The Undemocratic Repugnancy of a Labour-SNP Alliance

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A1112787
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The article below is an insightful and concise summation of the argument I have been expressing recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/gene...democracy.html


To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Further, how would a Labour Party, having lost the election in England (i.e. finishing as the second largest party behind the Conservatives as virtually every forecast predicts), have democratic legitimacy to govern when propped-up by the SNP?


Disclaimer: any rebuttals consisting of the 'Scotland has voted Labour and got Tory in X amount of last 15 elections' line are simply unfounded and paradoxical: Scotland cannot have voted for the Tories if it always votes Labour (soon to be SNP).
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username878267
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(Original post by A1112787)
The article below is an insightful and concise summation of the argument I have been expressing recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/gene...democracy.html


To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Further, how would a Labour Party, having lost the election in England (i.e. finishing as the second largest party behind the Conservatives as virtually every forecast predicts), have democratic legitimacy to govern when propped-up by the SNP?


Disclaimer: any rebuttals consisting of the 'Scotland has voted Labour and got Tory in X amount of last 15 elections' line are simply unfounded and paradoxical: Scotland cannot have voted for the Tories if it always votes Labour (soon to be SNP).
SNP won't be in government. At most it will be support on an issue by issue basis.
So tell me why the tories haven't ruled out a coalition with the DUP then please...
The whole system of fptp is undemocratic so its absurd to point to particular issues and label them undemocratic.
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A1112787
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(Original post by Bornblue)
So tell me why the tories haven't ruled out a coalition with the DUP then please...The whole system of fptp is undemocratic so its absurd to point to particular issues and label them undemocratic.
Yes I see your point about the DUP but I'd say it doesn't really matter as (1) they won't have 40-50 seats akin to the SNP and (2) I doubt any formal deal would be struck.

On the other hand, Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly and openly offered to prop-up Labour even if, as the article says, the Tories win up to 40 seats more.

And I think FPTP is more unfair than democratic but any alternative wouldn't be much better. Instead of having a situation where the Lib Dems need 70,000 extra votes than Labour or the Tories to gain an MP, we'd have a permanently fragmented multi-party system of government. AV is the only legitimate or realistic alternative but that was fairly rejected.
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username878267
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(Original post by A1112787)
Yes I see your point about the DUP but I'd say it doesn't really matter as (1) they won't have 40-50 seats akin to the SNP and (2) I doubt any formal deal would be struck.

On the other hand, Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly and openly offered to prop-up Labour even if, as the article says, the Tories win up to 40 seats more.

And I think FPTP is more unfair than democratic but any alternative wouldn't be much better. Instead of having a situation where the Lib Dems need 70,000 extra votes than Labour or the Tories to gain an MP, we'd have a permanently fragmented multi-party system of government. AV is the only legitimate or realistic alternative but that was fairly rejected.
You can't argue that SNP shouldn't be allowed because they only stand in one quarter yet DUP should be allowed. Doesn't matter how many seats they have.

We should just have PR. Make every vote count. The argument against it seems to be that it would be fragmented. So what? I don't like that one side can get 35-40% of the vote yet then get 100% of what they want.
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billydisco
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So long as EVEL is implemented, I don't give a **** what Scotland does. To deny England EVEL and try and dilute England's voice via "regions" is pure bull****. Every other country has a parliament and their own MPs, England should have EVEL at the very minimum.

I foresee violence if the SNP start dictating England....
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cBay
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(Original post by A1112787)
And I think FPTP is more unfair than democratic but any alternative wouldn't be much better. Instead of having a situation where the Lib Dems need 70,000 extra votes than Labour or the Tories to gain an MP, we'd have a permanently fragmented multi-party system of government. AV is the only legitimate or realistic alternative but that was fairly rejected.
I'll ignore the bit about SNP because whilst I agree it is undemocratic, the whole system is undemocratic and my personal view is a Labour-SNP coalition is a hell of a lot better than anything other coalition we could possibly get in this election.

