Ams - Advantages / Disadvantages

Topics: Voting system, Elections, Scottish Parliament Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: November 9, 2010
Assess the claim that, the advantages of AMS outweighs the disadvantages… The additional member system, like every other electoral system has both advantages and disadvantages. Which of these outweighs the other remains debatable. The additional member system is described as a type of PR (proportional representation) system where the number of votes is equal to the number of seats gained. The AMS is a hybrid system with two votes and two systems mixed together, the first vote being your constituency vote and the second, the regional vote. There are 129 members of the Scottish parliament and there are two ways an MSP can be elected. Scotland is divided into 73 constituencies and each constituency elects one MSP. These are known as constituency MSPs and are elected by 'first past the post' in exactly the same way as MPs are elected to Westminster. This is the elector's first vote. The second vote is used to elect 56 additional members. Scotland is divided into 8 parliamentary Regions and each region elects 7 regional MSPs. In the second vote the voter votes for a party rather than a candidate. The parties are then allocated a number of additional members to make the overall result more proportional. The regional MSP’s are selected from lists compiled by the parties. Each person living in Scotland has a total of 8 MSPs to represent them and the overall result is fairly proportional.

One obvious advantage of AMS is that every voter has at least one effective vote. Every vote counts, each vote is reallocated under AMS. This gives voters the incentive to vote and should reduce perception of ‘wasted’ votes. For example it is under the regional vote, proportional representation means all votes should be counted in some way. However FPTP (first past the post) is still a component of AMS, therefore voters still feel that there votes may be getting ‘wasted’ in some way. One clear disadvantage of AMS is that AMS is like many other PR systems, regarded as slow and...
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