The UK voting system is "Hung" out to dry, Part 3

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KenS

Augustus wrote:

The Conservatives are obviously very popular in England as they won the majority of seats there, and since England is the biggest and most powerful player in the UK, that fact is what gives David Cameron the strongest hand.

Lucky for you, Cameron knows better.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

British Attempts at a Coalition Rattle Grassroots
By SARAH LYALL
Published: May 9, 2010

LONDON — No sooner had the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Nick Clegg, said that he would consider forming an alliance with the enemy Conservative Party after the inconclusive national election last Thursday, than the Tweets began.

Using the topic “#dontdoitnick,” thousands of people being pouring out their dismay about the usually non-urgent subject of electoral reform, a major potential sticking point in the continuing talks between the two parties.

“Proportional Representation = Real Representation,” said one. “Tell Nick Clegg not to sell out!” said another.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/world/europe/10britain.html

Krago

Proportional representation is all about replacing elected MPs from popular parties with appointed MPs from unpopular parties.

Britain should put it to a referendum and let the voters kill it off.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Krago wrote:

Proportional representation is all about replacing elected MPs from popular parties with appointed MPs from unpopular parties.

Britain should put it to a referendum and let the voters kill it off.

..with all due respect it doesn't matter what you think..it's about what people have decided to do.

takeitslowly

i am so glad we have FPTP, we dont want to miss out on popular mps like Michael Ignatieff, Justin trudeau, Peter Kent and Stephen Harper..

Fidel

JKR's post at #18 takes the cake. ConDems? Bwahaha

Polunatic2

Quote:
Going back on his statement to support the party with the most seats is easily doable.

I thought that Clegg's position was that the party with the most seats should have the first opportunity to try and form a government. That's quite a different proposition than the above quote. 

ghoris

The more I think about it, the more I think that the best option for Labour (and the Lib Dems too) might be to simply sit back and let Cameron form a minority government, without a formal coalition arrangement. Cameron is 'close enough' to a majority that with Unionist MPs either supporting him or declining to vote against him, Labour and the Lib Dems can choose to support Cameron on an issue-by-issue basis or adopt the approach that, for example, the Manitoba NDP adopted during the 1988-1990 Filmon minority government, and arrange to always have just enough MPs away during confidence votes that they can be seen to vote against the government without actually defeating it.

To me this is probably the best outcome for the centre-left in Britain. Brown is clearly poison to Labour's electoral prospects (as well as the prospects of a formal Lab-Lib coalition) and this solution would allow Labour a chance to replace him with a fresh new face (such as David Miliband) and revitalize the party. In addition, I would imagine that the next couple of years are, quite simply, not going to be a good time to be in power (think the NDP in Ontario in the early 90s). Whoever is in office is going to have to make a lot of unpopular moves and potentially get tagged with a lot of baggage. Why not let it be Cameron and the Tories?  Their precarious minority position will prevent them from doing anything too extreme, but they may end up taking the blame for the UK's continued economic woes.  There are a lot of Labour types who, in retrospect, were quietly glad they narrowly lost the 1992 election, leaving John Major to suffer through Black Wednesday and the early 90s recession.  The Tories were then crippled for the next three election cycles by their devastating defeat in 1997, whereas had Labour won in 1992, they probably would have been a one-term interregnum and the Tories would have been back in 1997, just in time to reap the benefits of an economic turnaround.

The alternative is that Labour clings to power with an unpopular PM and attracts the ire of the 70%+ of the public who voted against them, not to mention they will no doubt be blamed for the UKs continued economic woes. This is a sure recipe for a Tory landslide of 1997 proportions at the next election. Better for Labour to take its relatively healthy haul of 258 seats, spend a few months licking its wounds and sorting out the leadership question, and then start preparing to challenge for government again. 

NorthReport

This does not appear to be turning out the way the Cons expected. Clegg did as he said he was going to do and give the Cons first kick at the can, because they got the most support, but now he is negotiating with Labour at the same time. Shrewd move on his part. And who cares what the financial community wants, they can just bloody well wait.
Britain on hold as coalition talks continue

 

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7121333.ece

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Yes, smaller parties everywhere - especially those in archaic FPTP systems like our own - should watch Clegg. This guy apparently has a brain.

