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How the UK got the hung Parliament it wanted

by
20 May 2010

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From the Revd Steve Tilley

Sir, — It is not nonsense, as Paul Vallely suggests (Comment, 14 May), to say that the nation voted for a hung Parliament.

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the many are smarter than the few (Abacus, 2004), James Surowiecki clearly demonstrates that many people, all acting individually, can give an accurate result. He gives examples as diverse as guessing the weight of an ox, and pedestrian traffic moving in opposite directions through a busy shopping centre.

The trick, if trick it is, is for each individual to act without hearing the views of the others. The sheer weight of numbers will make sure the outcome is correct.

We got the best possible result our combined views required. None of us is as smart as all of us.

STEVE TILLEY
29 Vynes Way
Nailsea BS48 2UG

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