The Electoral System

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  • I've noticed there is no discussion on this forum about the manner in which we elect our government, which I feel is strange because in my various meanderings around the wonderful world of t'internet, this is quite a hot potato.


    Of course we need to do away with First Past The Post as a means of electing our government. It doesn't represent the majority, it only perpetuates a distorted and gerrymandered system which is increasingly being distorted even further still as we drift further and further to the extreme right in Britain. But that can be defeated and if the opposition parties have the nous, the will and the desire to see true change, they will gather in an electoral pact to turn their majority in the popular vote into a defeat for this wretched regime.


    Having done this, there must then be the most radical overhaul of the electoral system this country has ever seen. First Past The Post MUST go and be replaced by Proportional Representation. I know this will be opposed on here by the usual suspects and I'm not even going to argue the case for it. Everybody knows that it is the only way to ensure a fair balance of power in relation to the votes cast.


    But how to implement it..? Do we still need to keep shlepping to the polling station we could introduce an electronic system of voting known as "Direct Democracy". If you can trust your computer or mobile phone with your money via the online banking system, you can cast your vote at an election.


    I've been sold this idea by one of our Rejoiner students - Thank you Flak Magnet - any issue could be proposed, debated and voted on inside, say, a three month period electronically under DD. More of this as the discussion develops.


    A tiered electronic voting system for local, regional and national issues is very much do-able and the only real barrier to that now is the inertia of the political class who like expenses, being kowtowed to and appearing on TV.


    Britain really could lead the world for once with a sensibly thought through, and technically sound, Direct Democracy and in fact it would be a hell of a lot closer to genuine democracy than the nonsense we see now of governments being voted in and immediately sticking two fingers up the electorate with their "See yez in five years" attitude.


    The money saved in one year on the appallingly inefficient and corrupt secretariat we are burdened with as a small country would more than adequately pay for a system of Direct Democracy where everybody gets to debate and vote issue by issue.

    Old Boy said: "Britain will have a trade deal with USA by the end of this year".

  • We do need to shake up the whole system, the whole idea of having to pay a deposit that if you don't poll enough votes you don't get back, only encourages those with money or belonging to a large well funded party from standing and discourages the average bloke/iwoman/other on the street from standing as an independent, but fits with the whole elite supporting the elite club and if you don't belong sod off attitude.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Of course we need to do away with First Past The Post as a means of electing our government.

    I don’t think so, Jenny. The electorate don’t want proportional representation, which is too compromistic and ends up pleasing no-one.


    At least FPTP produces a strong and stable government on most occasions. If the election of Boris Johnson didn’t convince you that people were fed up to the back teeth of the antics of the House of Commons, due to the lack of a majority in Parliament, I don’t know what would. PR would provide lashings more of the above. An anarchist’s charter.


    Thank you Jenny, but no thanks.

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  • I've already come up with a fair system. Get rid of the parties and everyone that is registered to vote has their name put in a hat and we play lucky dip that makes one party that stays in power for a set term. Then we go back to the hat. The royal family can have ultimate power to remove any psychos and then we draw another name out of the hat to replace that person or persons.

  • Is the Royal Family able to recognise a psycho when they see one?

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  • They could go the way of those so called TV talent/reality shows the candidates have to perform a little routine on TV and then the voters have to phone into vote. :D

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • The problem as I see it is that whether it be FPTP or PR, the population gets the government it deserves. What this country needs are better quality citizens who would vote for better quality candidates, which would attract better quality candidates to put themselves forward.

    If the above statement appears to you to be placing a questionmark against the underlying current principle of democracy, you're dead right. But I won't take that particularly any further for now.

    Whether FPTP or PR, the size of government is unnecessarily and grossly large and, like any parasitic life form, it will fill that vacuum. Bidenism is in danger of doing that in America

    A country and its government, as well as taking care of the welfare and facilities it provides to its citizens, should also enable them to improve their standard of living beyond just bleak survival and adequacy. To do that, an effective government needs to mean business. This can only be achieved if government re-develops its protocol and manner of dealing with business rather than expecting business to re-fashion itself to deal with government.

    PS

    The dilemma of PR vs FPTP would evaporate if we only got rid of the simplistic 2 party system, idiotically preoccupied with left wing socialism versus right wing wealth creation. There is only one system and it is centralism within a Capitalist rather than Marxist or Communist society. If you can't come to terms with that reality, go and live in China or look for a country like the Russia of yesteryear.

