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Our electoral system?


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The surge in apparent support for the LibDems has underlined the anachronistic nature of our current electoral system:- it seems that even if Brown comes third in terms of the popular vote; he could still have more seats in Parliament and finish up in No10 - so no wonder they don't want any radical move towards PR. :?

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I'm in favour of the purest form of democracy that we can conceive of, regardless of who benefits; however, part of the problem is that we don't have an informed electorate (how many folk actually know what's in the various Party manifestos?); which often leads to ill informed results - as per the current X-factor trend. :shock:

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Blimey - anybody tell whether that was a yes or a no? Watching them debate is clearly having an effect on you, Obs!

 

What is purer than one man, one vote, majority choice adopted? PR is like the rest of the PC nonsense, where nobody ever loses, so nobody ever wins either. You only have to look at the EU version of Parliament to see what a load of rubbish you get. Don't tell me you're coming round to LK's way of thinking :shock:

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Cos any system that merely requires 50 plus 1% for a win, will. as we can see, alienate 49% to the point of discrediting democracy itself. However, OUR current system is even worse than that; for it's quite possible for Gordon to pick up more seats than Dave or Nick, with A LOWER percentage of the popular vote. :shock:

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Obs. Any MP is elected by a majority vote in their area. Then the party that's got the majority vote in the majority of areas gets to be in charge. That means you and I get to decide who sits in the House for us. Your "100 seats done by percentage of total votes" method means that some faceless nerk at HQ gets to appoint MPs without reference to the voters at all. That is not an improvement, nor is it democracy in any way. It removes accountability at grass roots level and allows the career politician to grab the salary without ever having to put in the sweat locally.

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NOPE, again a misrepresentation or poor reading of what I actually said. I wasn't too bothered about the election of MPs, even though one can be elected with the support of less than 50% of their constituents - that covers the geographical representational aspects. The other factor, is the policy and formation of an executive (Government); which under our present system is fused with the legislature; and to make it even more absurd, has the addition of unelected (Party appointed) Ministers via the House of Lords EG: Mandleson and Adonis. Suggest you look at the US constitution, where a clear seperation is provided between the Legislature; the Executive and the Courts. :?

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You said that the House should be abolished and anyone with 1% share of the vote should get one of 100 seats, thereby slashing costs and reflecting the opinion of the nation. It's in one or other of the threads on here.

 

Now you're muttering about proportional representation, which is the division of seats according to the overall percentage of the total vote.

 

Neither option requires local canvassing. Both end with parties being given an allocation of seats, to fill as they please. So instead of local people electing a person they trust, every district will be allocated an MP by party HQ. So, pray tell, how am I misrepresenting your vision of democracy?

 

As for the US system, that's an absolute nonsense for a country this size. Complete waste of money.

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errm no LP, read my lips: We have two Houses of Parliament NOW; they are now talking about reforming the House of Lords, to give it an electoral legitimacy. My suggestion was, that it could be reduced in size from over 600 down to 100 seats (thus saving cash); elected proportionate to the total vote for various Parties (thus accounting for at least those minorities that can scrape 1% of the vote), and use it as the Executive, thus seperating the Executive from the Legislature (as per the US system). They've already gone part of the way, by seperating the Judicery from the House of Lords and setting up a Supreme Court. As for MPs, they can be cut by 50% down to around 300 total, with a saving to the tax-payer of around ?80million. :roll:

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One thing is certain. IF the TV debate HAS led to an increase in support for Nick Clegg (or either of the others for that matter) then we should have no more TV debates like this. We can't have the country run by someone who just happens to come over well on TV.

We might just as well elect Michael Parkinson as PM - or even Jonathan Ross!

