Proportional Representation Watch

morganr005
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Now I learned that according to the Liberal Democrat's manifesto, I have related quite a lot to some of their view points, however I noticed they want electoral reform which involves changing the system to a proportional representation one. I studied the effects this had on Weimar Germany in the 1920s and I was wondering what everyone else thinks about it. Why do they want this?
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violinem
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Hey, no political system is perfect and the benefit of PR is that everyone gets a say. If you vote for the lib dems in a tory area (let's say over 50% of people usually vote tory and less than 10% vote lib dem and around 40% usually vote labour) then your voice will actually be heard rather than be ignored. It means you don't feel like you have to vote labour to knock the tories out because you can vote lib dem and your vote will actually matter (this is an example using just 3 parties and not about my political beliefs).
I personally quite like the d'Hondt method (a specific method of PR).

Things go wrong everywhere and I don't think PR is really why things went wrong in the Weimar Republic. It definitely contributed to the problems but I think there were other issues that far outweighed the use of PR.
The difficulty with PR is that it's harder to get a decision through parliament... but then again parliament recently hasn't made many decisions anyway so I'm not sure how big a deal that is currently.

I think the lib dems want PR because of how many more seats they'd have if the system was PR. Here's what they'd have had in 2015 providing everyone voted what they did at the time even though it was PR: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32601281
(Original post by morganr005)
Now I learned that according to the Liberal Democrat's manifesto, I have related quite a lot to some of their view points, however I noticed they want electoral reform which involves changing the system to a proportional representation one. I studied the effects this had on Weimar Germany in the 1920s and I was wondering what everyone else thinks about it. Why do they want this?
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04MR17
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(Original post by morganr005)
Now I learned that according to the Liberal Democrat's manifesto, I have related quite a lot to some of their view points, however I noticed they want electoral reform which involves changing the system to a proportional representation one. I studied the effects this had on Weimar Germany in the 1920s and I was wondering what everyone else thinks about it. Why do they want this?
Because the number of seats gives the largest party overall control but not the number of votes. There could be lifelong supporters of one major party and your vote for them might mean incredibly little if you're living in a constituency with strong support for another party. Like a Conservative voter in Liverpool. It's a strong Labour area and has been since 1945. The few Tory voters there have absolutely no power. Their vote therefore has far less effect than an undecided voter in a swing seat. Why should one voter have far more power than the other when it's only determinant in your postcode?
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Last edited by 04MR17; 6 days ago
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ByEeek
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(Original post by violinem)
The difficulty with PR is that it's harder to get a decision through parliament... but then again parliament recently hasn't made many decisions anyway so I'm not sure how big a deal that is currently.
Your analysis is good. The reason that decisions are not being made is because we have a minority government. This would be the norm under PR. However PR would require compromise amongst all parties and we would see and end to whole scale vanity policies like universal credit which cost billions and achieve nothing. Hunt did it with the NHS and after all that change things are no better.

I would argue that a government that can only make incremental changes is a force for the better for everyone.
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Burton Bridge
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We had a referendum at great cost to the taxpayer on this, thanks to the Lib-Dems earlier this decade. This was, dispite their poor manifesto being largely rejected by the electorate, because they were in a coalition government with the Conservatives.

They lost their referendum but the Liberal Democrats are not very democratic, they dont tend to respect democracy and continue to try to force in their own beliefs against the will of the people, a little like Brexit another referendum they lost!
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BlueIndigoViolet
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Would much rather have PR, many including in our area don't vote as much, as they live in safe seats, e.g. UKIP won 12.6% of the vote to get 1 seat in 2015
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by Burton Bridge)
We had a referendum at great cost to the taxpayer on this, thanks to the Lib-Dems earlier this decade. This was, dispite their poor manifesto being largely rejected by the electorate, because they were in a coalition government with the Conservatives.

They lost their referendum but the Liberal Democrats are not very democratic, they dont tend to respect democracy and continue to try to force in their own beliefs against the will of the people, a little like Brexit another referendum they lost!
we had a referendum on AV, a system no one wanted.. and one that was whipped against and pushed aginst by both main parties.

Hardly an open rerendum on PR.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
we had a referendum on AV, a system no one wanted.. and one that was whipped against and pushed aginst by both main parties.

