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2010 referendum on PR watch

  • View Poll Results: In a referendum on the principle of PR, how would you vote in 2010?
    I support the principle of Proportional Representation in Westminster elections
    23
    56.10%
    I do not support PR, continue with First Past The Post in Westminster elections
    16
    39.02%
    Don't know/wouldnt vote
    2
    4.88%

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    Theres been a few mentions of this in the press. Should the government call a vote on the principle of PR at the next election?

    EDIT: Reported today in the Observer, that its being considered by the government http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...bour-elections


    I can see the benefit of this. If Labour is facing at least 2 terms out of office, they should grab at the last chance to get real change, and force the Tories to confront electoral reform.

    Otherwise it'll be another decade of ignoring the issue.

    Would leave Labour open to the criticism of why they didnt do it earlier, that they're using it as an opportunity to put the tories on the back foot. But it can't exactly get much worse for Labour


    Edit: May polling by Populus found that 56 per cent support a change from the “first past the post” system to proportional representation. Obviously the fact that it was taken during expenses scandal might skew results.


    Interesting quote from Cameron...
    “Proportional representation takes power away from the man and woman in the street and hands it to the political elites. Instead of voters choosing their government on the basis of the manifestos put before them in an election, party managers would choose a government on the basis of secret backroom deals. How is that going to deliver the transparency and trust we need?“

    Would have thought you could swap 'Proportional representation' for 'FPTP' and said the same thing. The 1951 election as an example where the public voted for Labour, but got a Tory government instead. power to the people
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    Well, I've always supported PR; but then we'd get wimps like Cameron moaning because parties he dislikes will get seats.

    Judging by the European elections, UKIP would be in opposition. :indiff:
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    Yes I would love to see electoral reform, and I don't think PR is necessary the best alternative but it's certainly better than FPTP.

    Weak governments will be produced? Good, that's what I want anyway, weaker government. :p:
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    (Original post by necessarily benevolent)
    Well, I've always supported PR; but then we'd get wimps like Cameron moaning because parties he don't like will get seats.

    Judging by the European elections, UKIP would be in opposition. :indiff:
    Yes, yes and yes.
    EDIT: Oh, forgot I quoted you, yeah, but people only vote UKIP in the EU because they think it will make a difference to our membership of the EU. For a general election, it will still be LibLabCon. (Yay, misusing BNP terms ftw :love:)
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    If this were to happen I could certainly see a Lib-Lab coalition.
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    (Original post by Antimatter)
    Yes, yes and yes.
    EDIT: Oh, forgot I quoted you, yeah, but people only vote UKIP in the EU because they think it will make a difference to our membership of the EU. For a general election, it will still be LibLabCon. (Yay, misusing BNP terms ftw :love:)
    Well we'd still have a strong UKIP presence. And I read somewhere that BNP would have something in excess of 30 seats.
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    They should, but they won't. FPTP maintains a two-party system, and Labour is one of those two parties. They'd be throwing away pretty much guaranteed power in the decade it takes for people to get tired of the Tories in exchange for short-term political gain.
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    interested to see what way the press would spilt on the issue. Since the press tend to be a key argument against referenda. Do you think it would be a clear spilt of left and right. Guardian obviously would be pro, but what side is the murdoch press?
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    Tbh, I don't think a Tory majority under PR would be that different to one under FPTP. It'll be over 25% either way methinks.
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    Yes, there should be a referendum.
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    (Original post by numb3rb0y)
    They should, but they won't. FPTP maintains a two-party system, and Labour is one of those two parties. They'd be throwing away pretty much guaranteed power in the decade it takes for people to get tired of the Tories in exchange for short-term political gain.
    True, although that not to say they couldnt form a centre left coalition, plus if you believe what some commentators are saying, the next election could see the end of Labour as a major party. although i think thats mostly the media getting a bit ahead of themselves.
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    (Original post by mfm89)
    True, although that not to say they couldnt form a centre left coalition, plus if you believe what some commentators are saying, the next election could see the end of Labour as a major party. although i think thats mostly the media getting a bit ahead of themselves.
    A lot can happen in a year. If 2010 sees a calamitous defeat somewhere in Afghanistan (over a hundred dead), a terrorist attack on home soil, '30s-esque depression and further political scandal, Labour could end up being stamped into the ground. :danceboy:
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    (Original post by necessarily benevolent)
    A lot can happen in a year. If 2010 sees a calamitous defeat somewhere in Afghanistan (over a hundred dead), a terrorist attack on home soil, '30s-esque depression and further political scandal, Labour could end up being stamped into the ground. :danceboy:
    nah, whats the chance that would happen :curious:
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    I'd rather have PR over the current system.

