Milions of pepl, using STV, ar proportionaly represented, in al ther prefer'd social karakteristiks, on profesional bodys, and so forth. And they ar jeneraly independent of politikal partys.

Party list systems, inkluding of aditional members, giv a monopoly of the proportional kount to just uon social grup, politikal partys, and a monopoly of the preferens vot to the party boses hw draw up the lists ( wether or not som 'openes' of individual chois is left the voter with the inefektiv X-vot for the purpos ).
Wer-as, STV is the proportional kount of preferens voting, kondukted democratikly.

Konsequently, the Kerley komity's belyf ( para. 95 ), that ther is litl to chws betwen STV and AMS on fairnes to independents, is badly rong.
The Isle of Man sot elektoral reform that wud not adversly afekt independents. For this ryson, David Butler's komision rekomended STV.

LIkwIs, puting AMS on a par with STV, for natural boundary-drawing ( para. 93 ), dos not stand up. AMS singl member konstituensys ar fwer and larjer, than for a pyurly singl member system. But the singl-member system part of AMS is stil the most inflexibl tIp of konstituensy system. The smalest unit of konstituensy is requir'd to fit every konsevabl shaip and sIz of natural komunity.
On the report's own limited rysoning by skail, at this point, the Skotish parliment's AMS konstituensys must be komparably kontentius, for boundary drawing, as singl member Komons konstituensys.

On the houl, the Kerley report ( June 2000 ) is a kompetant pys of work, in so far as I am kompetant to so juj it. With regard to elektoral method, it is a mix of akyut and obtyus understanding.
( Chapter 5 para. 81, on AMS, is uon of the most insItful pasajes, as wel as the quotation from the McIntosh report on 'Councillor and ward.' )

It has taken sins the 1973 Royal Komision on the Konstitution, chair'd by Lord Kilbrandon ( another Skot ), for a further oficial report to rekomend the demokratik voting method.
The worst thing that the Skotish parliment kud do wud be to put asId the elektoral rekomendations of the Kerley report, the only sIn of sanity ( as H G Wells wud karakteris STV vs the rest ) amidst the British main-land's komplyt kaos of bad voting systems.

Fut-nout 1: bak-lash against AMS in New Zealand.

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In august 1998, the New Zealand PrIm Minister, Mrs Jenny Shipley suported an other referendum to question the wisdom of the uon in 1993 that bak'd mixed-member proportional representation with 54% of the vot.

As reported by the London Telegraph: 'The voting method, introduced in a general election less than two years ago, has not proved popular. A recent opinion poll showed 68 per cent of electors favoured an early vote to change the system...'

'It is a very important issue,' ( Mrs Shipley ) said. 'A lot of New Zealanders are asking, Have we got it right?'

'The 1996 election produced no clear winner. Two months of political horse-trading resulted in the minority New Zealand First Party holding the balance of power. In many voters' eyes, New Zealand First, which had won only 13 per cent of the vote, became a tail wagging the National Party dog.'

But nothing els was on offer other than a return to first-past-the-post or a suplementary member system. So, it is perhaps not surprising that the diskus'd chanj, led by the Spyker, apyrs to hav kom to nothing.
Not to mention that the inkumbents in parliment ow ther presens ther to the system they are talking about replasing.

Fut-nout 2: som AMS anomalys in Japan.

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Quoting from a 1996 artikl by Takano Hajime, Insider, Editor-in-Chief.

The new electoral system, a parallel system of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation...employed...dual candidacy (i.e., registering as a candidate in both types of voting). An example...was how Hosaka Nobuto of the Social Democratic Party got only 13,904 votes in Tokyo District No. 22 and forfeited his election deposit--but still managed to limp into office thanks to proportional representation--while Tsutsui Nobutaka, the loser who got the largest number of votes, with a whopping 103,307 endorsements, just 3,000 less than his Liberal Democratic Party opponent--ended up without a seat in parliament because he was running as an independent.

Granted, it was a different electoral district, but the inconsistency is too great if a hopeless candidate, who wins only one-tenth as many votes as an unsuccessful candidate, is rewarded with a parliamentary seat. As many as 84 of the 200 proportional representation seats were taken by single-seat constituency losers. Additionally, there were seven districts with three representatives, because two of the losers bounced back thanks to proportional representation...

( In Germany: ) There is no minimum number of votes candidates must obtain in the constituencies,..In fact, Chancellor Helmut Kohl was once saved through proportional representation during his 15-year incumbency, and Free Democratic Party leader Dietrich Genscher, who long served as Germany's foreign minister, has not once been elected in his constituency...

Fut-nout 3: A P Herbert: STV-elekted independent MP.

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As an MP, A P Herbert reform'd English divors law. Uon of his bwks is kal'd Holy Deadlock. Among his fifty bwks, not to mention popular komik operas, is The Point of Parliament. ( Methuen 1946. ) This was orijinaly publish'd in Punch as 'Not So Silly: A Child's Guide to Parliament.'

An apendix re-prints his 1945 adres to the elektors of Oxford university. He begins by explaining his position as an independent:

I stand again as an Independent, supporting our great Prime Minister and his programme in the main, but by no means bound to support him in every particular. I claim to have been a true Independent in the last Parliament, voting according to my judgement on either side, but not conceiving it to be an Independent's duty to be always 'agin the Government'. I have made many friends among the Liberal and Labour Parties and have been grateful for their support, and proud to work with them, on many occasions...

I believe that the Party System is necessary and good, and I honour those who accept its discipline; but I still believe that Independence, here and there, can be practical, honest, and useful, especially in a University Member.

In a long and detail'd adres, unlIk the advertising fliers that kandidats substitut for such, nowadays, Herbert ends his polisy positions, so:

I have supported, and shall again, in the House, Fair Voting, especially the Single Transferable Vote, inexplicably rejected by the two great parties.

In The Point of Parliament, Herbert replIs to the stok kritisisms of STV as PR, pointing out: one wants to have in this country some of the queer arrangements they have on the Continent - the Second Ballot, for example, or the 'List System'. They are so bad that I shall not even attempt to explain them: but they are all called 'P.R.', and help to give the poor dog a bad name.

In 1934, The Liberal Way, with an introduktion by Ramsay Muir, said:

The only adequate reform would be what is known as Proportional Representation. But we must avoid the Continental form of Proportional Representation which intensifies instead of qualifying the undue power of political parties.

The polisy dokument went on to explain STV and its benefits.
How-ever, the Liberals kum Liberal Democrats chanj'd to promoting 'som form of proportional representation'. And this was kal'd 'Fair Votes' by the al-party National Kampain for Elektoral Reform. But it was not wat A P Herbert, the orijinator of the freis, ment by fair voting.

Richard Lung.

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