The UK is "Hung",

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genstrike

Oh shit... I agree with Stockholm

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

KenS

Catchfire wrote:

The Guardian has been actively supporting and lobbying for Proportional Representation for more than 100 years.

Which means what?

Its never been for lack of somebody talking up PR in the UK or Canada. Its a lack of it being an issue that catches on- hence the hope that maybe now in Britain. I was just saying that the fact the media is talking about it means nothing. Guardian notwithstanding- Brits are even more limited in their understanding of parliamentary democracy and its implications than are Canadians. And in a country where people are in general FAR more politically engaged.

Stockholm

Ireland has proportional representation with their STV system. is anyone seriously going to argue that the Rep. of Ireland is some Shangri-La compared to the UK and has wonderfully responsive, representative government just because they have PR and the UK doesn't???

Cueball Cueball's picture

The object is "fair" results not turning parliament into some hippy-love in.

outwest

Policywonk:

Yes, the Greens have been "de-registered."  They are rebuilding under the new name, VISION 2012 SOCIETY (Alberta), and will likely be running candidates in the next election. (They are apparently the biggest splinter group of the former Greens.)

So now, for progressive opposition in Alberta, we have:

The NDP, the Liberals, Vision 2012 Society (not yet an official party), the Alberta Party... and counting.  

Yes my partisan friends, anyone of those factions, alone, could be taking taking the power seat in the next election. No cooperation called for, whatsoever. 

(Don't hold your breath.)

Stockholm

To the average person - the object of an election is electing a government that implements policies that makes that person's life easier (ie: shorter waiting times for surgery, better schools, trains that run on time etc...good social programs etc...) - it is not whether or not the composition of the rarified debating society known as parliament perfectly matches the popular vote.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, well, as is clear and evident FTP has failed to make life any easier, in fact, it is much harder. Many will argue that this is because when Parliament does not match the popular vote, it does not match the public opinion on what would make life "easier" for those people, and instead is left in the hands of those who don't really give a fuck about the electorate, as long as it doesn't get any harder for the people that elected them.

NorthReport

Don't think it is gonna work between the Cons and the Lib Dems.

Labour is a much better fit for them. Now if only Brown would do the right thing and step down as Leader.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Let's get this out of the way: Sinn Fein doesn't do oaths to the Queen so they never take their seats.

 

Clegg can add nuance but he lacks the choices people have been listing.

He cannot back Brown.

Cameron has to become PM. He has not left himself open to back Labour and nor should he.

His real choice is to do a deal with the Conservatives or refuse to do a deal with anybody (and that is likely his best play).

If he can get electoral reform from Cameron, the deal is worth it depending on how long the term is.

If he can't he can simply abstain and let the Cons rule. Abstention got a bad name among New Dems for a while but many have acknowledged that was not wise. The better policy is a more nuanced one on that too: agree in principle to abstentions to avoid unwanted elections and call out a party if they do it when an election is appropriate.

The issue of supporting the smaller party is not in itself a negative-- the question is the circumstance. For example-- when the number one party has governed and then lost substantial support the other parties certainly should get together to create a change (as in Ontario 1985). But when a majority party has lost its majority after being government, failed to come in first in seats or votes and is substantially back of the first party that is another matter. This sounds right and it is when you consider the fact that elections are in part a referendum on the government more than an equal choice among the parties. Therefore, in a Canadian context, the opposition should not have gotten together to govern in 2006; would have had a hard time in 2008 because the Cons increased seats and votes but if Harper loses either seats or votes in the next election they should move to replace him. This is not a legal statement but one of politics and political rather than legal legitimacy. I would add that if Harper had remained the number one party in 2008 but had lost ground that there would have been only muted complaint about the opposition taking power compared to what happened.

Back to the UK: The ideal result for the Liberal Dems and the Labour party is actually what they have now: a weak Conservative government that may do some of the things they may want to do but now not need to take credit for, and may do other things that they can skewer them for in an election they can force at will. Cameron is much weaker than Harper as well: it only takes a deal between Labour and Clegg to bring him down while in Canada you need three parties on side. The next year or two is going to be difficult for the UK. If  Labour and LDs play it well they could be in power two years from now. They do have the risk that if Cameron plays it well he could win but his challenge is greater.

