Direct Party and Representative Voting (DPR)

First published in 2010 |

Direct Party and Representative Voting (DPR Voting)

DPR Voting - continued (3 of 4)

DPR Voting is an alternative to 'First past the post' (FPTP) for UK General Elections

The Democratic idea

In the polling booth
Two ballot papers, one vote to elect a Member of Parliament, and a separate ballot paper to vote for the party.
The first ballot paper elects a single MP in each constituency (by simple majority).
The second ballot paper vote totals are counted nationwide, like a referendum. It is the nationwide total of ‘party’ votes cast that alone determines how many votes each parliamentary party has in the parliament.

In Parliament
Each party shares its parliamentary votes out equally amongst its own MPs (so each MP exercises one share of their party’s total vote in parliamentary divisions, and has a vote equal to every other of their party's MPs.)

It changes the balance of power in our politics. Power shifts away from the central party organisation, towards the MP, and to the electorate.
This will encourage hard working MPs. It may encourage independent minded MPs and, to an extent, independent MPs.

The concept of sharing out the parliamentary party's vote:
Instead of a vote, think cake.
With FPTP, each constituency MP gets an identical cupcake in the parliament, regardless of how many votes they or their opponents got in their constituency election. The number of cupcakes each party gets to use in the parliament is not proportionate to the number of votes cast for their candidates.
In DPR Voting each parliamentary party will have a different size cake to share out. The size of each party's cake depends on the number of the party votes they get, not on the number of constituencies won - it's proportionate to their total vote. Each MP is given an equal slice of their party’s cake - a fair share for each party, and a fair share for each MP.

MPs use their cake/vote in parliament as they see fit (they can vote along party lines, or not, as with FPTP)

Think cake - 2

If you think that every MP should have one vote, challenge yourself to ask - Why?
‘One person, one vote’ might sound ‘obvious’, but it is misleading. This is not comparable to ‘the people’ voting in an election to choose a single representative. We are determining how the balance of views of the elected MPs, and their parties, will be expressed in the parliament. Will it reflect the votes cast in a General Election, both for and against?

from Arend Lijphart, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California, San Diego ( Nov 2011)
Thank you for bringing the DPR Voting system to my attention.  I had not heard of it before. I agree with you that it represents a big improvement compared with the current FPTP system in the UK, because it is basically a PR instead of a majoritarian system.  My own preference is for straightforward list PR, but the practical advantage of DPR Voting may be that it may be more acceptable to the British public.
Good luck with your proposal! Arend.
A short explanation of DPR Voting - web page or two page pdf
For more on DPR Voting (4), see here
DPR Voting - simple, practical electoral reform