Go Back  British Expats > General > Take it Outside!
Reload this Page >

Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Old Mar 9th 2020, 1:18 pm
  #136  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,102
Watchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I think we do have a representative democracy.
Would you say that the 40 countries in Europe (out of a total of 43) that have proportional representation don't have a representative democracy?

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
More constituencies voted for one party over another.
Firstly, constituencies don't vote, people do. Secondly, whilst having a local representative at national level is certainly a valid argument, people generally vote along party lines, and the local representative is often appointed by the party ("parachuted in") rather than being appointed by the local populace.

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
The variables of each constituency cause a lot of upset. Size, numbers, borders etc...all reasons for people be frustrated.
That isn't really the problem with constituencies. The real problem is that votes aren't distributed evenly across the constituencies. With multi-constituency FPTP, a large proportion of votes for a candidate who wins a stonking victory in a constituency effectively don't count, and all votes for a candidate who lost effectively don't count. This is true even where constituency boundaries are "perfect" and all constituencies are the same size.

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I don't know of a proportional, locally represented voting system that ends up with the kind of result that people would get behind.
Because you haven't looked? 40 out of 43 European countries have PR, and to my knowledge there is no significant opposition to it.

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
IMaybe I should invent one.
Why re-invent the wheel?
Watchpost is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 1:25 pm
  #137  
So long...
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 21,973
DaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
Would you say that the 40 countries in Europe (out of a total of 43) that have proportional representation don't have a representative democracy?.

[Snip]

Because you haven't looked? 40 out of 43 European countries have PR
The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliaments use PR.
DaveLovesDee is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 1:43 pm
  #138  
Thread Starter
 
Lion in Winter's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: City of Broad Shoulders
Posts: 57,981
Lion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond reputeLion in Winter has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post

The real problem is that votes aren't distributed evenly across the constituencies. With multi-constituency FPTP, a large proportion of votes for a candidate who wins a stonking victory in a constituency effectively don't count, and all votes for a candidate who lost effectively don't count. This is true even where constituency boundaries are "perfect" and all constituencies are the same size.


Exactly this.
Lion in Winter is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 1:43 pm
  #139  
Banned
 
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 33
The.Ghost.of... is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Stop that at once It must be possible to have a sensible conversation. Maybe I should have put it in the Lounge.
Well. as my contribution, what about​​​​​​ ...
  • Moving the UK Parliament out of London and around the UK so it's seen to be vaguely connected to that which it claims to represent,
  • Occupiers of say, every 100 dwellings, annually electing a delegate of their own as local councillors,
  • All candidates to have lived in a constituency for a 5 year minimum before standing, and post election to spend 80% minimum of time in the area; - on pain on not being paid one penny,
  • All MP's legally obliged to take out an on-demand Bond of 10 times their total parliamentary costs in case of recall,
  • No MP to have more than two periods in Parliament.
  • Scrapping the HoL and replacement by a Review & Governance Convention independently elected on a PR basis out of sequence to General Elections.
  • A written Constitution protected by a Constitutional Court manned by the Judiciary.
I know it's not going to happen, since even to get to point one, means entirely levelling the present archaic and disconnected system crawling with corruption and vice, but it'd be a start.
The.Ghost.of... is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 2:14 pm
  #140  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,102
Watchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by DaveLovesDee View Post
The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliaments use PR.
As does the Northern Ireland assembly.

I honestly think, though, that most of the UK populace doesn't see a problem with the current system. If it had, it would have voted differently in the referendum on PR.
Watchpost is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 2:17 pm
  #141  
WWLLCJD?
 
Scamp's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Dubai
Posts: 24,763
Scamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
Would you say that the 40 countries in Europe (out of a total of 43) that have proportional representation don't have a representative democracy?

Firstly, constituencies don't vote, people do. Secondly, whilst having a local representative at national level is certainly a valid argument, people generally vote along party lines, and the local representative is often appointed by the party ("parachuted in") rather than being appointed by the local populace.

That isn't really the problem with constituencies. The real problem is that votes aren't distributed evenly across the constituencies. With multi-constituency FPTP, a large proportion of votes for a candidate who wins a stonking victory in a constituency effectively don't count, and all votes for a candidate who lost effectively don't count. This is true even where constituency boundaries are "perfect" and all constituencies are the same size.

Because you haven't looked? 40 out of 43 European countries have PR, and to my knowledge there is no significant opposition to it.

Why re-invent the wheel?
Not locally representative perhaps.
A constituency provides a result through votes, you know what I mean though. Yes, people often vote for a party or leader but lots will give great consideration to their local needs as well.
Constituencies are the problem if they aren't the same size - I get your point regarding making them the same size, there could be 1 vote in it for many and 50,000 in it for others, the winning party sneaking it by 1 vote in more constituencies but again - they won more seats and won the marginal seats - does that now show they convinced the middle ground of their credentials perhaps? The swing-votes who aren't sure are made sure by voting day that they like that party for X or Y reason? Maybe we don't give enough credit to thinking voters?

