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UK election special

politics trolling alts United Kingdom

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#21
Elerond

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OK, on to the interesting stuff. What do you guys think of the FPP voting method and its impact on election results and feelings towards the British democracy in general?

 

Proportional voting methods tend to enable a plurality of parties (which makes it easier for everyone to vote for someone they agree with), compared to the current British situation which encourages two big parties - kind of similar to the US system for voting for Congress but not exactly as awful.

 

I would for sure feel hopeless if my voting system was rigged towards a non-proportional voter representation. Even more so if both the leaders of the big parties were twats.

 

Now even though the FPP system is rigged to enable strong governments it looks as if the only possible governments are either minority governments, unholy alliances or include the SNP. I guess the joke is on you, you get the worst of both worlds.

 

All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person. Parties are supposed to form when the monarch asks a given person if they can form a government. The government doesn't even technically need to have the majority of MPs.

 

Hence what I'll end up doing is voting for the bugger I like, rather than the party they are in.

 

 

Sorry, in scando-land such a thing is incomprohensible, as we inhale socialism and exhale solidarity. Can this "person" you speak of have thoughts and form opinions of their own? Well, i never! Either you belong to a group or become shunned by all, that's what i say!

 

 

You can vote person even in such scando-land systems, but because one person and form minority government/cabinet, but that is usually just waste of time, because one person don't have power in parliament of hundreds of people, so they need to create alliances (in other words parties) to get anything done and minority governments/cabinets have bad habit to fall soon as there is issue that MP in opposition don't like (we have had several minority cabinets that weren't very long-lasting). Although our voting system favors parties especially bigger parties because of usage of D'Hondt method.

 

In parliament votes parties can use issue party discipline, meaning demand to vote as party sees best instead of what individual MP sees best if there is discord in party by threatening its members with different punishments (closing them out from party's functions or in some case even by threating firing them from the party), which usually would make MPs in question job much harder (although not impossible  but rarely MPs go against them, at best they just don't vote), which is not necessary best way to do democratic politics, but such things are hard to prevent in any political systems that are based on cooperation between large number of people.  



#22
Walsingham

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we inhale socialism and exhale solidarity. !

 

 

...Charlie Parker was my delight. ;)



#23
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Perhaps like Monte I'm tempted to vote for the biggest ****hole because this is emphatically what the British public deserve for even pausing to listen to that sack of hairy oddments, Whosit Brand.

 

Hold up. Aren't you part of the British public?

 

Charles? Is that you?



#24
Monte Carlo

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FPP used to work. It has benefit of Governments being able to implement a manifesto without soggy compromises. It also stops the typical European dilemma, whereby a party small enough to fit on a sofa can hold up key legislation because they hold the balance of power.

 

This is the bit that *really* grips me about PR. A very small group, voted for by a minority, can hold key legislation hostage.

 

Anyhoo, FPP used to work in a two or even three party system. Neu Labour wrecked it by unleashing devolved parliaments in the Celtic fringe. Now we've Balkanised politics, and a broken boundary system where the Left get more seats and are able to form a government with a smaller share of the vote.

 

All in all, the current Westminster system is screwed.


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#25
Rostere

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All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person.

 

But wouldn't you rather vote for an ideology, a set of political opinions? Everything I hear from Finland - where it's easier to vote for persons than in Sweden - is that people are angry because of hapless celebrities getting voted in. Name recognition goes further than anything else and apparently the typical guy is much more likely to vote for a sports star whose political ideas they have no idea of than a productive party functionary.

 

 

Parties are supposed to form when the monarch asks a given person if they can form a government. The government doesn't even technically need to have the majority of MPs.

 

Yeah, but I think this is the same across most democracies.

 

 

Hence what I'll end up doing is voting for the bugger I like, rather than the party they are in.

 

You should vote for the politics you believe in, not a person you think is a "bro". If everybody thought like you, you would have Jamie Oliver for prime minister.

