Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

First Past The Post or Proportional Representation? Watch

    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    I remain cautious about AV as its tendency to exaggerate majorities is even greater than FPTP. It might make sense from a constituency point of view, but on a national scale it can be pretty rotten.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Silly Goose)
    Because the formation of coalitions is so very democratic, right? I mean, it's not like the electorate had no say at all in whether the Lib Dems went with the tories or formed a Rainbow Coalition with Labour. :rolleyes:

    And before you say that they are possible in FPTP, they are. But they are not a guaranteed result like it would be with PR. No electoral system is completely, 100% democratic.
    No, but STV is about as close as you can get in a representative democracy, the only better step is completely direct democracy where citizens control everything directly, but since that's not possible yet (and may never be) it's a moot point.

    As for the formation of coalitions, since no party in the UK has ever won a 50% majority of the voting electorate, and since only about 100 seats out of 650 make any difference, no party has ever really had a mandate to govern as they are really elected by just a few hundred thousand people in marginals. I would put more considerably more democratic stock in an alliance of fairly-elected parties with a cumulative vote share of 50% or more, than one of two parties with a 35%-ish "majority" claiming the right to rule over the 65% (indeed, much greater when you factor in those who didn't vote) of people who didn't vote for them. The tyranny of democracy is ultimately minimised through STV, that can only be a good thing.

    You know, sometimes I wish Hitler had invaded us in WWII and tore apart our institutions. Every other country in Europe used it as an opportunty to rebuild for the better after WWII, we just carried on with a broken electoral system. It won't last forever.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    No, but STV is about as close as you can get in a representative democracy, the only better step is completely direct democracy where citizens control everything directly, but since that's not possible yet (and may never be) it's a moot point.

    As for the formation of coalitions, since no party in the UK has ever won a 50% majority of the voting electorate, and since only about 100 seats out of 650 make any difference, no party has ever really had a mandate to govern as they are really elected by just a few hundred thousand people in marginals. I would put more considerably more democratic stock in an alliance of fairly-elected parties with a cumulative vote share of 50% or more, than one of two parties with a 35%-ish "majority" claiming the right to rule over the 65% (indeed, much greater when you factor in those who didn't vote) of people who didn't vote. The tyranny of democracy is ultimately minimised through STV, that can only be a good thing.

    You know, sometimes I wish Hitler had invaded us in WWII and tore apart our institutions. Every other country in Europe used it as an opportunty to rebuild for the better after WWII, we just carried on with a broken electoral system. It won't last forever.
    Methinks you're being a bit unfair, although you do make some fair points.

    The last election in which a party got an absolute majority of votes was 1935, when the Conservatives got 55%. (sorry, I'm a pedant)

    Also, it's unfair and reckless to say that ours is broken and Europe's are somehow superior. France has something very much akin to FPTP, as they lost patience with proportionality in the 1950s.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gladders)
    Methinks you're being a bit unfair, although you do make some fair points.

    The last election in which a party got an absolute majority of votes was 1935, when the Conservatives got 55%. (sorry, I'm a pedant)

    Also, it's unfair and reckless to say that ours is broken and Europe's are somehow superior. France has something very much akin to FPTP, as they lost patience with proportionality in the 1950s.
    France is the only other major country in Europe to use a non-proportional system. I'm not necessarily saying that the European system is superior - indeed, D'Hondt PR which is practised on most of the continent is a joke for electing a lower house, and has lead to multiple crises in the Netherlands and Belgium. STV is practised only by Ireland on a national scale, but it's worked out fantastically for them and we could learn a lot given the similarities between our two nations.

    And yes, the Conservatives did get an absolute majority, but it was still decided by marginals, most people lived in safe seats and back then it was a two party system as the Liberals were being demolished by Labour. I was wrong to exaggerate that all governments have not had a mandate, but the sad truth is that most of our elections have resulted in an "interpretation" of results where parties who regularly command at most 35-40% of the vote magically get 50%+ of seats!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gladders)
    I remain cautious about AV as its tendency to exaggerate majorities is even greater than FPTP. It might make sense from a constituency point of view, but on a national scale it can be pretty rotten.
    I'd like to see studies on this.
    So far I've not seen any properly conducted polls about the potential outcome of the 2010 election under AV. Sure, there have been a couple where they asked who you voted for and who your second/third preferences would have been, but this doesn't take into account the fact that first preference votes could change as well.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    rationalised number and size of constituencies( tidy up the numbers to 500 or 600 - with roughly equal populations), with STV and returning a single MP ( rather than the Euro PR guff that let the BNP in ),

    if you are going to use any form of PR single transferable vote is the bunny as it allows the direct MP - constituency link to remain ... and requires the parties not only to address the faithful but the people who are likely to put you down as choice 2 or 3
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    It's important to ensure that electoral reform, if it does happen, is taken in the context of the entire constitution, not simply on its own.

    As such it should be considered alongside, for example, whether the House of Lords would be elected or not.