    It then follows that parliamentary debate shouldn't need a lift wing party and a right-wing party, where one is in power and the other is the opposition, which morphs into argumentativeness, along with at the same time, secretly dyed-in-the-wool Leftie MP's trying to ingratiate themselves to moderate right wing voters and died-in-the-wool Rightie MP's trying to ingratiate themselves to moderate Left-wing voters (assuming the Rightie MP's can shed enough of their ugly face of capitalism).

    In that more realistic world it wouldn't matter nearly so much whether the constituency outcome is FPTP or PR - what's more important is that the candidates would be contesting with one another on the basis of good ideas, beliefs and intelligence for what a centrally-positioned government should be doing for the nation and its citizens.

    On that basis the lower the voter turnout, the better. After all, why mess up the election result with indifferent or deadhead voters?

  • I take the view that we have the best electoral system in the world, so why change it?


    I agree we could have fewer MPs and the House of Lords also needs radical reform, but that’s as far as I would go.


    The reason that more capable people don’t go into politics is that it is far too exasperating. It appeals to people who are naturally argumentative and crave publicity.


    People who really want to get things done tend not to go into politics, even though ultimately this is where the biggest changes are possible.

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  • It's the intelligence or lack of among the voters who choose the MP's


    The advantage that FPTP has is that each constituancy has a representitive specifically for it. It also avoids shambolic co-allitions which usually fall apart. Witness Holand and Isreal as examples.


    Minority parties feel hard done by but if your policies are not sufficiently popular to get the vote then re-think them.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • Don't bite jenny and take comfort in understanding that the Green party are no different from any other party and all MP's speak the same crap and shit the same shit which is why this topic is even a topic.

  • Maybe they should get candidates to make their own hats and we have to vote whose got the best hat and the winners then form a government.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • 1 Best electoral system in the world, so why change it?

    Because it's the best of a bad lot, where satisfaction = complacency = a route to decay rather than progress. Actually I don't think our system rates as even being the best of a bad lot. I don't think having a voting process free from falsification is itself enough to claim having "the best electoral system in the world". You need think about the qualitative rather than quantitative or mechanical aspects.


    2 I agree we could have fewer MPs and the House of Lords also needs radical reform, but that’s as far as I would go.

    re the end of your sentence: I wasn't asking for your permission!


    3a Reason more capable people don’t go into politics is it's too exasperating.

    How does that likely correct observation stack up with your view that we have the best electoral system in the world?


    3b Appeals to people who are naturally argumentative and crave publicity.

    How can the best electoral system in the world be one which attracts argumentative publicity seekers?

    Putting it another way, do you have any human traits in mind of a more positive nature worth trying to attract into politics?


    4 People who really want to get things done tend not to go into politics, even though ultimately this is where the biggest changes are possible.

    Grief! You're saying that a career in politics is inimical to doers (rather than debaters), even while admitting it is within government that the biggest changes are possible (by implication, possible rather than realisable). Yet in (1) you say we have the "best electoral system in the world so why change it?" How on earth can you maintain we have "the best electoral system in the world" if it attracts the kind of people who make bad government? Are you having difficulty recognising the solid cause & effect connection between how we attract better politicians and how we make better use of them?

  • When I said ours is the best system, I was comparing it with other countries. Who do you think has a better electoral system, and why?


    I am not aware of any, I'm afraid.

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  • Proportional Representation might seem attractive to the Non-Educated BUT it doesnt work in practice. Here in Scotland we are lumbered with both PR and FPTP all within the same election. It flings up all sorts of anamolies and problems. We end up with huge undeserved majorities which do not represent the views of the vast majority of Scots. For many years it was the L/W Labour party, then it became an even more L/W SNP. Scots are by nature slightly centre Left, but the Skewed Electoral system up here is geared purely for political extremists.

  • When I said ours is the best system, I was comparing itbwith other countries. Who do you think has a better electoral system, and why?


    I am not aware of any, I'm afraid.

    We're talking at cross purposes. I'm talking about the whole government political system. Where if you're a citizen and eligible to vote, then you vote. Then it's either PR or FPTP, each of which has it's +'s and -'s


    What are YOU talking about?