NorthReport

Dissent grows among Lib Dems as hours of meetings end in deadlock

 

 

High drama in Whitehall as all three leaders meet in secret / Pressure grows on Lib Dems not to abandon core demands

Richard Dawkins, Scientist and author

"The Liberal Democrats have the full right, under the existing constitution - which they want to change - to make alliance with either the Conservative or Labour parties. The party that they support will, by virtue of their support, command at least a temporary majority in the House of Commons.

That temporary majority will have the constitutional right to introduce the only Bill that, arguably, it has the moral right to pass: reform of the electoral system to bring the constitution into line with democracy. The Liberal Democrats should ally themselves with whichever party guarantees such reform. "Guarantees" should mean at least a firm promise of a referendum. An "all party committee" to bury the issue is not enough and should be rejected out of hand. The Liberal Democrats should make their alliance on those grounds, regardless of differences on other policies such as Europe or the economy, however important those issues undoubtedly are in these dire times. This is for one powerful reason. Once the new democratic system is in place, the Liberal Democrats can then make their case for other parts of their agenda, secure in the knowledge that, by withholding their support in a vote of confidence, they can bring down the government at any time. After that, a properly elected Parliament will have a truly democratic mandate to deal with our very serious economic and social problems, which will not have gone away."

 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dissent-grows-among-lib-de...

NorthReport

Familiar parliamentary themes

The British election confirms what Jack Layton has been saying all along

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/brian-topp/familiar-parliam...

NorthReport
JKR

The Conservatives may be warming up to electoral reform in the the form of the Alternative Vote (AV). As it turns out the UK Independence Party (UKIP) cost the Conservatives approximately 21 seats and a majority in the election. FPTP isn't looking so great to Cameron and his cohorts now that vote splitting on the right cost the Conservatives their coveted majority government.

 

Is Cameron set to offer Clegg the alternative vote?

 

Hung parliament: Cameron’s PR coup to wrong-foot Labour

 

Quote:

But senior sources speculate that he could eventually offer the Lib Dems a form of electoral reform based on the additional vote system (AV) or even the AV-plus devised by the Lib Dem peer Lord Jenkins – and rejected by Mr Blair – more than a decade ago. Both maintain the constituency link that Tories say is essential, and both require voters to express a second preference.

For the Tories this would kill off the UK Independence Party vote which cost them an estimated 21 seats last week – enough to give them a majority. Even far-Right Tories have spotted this opportunity.

 


 General Election 2010: Ukip challenge 'cost Tories a Commons majority'

Quote:

Although the Eurosceptic group suffered a dismal election night, failing to make a breakthrough in mainstream politics, it may inadvertently have handed the pro-European Liberal Democrats the possibility of a role in government.

Analysis of results shows that in at least 21 key marginal seats, Ukip’s share of the vote proved enough to allow Labour or the Lib Dems to see off strong Tory challenges.

The extra victories would have been enough to fill the 20-seat shortfall needed to hand David Cameron an outright majority in the Commons.

...

Despite high hopes, Ukip did not pick up a single seat and managed just three per cent of the overall vote, with just over 900,000.

The party had hoped to hit at least five per cent and pass the one million votes barrier following its success in last year’s European Parliament elections but fell well short of both.

However it said it had achieved a "solid" performance, with a 50 per cent increase in support since the 2005 election.

 

A lot of the voters who chose the Conservative in this election will likely switch over to UKIP in the future when they discover the Conservatives are not about to strongly limit immigration into the UK.  The Alternative Vote would be a perfect way for the Conservatives to end the threat posed by UKIP. It's non-proportional and constituency based like FPTP.

Labour already supports AV and has promised to hold a referendum on it.

The Liberal Democrats don't support AV but they would support "AV Top-Up"

It looks like AV Top-Up may be the electoral system that could gain support across the UK political spectrum.

NorthReport

Labour prepares to pounce if Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition talks fail
Exclusive: Labour offer could include announcement about the future of Gordon Brown, who has been considering whether to stand down
 
 

Clegg has met Brown twice, including this morning. His negotiating team met a specially assembled Labour negotiating team on Sunday.

The Tories did not seem to know anything about these talks, leading to accusations of bad faith from prominent backbenchers.

The formal Labour position is that it can say nothing until the Lib Dem-Tory talks end.

But overnight prominent cabinet members were virtually advertising that Brown was willing to announce he would be a transitional leader if that was a necessary price for a deal.

There has been pressure on Brown from inside the cabinet for this, with different sources putting different lengths on the transitional period necessary.

Some Lib Dems say it all rests on what Brown is willing to say, and the speed with which he says it.

