A227-Voting Review Amendment Watch

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Andrew97
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A227 - Voting Review Amendment

Proposed by: CatusStarbright (Deputy Speaker, Independent)
Seconded by: London090 (Conservative), Glaz (Labour), The Mogg (Conservative), barnetlad (Independent)

This House would amend the Guidance Document as follows:

Amend the section entitled ‘MP Activity & Voting Reviews’ from:

1) Four weeks after the State Opening of Parliament, the Speaker will publish a voting review outlining the turnout of each MP to all Division Lobby votes so far that term excluding amendments.
2) Vacant seats and seats with an attendance strictly less than 70% will be highlighted as under consideration for removal.
3) Four weeks after the previous voting review, another voting review will be published.
i) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 70% in the votes since the previous review will be highlighted as under consideration for removal.
ii) A highlighted seat which was also highlighted in any previous voting review during the same term will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.
iii) Parties whose seat(s) were put up for by-election as the result of a voting review are prohibited from participating in the resultant by-election.
4) A new voting review is published every four weeks after and these procedures are repeated until the end of term.
5) In exceptional circumstances, the Speaker may choose not to conduct a voting review or to not carry out a by-election, and should inform the House of such intention.
6) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 50% in the votes since the previous review will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.


To:


1) Four weeks after the State Opening of Parliament, and every four weeks thereafter during the term, the Speaker will publish a voting review outlining the turnout of each MP to all Division Lobby votes so far that term excluding amendments.
2) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 60% will be highlighted as under consideration for removal.
3) A highlighted seat which was also highlighted in any previous voting review during the same term will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.
4) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 40% in the votes since the previous review will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.
5) Parties whose seat(s) were put up for by-election as the result of a voting review are prohibited from participating in the resultant by-election.
6) In exceptional circumstances, the Speaker may choose not to conduct a voting review or not to carry out a by-election, and should inform the House of such intention.


Notes

This section has been rendered a little more concise generally, but the key change here is that the thresholds for seat removal and highlighting have each been lowered by 10%. Vacant seats are also no longer automatically highlighted in the first review of the term, as the author of this amendment did not deem that clause necessary to this section.

With the House only just having avoided a nine-seat by-election due to Andrew97 using his discretion as Speaker under clause 5 of this section, it is clearly time to take steps to prevent the ridiculous seat losses we have been seeing for a while now. Other solutions are certainly possible, but this is the simplest. The author intends to at least spark debate in this area even if this amendment does not pass.
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shadowdweller
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Looks reasonable to me!
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Rakas21
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Nay.

While i might support a move to two month intervals relaxing rules does not tackle any of the fundamental problems in the mhoc. Indeed, all it does is make the life of party leaders a little easier.

While 9 seats is excessive that has never happened before and i do not think that by-elections are bad things per say when general elections are so distorted by RL.

In my opinion the best solution is some kind of bonus system at general elections or perhaps mid-term but having been around before voting reviews when turnout could be sub-30 (if it was not a contraversial or party bill there was no incentive to drive turnout) i dont really support weakening.

Fundamentally our big issue is recruitment and that lies with the CT. We need to negotiate a period (perhaps the middle two months of term) where we can cold recruit.
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Saracen's Fez
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Certainly an improvement and something I'm willing to support.
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Saracen's Fez
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That said, I still want to see a move to six-week intervals to try to lengthen the time between by-elections (which aren't a particularly quick process), and I think there are other improvements that can be made to the procedure, such as the abolition of multiple choice that encourages a disproportionate result, and permitting parties to stand as many candidates as seats. (In fact both of these problems could be solved with a removal of the five-seat arbitrary cutoff and introduction of D'Hondt for all by-elections.)
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Fundamentally our big issue is recruitment and that lies with the CT. We need to negotiate a period (perhaps the middle two months of term) where we can cold recruit.
I intend to have a discussion with Andrew and try and push for new rules on recruitment in the coming weeks.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
That said, I still want to see a move to six-week intervals to try to lengthen the time between by-elections (which aren't a particularly quick process), and I think there are other improvements that can be made to the procedure, such as the abolition of multiple choice that encourages a disproportionate result, and permitting parties to stand as many candidates as seats. (In fact both of these problems could be solved with a removal of the five-seat arbitrary cutoff and introduction of D'Hondt for all by-elections.)
As I've posted in the amendment proposal thread, I'm not a big fan of the first idea but I very much like the second.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
That said, I still want to see a move to six-week intervals to try to lengthen the time between by-elections (which aren't a particularly quick process), and I think there are other improvements that can be made to the procedure, such as the abolition of multiple choice that encourages a disproportionate result, and permitting parties to stand as many candidates as seats. (In fact both of these problems could be solved with a removal of the five-seat arbitrary cutoff and introduction of D'Hondt for all by-elections.)
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
As I've posted in the amendment proposal thread, I'm not a big fan of the first idea but I very much like the second.
Does D’Hont without a mass PM not simply favour the larger parties even more than current options.

While I don’t really like multi-vote it at least allows for deals that give parties like the Libertarians a seat without sacrificing our own.

While it would favour my party when I dust off the old speaker hat for a second, it would likely be a negative move for the House.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Does D’Hont without a mass PM not simply favour the larger parties even more than current options.

While I don’t really like multi-vote it at least allows for deals that give parties like the Libertarians a seat without sacrificing our own.

While it would favour my party when I dust off the old speaker hat for a second, it would likely be a negative move for the House.
Given that a by-election is virtually always going to exclude at least one party, I'm not sure I buy that argument, as the dynamics will be different just because of that.

