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Voting – what's the alternative?

Ahead of the European Parliament election, members of the public are invited to take part in a unique online voting experiment which aims to understand the effects of different electoral systems on politics.

Via the EUROVOTE+ project’s website, people will be able to test different voting system by casting their fictitious vote for the MEPs according to three different techniques currently used in Europe – the closed list system, which is used in the UK, an open list system and a ‘Panachage and Cumulation’ system.

EuropeanflagoutsideCommissionWhile MEPs are currently elected on a national basis, people using the website  will also be able to ‘vote’ for candidates of different nationalities in European political parties via a single pan-European constituency – an electoral system which has been proposed by some MEPs.

The project is run by an international group of social scientists, including Dr Rafael Hortala-Vallve from LSE’s Department of Government.

Dr Hortala-Vallve said: “Through the project we hope to answer questions like, does the electoral system have an impact on who gets elected? Are the different systems really different? Is there a better system? We need to know how voters use different voting systems and the best way to do this is by asking them how they would vote in a real election with various systems.”

EUROVOTE+ is part of a larger international project, ‘Making Electoral Democracy Work’, which aims to gain a better understanding of how democracy works

Taking part in EUROVOTE+ takes 10-20 minutes and the answers that participants provide are anonymous.

Posted: Friday 9 May 2014 

Image copyright: Xavier Häpe