Either way, the Lib Dems are in an unenviable position, and there is no certainty that Clegg will get a referendum on proportional representation from either Labour or the Conservatives since neither party can guarantee that such a bill will get through both houses.

But suggestions at lunchtime from Iain Duncan-Smith, an influential figure on the right of the Tory party, that the Conservatives are not interested in electoral reform for the Commons does not augur well for a deal between the Tories and the Lib Dems.

There are many senior Lib Dems - both peers and the older generation - making it clear that they will not do a deal with Conservatives without electoral reform. One report suggests former party president Simon Hughes's office has received 4,000 emails telling him his party cannot resile on electoral reform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/10/labour-liberal-democrats-...

Stockholm

Don't be too sure about all those UKIP votes going to the Tories. I've read that most people who vote UKIP are working class disaffected Labour supporters who would either not vote at all or vote Labour if there was no UKIP candidate on the ballot.

aka Mycroft

Brown's just called for Labour to choose a new leader by September in order to accomodate a "progressive" coalition. The Guardian reports that Labour and the Lib Dems are in formal talks and that the Tories are pissed.

Caissa

Here is the CBC take on Mycroft's report

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he will step down as Labour Party leader by September and that the party will begin formal talks with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/10/uk-election-coalition.html#ixzz0nY1clepT

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

David Cameron: I'll get you, my pretty, and you little dog, too! lol.

Stockholm

I'm not sure that this will go over well. I think the UK wants CHANGE (ie: something like 75% of people keeping saying in polls that they want a change of government). Getting rid of Brown may help - but I'm just afraid that a Lib/Lab/SNP/PC/SF/Green/sundry others government will be unstable and unpopular and that the Labour Party as a whole is so thoroughly discredited that it just won't fly.

NorthReport

If it can keep the right wingers out of power it is worth trying but will Labour support PR?

NorthReport

Why would anyone except the right-wing press and right wing political parties be upset?

 

 

Quote:

 

"We would go into these negotiations determined to succeed. Fifteen million people voted for Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined, only ten million voted for the Conservatives."

Stockholm

The thing is that a lot of people in the UK who vote LibDems are like business Liberals in Canada. They hate Labour more than they hate the Tories. 

This article in the Guardian gives a great summary of the dilemma the Lib Dems face:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/08/andrew-rawnsley-libe...

"The Lib Dem leader and the party which he spent yesterday consulting are now on the horns of several sharp dilemmas. If the negotiations with the Tories succeed in brokering a Con-Lib deal, there will be a cry of pain from a lot of Lib Dem activists and the many voters who will protest that they didn't back Clegg in order for him to become the doorman for Cameron. If these talks collapse and usher the way to a Lab-Lib coalition, there will be a howl from the many who will complain that they didn't vote for Clegg to be a life-support system for Brown. If the ultimate result is no deal with either of them, then there will be a minority Tory government followed by another election before long. Then both the other two will turn on Nick Clegg, denouncing him and his party as an essentially infantile bunch who are fundamentally incapable of rising to the responsibilities of power.

This is the fairly hideous conundrum which faces them. On the table from the Conservatives is what David Cameron artfully calls "a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats". That includes putting Lib Dem bottoms on to cabinet seats for the first time since Churchill's wartime coalition. As one senior Tory puts it: "David made the offer that way so that, in the eyes of the public, it will be very hard for Nick Clegg to walk away without looking diminished."

"Most Lib Dems would be more politically and emotionally comfortable shacked up with Labour than they would be living in sin with the Tories. But there are huge potential downsides to a Lib-Lab deal. There would be the cry, amplified by the right-wing press, that it was "a coalition of losers". Labour and the Lib Dems combined are short of a majority in the Commons. Roping in Nationalists and/or Ulster Unionists to form a "rainbow coalition" would create a government vulnerable to both backbench revolt and constant ransom demands from Alex Salmond, assorted Welsh men and Presbyterian preachers from across the Irish Sea. Nick Clegg has told colleagues that he fears a terrible public backlash. He might get a deal on electoral reform only to lose the referendum because voters were so angry that he had kept Gordon Brown in Number 10. That would set back the cause for a generation.

