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Is changing the UK voting system a good idea? watch

  • View Poll Results: Would you like to see the FPTP system changed in General Elections?
    Yes
    29
    56.86%
    No
    22
    43.14%

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    (Original post by S.Beall)
    In one word - no.

    It would be done on a partisan basis - for Labour would only implement it in order to scoop up Lib-Dem 2nd preferences. In other words, it would cripple the Conservatives(in England and Wales) and the SNP (in Scotland).

    The current system, though unfair, allows the rapid expulsion of unpopular governments. This system would allow Labour to hold onto power. That is not a price worth paying for a more fair system.
    No it doesn't. Labour has continued to exercise power virtually unchecked despite Gordon Brown being immensly unpopular for almost two years. At least with a proportional system if a party wants to implement something which is going to be unpopular it won't have the support of the other parties. At best that means the proposing party will have to compromise, at worst it'll force a new election. That is what makes government accountable. At the moment Labour are accountable to nobody until June later this year. That is far too long.

    Besides, PR won't allow Labour to hold onto power forever, what makes you think that. Under a different voting system political preferences tend to change and hopefully new parties will come to prominence. A change to PR is surely the renewal our democracy needs
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    (Original post by Carl)
    No it doesn't. Labour has continued to exercise power virtually unchecked despite Gordon Brown being immensly unpopular for almost two years. At least with a proportional system if a party wants to implement something which is going to be unpopular it won't have the support of the other parties. At best that means the proposing party will have to compromise, at worst it'll force a new election. That is what makes government accountable. At the moment Labour are accountable to nobody until June later this year. That is far too long.

    Besides, PR won't allow Labour to hold onto power forever, what makes you think that. Under a different voting system political preferences tend to change and hopefully new parties will come to prominence. A change to PR is surely the renewal our democracy needs

    Labour has managed to survive for so long due to its majority it obtained whilst popular. Many Lib-Dem voters are of the old Labour persuasion and their votes could return more Labour MP's than would be the case under FPTP.

    Under FPTP, Labour will be expelled from office swiftly come May/June - ignore the opinion polls suggesting a hung parliament, for I don't recall being asked how I will vote. Opinion polls in general can be unhelpful, unless those sampled consist of the full electorate.

    I say retain FPTP. It will make Election Night very entertaining and satisfying.
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    (Original post by S.Beall)
    Labour has managed to survive for so long due to its majority it obtained whilst popular. Many Lib-Dem voters are of the old Labour persuasion and their votes could return more Labour MP's than would be the case under FPTP.

    Under FPTP, Labour will be expelled from office swiftly come May/June - ignore the opinion polls suggesting a hung parliament, for I don't recall being asked how I will vote. Opinion polls in general can be unhelpful, unless those sampled consist of the full electorate.

    I say retain FPTP. It will make Election Night very entertaining and satisfying.
    Swiftly? It's been two years too long! FPTP creates a government that usually can go unchallenged for the duration of it's "mandate", and which is not accountable until the next election. Labour has been deeply unpopular, but due to it's over-representation thanks to FPTP we've been unable to get rid of them. Even then the extent to which it is accountable to limited, Brown has not been a great PM but I'm certainly not going to vote for Cameron. When both choices are rotten and there is no credible alternative, the system needs reform.

    EDIT: and yes, I know why Labour has managed to stay in power for so long, as I explain above, it's precisely thanks to FPTP, so thanks for discrediting your own argument.
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    Figured this might be relevant to the discussion:

    http://elections.cognitivesandbox.com/ is tool that determines the outcome of an election using multiple systems (it also highlights the key problems in FPTP and AV)

    http://sleuth.cognitivesandbox.com/ is a tool that explains different single-winner voting criteria and suggests a voting system based on your preferences

    http://modernballots.com/zombies/vote is an app that lets you create your own elections and share them with others. It implements Schulze STV, which satisfies the Condorcet criterion with one winner, proportional representation with multiple winners.

    Enjoy!
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    I would rather we as a country were able to make decisions in a stronger government rather than a weak PR system which greatly increases the likelihood of a hung parliament where the small parites hold all the power.
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    (Original post by flugelr)
    I would rather we as a country were able to make decisions in a stronger government rather than a weak PR system which greatly increases the likelihood of a hung parliament where the small parites hold all the power.
    Along that line of thinking, despotism is even better!
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    (Original post by flugelr)
    I would rather we as a country were able to make decisions in a stronger government rather than a weak PR system which greatly increases the likelihood of a hung parliament where the small parites hold all the power.
    Why shouldn't small parties hold the power? It would force them to govern together in a pragmatic fashion, it prevents the excesses of one party government because every policy is not just scrutinised by the opposition, but by members of your own government. FPTP frustrates me because it allows the government to govern virtually unchecked for five years, no matter how unpopular that government or it's policies become. Some people may perceive coalition government as weak, personally I think the threat of a disenchanted electorate is quite a good check on governmental power.
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    (Original post by Carl)
    Why shouldn't small parties hold the power? It would force them to govern together in a pragmatic fashion, it prevents the excesses of one party government because every policy is not just scrutinised by the opposition, but by members of your own government. FPTP frustrates me because it allows the government to govern virtually unchecked for five years, no matter how unpopular that government or it's policies become. Some people may perceive coalition government as weak, personally I think the threat of a disenchanted electorate is quite a good check on governmental power.
    Although as I currently support the Lib Dems I sympathise with your view, I wouldn't want for a small party like the SNP, DUP or even in the future BNP to have all the power as is the situation in Israel where the small, radical Jewish parties with extreme views tend to hold large amounts of power.

