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Under consideration PE1901: Replace the voting system for the Scottish Parliament with a more proportional alternative

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to replace the broadly proportional, but flawed, Additional Member System (AMS) used for electing MSPs with a more proportional alternative.

AMS results in more representative parliaments than FPTP used in Westminster but it is not fully proportional. It also results in two classes of MSPs, limits voter choice and can be exploited by decoy parties.

Alternatives such as the Single Transferable Vote (STV) or Open List PR, would empower voters and lead to more representative parliaments.

Previous action taken

I have raised the issue with my Lothian MSPs when I previously lived in Scotland and have since contacted new Lothian MSPs in Session 6 upon return to Scotland.

On contacting MSPs in session five, I received mixed responses although not everyone replied. Labour MSPs seemed potentially open to the idea. One Conservative MSP seemed open to some sort of reform while the other disagreed with any change at all. Green MSPs supported reform. I have also written about the issue in the media notably for Politics.co.uk in the run up to the 2021 election.

Background information

The Additional Member System results in more representative parliaments than First Past The Post used in Westminster but it is not fully proportional. In my view, it is flawed as it doesn’t guarantee proportionality, hands power to parties and creates two classes of MSPs. It also limits voter choice through closed lists and can be exploited by decoy parties.

Alternatives such as the Single Transferable Vote (STV) or Open List PR with levelling seats, would empower voters and lead to more representative parliaments

Link about the Additional Member System:
https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/additional-member-system/

Link about the Single Transferable Vote:
https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/single-transferable-vote/

Link about Open List PR:
https://ballotbox.scot/ballot-box-briefing-2-scandinavian-style-proportional-representation

  • Created by Richard Wood
  • Considered from 12 October 2021

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Find out about the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

50 signatures