    Having a bicameral system in which both chambers are elected by similar means - both proportional or both majoritarian, for example - would be a very bad idea.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    FIRST PAST THE POST!

    We need a strong Government ffs!!! None of this coalition stuff!! If we went PR we'd get nothing done, we need firm and definet action. Even wrong action is better than inaction. We will only get strong from a strong executive. Moreover FPTP leads to a much more accountable government, as it's really party Politics. the PR Coalition Govs, like the current one, none of the electoratre know who to hold accountable for what!? Who do you write to for yoru redress of grievence? Come election time, how do you punish the Government for ******* up, do you vote Libdem or vote Tory? Furthermore, polciy making is made behind closed doors much more under PR. People even complained this election when they voted and got a Coalition. Under PR, you vote for a party because you agree with many of their policies on their manifesto, and it turns out that barely any of these policies are actually insigated, and manifesto's have been ignored, and policy made up through negotation in backrooms.

    AV is an acceptable change as it allows more choice, and it is not simply the 'least favourite' one that gets in. So I'd backa referendum for AV. But PR...It's just not efficient at governing. I tilt more over efficiency at governing than ensuring every last person's represented.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    No, but STV is about as close as you can get in a representative democracy, the only better step is completely direct democracy where citizens control everything directly, but since that's not possible yet (and may never be) it's a moot point.

    As for the formation of coalitions, since no party in the UK has ever won a 50% majority of the voting electorate, and since only about 100 seats out of 650 make any difference, no party has ever really had a mandate to govern as they are really elected by just a few hundred thousand people in marginals. I would put more considerably more democratic stock in an alliance of fairly-elected parties with a cumulative vote share of 50% or more, than one of two parties with a 35%-ish "majority" claiming the right to rule over the 65% (indeed, much greater when you factor in those who didn't vote) of people who didn't vote for them. The tyranny of democracy is ultimately minimised through STV, that can only be a good thing.

    You know, sometimes I wish Hitler had invaded us in WWII and tore apart our institutions. Every other country in Europe used it as an opportunty to rebuild for the better after WWII, we just carried on with a broken electoral system. It won't last forever.

    STV is a pile of ****? I take it you're not from Scotland and have never voted in a Scottish election. for one it's too bloody confusing, when they switched to it there were over 60,000 spoilt ballot papers. Even David Steel, the former presiding Officer of Holyrood comdemned STV and said a change is absolutely necessary. We need and efficient government, we don't have the time, or the resources to waste havign endless coalition talks.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    finny - Scotland doesn't use STV? Northern Ireland does. Scotland uses AMS.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    No, but STV is about as close as you can get in a representative democracy, the only better step is completely direct democracy where citizens control everything directly, but since that's not possible yet (and may never be) it's a moot point.

    As for the formation of coalitions, since no party in the UK has ever won a 50% majority of the voting electorate, and since only about 100 seats out of 650 make any difference, no party has ever really had a mandate to govern as they are really elected by just a few hundred thousand people in marginals. I would put more considerably more democratic stock in an alliance of fairly-elected parties with a cumulative vote share of 50% or more, than one of two parties with a 35%-ish "majority" claiming the right to rule over the 65% (indeed, much greater when you factor in those who didn't vote) of people who didn't vote for them. The tyranny of democracy is ultimately minimised through STV, that can only be a good thing.

    You know, sometimes I wish Hitler had invaded us in WWII and tore apart our institutions. Every other country in Europe used it as an opportunty to rebuild for the better after WWII, we just carried on with a broken electoral system. It won't last forever.

    We did rebuild alot look at what Atlee did.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xStaceyy)
    bumpity bump.

    Given the mess ive seen with the Labour Election FPTP is the best system...making all consistencies the same size is good move as well...Ideally people should only have 1st preference and 2nd preference , give people more than 2 choices it just gets stupid
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I think PR is better in theory, but FPTP just seems to work. I don't know which I prefer... both have pros and cons. And I suppose it can depend on which party you support (ie. Labour & Conservative will back FPTP, but other parties will be more likely to back PR).
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Louise_x)
    I think PR is better in theory, but FPTP just seems to work. I don't know which I prefer... both have pros and cons. And I suppose it can depend on which party you support (ie. Labour & Conservative will back FPTP, but other parties will be more likely to back PR).
    Yeah, I'm pretty much the same as you. I don't hold to any particular party, so I can see the pros and cons of both.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    This thread depresses me.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    No, but STV is about as close as you can get in a representative democracy, the only better step is completely direct democracy where citizens control everything directly, but since that's not possible yet (and may never be) it's a moot point.
    What?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by finnyounger)
    FIRST PAST THE POST!