What I want to focus on is this peculiar criticism of PR. You say the likely result is undemocratic then go on to defend the system that makes it possible? The incompetence of the two main parties to represent the views of the country means that we will have a coalition for the second time in a row. This is a trend that isn't likely to change any time soon. At least with proportional representation the parties will have a choice of who to team up with and be able to pick a coalition partner that they align with most; with FPTP you just have to go with the only option available no matter how much your views conflict. In 2010, that meant the tories had to go with the lib dems, this time round it means labour will likely have to go with SNP if they want to be in government.
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(Original post by A1112787)
The article below is an insightful and concise summation of the argument I have been expressing recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/gene...democracy.html


To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Further, how would a Labour Party, having lost the election in England (i.e. finishing as the second largest party behind the Conservatives as virtually every forecast predicts), have democratic legitimacy to govern when propped-up by the SNP?


Disclaimer: any rebuttals consisting of the 'Scotland has voted Labour and got Tory in X amount of last 15 elections' line are simply unfounded and paradoxical: Scotland cannot have voted for the Tories if it always votes Labour (soon to be SNP).
If the voters of certain constituencies elect them as their representatives they have every right to form a government. To suggest otherwise betrays your own ignorance of how democracy works and stirs up nationalist hatred.
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SausageMan
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This isn't a England only election.
This is a United Kingdom election where ALL constituencies are voting for their own MP and each constituency is equal to each other as far as being represented in the United Kingdom Parliament is concerned.
If MPs from any of the constituencies throughout the United Kingdom decide to band together to form a majority of MPs so as to support a government that is NOT a constitutional crisis it is our democracy.
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billydisco
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(Original post by cBay)
and my personal view is a Labour-SNP coalition is a hell of a lot better than anything other coalition we could possibly get in this election.
Your personal view is pretty stupid then, to be honest. The current Government are sorting out the deficit and have created jobs...... without worsening the country's finances.... Labour could never have done that. We'd have more teenage Mums, more useless immigrants, more workshy people......
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TheHistoryStudent
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(Original post by SausageMan)
This isn't a England only election.
This is a United Kingdom election where ALL constituencies are voting for their own MP and each constituency is equal to each other as far as being represented in the United Kingdom Parliament is concerned.
If MPs from any of the constituencies throughout the United Kingdom decide to band together to form a majority of MPs so as to support a government that is NOT a constitutional crisis it is our democracy.
This is my view. The SNP might be a nationalist party, but if they are what the majority of the Scottish electorate picks for their choice of representation in government, then their voice should be represented. That said, even as a left-wing voter I am apprehensive about what concessions they might demand once their 2016 election has passed and they've effectively secured their next term (refusing to work with Labour up to that point would have them usher in another Tory government, and probably cost them dearly).

The tories & others do have a point on the English votes issue, but I think a better solution for such a thing would be the introduction of an English parliament with full proportional representation, so that all political views can be represented on England only votes.
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Quady
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(Original post by A1112787)
The article below is an insightful and concise summation of the argument I have been expressing recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/gene...democracy.html


To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Further, how would a Labour Party, having lost the election in England (i.e. finishing as the second largest party behind the Conservatives as virtually every forecast predicts), have democratic legitimacy to govern when propped-up by the SNP?


Disclaimer: any rebuttals consisting of the 'Scotland has voted Labour and got Tory in X amount of last 15 elections' line are simply unfounded and paradoxical: Scotland cannot have voted for the Tories if it always votes Labour (soon to be SNP).
Because thats how democracy in the UK works. Tories can't go supporting FPTP when it suits them and then cry that it doesn't.
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Floyd Pinkerton
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(Original post by A1112787)
The article below is an insightful and concise summation of the argument I have been expressing recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/gene...democracy.html


To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Further, how would a Labour Party, having lost the election in England (i.e. finishing as the second largest party behind the Conservatives as virtually every forecast predicts), have democratic legitimacy to govern when propped-up by the SNP?


