The Advantages of First Past the Post (Winner Takes All) Systems' Advantages
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By marking only one choice with an X6 even people who can’t count don’t feel alienated. It is easy to count votes and it’s done fairly quickly thus it involves little bureaucracy and it’s not expensive to administer the elections. In UK the first election results can be expected hours after the beginning of counting, Sunderland often being able to declare them first within 2-3 hours.
Among all the above mentioned benefits simple-plurality is a democratic voting system. This one vote per one person system is fair because only voters 1st preference (his one vote) is counted. AV on the contrary may result in winners, which would come from voters 2nd or 3rd preferences. It is highly dubious that roughly 50 countries (almost a half of the world) including UK, USA, Canada, India, Kenya would have adopted the system if it were undemocratic. Democracy is directly exercised through elections, where higher participation levels basically lead to a more democratic outcome. If more eligible citizens cast their vote, the elected official or institution is more strongly affirmed in their right to have been elected. As UK experience shows participation levels didn’t rise with the introduction of proportional elections. On 6 May 1999 the average turnout for Scottish parliament elections was 57.5%12 while on 11 September 1997 referendum on devolution (using the proportional voting system) the average turnout was 60.3 – practically unchanged[2,16].
All things considered FPTP evidently has its good sides and that is the reason why the system was developed and adopted in the first place. Under the growing reproof from AV and proportional election lobbyists it still holds strong and it doesn’t seem likely that FPTP will be replaced by any other alternative voting system in the nearest future. With actual law-making governments it has proven itself functional and due to two-party political culture - efficient. It is seen as a democratic feature while its simplicity keeps voting costs down. One could easily say: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it"!
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