The 40 countries in Europe have a type of PR, not all the same. In fact, there's probably 4 different variations - that's my point. Somethings been attempted several ways and fits some countries. Why does Germany do it differently to Spain who do it differently to Ireland? All are technically PR but none the same. One size perhaps doesn't fit all.

Maybe I should reinvent the wheel to make a hoverboard, either way, thanks for just bringing another round of discussion, even if it's just a bit of a put down, it's appreciated.
Scamp is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 2:19 pm
  #142  
Preparing to move again
 
Annetje's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Charente Maritime
Posts: 5,450
Annetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond reputeAnnetje has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
As does the Northern Ireland assembly.

I honestly think, though, that most of the UK populace doesn't see a problem with the current system. If it had, it would have voted differently in the referendum on PR.
... Also, can you imagine different parties in the UK working together instead of fighting ? Party #1 Country #2
.
Annetje is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 2:53 pm
  #143  
Resident Cynic
 
macliam's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Suffolk,UK; Alentejo, Portugal
Posts: 7,848
macliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
I honestly think, though, that most of the UK populace doesn't see a problem with the current system. If it had, it would have voted differently in the referendum on PR.
Let's kill this now - the referendum was for the replacement of FPTP by AV in single MP constituencies, not for proportional representation.
The proposed alternative was like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic....... a complex system to elect the least disliked candidate in a constituency, but with all other aspects left unchanged. A cynic might say that it was designed to achieve a "better the devil you know" vote and kill off any opportunity for a meaningful change. As here.....
macliam is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 3:09 pm
  #144  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,102
Watchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
A constituency provides a result through votes, you know what I mean though. Yes, people often vote for a party or leader but lots will give great consideration to their local needs as well.
I know what you mean and you do have a valid point about constituencies providing local representation. However, in the UK's system, MPs have a threefold responsibility: to national government (their work at Westminster), to their party, and to their constituencies. Their constituency allegiance is very much the lowest of these priorities, as evidenced by the "parachuting in" of candidates. (I'm not necessarily opposed to parachuting in, either. Without it, minorities would be even less well represented.)

Local representation works well when the local representative doesn't have responsibility at the same time at national level. You see that with mayors: they represent the interests of their cities much better than local MPs do.

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Constituencies are the problem if they aren't the same size - I get your point regarding making them the same size, there could be 1 vote in it for many and 50,000 in it for others, the winning party sneaking it by 1 vote in more constituencies but again - they won more seats and won the marginal seats - does that now show they convinced the middle ground of their credentials perhaps? The swing-votes who aren't sure are made sure by voting day that they like that party for X or Y reason? Maybe we don't give enough credit to thinking voters?
However much "thinking" tactical voting goes on, I can't see how the SNP getting 48 seats with 3.9% of the vote and the Lib Dems getting 12 seats with 11.6% of the vote can in any way be interpreted as representative of voters' wishes. But feel free to try to persuade me...

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
The 40 countries in Europe have a type of PR, not all the same. In fact, there's probably 4 different variations - that's my point. Somethings been attempted several ways and fits some countries. Why does Germany do it differently to Spain who do it differently to Ireland? All are technically PR but none the same. One size perhaps doesn't fit all.
I don't think that's really the issue. I don't think that Irish voters look over to Spain and think hey, why don't we adopt the Spanish electoral system.

It's more fundamental than that. The football analogies sum it up. It shouldn't be a "game", it should be about social cooperation, unless you believe that "there is no such thing as society".

PR forces parties to work together. There is an argument that FPTP promotes "strong and stable government" precisely because the cube rule reduces the likelihood of parties having to work together. That's a valid argument - but it's just as valid an argument for a dictatorship. If you want strong and stable government, look at Putin.

Not infrequently, we have elections over here that leave parliament in a fragmented mess (as in Germany's last federal election, or even worse, the last state election in Thuringia), and negotiations over a coalition agreement drag on for months. The British tabloid press has a field day over "Germany in chaos", but over here, you don't notice any chaos or even any difference. A caretaker government continues with business as usual, and then the president knocks a couple of heads together and parties that had been slagging each other off sit down and thrash something out. And they do, because they see their job primarily as running the country, rather than "winning".
Watchpost is offline  
Old Mar 9th 2020, 3:12 pm
  #145  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,102
Watchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond reputeWatchpost has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Let's kill this now - the referendum was for the replacement of FPTP by AV in single MP constituencies, not for proportional representation.
Fair point. But even if the referendum had been about PR, I doubt the result would have been different. Speculation, I freely admit.
Watchpost is offline  
Old Mar 10th 2020, 6:34 am
  #146  
WWLLCJD?
 
Scamp's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Dubai
Posts: 24,763
Scamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond reputeScamp has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
I know what you mean and you do have a valid point about constituencies providing local representation. However, in the UK's system, MPs have a threefold responsibility: to national government (their work at Westminster), to their party, and to their constituencies. Their constituency allegiance is very much the lowest of these priorities, as evidenced by the "parachuting in" of candidates. (I'm not necessarily opposed to parachuting in, either. Without it, minorities would be even less well represented.)

Local representation works well when the local representative doesn't have responsibility at the same time at national level. You see that with mayors: they represent the interests of their cities much better than local MPs do.