Hardly an open rerendum on PR.
Well, if we are talking open referendums. There has and never will be, a totally fair election if we are bringing in what the major parties and corporations campaign (mislead) for.

However I concede I was making a little of a being a little fractured arugement, regarding AV and PR.

For what it's worth I voted FPTP, but was going to vote for AV but bottled it. I have kind of regretted this for years but the vast majority of the electorate wanted FPTP so I accept its what we have. If we did have PR then next General election, Nigel Farage would become PM..... Think about that
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Rakas21
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(Original post by morganr005)
Now I learned that according to the Liberal Democrat's manifesto, I have related quite a lot to some of their view points, however I noticed they want electoral reform which involves changing the system to a proportional representation one. I studied the effects this had on Weimar Germany in the 1920s and I was wondering what everyone else thinks about it. Why do they want this?
Proportional representation means more representation for the Brexit Party and Greens, reason enough to renew my love for FPTP.

The fact that in 2015 the Liberal Democrat’s dished on the coalition instead of celebrating their achievements also suggests that they are not really a party worthy of government.

One should also remember that the electorate generally don’t like PR to a big degree. The Liberal Democrat’s lost 15% of the vote despite getting 75% of their manifesto. In Germany the FDP in 2013 was wiped out.
Last edited by Rakas21; 5 days ago
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morganr005
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I completely agree that it leads to more representation of minority parties and gives voters more power with who they choose, however I think that as stated, it led to many unstable coalition governments within the Weimar Republic and this can ultimately lead to even less confidence in the government as we could almost never reach a majority. I do support policies that the Lib Dem’s have however I believe this is one that should be reconsidered and amended. Giving too much power to small parties hasn’t done very well to us in the past.
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TheStupidMoon
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
we had a referendum on AV, a system no one wanted.. and one that was whipped against and pushed aginst by both main parties.

Hardly an open rerendum on PR.
There is a weak form of PR in scots elections and the AV idea was a good one but people were too thick or spiteful to vote for it and they're also responsible for brexit by not voting for lib dems again in the next election.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by TheStupidMoon)
There is a weak form of PR in scots elections and the AV idea was a good one but people were too thick or spiteful to vote for it and they're also responsible for brexit by not voting for lib dems again in the next election.
Mmmm, anyone who doesn't agree with me is thick or spiteful.
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Trotsky's Iceaxe
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Proportional representation means more representation for the Brexit Party and Greens, reason enough to renew my love for FPTP.
Arguing against a particular electoral system because it would mean greater representation for parties whose politics you disagree with is extremely anti-democratic.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by Trotsky's Iceaxe)
Arguing against a particular electoral system because it would mean greater representation for parties whose politics you disagree with is extremely anti-democratic.
Absolutely but I have a feeling that's why AV was rejected. Being bad for my party was a reason I voted FPTP, not the only reason but a reason.

I've certainly changed my mind now, but too late referendums are once in a lifetime
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morganr005
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My reason's for not agreeing so well with PR is down to the fact that Extremist parties like the BNP will legally have a say in politics. I know we believe in democracy but there must be a line drawn where parties who represent outlandishly toxic views should not be allowed a say in the day to day runnings of the country. I am neither left nor right but a system like this could potentially cause history to repeat itself.
(Original post by Burton Bridge)
Absolutely but I have a feeling that's why AV was rejected. Being bad for my party was a reason I voted FPTP, not the only reason but a reason.

I've certainly changed my mind now, but too late referendums are once in a lifetime
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by morganr005)
My reason's for not agreeing so well with PR is down to the fact that Extremist parties like the BNP will legally have a say in politics. I know we believe in democracy but there must be a line drawn where parties who represent outlandishly toxic views should not be allowed a say in the day to day runnings of the country. I am neither left nor right but a system like this could potentially cause history to repeat itself.
Yes I agree with that, first past the post has a lot going for it, I like the fact you don't directly elect the PM but elect a local representative on a manifesto. This is because it gives us all the chance to speak to a local person to represent us in Westminster. Also it gives us the chance to hold that person to account directly for failing on promise.

There are ups and downs of everything, those who think they have a perfect system are normally dangerous idealists!
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