Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Bonus seats: Maybe our Parliament should use this Greek innovation?

I was surprised to read this today about the Greek rules which gift an extra lift to the party that wins the most seats in an elec tion:

ND came first in the polls but, in common with the centre-left Pasok - the other traditional party of power - saw its share of the vote dramatically reduced...

Their votes drained away in Sunday's elections in favour of smaller parties on the left and right, with Syriza picking up almost 17% of the vote. But because ND came first, it was awarded a 50-seat bonus in parliament according to Greek rules, and was initially asked to form a government.

A seat bonus?

What a novel idea!

Now, let's think about how we might use such novel gifting in our Parliament...

The idea I like the best is that any party which elects the most women as MPs should get a bonus of (say) one extra seat in Parliament for each women MP elected, up to some maximum.

If at least 50% of the total MPs elected by all parties are female, then the bonus system would not apply.

This bonus idea would not amount to the traditional affirmative action, but more of an incentive model.

What do you think?

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