 

Stockholm

Cameron could easily play the same game as Harper. Once he gets a Queens Speech passed - he can basically do what he wants because the Tories in the UK have a huge surplus while the LibDems and flat broke and demoralized and Labour is also broke and will be in disarray picking a new leader for the next while. Remember that for an early election to be in anyone's interest - Labour AND the Lib Dems and most of the SNP, PC, DUP etc... have to all decide simulateously that its worth having an election. What if Cameron has a honeymoon and the Tories start to soar in the polls and it becomes clear that a snap election would mean a Tory majority - do you think the opposition will be all that quick to vote non-confidence??

If cameron is smart he'll be on the phone with harper and get tips on how to keep a Tory minority government going indefinitely. 

Doug

Catchfire wrote:

Sinn Fein rarely show up to vote in British parliament. They're not that interested, y'know?

 

It's not that they aren't interested, it's that they'd have to pledge allegiance to the Queen.

Stockholm

Cueball wrote:

Yes, well, as is clear and evident FTP has failed to make life any easier, in fact, it is much harder. Many will argue that this is because when Parliament does not match the popular vote, it does not match the public opinion on what would make life "easier" for those people, and instead is left in the hands of those who don't really give a fuck about the electorate, as long as it doesn't get any harder for the people that elected them.

So, can you provide any evidence that Ireland which has PR has a vastly better government that makes life much better for the average person?? From what I've read the welfare state is far more advanced in the UK and the British government is more progressive than the Irish government on just about every level!

Stockholm

Doug wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Sinn Fein rarely show up to vote in British parliament. They're not that interested, y'know?

 

It's not that they aren't interested, it's that they'd have to pledge allegiance to the Queen.

 

Funny, that doesn't seem to stop the BQ from taking their seats in Ottawa!!

Doug

Stockholm wrote:

If cameron is smart he'll be on the phone with harper and get tips on how to keep a Tory minority government going indefinitely. 

 

Unlike Harper, Cameron must get busy doing some rather unpopular things soon.

jrootham

Stockholm wrote:

 

So, can you provide any evidence that Ireland which has PR has a vastly better government that makes life much better for the average person?? From what I've read the welfare state is far more advanced in the UK and the British government is more progressive than the Irish government on just about every level!

Well, in Northern Ireland it keeps them from trying to kill each other.  I'd say that was a good result.

STV has some other interesting consequences.  Irish MPs spend so much time on constituency work that there are problems staffing committees.  You might not think that is a better result, but it certainly is different.

 

Policywonk

Snert wrote:

Then you would agree that Ontarians and BC residents also "got" PR, and simply rejected it then?  If so, case closed for another couple of decades.

Of course there are those who'll whine and complain that PR wasn't properly explained to the electorate, but c'mon, it's not rocket surgery.  Right?  The people have spoken and the people don't want it.

BC, Ontario, and PEI rejected various PR proposals. Part of the problem was that people were able to poke holes in the different proposals. A two stage process as in NZ might have worked better. I think someone will have to try STV at the municipal level again somewhere, before there is a serious push provincially or perhaps in the Yukon. Another minority government that doesn't work federally may also help.

Augustus

JKR wrote:

Augustus wrote:

The Conservatives have now reached 300 seats.  That is an important psychological and symbolic number.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have now reached 314 seats. (12 more then the Conservatives.) That is also is an important and symbolic number.

Another symbolic number is 52% That's the number of voters who voted for the Liberal Democrats and Labour. A clear majority.

These numbers show that Clegg can legitimately choose either Cameron or Brown.

If Cameron wants to be PM, he should offer Clegg significant electoral reform.  

Yes, but you can't just combine two parties and claim that they were given a majority.  Voters did not vote for a Labour-Lib Dem combination - they voted for those two parties as individual entities. 

Policywonk

N.Beltov wrote:

Reuters gives an analysis of the smaller parties and how they are likely to vote.

Based on that analysis, if the Lib-Dems and the Conservatives can't come to an agreement, the Conservatives would likely be SOL, at least until the arrangement Labour could cobble together falls apart. The UK Greens would not be likely to support the Conservatives on much.

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:

Cueball wrote:

Yes, well, as is clear and evident FTP has failed to make life any easier, in fact, it is much harder. Many will argue that this is because when Parliament does not match the popular vote, it does not match the public opinion on what would make life "easier" for those people, and instead is left in the hands of those who don't really give a fuck about the electorate, as long as it doesn't get any harder for the people that elected them.

