British Election

Vote Highlights Electoral Problems

After ending in a hung parliament, this week’s British election highlights longstanding problems with the nation’s electoral process, reports the New York Times. Nick Clegg, the charismatic leader of the Liberal Democrats (a party that’s advocated for electoral reform) says that the latest round of elections “made it absolutely clear that our electoral system is broken”—and that it’s better suited to 19th-century two-party politics than modern day politics. Reform may come sooner than initially expected: With Tory leader David Cameron declaring victory, he’s now pushing for Clegg to join forces with him. (Under the rules governing a hung parliament, the sitting party is given the first crack at forming a ruling coalition—meaning Labour could potentially team with the Liberal Democrats to claim the most seats.) In order to convince Clegg, however, Cameron may have to acquiesce to reform. In particular, Clegg supports a move to proportional representation. Since his win, Cameron hasn’t ruled out reform, but he’s said that he’d like to first give the possibility a close study.