Then there is his party now faced with a decision about what Lib Dems are ultimately in politics to do. Do they want power and the burden of tough choices and the grubbiness of compromise that comes with it? Or are they really people essentially more comfortable in opposition? Paddy Ashdown once observed that a hung parliament was not a dream for his party, but "a nightmare". Whichever it turns out to be, Nick Clegg is now living it."

so true

 

ghoris

Notwithstanding Brown's decision to fall on his sword, which was thought by many to remove the main impediment to a Lib-Lab pact, with the Tories now offering a referendum on the alternative vote system (and apparently a few cabinet posts), a deal with the Tories is looking more and more likely. As the Guardian article Stockholm quotes points out, there are no really palatable options for Clegg at this point - whatever deal he chooses is sure to piss off at least half his party. But it seems to me that the pros (for Clegg) of backing the Tories - cabinet seats, a commitment to a referendum on electoral reform (albeit a somewhat limited one), a stable parliamentary majority, satisfying the public desire for a change of goverment, etc are starting to outweigh the pros of backing Labour. And as I've suggested above, there might be a silver lining for Labour in that it might not be such a bad thing to be out of office over the next eighteen months, which will surely be difficult on whoever is the incumbent.

JKR

Cameron and the Conservatives are now offering Clegg a referendum on AV!

Hung parliament: Tories' 'final offer' on vote reform

 

Quote:

 The Conservatives have made a "final offer" to the Lib Dems of a referendum on electoral reform as the battle to form the UK's next government heats up.

Tory deputy leader William Hague said he would offer Nick Clegg's party a vote on the Alternative Vote system.

It comes after prime minister Gordon Brown, who said he was to step down by September, made a similar offer to the Liberal Democrat leader.

The Lib Dems must now decide which party they want to back.

 

Quote:

In the interests of trying to create a stable, secure government we will go the extra mile and we will offer to the Liberal Democrats, in a coalition government, the holding of a referendum on the Alternative Vote system, so that the people of this country can decide.

William Hague
Shadow foreign secretary

 

Stockholm

ghoris wrote:

 And as I've suggested above, there might be a silver lining for Labour in that it might not be such a bad thing to be out of office over the next eighteen months, which will surely be difficult on whoever is the incumbent.

...on the other hand, that was EXACTLY the logic that a lot of Liberals here in Canada used to justify letting Harper stay PM rather than pushing for the coalition in Jan. '09...but so far being the incumbent has turned out NOT to be such a bad thing for Harper.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

Don't be too sure about all those UKIP votes going to the Tories. I've read that most people who vote UKIP are working class disaffected Labour supporters who would either not vote at all or vote Labour if there was no UKIP candidate on the ballot.

 

That may be true but the Tories themselves sure think vote splitting on the right cost them. The right-wing blogosphere in the UK is unhappy that the UKIP vote might have helped establish a pro-Europe government.

And UKIP leaders also beleived that they would split the vote and hurt the Conservatives chances of becoming government. They offered to stand down and not compete in the election with the Conservatives in exchange for a referendum on the UK's position within Europe.

ghoris

Fair enough, that's always a possibility, although I'm prepared to give Labour the benefit of the doubt that they will not prove as strategically inept as our Liberals. ;) 

Apparently Deputy Leader Harriet Harman will be making a statement shortly following the end of the cabinet meeting on behalf of the Cabinet...

Interestingly, the Tory offer of a referendum on alternative vote precisely mirrors what was in Labour's manifesto on electoral reform - now the question is whether Labour is prepared to do them one better on electoral reform and go beyond their own manifesto.

JKR

 

Live coverage - General Election 2010 

 

Quote:

1954: Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove says there is "unanimous" support among Tory MPs and peers for offering the Lib Dems a referendum on electoral reform. He adds: "They recognise that David has changed the party in order to help them get to this point and there is trust and respect for the way he has handled this."

1955 The cabinet meeting breaks up. Welsh Secretary Peter Hain says ministers are united in wanting to work for the national interest.

 

Maybe some Conservatives might even support AV in a referendum?

 

ghoris

ghoris wrote:

Apparently Deputy Leader Harriet Harman will be making a statement shortly following the end of the cabinet meeting on behalf of the Cabinet...

Or not. Harman just jumped into a Prius along with Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband and sped off.

ghoris

The Beeb is now reporting that the Tories have offered the Lib Dems a referendum on Alternative Vote and fixed election dates, while Labour is planning to offer a bill on Alternative Vote and a referendum on a more robust system of PR.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

ghoris wrote:

 And as I've suggested above, there might be a silver lining for Labour in that it might not be such a bad thing to be out of office over the next eighteen months, which will surely be difficult on whoever is the incumbent.

