In a surprising twist to the debate on voting reform ex minister Lord Heard was heard recently defending his views on voting reform.
“First Past The Post is what made Britain great,” he said. “First Past The Post is what gave Britain Queen Victoria and the Empire. We should think very carefully before we change what has been working well. Nevertheless, I have been thinking carefully and I have come to the conclusion that there is a minor change that would make sense.
“I am not, here, advocating that AV nonsense. That would be a disaster. Making everybody’s vote count is as stupid as giving votes to the poor, or to women, but I have come to the conclusion that there is a minor change to the voting system that would improve it.
“Instead of First Past The Post, I am advocating a move to Second Past The Post. Under this system the person who gets the second largest number of votes is elected. The advantages are very real. Think about it. The people of Britain love to complain about their politicians, nothing gives them greater pleasure. Under First Past The Post it is quite common for two thirds of voters to have an MP they did not want. Under Second Past The Post it is quite possible for eighty percent of voters to have an MP they did not want.
“Other advantages include a reduction in election expenses as no-one wants to come first, and a system that guarantees change, because a really good local MP will never get back in because he will naturally come top of the poll next time.”
Commenting, Councillor Bob Ford the newly elected mayor of Manneringtree said:
“I think there is a lot to be said for Second Past The Post, and I am not just saying that because that is how I come to be mayor. The people round here can complain as much as they want without feeling guilty, less than a quarter of voters voted for me. And when you consider that the turnout was only about fifty percent hardly anyone voted for me at all. We did have a little upset when it was suggested that the Conservative candidate was spreading malicious rumours about himself in a last minute attempt to reduce his vote, but in the end he came third so he was wasting his time if he did. I look forward to being a thoroughly mediocre mayor. In that way I might even win a second term.”
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