There are currently six types of elections. These are;
- General elections
- Elections to devoted parliaments and assemblies
- Elections to European parliament
- Local elections
- Mayoral elections
- Police Commissioner elections
The main method for elections is ‘first-past-the-post’. This means that whoever gets over half of the votes first wins.
The UK is split in to districts/ constituencies, and to get a seat they need to get the most votes from their district. The more seats a political party have, the more likely they are to get votes passed.
There are two houses of parliament, the House of Commons and House of Lords. The House of Lords are made up of a mixture of representatives, some chosen by the Queen and some who have inherited their seats. They scrutinise government policy and debate major issues. Their main purpose of to revise and amend government proposals for new laws.
The House of Commons are made up of 646 MPs, that represent the 646 areas of the UK. This is where the creation of laws happen.
Left wing parties generally;
- Support social equality
- Are anti-war, pro- choice and pro-gay marriage
- Believe in the strict separation of church and state
- Are pro-environmentalism
- Are for high taxes and a bigger government
- Are for a ‘nanny government’
Right wing parties generally;
- Are pro-military and pro-life
- For a greater role for religion in public life
- Are anti-gay marriage
- For lower taxes and smaller government
- Oppose nanny government
This has really helped me to understand how the electoral system works. Although I have heard about it previously on the news and in newspapers, it has never really been explained in a way in which I understand.
I think that the way that the current voting system works is suitable, however it does mean that it could be unfair. This is because the seats won do not always reflect how many people have voted for the party. That is why some people want to change the voting system to ‘proportional representation’. This would ensure that the number of seats won by a party is proportionate to the number of votes received.
However, this could make it difficult to decide who take the seats, as usually the person that wins in their district take a seat in parliament.