So, can you provide any evidence that Ireland which has PR has a vastly better government that makes life much better for the average person?? From what I've read the welfare state is far more advanced in the UK and the British government is more progressive than the Irish government on just about every level!

Ridiculous to think that PR is at all related to any differences between those two countries-- look to political and religious culture as well as economic means.

Policywonk

Augustus wrote:

JKR wrote:

Augustus wrote:

The Conservatives have now reached 300 seats.  That is an important psychological and symbolic number.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have now reached 314 seats. (12 more then the Conservatives.) That is also is an important and symbolic number.

Another symbolic number is 52% That's the number of voters who voted for the Liberal Democrats and Labour. A clear majority.

These numbers show that Clegg can legitimately choose either Cameron or Brown.

If Cameron wants to be PM, he should offer Clegg significant electoral reform.  

Yes, but you can't just combine two parties and claim that they were given a majority.  Voters did not vote for a Labour-Lib Dem combination - they voted for those two parties as individual entities. 

As is the case here, they couldn't vote for such a combination because it wasn't on the ballot. Neither was a Conservative government, or a Conservative-Lib Dem combination actually. A Labour-Lib Dem combination would not have the same constitutional legitimacy as a Conservative-Lib Dem combination because they wouldn't have a majority of seats, but it can be argued that they would have more legitimacy than the Conservatives alone because they would have a majority of votes and more seats than the Conservatives.

 

Policywonk

I'm sure someone is doing some polling on the possible combinations.

Policywonk

Stockholm wrote:

Cameron could easily play the same game as Harper. Once he gets a Queens Speech passed - he can basically do what he wants because the Tories in the UK have a huge surplus while the LibDems and flat broke and demoralized and Labour is also broke and will be in disarray picking a new leader for the next while. Remember that for an early election to be in anyone's interest - Labour AND the Lib Dems and most of the SNP, PC, DUP etc... have to all decide simulateously that its worth having an election. What if Cameron has a honeymoon and the Tories start to soar in the polls and it becomes clear that a snap election would mean a Tory majority - do you think the opposition will be all that quick to vote non-confidence??

If cameron is smart he'll be on the phone with harper and get tips on how to keep a Tory minority government going indefinitely. 

I think you may be forgetting that it's the Labour caucus who picks the Leader. They could even end up in a coalition with a new Leader in short order if Cameron isn't able to make enough concessions. Cameron has to become Prime Minister before he can have a Queen's speech. The fall of a Labour lead coalition in the near to medium term would probably not lead to a new election. The same could not be said of a Conservative lead coalition if they could blame someone else for their fall.

Stockholm

No Labour got rid of having their caucius pick the leader a long time ago - they have a complex formula for picking a leader that weights votes from the caucus, the unions and the membership.

BTW: so if Clegg makes a deal with Cameron then by the logic some people are using, I guess it would mean that the UK had a government elected by 59% of the population (ie: Tory+LD % of the vote)!

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

To the average person - the object of an election is electing a government that implements policies that makes that person's life easier (ie: shorter waiting times for surgery, better schools, trains that run on time etc...good social programs etc...) - it is not whether or not the composition of the rarified debating society known as parliament perfectly matches the popular vote.

If the popular vote is unimportant, the NDP and Greens should close down shop and join the Liberals if they want to protect the environment, reduce surgery times, better schools etc....

Since these parties don't want to commit suicide, they should implement electoral reform regardless of how much the average voter understands the intricacies of electoral systems.

Political parties represent whole groups of people. When these political parties are cheated, the people who voted for them are also cheated.

JKR

KenS wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

The Guardian has been actively supporting and lobbying for Proportional Representation for more than 100 years.

Which means what?

Its never been for lack of somebody talking up PR in the UK or Canada. Its a lack of it being an issue that catches on- hence the hope that maybe now in Britain. I was just saying that the fact the media is talking about it means nothing. Guardian notwithstanding- Brits are even more limited in their understanding of parliamentary democracy and its implications than are Canadians. And in a country where people are in general FAR more politically engaged.

 

The parties and politicians have the moral duty to lead even when the voters are not engaged.

If the LibDems believe that fair voting is in the best interest of the UK they should go ahead and establish it ASAP.

In time people will learn to appreciate it much in the same way people in Canada learned to appreciate medicare.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Stockholm wrote:

I already said that I support PR - but I think its a waste of time for a political to campaign on it because the public cares about what benefits and is fair to them NOT what benefits or is fair or unfair to this or that political party.

