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PE01670: Reform the Scottish electoral system to make it democratic and accountable

Parliament Government

Petitioner: James Cassidy


Closing Date for Online Petition: 28 August 2017

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the current Scottish electoral system so that, when the relevant powers under the Scotland Act 2016 are devolved, candidates standing for a constituency seat are not also able to stand on the regional list.


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What are your views on the regional list system?

Do you have any ideas about how it could be improved, so that parties can't use the system to prevent MSPs from losing their position? 




I agree with the Petitioner 100%. The system is allowing candidates to be elected to the Scottish Parliament by a collection of 2nd, 3rd, etc preference votes rather than votes for the candidate of their choice. It is also allows Parties to manipulate 'The List' by ordering candidates, they know may not be elected as Constituency MSPs, to gain a seat.


10:52 on 14 Aug 2017

I agree that candidates who have not been elected should not be admitted to Parliament. I do not see why Regional MSPs cannot also be elected through explicit choice on the ballot paper.

Barry Gale

21:45 on 11 Aug 2017

In addition, list MSPs should not be allowed more than two list terms in total during their careers. Two terms should be enough to prove their utility to the electorate. After that, they should be required to stand as constituency MSPs. This would also provide a steady flow of new MSPs and help prevent the Scottish Parliament from becoming a Westminster-style cosy club for time-serving Establishment members.

Neil Ferguson

1:13 on 08 Aug 2017

I agree that if a candidate is rejected on a constituency vote, it overturns the democratic will of the voters if they then can still gain a seat through the AMS. There was considerable outcry from Scottish parliamentarians when a defeated candidate at the recent general election was then given a seat in the House of Lords -- same thing? Numbers of MSPS should also fairly reflect percentage share of the vote

Anne Munn

10:42 on 03 Aug 2017

I believe that no person not directly elected should sit in parliament or present themselves as an elected politician. For each party a leader, deputy and maximum two party spokesmen should be elected under a party ticket. If they gain a percentage share of the vote but no constituencies the parliamentary votes should be cast by the party leader or deputy. No additional members should appointed because they have not gained the direct approval of the citizens to sit in parliament. I do not think individuals who have been repeatedly rejected by voters should bypass democracy through personal connections. It is a corruption of democracy.

Thomas Valentine

1:54 on 03 Aug 2017

I also believe some limit should be imposed on how many terms a list MSP can sit.

Kevin Peden

18:22 on 02 Aug 2017

Being able to use the list as an insurance policy does not seem ideal. However, the main issue for me is that list candidates cannot really be rejected by voters if the party keeps putting them forward. As it stands, voters don't really know who they will get from a party's list at the time of voting. I agree with the petitioner. Or perhaps there should be a limit on how many times a candidate should be allowed on a list. I'd also like to see electronic voting used, which would help stop confusion about how the AMS works by guiding the voters. I'd also use an electronic system to force voters to rank all the candidates in the local elections.

George S Gordon

15:10 on 02 Aug 2017

Perhaps the number of times one can stand on the list should also be examined....

Paul Grierson

14:09 on 02 Aug 2017

I would add that all party leaders must stand in a constituency seat and not sneak in the back door

Peter Kelly

12:55 on 02 Aug 2017

The present system allows candidates who have been rejected by the electorate to remain in post. I am unsure which system should replace the present be but it is clear the present set up in unsatisfactory.

Owen Gallagher

18:27 on 31 Jul 2017

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