Home > Uncategorized > Why FPTP is the worst of all systems?

Why FPTP is the worst of all systems?


First Past the Post is the worst of all systems. We use a version that is effectively single member party lists.

FPTP has three things in my opinion that make it the worst system ever.

1. Its not proportional therefore does not give an accurate representation of the people’s views in parliament.

2. The Spoiler Effect. This is the effect where a third candidate entering a two party race spoils the race by splitting the vote. For example lets say there is an election to be King of the jungle and Gorilla is running against Leopard. Due to centrist voters changing their minds, the throne switches from Gorilla to Leopard. Tiger realises that people are getting tired of the two party system so enters the race. As he is closest to Leopard on the spectrum, a lot of people who would’ve voted for Leopard switch their vote to Tiger. This decreases Leopard’s support and allows Gorilla to take the throne but had Tiger not stood, Leopard would’ve won.

3. The election of the condorcet loser. The condorcet loser is the candidate that would lose a head to head with every other candidate in the election. For example, in the example above the Gorilla would be the condorcet loser. If he went up against Leopard, he would lose & if Gorilla went up against Tiger, Gorilla would lose. Its hard to say how often FPTP elects the condorcet loser as FPTP doesn’t record preferences but doing it theoretically or once is bad enough.

AV is not the best system but it is better than FPTP. AV is preferential not proportional but it does fix the spoiler effect and since it can boil down to a 2 horse race, it will never elect the condorcet loser.

AV is a baby step in the right direction.

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