This is the whole problem with the way proponents of PR tend to argue their case. It always boils down to whining about how the current system is unfair to certain political parties. Most people hate politics and hate political parties - they don't give a damn if a few Lib Dems are sulking because they didn't get enough seats. Why am I suppose to care about the results being unafir to the Liberal Democratic party??? I care about what's fair or unfair to ME!

..in the first bc referendum on pr 57% of the voters said yes. the will of the people was not implemented and that due to the successful intervention of undemocratic forces. why is this being ignored?

KenS

JKR wrote:

Since these parties don't want to commit suicide, they should implement electoral reform regardless of how much the average voter understands the intricacies of electoral systems.

JKR wrote:

If the LibDems believe that fair voting is in the best interest of the UK they should go ahead and establish it ASAP.

In time people will learn to appreciate it much in the same way people in Canada learned to appreciate medicare.

You absolutely do not "implement" or "establish" electoral reform. To get PR you have to sell it to people. There are many important things political parties in government can do by putting into play despite limited poular support, with the conviction that they will build support with "facts on the ground." PR is not remotely close to being that kind of initiative.

Bacchus

I can't see PR being widely adopted in the UK only because detractors will point to Italy as evidence of why its a failure. And the UK so does love to be superior to the Italians or other 'excitable' countries

Policywonk

Bacchus wrote:

I can't see PR being widely adopted in the UK only because detractors will point to Italy as evidence of why its a failure. And the UK so does love to be superior to the Italians or other 'excitable' countries

Uh they already have it in the parliaments of Wales, Scotland and northern Ireland. We are talking about PR in Westminster.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

KenS wrote:

You absolutely do not "implement" or "establish" electoral reform. To get PR you have to sell it to people. There are many important things political parties in government can do by putting into play despite limited poular support, with the conviction that they will build support with "facts on the ground." PR is not remotely close to being that kind of initiative.

..in britian, according to monbiot, pro pr people don't trust the political parties to do anything about it. this time they have formed a coalition to exert pressure on those parties. by the looks of the coalition it will be a force that won't be ignored. it will be interesting to watch.

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/05/07/low-hanging-fruit-2/

Policywonk

Stockholm wrote:

No Labour got rid of having their caucius pick the leader a long time ago - they have a complex formula for picking a leader that weights votes from the caucus, the unions and the membership.

BTW: so if Clegg makes a deal with Cameron then by the logic some people are using, I guess it would mean that the UK had a government elected by 59% of the population (ie: Tory+LD % of the vote)!

You are correct about the Leadership process. It changed in 1981. Even the Conservatives have a vote of all party members after the caucus reduce the number of candidates to two. Labour could select an interim Leader fairly quickly though if necessary. On the second point that's one reason why a Tory/LD combination could be considered more legitimate, the other being they have a majority of seats between them.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/82507.stm

outwest

QUOTE: "You absolutely do not "implement" or "establish" electoral reform. To get PR you have to sell it to people. There are many important things political parties in government can do by putting into play despite limited poular support, with the conviction that they will build support with "facts on the ground." PR is not remotely close to being that kind of initiative."

 

Not necessarily. Repealing the 1955 law that brought in FPTP in Alberta and eliminated the form of proportional representation we once had, for example, could do the job. What is giveth can be taketh away. Furthermore, if citizens vote into government a party or coalition of parties that campaign on implementing PR, what is there to say that they can't implement some version of it at will? (Although asking for referenda voter input on what type of PR to implement would no doubt be prudent.)

 

JKR

outwest wrote:

Not necessarily. Repealing the 1955 law that brought in FPTP in Alberta and eliminated the form of proportional representation we once had, for example, could do the job. What is giveth can be taketh away. Furthermore, if citizens vote into government a party or coalition of parties that campaign on implementing PR, what is there to say that they can't implement some version of it at will? (Although asking for referenda voter input on what type of PR to implement would no doubt be prudent.)

 

If a party puts establishing PR into their platform and wins an election they can clearly pass PR into law during their mandate.

That's how important issues are dealt with such as free trade, medicare, going to war, etc....

KenS

Of course if a party or parties puts PR pretty prominent in their election campaign platform, then they have a mandate to begin bring it in when governing.

But thats not the way that 'establishing' and 'implementing' was spoken of above. Putting it central in the platform, with positive response from the electorate, is just another form of building support for it.