    Labour secured something like 60% of the MPs in the Commons with just over 30% of the vote - it's not fair or sensical.
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    (Original post by mfm89)
    nah, whats the chance that would happen :curious:
    Who knows? What's the chance that World War III will start this afternoon?
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    To Tories, what do you think Camerons position would be in the case of a referendum?
    I'm guessing keep FPTP, but surely that would be a tricky position to be in, effectively he'd be campaigning to keep the status quo, an unrepresentative parliament, because it benefits them hugely. There would be little he could say in response to that accusation. I suppose he could try an tempt a call for tradition, but it'd be rather embarrassing position to be in.
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    (Original post by necessarily benevolent)
    Who knows? What's the chance that World War III will start this afternoon?
    on the other hand the economy could go into recovery, the Taliban could be defeated, and Gordon Brown could get a personality.
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    Also, plurality (FPTP)? Not fair by any stretch of the imagination. Labour got less than 30% of the vote in 2005, and that's a 60+ majority? That's wrong.
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    I hate FPTP. It's just so unfair. Sure, you win the most votes, you get the seats. But, in areas which are 'labour strongholds' and 'tory strongholds', we're never going to see any change. What's the point of having a Liberal party or a Green party if the people who vote for them are going to be swamped by the uneducated masses voting Labour, Tory or BNP?

    But, I don't think PR is the way forward. Well, not entirely. I'd much rather prefer a single-transferable vote system. Everyone seems to argue that STV systems are 'complex', but, it would stop people having ridiculous majorities. I mean, my current MP has the largest or second largest Labour majority in Parliament (something he claims, and I've only ever verified once...it may have changed now), and it works out that his majority is 15000 votes (ish).

    MPs should have larger areas - I'd much rather see Rhondda be grouped in with Cynon and Taff. I'd much rather see Cardiff vote as one, rather than Cardiff East, Cardiff West, Vale of Glamorgan. With that, the idea of STV would be simpler. Each place could have a number of seats proportional to their population - so, London might find itself with 20 seats up for grabs, while Cardiff would have 6. (I'm guesstimating, don't worry).
    Then, it just falls to say "Well, we had 100,000 voters in Cardiff, so the number of votes needed to qualify for a seat is 14,286. That way, six seats can be filled (by any candidates), and you don't end up with something like "I have a majority of 15000, so I got in, and the other parties have 85000 votes spread between them" (i.e. wasted votes). The surplus of votes is carried over, so even if Labour had 15000, and the Tories came out with 14000, the surplus (if enough people put the Tories in second choice) would push them over the (eg) 14,286 quota, and the surplus could then be passed on to more...

    It's only complicated for the counters, not the voters, as the cards could have, say, 8 people standing, and you'd just choose your top 3, easing the flow of the surplus, and easily having 6 people 'in charge' of a large area, and giving a fairer representation.
    (What I mean by 'fairer' is, I'm a Plaid Cymru supporter. I know they're never going to get into Parliament in the Rhondda, because this is a red heartland. I still vote for Plaid, but it's a vote in vain. In a quota system like this, they, and the Tories, would be more likely to have a say over policy, and represent people who are stuck in 'strongholds' where the MP doesn't stand for their beliefs...)
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    2001 was worse, with lower turnout it was around a 5th of voters that actually voted labour, yet they still got 60% seats.

    I would in principle support STV or whatever its called for the Mayoral elections in London
 
 
 
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