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Time for a change ?


Observer II
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- to our political system ?    If further evidence were needed of the antiquated nature of our Parliamentary system and it's unrepresentative outcomes;  the current Brexit shambles should be enough to make us consider changes.  1. House of Lords -  an unelected  body of over 800 "Lords", appointed by the PM of the day to maintain his or her Party majority; each claiming £300 per day for signing in.  Whilst only a revising chamber, they can delay legislation and slow up Gov buisiness.  So by any modern democratic standards they need to go.  So how can we improve it ?  In the case of the Lords it would be quite simple - replace it with a 100 seat "Senate" elected at a G/Election on a Party List system, in direct proportion to the percentage of votes for each Party.   The problem of course with this, is that such a body would in fact be more representative of the people than the House of Commons,  which is why MPs would oppose it.    2. House of Commons - the two Party system is normally maintained by the first past the post system,  designed to deliver "stable", centerist Governments, as traditionally, Parties have sought the centre ground in order to glean more votes.  In theory, each Party and their candidates, stand for election on the basis of their published manifestos,  the problem of course (as we're now witnessing); is that both Parties and individual MPs , once elected, can ignore their manifesto and basically operate on the basis of their own political expediencies.  EG: Both the main political Parties fought the last G/Election on the basis of "honouring the result of the EU Referendum" - which most now renege on.  The idea of FPTP,  whether intended or not, is to exclude "political extremes", and confine them within the Parties or marginalise them completely. The mathematics of previous G/Es, have shown that it took 1million votes to elect one Green MP,  whilst 4million votes for UKIP, didn't deliver any MPs.  So I think it safe to conclude that FPTP doesn't deliver a truly representative result and is therefore un-democratic.  This has led to all kinds of PR solutions, still based on constituencies, but perhaps we need to look at the whole set up differently.    Our current system merges the executive (Gov) with the legislature (Parliament),  where other Countries like the USA (perhaps a bad example at the moment !) seperate in their constitution the three main arms of the State - the executive, the legislature and the judicery;  to provide mutual checks and balances.  If we were to venture down this road, it would be possible to envisage a Senate as the executive directly reflective of the political will of the people,  whilst the Commons (legislature) would represent the geographical constituency base.   Such an overall of our antiquated system would allow for cost reductions; currently both Houses cost the tax-payer over £80million a year; a reduction to a 100 seat Senate and halving the number in the Commons by merging every two constituencies would deliver major savings.  The UK has more politicians per capita than anywhere else, and a pruning operation is long overdue imo.  Alas, as the modernisation of our current system is in the hands of the beneficeries of the old system, I fear any change is highly unlikely, as turkeys simply won't vote for Christmas.    

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Possibly Dave, in 1945; written on the back of an envelope by the Labour Party, who didn't believe they could win, thus the manifesto was extremely ambitious.  The surprise was, not that they won that election, but that they actually tried to impliment their manifesto. Alas, that was an age of conviction politics, where MPs actually believed in objectives, before careers and personal ambition took over.

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Rather than a long post I am afraid that most of you original post is incorrect or over-simplistic. In particular the notion of you proposed senate as the executive has the problems of combination you claim to avoid with far less bodies to choose from. Every Government goes through ministers and your proposal is no different.

You are trying to solve the wrong problem anyway. Referendums should be banned or only permitted with a minimum 60% bar so anyone ignoring the result has no excuse. General Elections are more difficult to ensure a working majority as even PR does not guarantee that.

 

 

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Indeed, PR could make the situation worse, as it directly reflects the position of the electorate. If the electorate in split and polarised as now, that would be reflected in the result; this is why most European systems rely on alliances of Parties, which tend to provide fudge rather than decision.  So the choice is between a fair representative system or a skewed system that provides workable majorities.  Take your pick.     But the FPTP system relies on Party discipline in order to work, which unfortunately has totally evaporated over Brexit.  So we have a hung Parliament with no built in majority to support the Government,  leaving 650 headless chickens to do their own thing as  individuals.   If 52% supported LEAVE and 48% supported REMAIN, we could expect a resolution; alas the majority of MPs support remaining in the EU, contrary to the referendum decision; and have sought to soften or sabotage the process from the beginning.  As for the referendum itself, I would agree, that in most such constitutional votes, a two thirds majority would be a normal requirement; but alas it wasn't, so we are where we are. 

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It's all very well saying "change the system", but the sad truth is that whoever we vote for the same useless politicians get elected. They had one job...................................😣

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Agree Asp, same the world over, even worse in other places; but there are checks that can be placed on politicians, such as a two term limit, which would curb the careerists (not that they'd ever vote for it though !).  But getting back to my original post;  a revising chamber consisting of appointees can't be considered democratic by any standard, so the Lords needs to go at least.

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😄    Whilst I know where your coming from Con;  I think that's stretching it !     IF, and it's a big IF;  the 52% plus converts; now start to consistently vote for pro-Brexit Parties or Candidates;  Labour will evaporate outside the M25.  A failure at a G/Election by Comrade Corbyn would result in political assassination for him and civil war within the Party.  So, the political landscape seems to have changed completely,  for as long as we're around at least.   As for the Tories, a purge of Remoaners would seem inevitable, to avoid losing seats to the new Brexit Party.

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Frankly the Labour Party and its supporters have not seen the light and I don't believe you that they will vote other than for anything wearing the relevant coloured rosette just like their Grandad. Labour will not evaporate outside the M25, it is just more of your magical thinking.

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