...on the other hand, that was EXACTLY the logic that a lot of Liberals here in Canada used to justify letting Harper stay PM rather than pushing for the coalition in Jan. '09...but so far being the incumbent has turned out NOT to be such a bad thing for Harper.

At least in this case the Conservatives will have to have a referendum on electoral reform.

The best outcome of this situation may be a weak minority Conservative government that has to further the prospects of electoral reform. Labour in opposition will be able to regroup and fight the next election under a fairer electoral system.

JKR

These historic events sure show how when push comes to shove, electoral reform is a primary political issue.

Electoral reform is going to be the issue that determines which party forms the next government.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Clegg may have been smarter than the Labour leader, Brown, if the latter agreed to step down without getting anything for it. OTOH, political parties in the UK have an easier time forcing a leader out - as I understand it.

KenS

I'll raise that a tener.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Well, the judgement of the rich and the super-rich is pretty clear:

Markets react "with horror" to Lib-Lab coalition talks.

aka Mycroft

A commentator on BBC just said Labour is now offering an AVS without a referendum (of course that would have to pass both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.)

Stockholm

Exactly, I think that average Brit is probably incensed that it seems like the government will live or die based on whether it AV or PR or STV or MMP and whether not there is a referendum blah blah blah - meanwhile no one seems to be all that agitated about the economic crisis or the future of the NHS etc...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Spoken like a true conservative.

ghoris

Quote:
These historic events sure show how when push comes to shove, electoral reform is a primary political issue.

Electoral reform is going to be the issue that determines which party forms the next government.

 

 

Well, it's a primary issue for the politicians, party activists, and politically-minded individuals, but I highly doubt it's a top-of-mind issue for most rank-and-file voters. I wonder what the average voter thinks about this fixation by the "chattering classes" on an issue like electoral reform, and the fact that this one issue may make or break a coalition government.

I find myself in nearly-complete agreement with former cabinet minister John Reid, now being interviewed on the BBC, although I'm not sure that a Lab-Lib coalition would be as poorly received by the public as Dr. Reid suggests.

Stockholm

So its "conservative" to think that dealing with health care and income inequality and unemployment are more important than dicking around with the voting system??

This is a perfect example of how some people on the so-called "left" are having a dialogue with each other that is totally removed from the concerns of the people they claim to represent. How many coal miners in Sheffield do you think give a fuck about whether there is AV or STV or AV-Plus or MMP and whether or not its all put to a referendum. maybe there would be more support for progrressive parties if they spent less time obsessing over esoteric issues that are only of interest to people with gratduate degrees in comparative political systems and more time obsessing obver issues that actually affect people lives - like the state of schools and hospitals and jobs etc...

Sean in Ottawa

There is a very different set of circumstances here but some things are in common.

The only people who matter watching this are the people who may switch their votes -- the others can be counted on to oppose or support whomever they are now. That sliver of swing voters felt that a newly elected government should have a chance to govern. I suspect that politically this reaction will be stronger in the UK than here where Harper had a chance and then called an election nobody but he wanted. In the UK the Cons have been out for more than a decade. This is a difficult time to govern and the opposition can bring him down any time they like (Labour and Lib Dems).

Seems like their best bet is to let Cameron govern for a while. In the meantime they could do what is not happening in Canada and that is provide a real alternative government-- putting up alternative policies to what Cameron does and keeping the option on the political radar. Then when Cameron falters bring him down. They were going to go in to opposition at some point -- to do so with a minority that might let them back in government in a couple years is a gift. If they find that unsatisfactory, they will take the usual 4-8 year ride in the wilderness.

The situation is not comparable to Canada -- or does not have to be -- the second party here has managed to get two ineffective unpopular leaders back to back, wallow in agendas that matter to few people and offer no real alternative. The strategy of letting the Cons dig a hole for themselves is only part of it. You need to have a constructive, effective opposition with policy options. That opposition needs to be led by someone with good communication skills. But that does not change which is the best strategy it just changes if any strategy, even the best one, has a chance. If Ignatieff had become PM in 2009, I suspect that would have been a failure as well.

Krago
ghoris

PR systems seem to work OK in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, so why not Westminster?

Augustus

Stockholm makes some refreshingly good points.

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:
So its "conservative" to think that dealing with health care and income inequality and unemployment are more important than dicking around with the voting system??

