A referendum for assessing political parties' performance? Watch

Tolgarda
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One term usually constitutes five years in power for any elected government. However, those five years can be undisturbed and unchecked by the population, despite the fact that our political sphere may be plunged into chaos. Why must the public wait for Parliament to decide on a snap election? Why must there initially even be an election at all with all its complexities (e.g. competing self-interests, manifestos and intense campaigns)? Surely it would be better if the election seemed like a last resort? Instead, maybe the British public should vote on whether they would like a party to remain in power midway through its term (i.e. 2.5 years into the party's tenure). This should be written into law, with a punishment for a majority expressing disapproval.

For example, Cameron won the majority in 2015. What if the Conservatives had been faced with the hypothetical, legally enforced referendum in June 2017 (with Theresa May at the helm at this point), with people responding to a question along the lines of the following: 'Do you believe the Party has successfully fulfilled its duty by keeping the promises that they made when they were elected? Vote "Yes" or "No".'

I feel as though more people would have voted 'No' (e.g. 69% vote 'No' and 31% vote 'Yes'). As a result, the punishment would be a snap election (as the law would state in this hypothetical scenario). I also feel as though this particular election would have to be played by new rules. A different voting system would be used for this type of election (i.e. the compulsory snap election for a party failing to gain the trust of the people, which would have been made clear by the midway referendum). I think that this election could use something like RP. However, other voting systems could also be up for debate. I think that FPTP could stay for normal general elections, but these ones should give the people a chance to vote for their new party differently. I feel as though this second chance should definitely do everything it can to make people's votes count and yield a result that creates the clearest, cleanest, most representative picture of the electorate's decision.

Another idea is that losing this referendum would immediately put the opposition party into power, although I feel that this may be slightly undemocratic.

I think this would put pressure on politicians to perform consistently as there would be no way of avoiding the people's wrath come the obligatory referendum two-and-a-half years into their rule. People are not likely to forget a party's failures.

I think that people deciding whether they like the government or not isn't too complex a decision, unlike Brexit. You either think the government are trustworthy and are implementing the policies that got them to where they are in the first place, or they are not. You keep the politicians' feet near the fire. This referendum would also just be one party in the matter. The only opposition they have is the people. It's not a political match between two campaigning groups vying for power. All the government have to do to pass this checkup is do their job. It is merely the green light given by the people for the second half of their tenure.

(I'm just a novice and getting into politics. I don't know if this idea has been discussed before, and I don't if it's even a good one. I'd like to see your thoughts on it, and maybe over time, we can make amendments to it that make it more viable. Or, we can just trash it (which let's face it, with my inexperience in debating politics, would probably happen).)

Last edited by Tolgarda; 1 month ago
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Tolgarda
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Bump lol.
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Drewski
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So a general election every 2 years? Not a chance.
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Neilos
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Sounds like a good way to create more or less perpetual uncertainty, and block governments from doing anything longer-term... and it'd also dig up the nasty, divisive, misleading election campaign stuff every couple of years (minimum, guaranteed).

Not for me.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
One term usually constitutes five years in power for any elected government. However, those five years can be undisturbed and unchecked by the population, despite the fact that our political sphere may be plunged into chaos. Why must the public wait for Parliament to decide on a snap election? Why must there initially even be an election at all with all its complexities (e.g. competing self-interests, manifestos and intense campaigns)? Surely it would be better if the election seemed like a last resort? Instead, maybe the British public should vote on whether they would like a party to remain in power midway through its term (i.e. 2.5 years into the party's tenure). This should be written into law, with a punishment for a majority expressing disapproval.

For example, Cameron won the majority in 2015. What if the Conservatives had been faced with the hypothetical, legally enforced referendum in June 2017 (with Theresa May at the helm at this point), with people responding to a question along the lines of the following: 'Do you believe the Party has successfully fulfilled its duty by keeping the promises that they made when they were elected? Vote "Yes" or "No".'

I feel as though more people would have voted 'No' (e.g. 69% vote 'No' and 31% vote 'Yes'). As a result, the punishment would be a snap election (as the law would state in this hypothetical scenario). I also feel as though this particular election would have to be played by new rules. A different voting system would be used for this type of election (i.e. the compulsory snap election for a party failing to gain the trust of the people, which would have been made clear by the midway referendum). I think that this election could use something like RP. However, other voting systems could also be up for debate. I think that FPTP could stay for normal general elections, but these ones should give the people a chance to vote for their new party differently. I feel as though this second chance should definitely do everything it can to make people's votes count and yield a result that creates the clearest, cleanest, most representative picture of the electorate's decision.

Another idea is that losing this referendum would immediately put the opposition party into power, although I feel that this may be slightly undemocratic.

I think this would put pressure on politicians to perform consistently as there would be no way of avoiding the people's wrath come the obligatory referendum two-and-a-half years into their rule. People are not likely to forget a party's failures.

I think that people deciding whether they like the government or not isn't too complex a decision, unlike Brexit. You either think the government are trustworthy and are implementing the policies that got them to where they are in the first place, or they are not. You keep the politicians' feet near the fire. This referendum would also just be one party in the matter. The only opposition they have is the people. It's not a political match between two campaigning groups vying for power. All the government have to do to pass this checkup is do their job. It is merely the green light given by the people for the second half of their tenure.

(I'm just a novice and getting into politics. I don't know if this idea has been discussed before, and I don't if it's even a good one. I'd like to see your thoughts on it, and maybe over time, we can make amendments to it that make it more viable. Or, we can just trash it (which let's face it, with my inexperience in debating politics, would probably happen).)

Be careful with this because the electorate may be forced to vote every other week.

I think a Government should be elected by an FPTP process and given sufficient time to work its magic. After 5 years, the electorate can decide again whether they want the Government or Party to continue for another 5 years.

I do think that there should be another election if the Prime Minister or Leader of the Party steps down or resigns. That way the electorate can decide whether the new leader is wanted as the head of nation.

Finally, i think referendums should be a rare political tool used for big issues like Brexit. I don't think it should be used recklessly and I think the outcome should be enacted by Parliament.
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Drewski
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(Original post by Neilos)
Sounds like a good way to create more or less perpetual uncertainty, and block governments from doing anything longer-term... and it'd also dig up the nasty, divisive, misleading election campaign stuff every couple of years (minimum, guaranteed).

Not for me.
Not to mention the ~£140m+ cost of the election in the first place.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Drewski)
So a general election every 2 years? Not a chance.
It wouldn't be a general election every two-and-a-half years if a majority of the electorate agreed that the party had performed well halfway through its term. Is a referendum that similar? Sorry, I'm really exposing my ignorance a bit here.
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Drewski
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
It wouldn't be a general election every two-and-a-half years if a majority of the electorate agreed that the party had performed well halfway through its term. Is a referendum that similar? Sorry, I'm really exposing my ignorance a bit here.
There's no way it wouldn't end in an election every time by default, especially if you set high targets for passing.

And yes, it would still be massive upheaval that would prevent anything else getting done and would still be expensive.

The fixed term law works fine. 5 years is plenty long enough to give people a chance without it being too long.

You're just making the basic mistake of youth and thinking that a year is a long time.
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londonmyst
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Oh no.:bawling:
The last thing that the UK needs is to start scheduling more referendums!
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_gcx
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(Original post by londonmyst)
Oh no.:bawling:
The last thing that the UK needs is to start scheduling more referendums!
The EU referendum was hardly a proper referendum, rather a half-hearted virtue signal that Cameron expected to do nothing. (but he could say he did his bit for democracy) Before we do anymore referendums we need a proper system for them. But no major political party supports direct democracy, so I can't see that happening.
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