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Assess the Arguments for Retaining the First Past the Post System for General Elections

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Assess the Arguments for Retaining the First Past the Post System for General Elections The first past the post electoral system is the procedure in which electorates in their individual constituency vote for a party, the winners are generally the party that receives the most votes as well as reaches a fifty per cent majority of the votes; the remainder of the votes are discarded. The first past the post system (FPTP) is used in various countries; prime examples are the general elections in the UK and the presidential elections in USA. Although the first past the post system has received general acceptance, there has been many debates to how democratic the process is and if it should be replaced with a more “fairer” and “democratic” electoral system… Firstly, the main issue within the first past the post system is the democratic persona it creates; due to the fact that only the votes of the successful party are counted and the remaining votes (no matter how close) are discounted therefore making it based on a “winner takes all” system and in effect, undermining the remaining candidates as well as electorates whose votes are discounted. This can be seen evidently in the 2010 general elections as although labour had won 258 seats, conservatives had won 307 seats therefore stating conservatives had received more votes than all other parties and so their votes are the only one that count whilst all other votes are redundant. Systems involving proportional representation, such as the Additional Member System (AMS) are more democratic as electorates receive two votes so they have an impact to the results as both votes are counted. However, this is not all entirely true as in a first past the post system; parties still have to reach a certain number of seats in order to earn a majority and thus avoid a coalition. On the other hand, not all is negative for the system; FPTP is considered to be a simple and publicly accepted. This is a positive outlook on the first past the post system as it creates a clear majority and a strong government. Also, it can…...

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