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'First-past-the-post' or proportional representation? watch

  • View Poll Results: Which would you prefer?
    Keep the 'first-past-the-post' system
    25
    41.67%
    We ought to adopt proportional representation for the general elections
    34
    56.67%
    Don't know?
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    1.67%

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    PR definately (or something similar). What kind of a democracy is it where vast swathes of the voting public are effectively discounted just because they are not voting in the majority pattern?
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    Equally however, governments - as you know - are collectively responsible. From the creation of a coalition, policy cannot be considered 'Labour policy' or 'Lib Dem policy' - but are instead the result of searching for a mutual position between the two.
    Perhaps technically, but in reality, it would be a Lib Dem policy implemented.

    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    It's near enough. After all, it reflects nothing like what the nation voted.
    So your view is that our system of parliamentary democracy results in random parties being in power?

    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    Italy, definitely - I'm shocked you even have to ask.
    Israel is a bit more sane, but they have some very funny political parties.
    These are first-world countries, and players in global events. Describing them as "mad" is a little subjective.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Perhaps technically, but in reality, it would be a Lib Dem policy implemented.
    As opposed to now when they have almost a quarter of the nation's votes and yet have almost no say? You can't criticise PR for the problems that FPTP has when you're backing the latter.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    So your view is that our system of parliamentary democracy results in random parties being in power?
    Well, given that the Lib Dems got 23% of the vote in 2005, and have about 50-odd seats - yet Labour with about 15% more get a 66 seat majority - very democratic.
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    (Original post by Soc)
    As opposed to now when they have almost a quarter of the nation's votes and yet have almost no say?
    So they should have their policies implemented despite only 20% of the State voting for them? Wow, and there was Lib North ****ging off the system for putting in governments on 35-40%, now you want policies enacted by parties with half that.

    (Original post by Soc)
    Well, given that the Lib Dems got 23% of the vote in 2005, and have about 50-odd seats - yet Labour with about 15% more get a 66 seat majority - very democratic.
    It is democratic, it's the way that our democratic system works. No country (even those with pure PR) has a perfect democracy because in the end you can't have that without putting every issue to a referendum. And as many hasve said, our system works, we get strong governments that we can remove when we want - as oppose to the immovable coalitions and shaky 6-month governments that PR provides in, what Lib said were, "mad" countries.
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    Wesminster Parliament - FPTP

    Devolved Parliaments - PR

    We should have an english parliament. I'm all for Federalism aswell.
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    For Westminster, definitely FPTP. It has its disadvantages, but so does PR.

    It would be an interesting idea to try and amalgamate both FPTP and PR, although whether something like this would work is another thing altogether…
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    (Original post by Andrzej S.)
    For Westminster, definitely FPTP. It has its disadvantages, but so does PR.
    Surely it's either one or the other? Either right or wrong...

    It would be an interesting idea to try and amalgamate both FPTP and PR, although whether something like this would work is another thing altogether…
    We already have it: in effect the Additional Member System, as used in the devolved assemblies in the UK already, is a hybrid between FPTP and pure PR.
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    I'm completely in 2 minds. PR for better representation, but at the same time it could become a bit too wishy-washy with too many ideas and opinions floating about. It could be more time consuming in the long run to actually get things done, and it would be even more difficult than it already is to please everyone to some level or extent. FPTP doesn't at least create that to such an extent that PR could, although it is unfair to party's such as the Green's and of course the Lib Dems who are always arguing for PR to be implemented/enforced.
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    (Original post by Metropolitan)
    Neither is a 166 Labour majority
    The Labour majority is about 66.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    The Labour majority is about 66.
    Now it is. But they had a 160+ majority (or 63% of the seats) with about 40% of the vote for eight years.
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    I think the Scottish hybrid is the perfect solution - single-member constituencies, with PR top-up. Has all hell broken loose in the North? There's been quite a progressive agenda up there since 1999, and the system prevented the labour party from dominated the government for all time, as would have inevitably happened under FPTP. Hybrid for Me.
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    FPTP, most assuredly. PR's benefit to smaller parties isn't as much of an advantage as you might think. The large parties will always, roughly, represent broad public opinion and carefully conducted propaganda campaigns by extremist parties (e.g. NSDAP) can hi-jack the PR system.
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    Its not my dislike of Parties that make me feel that they would get in the way, It is more the fact that if they have no power, why bother being there. Their presence would make it more likely that there is a minority government, as in scotland.

