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Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Old Feb 18th 2020, 1:06 am
  #106  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Oakvillian View Post
AIUI, the only elections in Scotland that use FPTP are the Westminster parliamentary elections. Scottish parliament is elected using Additional Member voting, local councils use STV (yay!). And of course the European elections use(d) a Party List system since Scotland functioned as a single constituency electing several MEPs after the European Parliamentary Elections Act of 1999..
Wales uses pretty much the same to elect it's devolved Assembly, as does the London Assembly, and I see the Republic's similar system has already been discussed. Malta also uses a similar system.

The simplest way to effect change would be to allow local elections to be run under the Alternative Member System if they choose to, and to see what the uptake is from these.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 12:20 am
  #107  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

So, in sum:

Corbyn got smashed, so the UK electoral system needs to go. But what to replace it?

A proportional system that awards seats based on popular vote percentage, if a candidate gets to a vote threshold? Similar to many of the US primaries? No, that won't work, it's American and therefore untouchable.

A mixed member proportional system, like Germany? Looked promising at first but then I realised the SPDs electoral record is even worse than Labour's, so that won't work.

Run-off voting like in France? No, the left has only won one Presidential election in over 30 years. So that system won't work for the UK.

Preferential voting like in Australia? No, like above, the Labor has only won majority government one time in about 25 years. So that system won't work for the UK.

Must keep searching . . . there MUST be a voting system out there somewhere that virtually guarantees perpetual far-left government . . . and thus is "representative" . . .
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 12:53 am
  #108  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
So, in sum:

Corbyn got smashed, so the UK electoral system needs to go. But what to replace it?

A proportional system that awards seats based on popular vote percentage, if a candidate gets to a vote threshold? Similar to many of the US primaries? No, that won't work, it's American and therefore untouchable.

A mixed member proportional system, like Germany? Looked promising at first but then I realised the SPDs electoral record is even worse than Labour's, so that won't work.

Run-off voting like in France? No, the left has only won one Presidential election in over 30 years. So that system won't work for the UK.

Preferential voting like in Australia? No, like above, the Labor has only won majority government one time in about 25 years. So that system won't work for the UK.

Must keep searching . . . there MUST be a voting system out there somewhere that virtually guarantees perpetual far-left government . . . and thus is "representative" . . .
This is the sensible thread. The trolling threads are the other way.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 1:23 am
  #109  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
This is the sensible thread. The trolling threads are the other way.
Are you sure? You're the one claiming that there needs to finally be discussion about FPTP and voting reform, less than a decade after there was discussion about FPTP and a referendum about changing it was defeated. Have you reflected yet on Corbyn's policies and how these may have contributed to his defeat?

Oh, and thanks for your trademark "have a different perspective than me, and you must be a troll/right wing extremist etc" dig. I think it says a lot that this is your default assumption when faced with other views.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 2:17 am
  #110  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
So, in sum:

Corbyn got smashed, so the UK electoral system needs to go. But what to replace it?
I think you've misunderstood. The current system produces drastically varying results in terms of percentages of seats won v percentages of votes cast for those parties. It has nothing to do with Labour losing.

Replacing it would be by one of the following;
Party-list PR
Single Transferable Vote
or Mixed-member PR.

In 2001, Labour won 62.5% of the seats on 40.7% of votes.
Conservative won 25.2% of the seats on 31.6% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 7.9% of the seats on 18.3% of votes.
SNP won 0.8% of the seats on 1.8% of votes.
UKIP won no seats despite receiving 1.5% of votes.

In 2010, Conservative won 47.1% of the seats on 36.1% of votes.
Labour won 39.7% of the seats on 29% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 8.8% of the seats on 23% of votes.
SNP won 0.9% of the seats on 1.7% of votes.
UKIP won no seats despite receiving 3.1% of votes.

In 2019, Conservative won 56.2% of the seats on 43.6% of votes.
Labour won 31.1% of the seats on 32.2% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 1.7% of the seats on 11.6% of votes.
SNP won 7.4% of the seats on 3.9% of votes.
Brexit Party won no seats despite receiving 2% of votes.

The Tories in 2005, and Labour in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have been the only times in any general election where a significant party has received a similar proportion of seats to their percentage of votes. The other parties both major and minor have either won dis-proportionally more or fewer seats than their vote share. Changing the system to giving parties the seats (or some of) based on percentages of votes would still have given the Tories a 75-seat majority, but smaller parties with a decent vote share would have been able to represent the wishes of those who voted for them, instead of being disadvantaged by the current system.