Disclaimer: any rebuttals consisting of the 'Scotland has voted Labour and got Tory in X amount of last 15 elections' line are simply unfounded and paradoxical: Scotland cannot have voted for the Tories if it always votes Labour (soon to be SNP).
First of all, I must start with..."To any Lefties who dare rebut..."....just who on earth do you think you are? I knew the Tories enjoyed the dizzying heights of their ivory towers, but to have the bare-faced cheek to assert that an opinion you agree with should not be 'dared to be rebutted' is highly indicative of the immaturity with which you approach the whole system of democratic debate. Which wouldn't be democratic if "Lefties" didn't "dare to rebut".

Next, if you want to talk about a democratic mandate to lead the country, would you care to tell us all how you think it is fair that the Conservatives went on to form a government based on their 36% poll of the votes in the 2010 general election? Of course they could only do so through a coalition with the Lib Dems, but was that on Conservative manifesto or a choice on the ballot paper when people voted back in 2010? No, the whole process of coalition formation is done behind closed doors. An article by Vernon Bogdanor in the FT last week lamented at the prospect that coalition governments (British style) are far removed from the democratic process, because they are decided upon post-election. So if you want to moan about the democracy of coalitions, try looking closer to home before you start on your vitriolic attack on any proposed coalition that doesn't feature the Tories.

For a Tory to sit their behind his keyboard and tell the world that a Labour-SNP coalition would be undemocratic, when their respective party was involved in a coalition that was not decided democratically leaves me incredulous to your audacity.

As has been alluded to before, it is the nature of the FPTP electoral system, which has served the Tories well in the past, and whom have flat out refused to change it in favour of a more proportional system based used by our European contemporaries.

Also, although I feel my suggestion will fall on deaf ears, try not to refer to those political opponents who have a differing political ideology to your own as 'Lefties'. It makes you sound uneducated and fluent only in the language of politics that is proliferated through the gutter press (alluding primarily of course to the Daily Mail).
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democracyforum
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(Original post by A1112787)
no worse than the English dictating to scots

now a taste of our own medicine, with Salmond as Deputy PM.
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A1112787
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(Original post by Quady)
Because thats how democracy in the UK works. Tories can't go supporting FPTP when it suits them and then cry that it doesn't.
It's nothing to do with FPTP. It's simply the fact that a party only elected by one-quarter of the country will dictate to the other three-quarters - it's preposterous. It'd be like Florida running the national government of the USA.
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Farm_Ecology
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(Original post by A1112787)

To any Lefties who dare to rebut this proposition, how is it fair or democratic for a party whose candidates only stand for election in one-quarter of the country to form part of the national government and dictate the policy of the other three-quarters?

Because that's how coalitions and democracy works. If a party doesn't get a majority, they must make concessions to make their policies law.
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Quady
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(Original post by A1112787)
It's nothing to do with FPTP. It's simply the fact that a party only elected by one-quarter of the country will dictate to the other three-quarters - it's preposterous. It'd be like Florida running the national government of the USA.
Well it is, if we had PR the situation wouldn't arise.

