As someone who spends a fair amount of time explaining Israeli democracy to Americans, I'm fascinated by the post election coverage of Thursday's UK vote.
The Tories took less than 37% of the vote but a majority of seats. 43% of voters chose center-left parties (Liberal Dems, Labour, Scottish Nationals) but collectively they only have a minority of seats and will all be on the outside of government for the next 5 years. The Scottish Nationals took less than 5% of the vote but have 56 out of 650 seats while the neo-fascist UKIP took 12.6% of the vote and 1 seat. And now there's call for electoral reform to do away with "first past the poll-constituency" based elections – the same system, by the way, used in most of the US (see link).
A lot of nations look at the U.S. Senate and think we're nuts to let Montana have the same power as California and call ourselves a democracy. A lot of Americans look at Israel and wonder how a majority of voters chose left of center parties and yet still ended up with a narrow government of the right. All of which is to say, democracies are democracies. They each have their own cultures, processes, and outcomes.
The UK is talking about how to bring more of the minority voices into power while Israel has "mastered" a parliamentary system in which severely minority voices get representation.
Who is to judge what kind of democracy is truly the most democratic?
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