My issue is that Tory voters shouldn't get to cast a Tory vote and a Libertarian vote, it should be one or the other. Nothing wrong with pacts, but they'd just need to be a bit more clever in who gets told to vote for whom, rather than getting everyone to vote for both.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Does D’Hont without a mass PM not simply favour the larger parties even more than current options.

While I don’t really like multi-vote it at least allows for deals that give parties like the Libertarians a seat without sacrificing our own.

While it would favour my party when I dust off the old speaker hat for a second, it would likely be a negative move for the House.
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Given that a by-election is virtually always going to exclude at least one party, I'm not sure I buy that argument, as the dynamics will be different just because of that.

My issue is that Tory voters shouldn't get to cast a Tory vote and a Libertarian vote, it should be one or the other. Nothing wrong with pacts, but they'd just need to be a bit more clever in who gets told to vote for whom, rather than getting everyone to vote for both.
Pacts can also still be made where one party agrees not to stand in a by-election in return for the other doing the same in the next one. In this way it also better reflects what happens in real-life by-elections.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Pacts can also still be made where one party agrees not to stand in a by-election in return for the other doing the same in the next one. In this way it also better reflects what happens in real-life by-elections.
But why would we ever do that (unless we had a freakish amount of seats). I mean if we're honest the Libertarians will always struggle to match even half our total so we'd always be the ones giving them seats. We dont have enough parties to cultivate more than 1 or 2 potential options (and even the libs have never really mastered how to drive election turnout).

Its strange dishing the idea because it favours us so heavily right now (it will be at least 1-2 terms until Lab rejuvinates its membership enough) but whether morally fair or not it would significantly damage the libertarians and any new parties in relative terms.
Last edited by Rakas21; 1 week ago
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Rakas21)
But why would we ever do that (unless we had a freakish amount of seats). I mean if we're honest the Libertarians will always struggle to match even half our total so we'd always be the ones giving them seats. We dont have enough parties to cultivate more than 1 or 2 potential options (and even the libs have never really mastered how to drive election turnout).

Its strange dishing the idea because it favours us so heavily right now (it will be at least 1-2 terms until Lab rejuvinates its membership enough) but whether morally fair or not it would significantly damage the libertarians and any new parties in relative terms.
Well this comes back to another problem we have in that four parties is not really enough.
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Andrew97
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Righto. Not entirely sure about this amendment. It has come about partly due to me cancelling the review last week, these thresholds would not have made a difference to the seat loss. But that was a freak situation of very few votes happening.

I do see Rakas point about making party leadership jobs easier. Something I was keen on doing last term. That being said it would have helped to stop people losing a seat who did not deserve to do so, ie those who replaced an inactive MP and then themselves had a perfect voting record, but not enough votes to save the seat.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Well this comes back to another problem we have in that four parties is not really enough.
Which mainly goes back to our point about recruitment.

While there may have been a cyclical slowing anyway its no coincidence that output hits a record high around the 24th (a time when people like Aph argued for more seats, not less) which is the exact time that cold mass recruitment gets banned (especially aiding Lab and Liber who did it better than us but even we approached people).

We solve that and within a term or two parties will be active enough that a group want to split off (i.e. the green and liber formations) without much of a bad impact.
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Bluestar511
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If there are so many MPs that do not vote, why not reduce the number of seats to let's say, 30, so that the quality and activity of MPs is higher?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Bluestar511)
If there are so many MPs that do not vote, why not reduce the number of seats to let's say, 30, so that the quality and activity of MPs is higher?
That would punish the parties which can fill seats.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Bluestar511)
If there are so many MPs that do not vote, why not reduce the number of seats to let's say, 30, so that the quality and activity of MPs is higher?
I believe this would decrease the amount of people who are following the activities of the MHoC with some regularity, thus potentially reducing activity further.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by Bluestar511)
If there are so many MPs that do not vote, why not reduce the number of seats to let's say, 30, so that the quality and activity of MPs is higher?
I tired that last term, although it was 42 rather than 30.
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Jammy Duel
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This is an amendment that treats symptoms and not the underlying disease. If you want to deal with symptoms reduce the seat numbers to a sustainable number of seats rather than just deferring the churn, if you want to deal with the problem the house faces we need a solution that places the focus on active debate rather than simply having a house with 50 vobots who log in twice a week to vote and do nought else.
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04MR17
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I have serious disagreements about the arguments of some people in this thread.

I cannot remember a time in the last three years when people didn't forget to vote, or people didn't vote without debating etc.

What I can remember though is a time with new items most days and a constantly stream of items in division.
The reason Andrew made the call to not go to by election wasn't only because 11 seats would be going, but because it was based only on 3 votes. If someone were to analysis the last 2 years of voting records I'd imagine they'd find that the voting review periods with the lowest divisions had the highest number of seat losses to a by election. This is because each vote matters more when there are less of them.

One solution would be to increase bill output; and that's certainly what my party and government have been trying to do following a very very poor performance last term - something I have a lot of regrets about. The month it took to finally get everyone into a sub forum delayed that, but hopefully things are looking up in that regard.

Meanwhile, I think that we should recognise that we aren't as prolific on the bill writing front as we used to be, and this amendment seeks to have seats reviewed based on more votes, meaning by elections can (and likely will) still happen, but for seats that really weren't being used, not just from a couple of innocent mistakes - which I have personally been the victim of in the past following a very inactive voting review period with about 5 or 6 votes.

This amendment has my support.
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