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Are you sure? You're the one claiming that there needs to finally be discussion about FPTP and voting reform, less than a decade after there was discussion about FPTP and a referendum about changing it was defeated.
The Alternative Vote wasn't what electoral reform campaigners were looking for, but the government pushed that forward because it wasn't as big a change as campaigners were aiming for. And after the referendum had been voted on, the government say there's no need to hold any consultation on electoral reform because it has already been rejected by voters. But the voters rejected a bastardised fudge.

Last edited by DaveLovesDee; Mar 7th 2020 at 2:26 am.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 3:02 am
  #111  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by DaveLovesDee View Post
I think you've misunderstood. The current system produces drastically varying results in terms of percentages of seats won v percentages of votes cast for those parties. It has nothing to do with Labour losing.

Replacing it would be by one of the following;
Party-list PR
Single Transferable Vote
or Mixed-member PR.

In 2001, Labour won 62.5% of the seats on 40.7% of votes.
Conservative won 25.2% of the seats on 31.6% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 7.9% of the seats on 18.3% of votes.
SNP won 0.8% of the seats on 1.8% of votes.
UKIP won no seats despite receiving 1.5% of votes.

In 2010, Conservative won 47.1% of the seats on 36.1% of votes.
Labour won 39.7% of the seats on 29% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 8.8% of the seats on 23% of votes.
SNP won 0.9% of the seats on 1.7% of votes.
UKIP won no seats despite receiving 3.1% of votes.

In 2019, Conservative won 56.2% of the seats on 43.6% of votes.
Labour won 31.1% of the seats on 32.2% of votes.
Liberal Democrats won 1.7% of the seats on 11.6% of votes.
SNP won 7.4% of the seats on 3.9% of votes.
Brexit Party won no seats despite receiving 2% of votes.

The Tories in 2005, and Labour in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have been the only times in any general election where a significant party has received a similar proportion of seats to their percentage of votes. The other parties both major and minor have either won dis-proportionally more or fewer seats than their vote share. Changing the system to giving parties the seats (or some of) based on percentages of votes would still have given the Tories a 75-seat majority, but smaller parties with a decent vote share would have been able to represent the wishes of those who voted for them, instead of being disadvantaged by the current system.



The Alternative Vote wasn't what electoral reform campaigners were looking for, but the government pushed that forward because it wasn't as big a change as campaigners were aiming for. And after the referendum had been voted on, the government say there's no need to hold any consultation on electoral reform because it has already been rejected by voters. But the voters rejected a bastardised fudge.
Somebody's trolling for an argument - why else re-open a dormant thread after several weeks? I fear any attempt to discuss real world issues will fail when someone is determined to stifle or inflame the conversation - even in the face of the evidence presented.

As Mark Twain said "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 4:20 am
  #112  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Are you sure? You're the one claiming that there needs to finally be discussion about FPTP and voting reform, less than a decade after there was discussion about FPTP and a referendum about changing it was defeated. Have you reflected yet on Corbyn's policies and how these may have contributed to his defeat?

Oh, and thanks for your trademark "have a different perspective than me, and you must be a troll/right wing extremist etc" dig. I think it says a lot that this is your default assumption when faced with other views.
Have you tried meditation at all?
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 5:36 am
  #113  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Somebody's trolling for an argument - why else re-open a dormant thread after several weeks? I fear any attempt to discuss real world issues will fail when someone is determined to stifle or inflame the conversation - even in the face of the evidence presented.

As Mark Twain said "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
Personally I think the current voting system is just fine. In essence the country gets the party the majority voted for. The system is tweaked now and again for boundary changes and that is probably quite correct. Majority voting has to be the only answer to elect or decide someone (something) My only worry about elections in Britain is that they have tended to focus more on the leader than was the case in the past. That style of voting is best left to the Americans, they are very good at it!! As for opening a dormant thread, why not? Accusing someone of trolling isn't exactly the best way to discuss a point. If that is what you think then don't join in. If everyone did think that way then it would wither on the vine.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 6:17 am
  #114  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
Personally I think the current voting system is just fine. In essence the country gets the party the majority voted for. The system is tweaked now and again for boundary changes and that is probably quite correct. Majority voting has to be the only answer to elect or decide someone (something) My only worry about elections in Britain is that they have tended to focus more on the leader than was the case in the past. That style of voting is best left to the Americans, they are very good at it!! As for opening a dormant thread, why not? Accusing someone of trolling isn't exactly the best way to discuss a point. If that is what you think then don't join in. If everyone did think that way then it would wither on the vine.
I disagree, the FPTP system is far from fine and the majority of people do NOT get what they voted for, quite the reverse. Those who do NOT vote for the "winner" have wasted votes - and in areas like mine, that results in single-party rule where anything with the right-coloured rosette will be elected regardless.The alternatives have been discussed - and there are examples of what works and what doesn't work so well - but any claim that onlly FPTP provides stable government able to enact policy is patently wrong. As for your criticism of my response, read the post used to "reopen" the conversation and tell me how positive it appears..... I won't baulk at calling out those who seek to post for the sake of it - and there is more than one way to stifle true debate.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 6:36 am
  #115  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I disagree, the FPTP system is far from fine and the majority of people do NOT get what they voted for, quite the reverse. Those who do NOT vote for the "winner" have wasted votes - and in areas like mine, that results in single-party rule where anything with the right-coloured rosette will be elected regardless.The alternatives have been discussed - and there are examples of what works and what doesn't work so well - but any claim that onlly FPTP provides stable government able to enact policy is patently wrong. As for your criticism of my response, read the post used to "reopen" the conversation and tell me how positive it appears..... I won't baulk at calling out those who seek to post for the sake of it - and there is more than one way to stifle true debate.
Then we disagree. Around the world there are various systems. All have their problems. It is an old argument that the majority don't get the party they voted for. As several parties are usually in the running then what you say would be correct, obviously the vote is hared out. None the less the party with the majority of votes is elected. Personally I think that is the best way. I have lived through several Labour and Conservative governments and whilst I would not have voted for a particular party I happily accepted that it was the best system, well perhaps not 'happily' accepted but certainly believed it to be democratic. As I said, we disagree. No problem with that at all.

