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An explanation of the UK electoral reform

May 17, 2010

After the British election on May 6th, I commented on how the Liberal Democrats received 23% of the vote, but only 9% of the seats in the House of Commons (see “British Electoral System Complicates Hung Parliament”).  Since then, the Lib Dems have agreed to form a coalition with the Conservatives and election reform will be a hot issue now.  The New York Times ran an excellent article about proposals for a new electoral system.  Besides including an analysis of how seats in Parliament would have been distributed under different systems after this month’s general election, the article includes a funny video with John Cleese from 1983 explaining the Lib Dems’ alternate vote system (or instant-runoff voting):  “Clegg’s Prize May Be New Voting System.”

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