    I also don't want us to end up like Italy where nothing gets done and, if it does get done, you can bet your house on the fact that large bribes will be behind it.
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    No,

    We'll never get rid of Labour in that case.

    Wonder why Brown is proposing it?
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    (Original post by Time Tourist)
    No,

    We'll never get rid of Labour in that case.

    Wonder why Brown is proposing it?
    I love how your justification is entirely party political. Does it not occur to you that if there is a change in electoral system a change in electoral behaviour will follow?
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    (Original post by Carl)
    I love how your justification is entirely party political. Does it not occur to you that if there is a change in electoral system a change in electoral behaviour will follow?

    PR leads to chaos... look at Belgiums government.
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    (Original post by Time Tourist)
    PR leads to chaos... look at Belgiums government.
    Not in every instance. In many European democracies it works fine. It works at the European Parliament too, and in Wales and Scotland, both of which have functioning coalitions or minority government (as I believe is the case in Scotland).
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    (Original post by Carl)
    Not in every instance. In many European democracies it works fine. It works at the European Parliament too, and in Wales and Scotland, both of which have functioning coalitions or minority government (as I believe is the case in Scotland).

    And what exactly is democratic about the European parliament?
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    (Original post by Time Tourist)
    And what exactly is democratic about the European parliament?
    That's not what we're debating, nice try though. My point is that it is an institution elected by PR which does function without one grouping having a majority. Perhaps it was a bad example though given that it is unique in being composed of MEPs who are elected on a proportional basis from each Member State, as opposed to proportional as a whole.

    You still haven't addressed my point that parliaments elected by PR, such as Scotland and Wales, do function very well.
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    Okay, before we even go there though... why does Westminster need PR again?
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    (Original post by Time Tourist)
    Okay, before we even go there though... why does Westminster need PR again?
    I'll post AGAIN:

    Why shouldn't small parties hold the power? It would force them to govern together in a pragmatic fashion, it prevents the excesses of one party government because every policy is not just scrutinised by the opposition, but by members of your own government. FPTP frustrates me because it allows the government to govern virtually unchecked for five years, no matter how unpopular that government or it's policies become. Some people may perceive coalition government as weak, personally I think the threat of a disenchanted electorate is quite a good check on governmental power.
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    I am going to bring up a cynical; but probably true, point of view here.

    Under the current system, First Past the Post, Labour do brilliant. It over extends their representation and is quite biased against the Tories (and other smaller parties). Under the proposed AV system, Labour's over representation would increase slightly, whilst the system is even more biased against the Tories and favours the Lib Dems a bit more.

    In my point of this, the system of choice is all to convenient. Boast your own representation and damage that of the Tories? Oh how good for you Labour.

    How about we introduce AMS, the better system, as it maintains that strong constituency link Brown was on about, it also maintains strong Government... It even allows you to choose a candidate and a party...

    Oh wait, Labour won't go for that it benefits the Tories -_-
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    How about we introduce AMS, the better system, as it maintains that strong constituency link Brown was on about, it also maintains strong Government... It even allows you to choose a candidate and a party...

    Oh wait, Labour won't go for that it benefits the Tories -_-
    I agree with you about AMS as its already being used in elections in the UK and opponents of PR cant use the same old argument about constituencies.

    PR is far more democratic voting system that benefits voters but no particular party.
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    (Original post by JNV)
    I agree with you about AMS as its already being used in elections in the UK and opponents of PR cant use the same old argument about constituencies.

    PR is far more democratic voting system that benefits voters but no particular party
    PR provides benefits to smaller parties but damages larger parties who currently do well under non-PR systems.

    I personally prefer AMS because though it is not PR, it does maintain constituency links but also allows individuals to vote for a candidate and a party.

    That means I could; if I so choose, vote a Lib Dem candidate but for the Conservative Party.

    Much better system in my view.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    PR provides benefits to smaller parties but damages larger parties who currently do well under non-PR systems.
    That's a fatuous distinction to make given that larger parties are currently over-represented. Not only that, but imagine that a PR system was put in place. How many Labour and Tory supporters would change party knowing that their vote could result in a representative in Parliament? I think both Labour and Conservative parties would see a drop in their representation in Parliament as parties like UKIP (who would pick up Tories) and the Green Party (would would pick up lefties) made gains. This isn't a simple question of small parties gaining at expense of the large parties, but of small parties getting the representation that they deserve.

    I agree with you on AMS though, it works in Wales.
 
 
 
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