Friday, December 15, 2006

i've been busy at the office

the regional rankings has seen me working three 12 hour shifts in a row and getting heavily drunk last night - naturally blogging fell by the way side. the regional rankings is the process political parties go through to rank their msps in order of preference, after the election the percentage of votes is divied up and each political party receive extra msps based on the total. the totals are split between artificial regions allowing msps to be called regional msps and their portfolio covering several constituencies. msps are also still voted in by the good old fashioned first past the post method (fptp) resulting in people loosing an election but still being giving the job. i know, but this is scotland and they like proportional representation (pr) so 129 politicians cover 73 constituencies.

the system has heavy consequences for the scottish parliament. a) no one party will ever get over 50% of the vote so coalition governments will forever rule and voters thus never ever get the manifesto they voted for. b) smaller parties get political recognition they arguably do not deserve as they did not win yet still get msps! the greens, the socialists and us all benefit. e.g. we only won three fptp seats but still have 17 msps. c) labour will get hit hard on fptp merits next year but will still get msps voted in by pr meaning - i predict - they will still be the largest party in holyrood despite people voting them out. d) regional msps have no direct acountablility to the voter - most voters don't know who their's are and definately can not vote them out. how is this democracy? it's more like democrazy...

so all this nonsense has meant stuffing c.v's into envelope's for the party's 13,000 members eligable to vote on the order of preference for our candidates. it's quite interesting to read the multitude of c.v's and it will be even more interesting to see how the results turn out in january. coming third favourite for the region can mean not sneaking into holyrood as a regional msp whilst coming second or first for a reason means that a candidate can happily not win their seat - heck doesn't have to campaign - and will still get a job at the end of the day because the party gets x% of votes across the country. anyone? the sense?

this system is loved by tree-hugging lib dems everywhere as it means they get more seats than they deserve and everyone else less. they just can't except that if you lose the game you don't deserve the victory. they think taking part deserves a medal. which would explain this. man do they hate loosing!

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