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Background Info

We are told that we have a democratic parliament. We are told that if we do not like the elected representative we have we can vote them out. That is not quite the case. 

In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election numerous constituency candidates were resoundingly rejected by their constituents, yet by the parties placing them favourably on the regional list, were elected anyway. For example, 35 of the 56 regional MSPs, from all of the parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament, were rejected in the constituency vote but were still elected through the regional list system.

How can this be said to be in line with the wishes of the people? It is entirely undemocratic.

In my view, to prevent this from occurring constituency candidates should not be allowed to be placed on the regional list, and should gain office on merit.

Furthermore, to prevent manipulation of the list by the parties themselves, the ranking system should be removed. If a party gains for example three list places, those three posts should be drawn at random from the supplied list.

In addition the actual system of regionally allocating members fails to truly represent the percentages of votes cast nationally, creating an imbalance to the detriment of the smaller parties, and I consider this needs to be reviewed to reflect the national balance and to ensure that the regional list system is not used by all political parties to create a safety net where the electorate cannot remove constituency MSPs from parliament. Representing the people of Scotland is a privilege granted by the people, not a right.

By allowing candidates who have clearly been rejected by the electorate to be elected despite the electorate’s wishes is an affront to democracy and is akin to the Westminster practice of moving rejected MPs to the Lords.

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