However much "thinking" tactical voting goes on, I can't see how the SNP getting 48 seats with 3.9% of the vote and the Lib Dems getting 12 seats with 11.6% of the vote can in any way be interpreted as representative of voters' wishes. But feel free to try to persuade me...



I don't think that's really the issue. I don't think that Irish voters look over to Spain and think hey, why don't we adopt the Spanish electoral system.

It's more fundamental than that. The football analogies sum it up. It shouldn't be a "game", it should be about social cooperation, unless you believe that "there is no such thing as society".

PR forces parties to work together. There is an argument that FPTP promotes "strong and stable government" precisely because the cube rule reduces the likelihood of parties having to work together. That's a valid argument - but it's just as valid an argument for a dictatorship. If you want strong and stable government, look at Putin.

Not infrequently, we have elections over here that leave parliament in a fragmented mess (as in Germany's last federal election, or even worse, the last state election in Thuringia), and negotiations over a coalition agreement drag on for months. The British tabloid press has a field day over "Germany in chaos", but over here, you don't notice any chaos or even any difference. A caretaker government continues with business as usual, and then the president knocks a couple of heads together and parties that had been slagging each other off sit down and thrash something out. And they do, because they see their job primarily as running the country, rather than "winning".
Local representation is very important, MPs constantly bang on in the House about what 'their constituents' want etc. But this is kind of irrelevant, because I don't disagree the party and national government will come ahead of local issues for most MPs.

I could argue it's completely representative because those constituencies each voted for a party to win a seat. That's how it works. If the SNP ran a mightily successful campaign on a big fat lie of a second indyref to nick just enough votes to get a lot of seats then fair play to them. The Lib Dems are a traditionally larger party and will have a huge number of loyal voters who will vote for them regardless. I nearly did, but couldn't get behind some of their policies and realised it was basically a wasted vote. So a large base of fans spread across the UK might result in a good chunk of votes but does their failure to convince many local areas that they're the best to lead that area and the nation actually demonstrate the quality of their campaign and perceived abilities? If we went to - you get a seat for every percentage point you get then we'd have campaigns trying to appeal to everyone and just even stronger party ties - I think. We'd have less local influence or input or representation potentially. I'm not saying that's right or wrong.

I realise this is more perhaps explanation of opinion or perhaps just what I think happened rather than trying to persuade you - I don't think there's any persuading to be done, it's not an argument with a right or wrong or solution in my opinion.
Scamp is offline  
Old Mar 16th 2020, 2:50 pm
  #147  
BEfuddled
 
BuckinghamshireBoy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2016
Location: Brasschaat, Vlaanderen, België.
Posts: 4,555
BuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond reputeBuckinghamshireBoy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

This isn't a People's Parliament: Westminster is warped beyond belief


https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-a...s-warped-beyon
BuckinghamshireBoy is offline  
Old May 8th 2020, 1:00 pm
  #148  
 
BritInParis's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Not in Paris
Posts: 16,705
BritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

I had meant to post in this thread earlier but missed the opportunity so a couple of comments:

- Some posters need to learn the difference between an absolute and qualified majority when discussing FPTP.

- STV > FPTP > PR

BritInParis is offline  
Old May 8th 2020, 2:41 pm
  #149  
So long...
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 21,973
DaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond reputeDaveLovesDee has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I had meant to post in this thread earlier but missed the opportunity so a couple of comments:

- Some posters need to learn the difference between an absolute and qualified majority when discussing FPTP.

- STV > FPTP > PR
Educate everyone then, please......

For me, STV > PR > FPTP.
DaveLovesDee is offline  
Old May 8th 2020, 5:34 pm
  #150  
Resident Cynic
 
macliam's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Suffolk,UK; Alentejo, Portugal
Posts: 7,848
macliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

I'd agree that PR-STV is the best way for the UK to go.....based solely on the fact that Ireland chose it early on to replace the existing UK FPTP system, but maintain a local feel. So it's not as big a change to the accepted way of doing things as other systems - people still talk about "their" TD (MP equiv), so Limerick certainly feels represented. But moreso because Fianna Fáil made a failed attempt to reimpose FPTP when it looked as if their chances of maintaining power were being threatened - FPTP was seen as a way to keep the biggest party in power even if it was unpopular.....

PR-STV It has not, historically, led to hung parliaments in Ireland.... but it has led to a lot of coalitions - though never between the two "main" parties (whose policies are sometimes separated by a cigarette paper)..... until now (maybe). The emergence of Sinn Féin as a major player is driving some fundamental rethinking and may lead to more progressive politics.... but for now change seems to be driven by a common desire to freeze SF out. It has also not seen undue influence from "extremist" parties (even SF play more on their left-of-centre credentials in the Republic than any drive for reunification).

Ireland still has a bi-cameral system, a relatively powelesss (but elected) head of state and many of the trappings familiar to the UK populace..... but, of course, it does have a written constitution, a very different second chamber to the UK and referendums are an integral part of the political system - and binding. Due to the still-existing hangover from the Civil War, the political system is far from perfect..... but it seems to be moving in the right direction.
macliam is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.