The grass is always greener….

As someone who has an interest in comparative electoral systems, I couldn’t help being so favourably impressed by the outcome of the British election and its electoral system. The campaign lasts one month, the elections one day, by the end of the night of the elections the winner is known. The next day the prime minister goes to the Queen, and goes, or comes back, to 10 Downing Street. In the meantime, the losers accept their failure and resign. Compare this to what happens in Italy or Israel, for instance. In both countries electoral campaigns are a lengthy affair that sometimes starts the day after the elections; the losers complain but don’t resign, the winners squabble for the spoils of victory. In fact in Israel this spoils system is even more voracious and obnoxious than almost anywhere else. The coalition is formed not before the elections but after the elections and every party have exorbitant requests, cross vetoes, last hour blackmail etc. Bottom line, Bibi Netanyahu was only able to form his coalition seven weeks after winning the elections, Cameron did it seven hours after the elections. Whose electoral system would you rather have?

 The question is not as simple as it looks, because the downside of the clear cut civility of the British system is very harsh on the losers, who may get a very high share of the electoral vote and almost no representation in parliament—go speak to Farage for example (the leader of the UKIP). Serious publications such as the Economist have been advocating the introduction of some proportional representation into the British system. Despite its drawdowns–no system is perfect, Brits should think twice before giving up their current system which guarantees a civil transfer of power, accountability, and certainty, for a Levantine correction that engenders unending discussions and very often extortion.