F3PTP: A Perversion of Democracy

I so enjoyed reading Mrinal Roy’s comprehensive expose on the much talked about electoral reform (MT 04-Apr-2014).

But, apart from one passing sentence tucked at the end of a long paragraph, there is little mention of the re-introduction of a truly democratic one-man-one-vote, single member constituency. But no matter Mr Roy, you are in good company. Because, apart from Joseph Tsang Man King’s letters in the press, all the discussion has been around a rehashed version of the existing system, whereby we have an undemocratic one-man-three-votes, three-member constituencies plus a dose of PR to replace the much decried, divisive, anti-nation building BLS.

They call it the First Past The Post (FPTP) plus PR option. The irony of this misnomer seems to be completely lost in all the clever discussion about the Mathematics of the proposed system. Because the present system is anything but a FPTP. No sir, by any definition, it is not FPTP, it is First Three Past The Post (F3PTP). And a whopping perversion of Democracy! If we need reassurance, we only need to go as far as Champ-de-Mars on a Saturday afternoon to learn what is meant by FPTP.

Currently, the largest Democracy (India) is holding its general elections with a total of 814m eligible voters. And like all true Democracies — from USA to Europe to Africa — each voter has one and only one vote. So what is it that makes us so special to be given not one, not even two, but three votes?

* Published in print edition on 18 April 2014

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