Since the SNP doesn't want a coalition with anyone, won't have any ministers I don't see how they'd be running the national Government. And Florida has decided presidential elections before...
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A1112787
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(Original post by gsw08)
First of all, I must start with..."To any Lefties who dare rebut..."....just who on earth do you think you are? I knew the Tories enjoyed the dizzying heights of their ivory towers, but to have the bare-faced cheek to assert that an opinion you agree with should not be 'dared to be rebutted' is highly indicative of the immaturity with which you approach the whole system of democratic debate. Which wouldn't be democratic if "Lefties" didn't "dare to rebut".Next, if you want to talk about a democratic mandate to lead the country, would you care to tell us all how you think it is fair that the Conservatives went on to form a government based on their 36% poll of the votes in the 2010 general election? Of course they could only do so through a coalition with the Lib Dems, but was that on Conservative manifesto or a choice on the ballot paper when people voted back in 2010? No, the whole process of coalition formation is done behind closed doors. An article by Vernon Bogdanor in the FT last week lamented at the prospect that coalition governments (British style) are far removed from the democratic process, because they are decided upon post-election. So if you want to moan about the democracy of coalitions, try looking closer to home before you start on your vitriolic attack on any proposed coalition that doesn't feature the Tories. For a Tory to sit their behind his keyboard and tell the world that a Labour-SNP coalition would be undemocratic, when their respective party was involved in a coalition that was not decided democratically leaves me incredulous to your audacity.As has been alluded to before, it is the nature of the FPTP electoral system, which has served the Tories well in the past, and whom have flat out refused to change it in favour of a more proportional system based used by our European contemporaries. Also, although I feel my suggestion will fall on deaf ears, try not to refer to those political opponents who have a differing political ideology to your own as 'Lefties'. It makes you sound uneducated and fluent only in the language of politics that is proliferated through the gutter press (alluding primarily of course to the Daily Mail).
Thank you for your essay.

You've clearly missed the sense of hyperbole and camaraderie in my original post. When I say "Lefties" I do not mean to imply they are some moraless, diseased race because that's absurd; I'm simply stating the obvious that it will generally be those Left-leaning individuals who will wish to justify the SNP forming part of the national government. When I say "dare to", I do not imply that my proposition is absolute and incapable of being rebutted: it is a common turn of phrase (eg "does anyone dare to have a go?")

The fact that you've resulted to insults regarding the breadth of my maturity or my intellectual capacity simply reflects your inability to see beyond your own vanity and understand when someone is being genuinely disrespectful and when they are merely intending to incite a worthwhile debate.


As to your other points, your position is paradoxical: if you believe the Coalition government lacks a democratic mandate (it doesn't), how can a government composed of a Labour Party that has lost the election in England, and a one-region party in the SNP, ever be democratically justifiable?

The Conservatives were clearly given a mandate by the electorate in 2010 and would have won a large majority it not for the electoral system's vagaries (not including FPTP). One must judge whether a party is mandated on the basis of the number of votes it receives - and not its ability to win a majority. The Tories won a higher percentage of the vote in 2010 than Labour did in 2005, yet I'm sure you would say the latter had a mandate to govern. However, as I have said, the will of the people is thwarted in this country by an electoral system (not voting system) that favours Labour. As such, your frustration regarding electoral reform should be directed towards Labour and the Lib Dems, rather than the Tories, as they voted against redrawing the constituency boundaries.

Also, reform of the voting system was considered in a referendum and fairly rejected by the electorate - so one shouldn't accuse the Tories of preventing such reform (indeed, rather embarrasingly, Labour want to keep FPTP just as much as the Tories).
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A1112787
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
Because that's how coalitions and democracy works. If a party doesn't get a majority, they must make concessions to make their policies law.
I'm not disputing that. I believe that for any party to govern the entire country, they should be representative of the entire country in that they have candidates standing/being elected in all regions of the country.
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Smack
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(Original post by A1112787)
It's nothing to do with FPTP. It's simply the fact that a party only elected by one-quarter of the country will dictate to the other three-quarters - it's preposterous. It'd be like Florida running the national government of the USA.
No, it's elected representatives taking up their seats in the parliament they were elected to.
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A1112787
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(Original post by Quady)
Well it is, if we had PR the situation wouldn't arise.Since the SNP doesn't want a coalition with anyone, won't have any ministers I don't see how they'd be running the national Government. And Florida has decided presidential elections before...
Florida has decided presidential elections, yes, but not run the government.

It's pretty plain that Sturgeon does want a coalition but Miliband is the one saying no - for the moment.

And again, this debate does not concern the voting system: it concerns the simple fact that a party seeking to govern the country should be representative of the entire country - not just one region.
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