My political cartoon: 'Artificial Democracy'

My political cartoon is about electoral reform- my key idea- and democracy- my key concept. These link together because this issue of BNC has made me consider whether the UK’s current way of voting, known as first past the post, is really truly democratic.

In my cartoon, it is Election Day and people are flooding to their local polling station. Some people are happy and are able to put their voting paper into the ballot box. However, other people are unhappy and have to throw their voting paper in the rubbish bin, just because they didn’t vote for one of the main parties. To me, this represents the UK’s current voting method. In every constituency, one person is elected as MP, usually someone who is a member of one of the main parties (labour or conservative). At the end of the election, the number of elected MPs are counted up and the party who has the most wins the election. Therefore, anyone who does not vote for the winning MP in their constituency has, in effect, wasted their vote and might as well have thrown it away or even not bothered voting at all.

I want people to look at my art and see the UKs voting system for what it really is: potentially unfair and unrepresentative of the population.

I have decided to call my political cartoon ‘Artificial Democracy’ because, in my mind, you cannot have a true democracy without everyone having their say. My opinion is that, at the present time, this is not the case as people might be put off from voting for the things that really matter to them because they feel that, for their vote to count, they must vote for a main party. I think it is incredibly unfair, both for the UK's population and the politicians representing smaller parties such as The Green Party, and wanted to do a piece of art to represent my feelings towards this.

Comments (2)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    10 Feb 2020

    What reasons might someone who disagreed with you give? Think of people who might say that those who voted but didn't vote for the winning MP has not wasted their vote?

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    1. Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brilliant_blackberry | Noel Park Primary School
      Tom @ the BNC's comment 10 Feb 2020

      Hi Tom,

      I had to do some research into this to find out what the benefits of First Past the Post might be. I knew there must be some, since otherwise the UK would not still be using it as a voting system. This is what I found out:

      - It is a simple way of voting, since everyone gets a single vote to use whereas other systems, for example Single Transferable Vote are more complicated. This might cause people not to vote, simply because it is too difficult. First Past the Post at least makes it easy for everyone to go out and cast a vote in their local consistency, which might lead to a higher turnout.

      - Using the FPTP system is more likely to result in a strong government because it favours larger parties (this is something I had seen as a negative so it was interesting to explore why it might actually have a positive impact on UK politics). Through FPTP, a party might win a majority of seats without the majority of voters’ support which means that a majority government is formed and these are usually stronger than coalitions, which occur when no one party wins the most votes.

      - Most importantly in my opinion, FPTP allows votes to form actual relationships with their local MP, that is the person representing them in Parliament, since they may have voted for them. Because every MP is voted for by members of a constituency, they therefore represent those people and aware of local issues that might need to be addressed. This is not the case in other forms of voting.

      I understand why this way of voting has benefits but it hasn’t changed my mind about it being unfair. I still can’t see how everybody’s vote can count, although I can see why it might end up being beneficial for everyone.

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