Last edited by KJMW; Mar 7th 2020 at 6:39 am.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 7:19 am
  #116  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
Then we disagree. Around the world there are various systems. All have their problems. It is an old argument that the majority don't get the party they voted for. As several parties are usually in the running then what you say would be correct, obviously the vote is hared out. None the less the party with the majority of votes is elected. Personally I think that is the best way. I have lived through several Labour and Conservative governments and whilst I would not have voted for a particular party I happily accepted that it was the best system, well perhaps not 'happily' accepted but certainly believed it to be democratic. As I said, we disagree. No problem with that at all.
I accept your right to disagree - but FPTP ensures wasted votes and the victor may well be elected on less than half the votes cast. FPTP also brings up anomalies where a party gains a significant share of the popular vote across the UK, yet ends up with little or no representation - how does that suggest democracy? I accept that this may have excluded some fringe parties and admit I hardly shed salt tears when it meant UKIP were excluded - but at the same time I think that this contributed to the referendum outcome, since voters saw it as a chance to record their opinion hitherto ignored. If part of the Brexit argument was truly about democracy and taking back control, then keeping in place a system that ignores a large proportion of the electorate seems a damned strange way to go about it!
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 7:28 am
  #117  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I accept your right to disagree - but FPTP ensures wasted votes and the victor may well be elected on less than half the votes cast. FPTP also brings up anomalies where a party gains a significant share of the popular vote across the UK, yet ends up with little or no representation - how does that suggest democracy? I accept that this may have excluded some fringe parties and admit I hardly shed salt tears when it meant UKIP were excluded - but at the same time I think that this contributed to the referendum outcome, since voters saw it as a chance to record their opinion hitherto ignored. If part of the Brexit argument was truly about democracy and taking back control, then keeping in place a system that ignores a large proportion of the electorate seems a damned strange way to go about it!
I'm afraid a significant share of the votes isn't a majority. And democracy demands the majority wins. Whatever the vote the majority win, Brexit, National voting. Yes, I think it is democratic. Voting is about recording an opinion. Democracy will out I'm afraid. I would vote for it!!!!
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 7:59 am
  #118  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
I'm afraid a significant share of the votes isn't a majority. And democracy demands the majority wins. Whatever the vote the majority win, Brexit, National voting. Yes, I think it is democratic. Voting is about recording an opinion. Democracy will out I'm afraid. I would vote for it!!!!
I'm afraid your view of democracy and mine are very different.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
I'm afraid your view of democracy and mine are very different.
Yes our views are different. Fortunately in the democratic world we live in we can differ. That's what' iit is about.
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Old Mar 7th 2020, 8:52 am
  #120  
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Default Re: Sensible thread on change of UK constitutional and electoral system

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
I'm afraid a significant share of the votes isn't a majority. And democracy demands the majority wins.


There have been 18 UK governments since WWII, and only one was elected by a majority of the votes cast. Democracy demands the majority wins. When is the UK going to introduce democracy?

For the record, here are the figures: year of UK general election and percentage of votes cast for the governing party.

2019 44%
2017 42%
2015 37%
2010 36% + 23% *
2005 35%
2001 40%
1997 43%
1992 42%
1987 42%
1983 42%
1979 44%
1974 39%
1974 37% **
1970 46%
1966 48%
1959 49%
1955 50% ***
1950 46%
1945 48%

* Votes for the two parties of the ruling coalition
** The "winning" party in fact received fewer votes than the second-placed party
*** more precisely 49.7%
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