I think voting reform has to happen at some point in the English speaking countries in general. But Labour more or less sold their souls to the "new" liberal financial regime by the late 70's. It was a bluff in the end, but Labour chose not to challenge marauding capital. There are some on the left who believe that various western social democracies must decide to do just what Callaghan and British Labour chose to avoid with the IMF and situation with the British pound back then. I think British labour unions played a part in undermining Labour government then as well.

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19071]Matthias Chang[/url] wrote:

Quote:
Edmund Conway went on to paint this ghastly future for his country:

"…no-one yet comprehends just how tough the next five years will be. For obvious reasons: we have not experienced anything like it in our lifetimes. We have been insulated from the full pain of the financial/economic crisis so far by unprecedented low interest rates and by the bank bail-outs. At some point, the anaesthetic will wear off and we will face a period of austerity that may well make the ruling party so unpopular that it effectively becomes unelectable for decades. There will be strikes; there will be stagnation; there will probably be a double dip of some variety. But this time the pain will be unmistakably imposed by the politicians."

His penetrating analysis is corroborated by the former conservative party minister, Michael Portillo when commenting on the recent British elections which resulted in a Hung Parliament. He said that the "financial crisis ravaging Britain would take 20 years to resolve, but the next five years would be critical!"

Sir Tony said that unions were giving Labour a hard time then in the 70's. But it was nothing they couldn't handle. They were well on their way to managing inflation and unemployment contrary to the propaganda published since those years. Tony Benn said that nationalised companies and workers were sometimes hard to deal with, but that they were certainly more easily dealt with and appeased than today's "supra"national corporations that yield a lot more economic and political clout today than at anytime in recent history. Marauding capital wants challenging, and according to US economist Michael Hudson, big changes to the western world monetary system will likely happen within the next ten years. It has to, because this system is finished.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

This is a perfect example of how some people on the so-called "left" are having a dialogue with each other that is totally removed from the concerns of the people they claim to represent. How many coal miners in Sheffield do you think give a fuck about whether there is AV or STV or AV-Plus or MMP and whether or not its all put to a referendum. maybe there would be more support for progrressive parties if they spent less time obsessing over esoteric issues that are only of interest to people with gratduate degrees in comparative political systems and more time obsessing obver issues that actually affect people lives - like the state of schools and hospitals and jobs etc...

 

If the "progressive parties" want to forget about electoral reform and concentrate exclusively on issues like jobs, healthcare, and education they should accept the two-party nature of FPTP and merge into one left of centre party.

If they accept FPTP, LibDems should join Labour or the Conservatives and in Canada Green supporters and NDP'ers should join the Liberals.

Left of centre parties understand that if FPTP keeps them out of power they will be unable to improve things like health care, jobs and education.

Stockholm

ghoris wrote:

PR systems seem to work OK in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, so why not Westminster?

I agree - why not? Sure, let's do it....but my question is how does the electorate react to parties haggling over an arcane process issue that on the surface of it provides no benefit to the average person.

How is my life supposed to be better because they bring in PR in the UK and there is a sudden influx of wishy-washy LibDems who stand for nothing in particular except that they want an electoral system that gives them more seats! (more seats for what??)

I wish some polls would come out in the next day of people who voted Lib Dem last Thursday and what they would like Clegg to do.

Fidel

I agree that more than just UK's electoral democracy has been hung out to dry. What's needed now is a fundamental shift in economic and political ideology in the UK and North America. The left needs some level of cooperation toward reforming the neoliberal order of things toward something that works. We need political conservatives and liberals to accept that the neoliberalism does not work after trying it on for size over the last 30 to 35 years and with more or less full cooperation from Labour in the UK and political Liberals here. It's time now for for something totally different. It's either that or we can stand by and watch as Asian countries catapult ahead of the west economically and probably militarily at some point. Asian countries are marching forward today as it was with Russia in the 1930's, a period when laissez-faire capitalism was in crisis here in the west. Neoliberalism is just another form of the previously failed version of the same ideology more or less. History is repeating.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

How is my life supposed to be better because they bring in PR in the UK and there is a sudden influx of wishy-washy LibDems who stand for nothing in particular except that they want an electoral system that gives them more seats! (more seats for what??)

Under PR you're life would be improved as the possibility of having radical Thatcherite policies would be reduced in a government where the Thatcherites are held back by the wishy-washiers.

Wishy Washys serve a very important role. They limit the damage done by ideological radicals.

An alliance between the wishy washys and NDP almost gave us the Kelowna Accord and national day care. It also helped keep Harper out of power.

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