I often lament the fact that, in American politics, elections frequently cause a seismic shift to the left or the right. This in many cases results in the work done by the party that previously had power being picked apart by the incoming party. This wastes months of legislative time, wastes vast amounts of money and results in a new legislative agenda that will quite likely be unpicked the next time there is a lurch to left or right. Britain's voting system is similar to America's in as much as the person receiving 51% of the vote gets elected, while a person who gets 49% may get nothing. In Britain, this system is called first past the post (the post being 50%). In many central european countries, a system of Proportional Representation is used. While arguably giving a more balanced view of the electorate's wishes, this system does tend to lead to coalition governments. On May 5, Britain will have a referendum on whether to move to a new system - something that has been discussed and dismissed throughout my lifetime. Called A.V. (Alternative Voting), it's a form of P.R. A brief animated description is available here: BBC News - What is the alternative vote? More detail is available here: BBC News - Alternative vote Thoughts? Good thing? Bad thing? And how would this approach work in the U.S.? For example, it is unlikely that the current healthcare changes would have been passed, but arguably more likely that healthcare reform of some form or other would have been passed years ago. One thing is certain. If passed, British politics will be changed out of all recognition.