  • Proportional Representation might seem attractive to the Non-Educated BUT it doesnt work in practice. Here in Scotland we are lumbered with both PR and FPTP all within the same election. It flings up all sorts of anamolies and problems. We end up with huge undeserved majorities which do not represent the views of the vast majority of Scots. For many years it was the L/W Labour party, then it became an even more L/W SNP. Scots are by nature slightly centre Left, but the Skewed Electoral system up here is geared purely for political extremists.

    You say: Proportional Representation might seem attractive to the Non-Educated BUT it doesn’t work in practice.

    Probably more attractive to the over educated (aka Useful Idiots)


    You say: Here in Scotland we are lumbered with both PR and FPTP all within the same election. It flings up all sorts of anomalies and problems

    Yes, I noticed some of the complications on a TV news program in the last couple of weeks. Very complicated. Very Heath Robinson


    You say: We end up with huge undeserved majorities which do not represent the views of the vast majority of Scots. For many years it was the L/W Labour party, then it became an even more L/W SNP. Scots are by nature slightly centre Left, but the Skewed Electoral system up here is geared purely for political extremists.


    I'm still not sure why the skewed electoral system tilts in favour of political extremists. Without your explanation I just think that any kind of tilt in political policy gets magnified by treating that tilt as a dichotomy rather than a more nuanced matter of degree. I think biases feed on themselves.

    Broadening this subject, I think PR resembles the worst aspect of education, where almost everyone’s a winner, which I view as a.regression to mediocrity. It's very Left Wing, very Equal Outcome. Depending on the method of PR, it can create an outcome where candidates get selected without ever coming first. The FPTP method at least generates a winner.


    The downside can be when it’s a near-tie photo-finish. But then it depends on the reason why the two candidates almost tied. If it’s because they are both recognised as high quality candidates, each with good ideas or proposals, then it’s six of one versus a half a dozen of the other. But if the near-tie is because of two distinct but near-equal segments of voters, where each segment's choice is more influenced by the party than by the candidate, then the quality of the candidate and their ideas and proposals get quashed by party politics or dogma. The downside of party politics is to end up with candidates who tend towards adequacy, who are team players, without a mind of their own, thereby leadership potential.


    Also, when you’ve got a mass of exceeding average MP’s arguing in ever- decreasing circles and conflicted between what might be the right thing to do versus what their party insists it stands for, citizens in Britain generally or Scotland in particular, are ill-served.


    That is why I think party politics is an out-of-date concept which gets in the way of effective democratic government decision-making. There is only one political concept that makes any sense and that’s a roughly central /non-extremist positioning in a world of capitalism, with a variety of views, depending on the topic. Left versus Right is archaic as a topic; it encourages binary thinking.


    No MP candidate should be given power who believes in equal outcome. Nor should an MP candidate be given power who believes that those who fall through the cracks of society should be neglected or ignored by government on the grounds of being the architects of their own misfortune. Unrestricted capitalism fosters ruthless materialism. The former must be checked by government control, the latter must be dissuaded by government though education. That said, a degree of authoritarianism woud certainly not go amiss in this over-permissive society but no decent person should wish a sensible degree authoritarianism to drift into fascism.


    As for uncompromising democracy (whatever that means!), I’m against a situation where all 600+ MP’s have an equal vote on whatever issue they decide to get agitated or excited about. It slows up, even messes up decision-making. I favour a system of government based on meritocracy. My hero in that respect is Lee Kuan. A less drastic change (more evolution than revolution) would be a nominated cabinet of 15-20 exceptional politicians (chosen by their peers) who make the decisions, after airing the subject among that over-abudance of 600+ MP’s but with more time alloted, which will prevent blathering on and pontificating until doomsday, and certainly without being able to exercise voting power; influence yes, voting power to permit or stymie decision-making, no. If you're not sure about that, remember how long UK parliament p!$$ed about for almost 3 years trying to deliver the referendum result to leave the EU? That farce would have happened whether it was 52:48 or 55:45.

  • Post by casablanca ().

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  • We're talking at cross purposes. I'm talking about the whole government political system. Where if you're a citizen and eligible to vote, then you vote. Then it's either PR or FPTP, each of which has it's +'s and -'s


    What are YOU talking about?

    I was talking about PR as opposed to FPTP, which was the context of the post I was responding to, not the wider context that you have put forward.

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  • so be it.


    you're absolutely right, that both pr & fptp have their +'s & -'s


    no need to get all deep and comment on those +'s & -'s


    after all, almost everything has +'s & -'s


    I must make a template of "they have their +'s & -'s", so I can churn out 400 posted comments in half an hour

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