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errm no LP, read my lips: We have two Houses of Parliament NOW; they are now talking about reforming the House of Lords, to give it an electoral legitimacy. My suggestion was, that it could be reduced in size from over 600 down to 100 seats (thus saving cash); elected proportionate to the total vote for various Parties (thus accounting for at least those minorities that can scrape 1% of the vote), and use it as the Executive, thus seperating the Executive from the Legislature (as per the US system). They've already gone part of the way, by seperating the Judicery from the House of Lords and setting up a Supreme Court. As for MPs, they can be cut by 50% down to around 300 total, with a saving to the tax-payer of around ?80million. :roll:

 

:roll: all you like. Proportional Representation, which you are now apparently advocating means that seats are not determined locally by local votes, but allocated by the party leaders after the election. I do not find this acceptable. In fact, I find it objectionable that I could end up with someone representing me in Parliament who has never been north of Watford, supports the fur trade AND fiddled his expenses just short of criminality.

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I'm advocating two kinds of "representation" - 1) as we already have (- 50%), of MPs REPRESENTING a geographical area (a constituency) and forming the lower House or legislature. 2) the Party List PR system would apply the the upper House (Senate); which would form Governments and appoint Ministers - so only a slight difference on the current un-elected Ministers (like Mandleson and Adonis) being made Lords. btw. A Party List system operates for the Euro-Parliament at the moment! :?

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Glorious, Obs. Pray tell which 50% of the nation you feel don't deserve representation by their own local MPs? Or are you suggesting that MPs serve two constituencies? How do you come to the conclusion that that makes no difference to the current level of local MP accountability? And can you imagine the inter-party warfare over exactly which seats go and which are lumped in together?

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Well for a start Warrington doesn't need two MPs.

 

Well for what either of the useless birds have done for us over the past umpteen years at a cost of about ?250,000 each per year in salary and expenses, it would have wiped a chunk off WBC's budget defecit in a stroke!!

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Thanx lads, I was beginning to think it was my transmitter, but obviously it's LP's receiver! Quite simple LP; You just get the Boundary Commission to redraw the constituency boundaries for 300 constituencies, which would roughly require merging every two into one ( EG: Warrington North and South). :roll: btw it would not be before time for such a review, as there are currently wide discrepancies between the populations in constituencies, which tends to favour Labour and Scotland at the moment. :shock:

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There is another underlying issue with PR- it may encourage people who never vote to actually USE their vote.

 

This concept of the popular vote does not address the unrepresented who choose for whatever reason not to vote- what sort of turnout are we expecting this time round? Will be lucky to hit 50% which is a pretty sad indictment of the current system of democracy.

 

Apathy rules?

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Thanx lads, I was beginning to think it was my transmitter, but obviously it's LP's receiver! Quite simple LP; You just get the Boundary Commission to redraw the constituency boundaries for 300 constituencies, which would roughly require merging every two into one ( EG: Warrington North and South). :roll: btw it would not be before time for such a review, as there are currently wide discrepancies between the populations in constituencies, which tends to favour Labour and Scotland at the moment. :shock:

 

Yes, I am perfectly capable of seeing HOW your suggestion would work, but you are just not seeing that the arguing over boundaries arising from existing pockets of party support would drag this on for centuries and cause total uproar. Not to mention the minor point that halving the vote in the House doubles the influence of each MP. I do agree that there's a lot of dross in the system, and I agree with Eagle that there's not a lot been achieved by ANY of our representatives recently. I would even see a point in shooting the lot of them and reinstating robber barons as cheaper and fairer at times! I just find your suggestion completely counterproductive - for a start, they'll all vote themselves double the salary as they are doing double the work, and will need at least double the expenses.... :lol:

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1) "THEY" don't decide the electoral boundaries - (an independent) Electoral Commission does. 2) "THEY" no longer decide their own salary scales - it's now been passed to an independent body. Touching on another thread; the election of a Senate (upper house) as the executive arm, would actually coincide with this new thirst for a Presidential style election, cos folk would be directly electing the Government with the majority Party providing the PM. :?

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I didn't say the MPS did decide boundaries - I said no matter who does or where they try to draw them, there will be political screaming because some specific areas are traditionally safe seats and some are marginals. Clearly if you merge a marginal for one party with a massive majority for a different party, then you have effectively wiped out the marginal's chances - along with the opinion of a constituency en masse. Clearly, if that happened enough times to a particular party, you'd bias an election. So the task of sorting out the new constituencies would become logistically impossible. Remember the poll tax riots?

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