Additional Member System

Topics: Elections, Voting system, Election Pages: 2 (572 words) Published: October 29, 2013
The AMS provides greater choice and is more responsible to the will of the electorate then the First-Past-The-Post system. Discuss.

When defining elections, Lynch (2004: 33) states that it is ‘at the heart of the democratic process.’ The main political activity for most people is to vote in an election. Through electoral process, governments are being chosen and elected before holding certain position in the office. To conduct such activity, an electoral system is needed. There are two main electoral systems to discuss, first is the AMS (Additional Member System) and second is FPTP (First-Past-The-Post System). In general, there has been a view that considers AMS as the greater choice as an electoral system. The first point is, AMS is more responsible to the will of the people due to its hybrid system. A proportion of seats in the legislative assembly are elected using FPTP while a small number of representatives—additional member—are elected in multi-member constituencies. For example, in the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections, 56 members of the Scottish Parliament (43%) and 20 members of the Welsh Assembly (33%) are elected in this way1. Whereas FPTP delivers a disproportionate result, allowing two main parties to concentrate support in certain areas, then win constituencies and seats. Smaller parties with less concentrated support will lose easily and unfairly. Example given, in 2005 Labor received 36% of the vote but gain 55% of the seats. The Liberal Democrats won 22% of the vote but could only attain 10% of the seats. This shows AMS is more responsible to the will of the electorate as the composition of parliament will more closely represent the wishes of the electorate. Second main point is AMS offers more choices in voting. AMS system uses 2 ballot papers where electorate may vote one for a candidate and one for a party. Unlike the FPTP system, there are a lot of electorates’ choices. An electorate may choose to vote for the...
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