Upthread it was spoken of as 'implement it and the voters will come around when they see it'. 

NorthReport

 

The hopes of decades rest with Clegg. He must hold his nerve

For once, Lib Dems are in a position to demand crucial voting reform. A once unthinkable progressive coalition is on the table

 

 

All depends on the nerve of Nick Clegg. Has he the spine and the iron resolve to stick to the one condition that offers a chance of a progressive future? As he cuts through the thickets of negotiations, his sword has been bent by seats lost, not won. He is weakened by that grand surge that fell back to earth like a dead flare. Why did that happen? Because he was crushed yet again by the boa constrictor first-past-the-post electoral system. Yet again his party won a quarter of the votes but only a 10th of the seats. People minded to vote Lib Dem understood the wicked ways of first past the post, and voted tactically - avoiding a wasted vote where Lib Dems could never win. What else could they do? This is his once-in-a-generation chance to bring in the better politics that is the only point of his party.

Against him will be the nuclear arsenal of a press determined to blast him into submission to get Cameron into Downing Street, trumpeting bogus outrage. Against him is the bad British tradition left by the warped first-past-the-post system that the "winner" takes all, even though Cameron has hardly more than a third of the vote. To a country bewildered by the politics of hung parliaments, Cameron looks like the legitimate king. But as many people refused to vote as voted Conservative. A Lib/Lab coalition would command 53% of the vote. From the strength of Clegg's resolve in those three debates, he seems to have the mettle to withstand the media blunderbuss.

Clegg is the guardian of the torch kept alight through eons of Lib Dem campaigns for electoral reform, through decades of meetings in dusty halls on wet Thursday nights, through the pamphlets, the petitions, the impassioned explanations on the doorsteps. I was among those collecting a million signatures for reform after the 1983 election when the SDP-Liberal Alliance got a miserable handful of seats for the vote cast. He cannot trade this core principle for the miserable mess of pottage offered by Cameron yesterday. If the man was tempted by the trappings of office, would he be a Lib Dem at all?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/08/hopes-decades-clegg-...

NorthReport

Clegg is about to speak.

He spoke to the demonstrators just asking them to keep up their protests in support of PR but said nothing about the negotations.

NorthReport

I just don't see how Clegg can deal with the Cons.

 

Brown should immediately resign allowing Labour to form a coalition with Lib Dems.

 

Come on Labour, smarten up - lose your leader now, as it is the one chance for progressive change.

 

I liked the demonstrators' chant: "You serve us"

 

NorthReport

Try to ignore Canada, Britain

We have a hung parliament, and we've failed to form any coalitions. You can do better

 

But you, Britain at your greatest, you have a chance to fashion a government humming with energy and freshness, like a warm egg. Lay it now.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/08/general-election-201...

Doug
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

You're right, Doug. That is great news.

Polunatic2

Electoral reform, and any significant reforms for that matter, do not happen in one fell swoop. These are historical and cumulative campaigns which build on past successes (and failures). What conclusion can one reach when a party, after 50 years in existence, has never put electoral reform on their priority list? What conclusion can we draw when a party that claims to support reform, does nothing to educate its members, voting base and the general public about the issues?

Sorry, but claiming that voters don't understand pr (even if it is at the root of many of their frustrations and anger) is not an excuse nor do I believe it is true. in fact, millions of Canadians have now voted in favor of reform in provincial referendums, even if they were not successful. They voted in favor, even as the BCNDP opposed it, even as the ONDP sat on its hands and blamed the government. 

The claim that a party cannot promote PR because it will appear self-serving is also specious. Electoral reform is first and foremost about democracy which is about voters. It's up to democratic organizations to help raise awareness instead of shrugging and concluding that doing the same thing over and over again with unfair and disastrous results is the only choice. What did Albert Einstein say about that? 

NorthReport

Hang in there Nicky boy.

 

I like this party structure

 

Nick Clegg meets top Lib Dems over David Cameron election deal

 

Clegg was also due to have talks with the Lib Dems' ruling federal executive later today. He will need to convince sceptical party members that a deal can be struck without having to give up too many of the Liberal heartland's treasured policies.

He could also find himself frustrated by his own party's "triple lock" rule. Under the system he must secure the approval of MPs and the executive before making any decision that could compromise the independence of the party.

But if he fails to garner 75% support from either, he would then have to call a separate conference in which he would need the support of two thirds of delegates. Failing that a postal ballot of all members would take place.

