@AC (both of them)
My views presented here are deliberately contentious, to try to get people to think. I am a little undecided about what is the voting system with fewest drawbacks, but I am reasonably certain that it is not FPTP or AV.
I agree about the post about mathematics (and other) teaching. I am not disputing that governments take a big part of everybody's earnings (although you 50% is an average, many people at the lowest end of the earnings spectrum only end up paying VAT - unless you are including employers NIC, which is an expense to the business of employing people, not really a tax on the income unless you look at it with a real pedantic eye). I used to run my own company with it's own payroll, so I can see all of these aspect of tax.
But unless you go to a full PR system with national candidate lists, which breaks local accountability (something I value strongly), then there will always be some quantization errors in the representation of the people. This is true with AV, STV and MMP. And when considered with current party preferences, will nearly always end up with minority governments.
I know that some successful countries actually work with governments that are in a minority, but for every one that does, I could probably point to at least one where historically they haven't always. In a minority government, charismatic leaders are the key, and in the cynical political atmosphere in the UK, I don't believe that we trust any individual enough, especially after Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.
Another point I want to make is that people don't actually want democracy. What they want is what they personally believe is right. Whenever such people do not get their way, many of them are prepared to blame the system, rather than accept that they are out of step with the 'will of the people'. And with a complex voting system, the least well educated and those that don't-give-a-damn-about-how-it-works will always feel this as long as they don't understand the process.
I was also pointing out that whilst the share of seats in the UK does not often track the percentage of the vote (and this has always been a sore point to Liberal Democrats and before them the Liberal Party in the UK - I've been politically aware for that long), it does not actually matter that much to the over-all policies. Bills are presented, mostly (though not exclusively) by the incumbent party, debated, amended and eventually have to achieve a majority of a vote to become a policy or law. Be more afraid of secondary legislation that only has to be voted on by a select committee rather than poor representation in the House of Commons. This is truly unrepresentative.
I accept that between elections, there is little that can be done by constituents to 'sack' their member of parliament, but votes in the House of Commons are by majority, so any minority government has to convince other parties, one way or another, to support them. I would be happy seeing fee votes more often, allowing MPs to vote according to their conscience and constituency wishes rather than along party lines, but sometimes it is necessary to enforce the party lines. So I assert that a party with only 36% of the vote imposing their policies is actually not significantly different from voting alliances seen in most countries with some form of PR without overall majority governments, although I accept that it is the the incumbent party that get to present the most bills.
I would also point out that if you really want an accountable government, you really ought to make it compulsory for all eligible voters to do so, because even 51% of 65% is less that 38%, only slightly more than the number who didn't vote! Is this truly representative? Or do you contend that people who don't vote don't deserve to be represented?
Anyway, beside electoral systems, somebody ought to take the "how-it-works" bat to Sarcozy, to beat some real knowledge into him.