    We need a strong Government ffs!!! None of this coalition stuff!! If we went PR we'd get nothing done, we need firm and definet action. Even wrong action is better than inaction. We will only get strong from a strong executive. Moreover FPTP leads to a much more accountable government, as it's really party Politics. the PR Coalition Govs, like the current one, none of the electoratre know who to hold accountable for what!? Who do you write to for yoru redress of grievence? Come election time, how do you punish the Government for ******* up, do you vote Libdem or vote Tory? Furthermore, polciy making is made behind closed doors much more under PR. People even complained this election when they voted and got a Coalition. Under PR, you vote for a party because you agree with many of their policies on their manifesto, and it turns out that barely any of these policies are actually insigated, and manifesto's have been ignored, and policy made up through negotation in backrooms.
    Watch.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    tbh the British public is so stupid and ignorant of the issues that I don't think they should be given any more power than to effectively "vote the rascals out" or whatever the famous quote is. FPTP does that well (once they sort out the boundary issues), PR does not. It wont be long before racist and anti immigrant parties get a large portion of the vote, and regular parties will be forced to work with them to form a majority and get anything done.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by finnyounger)
    FIRST PAST THE POST!

    We need a strong Government ffs!!! None of this coalition stuff!! If we went PR we'd get nothing done, we need firm and definet action. Even wrong action is better than inaction. We will only get strong from a strong executive. Moreover FPTP leads to a much more accountable government, as it's really party Politics. the PR Coalition Govs, like the current one, none of the electoratre know who to hold accountable for what!? Who do you write to for yoru redress of grievence? Come election time, how do you punish the Government for ******* up, do you vote Libdem or vote Tory? Furthermore, polciy making is made behind closed doors much more under PR. People even complained this election when they voted and got a Coalition. Under PR, you vote for a party because you agree with many of their policies on their manifesto, and it turns out that barely any of these policies are actually insigated, and manifesto's have been ignored, and policy made up through negotation in backrooms.

    AV is an acceptable change as it allows more choice, and it is not simply the 'least favourite' one that gets in. So I'd backa referendum for AV. But PR...It's just not efficient at governing. I tilt more over efficiency at governing than ensuring every last person's represented.
    1. Strong government? FPTP creates parties that are so ideologically vast that they can be brought down simply by infighting within the ruling party. *cough* Maggie *cough*

    2. Accountable? How, exactly, is my local MP in Kent accountable in any way when he has an absolute majority and there's no hope of getting anyone in who doesn't wear a blue rosette? An MP is only accountable to those who make up their majority, and to their party HQ. That's it. They don't have to listen to anyone else for any reason other than PR (that's public relations).

    3. If the electorate don't know who to hold accountable out of the two, then perhaps they shouldn't vote for either the Lib Dems or Tories at the next general election? Under STV, you would just list them at the bottom of your preferences if you wanted to punish them. It's not rocket science. Contrary to popular belief, governments can and do change on a similar time scale to the UK in PR countries.

    4. Most other major countries in Europe operate some form of PR, whether it's D'Hondt (Netherlands), AMS (Germany or some other variant. Are you seriously suggesting that the rest of Europe doesn't have strong government? In many cases, they've taken much tougher action on their deficits much earlier than the UK has, and they're not afraid of pushing new legislation through as ruling coalitions are often based on ideologies rather than set policies. The coalition here formed around an economically liberal ideology.

    5. People in the UK don't actually vote on policy all that much, they vote on ideology. Aside from "they're gonna reduce the deficit, innit", I wonder how many actual party policies an average voter would have attributed to the Conservatives in April to May? The BBC did an interesting piece in the run-up to the election, where they did a blind test of flagship policies of the three main parties. You know what they found? That most people couldn't tell the difference between the policies of the big three. Most Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem voters vote for their respective parties because they are broadly conservative, socialist or liberal respectively. Seeing as most policies are abandoned pretty quickly by any "strong, decisive" FPTP government, and they resort to chucking out new "initiatives" and "social efforts" after about 2 years into a term, it wouldn't make a difference if the people really cared about policy anyway. Now, if people vote on ideology, wouldn't it make sense to have government that is more ideologically driven by necessity, as is the case with all forms of PR government?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    As for the formation of coalitions, since no party in the UK has ever won a 50% majority of the voting electorate, and since only about 100 seats out of 650 make any difference, no party has ever really had a mandate to govern as they are really elected by just a few hundred thousand people in marginals. I would put more considerably more democratic stock in an alliance of fairly-elected parties with a cumulative vote share of 50% or more, than one of two parties with a 35%-ish "majority" claiming the right to rule over the 65% (indeed, much greater when you factor in those who didn't vote) of people who didn't vote for them. The tyranny of democracy is ultimately minimised through STV, that can only be a good thing.
    But it still doesn't change the fact that the actual formation of Coalitions is completely out of the hands of the electorate. Had the Lib Dems gotten enough seats so that it would have been possible to make a (non-rainbow) Coalition with Labour, chances are that they would have done so despite the distinct rejection of Labour from the electorate. I strongly dislike the idea of the Lib Dems being the perpetual king-makers.

    FPTP doesn't tackle this problem either, but it does make it occur much less often. I just personally think that the above problem is a worse betrayal to democracy than the "tyranny of democracy" as you call it, though I openly admit that this is a matter of opinion.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.