Nevertheless talks began last night between senior strategists on both sides including George Osborne, William Hague and Oliver Letwin for the Tories and David Laws, Danny Alexander and Chris Huhne for the Lib Dems to hammer out the finer details of a deal.

The Liberal Democrats confirmed today that the two negotiating teams would meet tomorrow at the Cabinet Office at 11am.

Cracks are expected to emerge on just how far the Conservatives will go on electoral reform.

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7120453.ece

NorthReport

Do the math!

 

Now is the time for Clegg to show some leadership - what a golden opportunity for meaningful electoral reform.

 

 

A progressive alliance for electoral reform is the way forward

Alex Salmond's intervention offering SNP and Plaid Cymru support could be what the Lib Dems need to reject a Tory deal

 

Salmond is still not suggesting a formal coalition. But his intervention gives the lie to one of the most persuasive arguments for the Lib-Dems to join with the Conservative: the maths. Supporters of a Lib-Dem/Conservative deal argue that the maths don't add up for anything else. Labour and the Lib-Dems together would only muster 315 seats, still short of the magic 326 needed for a Commons majority.

Now that Salmond is offering SNP and Plaid Cymru support - even if it is only to bring in PR - that's another 9 MPs, bringing the numbers to 324. Caroline Lucas, the sole Green MP could be expected to join them too - 325. Then there are 3 SDLP MPs, or the 1 Alliance MP from Northern Ireland who may lend support and bingo - the once in a lifetime chance to change the electoral system.

As Nick Clegg is discovering today, his party members are far more reluctant to embrace a deal with the Conservatives than he and some of his colleagues. Interestingly, some Conservatives too are starting to voice their concern about the odd marriage of convenience. Alex Salmond's intervention could be critical at this stage - giving Clegg the reason he needs to reject the Tory offer, and to give his party the chance of electoral reform that has been the holy grail for so many years.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/08/general-election-201...

Stockholm

The problem the LibDems have in the UK - is that supporting PR (for no other reason than that it would give them more seats) is literally the ONLY policy they have tha they can call their own. Apart from wanting PR so they can have more seats - the LibDems are essentially a wishy-washy middle of the road small "l" liberal party (sort of) which is "me too" with everyone. Its not as if they stand for an array of bold revolutionary policies that no one is hearing enough about because they have only 57 seats rather than 120. Quite honestly, if PR was actually introduced in the UK, I wonder how long the Lib Dems would continue to even exist - since their only original policy would have been implemented and they would be left with nothing to put in the window. WE'd be saying "OK Lib Dems, you have your extra seats - now what do you want to actually do with them? or is the objective simply to make sure that an extra 80 people with LD after their names get to be MPs?"

Again, if i was going to design an electoral system for a country from scratch I would bring in some form of PR. But to this day NO ONE has convinced me that switching from FPTP to PR is necessarily going to produce better policies by goverment. Right now New Zealand has PR and Australia had FPTP. Is there any evidence that New Zealand has a vastly better government than Australia has as a result of that? Are New Zealanders just gaga with enthusiasm about politics and government because they have PR while Australians and all sullen and look like people in a bread line in Warsaw in 1966 because they are stuck with FPTP? BTW: don't get into the folly of supporting PR because you think that it will automatically produce more "progressive" government. Right now New Zealand has a rightwing minority government supported by even more rightwing fringe parties and Germany has a coalition of rightwing Christian Democrats and even more rightwing Free Democrats. Beware of the law of unintended consequences.

NorthReport

You are mixing apples and oranges. Who cares what the political parties policies are - that is for the voters to decide who to vote for.

We are talking here about making everyone's vote as equal as possible. Why should some party with 35-40% of the vote rule? They obviously shouldn't as it is not fair. Maybe if we had a fair voting system a lot more people would participate in the voting process.

Polunatic2

Now the ground is shifting to "if we could design something from scratch PR would be the way to go" argument. So it's too late for PR. Should have been done in 1867. 

NorthReport

A result that confirms our electoral system is broken

 

But the 2010 national vote has left untouched the central fact of British politics: the rottenness of our voting system. The ballots from 650 constituencies around the United Kingdom have almost all been counted. And one picture, at least, is clear: the main parties' share of seats in the new House of Commons does not reflect their share of the popular vote.

 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-a-...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm going to hang this thread for length. Please feel free to start a new one.

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