    I do not dislike the OMRLP, I just feel that westminster doesnt need their presence.
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    (Original post by -1984-)
    If that's your concern, we could set a barrier with the PR system, thus eliminating the chance of the BNP getting any seats in parliament. E.g. a 1-2% barrier, which would minimise the chances of parties such as the BNP and Respect gaining any seats, but would ensure that opposition parties such as the Lib Dems, Conservatives or Labour, SNP and Greens would be treated more fairly.

    I must stressed though, I would not be in favour of such a barrier, but it is something worth bearing in mind.
    I'll put my disgust at the exclusion of a political party from the political process aside for a moment and point out that:

    The BNP gained more votes than Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, the SDLP, Respect and the Ulster Unionists. To exclude all of these parties would be unthinkable.
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    (Original post by MatchDancer)
    PR seems a lot more honest and fair, but if that means giving a coalition which is weak, then it is not the best for the country.
    You think a system which gives near-absolute control to a government for four years and then perpetuates a system where there are only two choices as to who forms the government when that four years is concluded is 'best for the country'?

    (Original post by LGoddard)
    FPTP, most assuredly. PR's benefit to smaller parties isn't as much of an advantage as you might think. The large parties will always, roughly, represent broad public opinion and carefully conducted propaganda campaigns by extremist parties (e.g. NSDAP) can hi-jack the PR system.
    So on one hand we have the FPTPers saying that PR leads to weak government, and on the other they are suggesting that we'll have Nazis in power enforcing their iron will upon the country?

    (Original post by smith.myles)
    Its not my dislike of Parties that make me feel that they would get in the way, It is more the fact that if they have no power, why bother being there. Their presence would make it more likely that there is a minority government, as in scotland.
    Because Parliament is not about power, it's about accountability and persuasion - that's why Parliament bothers to debate, to discuss, to resolve together.

    I don't believe a minority government is a bad think for the record, so your second point is rather unpersuasive to me. Luckily unlike Scotland, the UK Parliament could never have a large proportion of its membership composed of traitors - so in fact, it would be less problematic than it is in Scotland: and I've yet to see any significant changes to our style of governance up here since the Lib-Lab coalition left office.
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    (Original post by hmjessop)
    With first past the post, it stops parties like the BNP from gaining too much control.
    Why is this a bad thing? You can't have liberal democracy, then prevent certain parties from running. Liberal democracy is based on pluralism of all political opinion.
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    I'm strongly in favour of PR not just for its democratic reasons (as I'm not too hung up on having perfect democracy, its half a farse anyway), but mainly for constituent reasons. One MP to deal with the views of an entire constituency isnt enough and for larger areas, 3 or 4 or even 5 is a lot more helpful and from personal experience things get done faster.

    Sure, plurality voting gives governments that arent needing to ally with others, it also creates two party systems where those parties and only those parties will get the vote, usually to do with how much money they can spend on campaigning. Coalition works fine for other countries, like the south of Ireland who have had consistant strong governments for the past decade and a strong growing country to go along with it. Whether or not a party has a majority or not is irrelevant if they are bringing in sensible policies, a strong government doesnt equal a good government and visa versa.

    But no party in their right mind here will change to PR, they'd not form a government themselves for a long time.
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    (Original post by toth8)
    Why is this a bad thing? You can't have liberal democracy, then prevent certain parties from running. Liberal democracy is based on pluralism of all political opinion.
    Hasn't stopped parties from being banned before. Liberal democracy today is a joke. Do you really believe that you cant stop parties from running because we're in a "liberal democracy"?


    Besides, the BNP wouldnt be able to get into government anyway, parties have to actually accept to coalition with them or call a general election, and no one in their right mind is going to be tarred with the 'we allied with the bnp' brush.
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    (Original post by Jim-ie)
    Hasn't stopped parties from being banned before. Liberal democracy today is a joke. Do you really believe that you cant stop parties from running because we're in a "liberal democracy"?
    I say yes. Because it's inconsistent otherwise.
    Besides, the BNP wouldnt be able to get into government anyway, parties have to actually accept to coalition with them or call a general election, and no one in their right mind is going to be tarred with the 'we allied with the bnp' brush.
    Really? Hasn't stopped extremists in other countries. What about Austria?

    It really depends upon the political climate of the day. Now, yes the BNP are shunned. BUt who knows what will happen in the future? For all we know something could happen which would make the BNP more attractive to the electorate.
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    We elect an MP who represents all our interests not just those of the people who elected him or her, so I don't really buy the whole "more viewpoints" thing with PR here. Government needs to be accountable, we don't simply need more parties - that's not the real issue here. An effective opposition is about the most important thing we can have in keeping an eye on the government. A two or three party system is greatly conducive to effective and strong opposition. It's Parliament's functioning, and the executive that need to be reformed, not the electoral system. PR is an unnecessary fix to the wrong problem.
 
 
 
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