 

Okay, I have literally no idea which celebrities are popular in Britain, but you get the point.

 

FPP used to work. It has benefit of Governments being able to implement a manifesto without soggy compromises. It also stops the typical European dilemma, whereby a party small enough to fit on a sofa can hold up key legislation because they hold the balance of power.

 

This is the bit that *really* grips me about PR. A very small group, voted for by a minority, can hold key legislation hostage.

 

But it's only ever a problem if the parties fail to make compromises.

 

Every coalition is based on a compromise which is agreed upon beforehand. If some party decides to leave the compromise, you either make a new compromise with some other party, or if that is not possible, then accordingly whatever you were trying to do does not have democratic support. It is simple as that really.

 

A small party holding up legislation is the equivalent of 51% of the population being against the legislation. Ergo, it is democratic and everything works as intended.

 

 

Anyhoo, FPP used to work in a two or even three party system. Neu Labour wrecked it by unleashing devolved parliaments in the Celtic fringe. Now we've Balkanised politics, and a broken boundary system where the Left get more seats and are able to form a government with a smaller share of the vote.

 

Yeah, I hear the current system has really helped the SNP.

 

Since FPP makes no effort at representing a proportional view of what people want in government, SNP can win by a small margin in every Scottish district and thus get 100% of the representation from Scotland. Now, the fact that they can do this depends of course on how the districts are drawn. Which bring us to gerrymandering, and you're in the realm of "gamey" and arbitrary US voting systems.


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#26
Monte Carlo

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution. I'm not including Ireland of course, they are proper mad. Not bad for a very small, usually wet island full of eccentric drunkards.

 

British systems and practices work because they manage the tautology of being both hidebound and elastic at the same time. This is usually achieved by absorbing radical new ideas and people into the fold and convincing them they were part of the natural way of things all along. It drives some people mad. Again, it seems to work.

 

Now we have the situation we're in. Part of this is due to communications - we all now belong to many simultaneous groupings that transcend any single political party or doctrine. I can choose from three hundred TV channels but only one Member of Parliament. As those pesky Millenials like to say, WTF?

 

We've got identikit career politicians, all fighting over the same centrist ground. We've got a culture, as Wals says, of infantile stubbornness when it comes to acknowledging the consequences of debt. We've got a five-second news cycle.

 

None of these things strike me as being fertile ground to grow anything other than angry, strident and (worst of all) utopian political solutions. Down that road madness lies, it's been a typically mainland European disease but maybe its our turn now.


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#27
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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution.

From 1215 England certainty had plenty of violent rebellions and even one successful revolution.

And I could argue that even from 1801 UK social order is more a case of good colonial safety valve rather than any achievement of political system.



#28
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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution. I'm not including Ireland of course, they are proper mad. Not bad for a very small, usually wet island full of eccentric drunkards.

 

British systems and practices work because they manage the tautology of being both hidebound and elastic at the same time. This is usually achieved by absorbing radical new ideas and people into the fold and convincing them they were part of the natural way of things all along. It drives some people mad. Again, it seems to work.

 

Now we have the situation we're in. Part of this is due to communications - we all now belong to many simultaneous groupings that transcend any single political party or doctrine. I can choose from three hundred TV channels but only one Member of Parliament. As those pesky Millenials like to say, WTF?

 

We've got identikit career politicians, all fighting over the same centrist ground. We've got a culture, as Wals says, of infantile stubbornness when it comes to acknowledging the consequences of debt. We've got a five-second news cycle.

 

None of these things strike me as being fertile ground to grow anything other than angry, strident and (worst of all) utopian political solutions. Down that road madness lies, it's been a typically mainland European disease but maybe its our turn now.

 

Geez Monte those are very powerful words..I have to say I don't necessarily agree or understand everything you are saying but they resonate, you have a gift with words no doubt 

 

But why so depressing, you can't put a more positive spin on things? It can't be all bad...because thats what I get from your post 



#29
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OK, on to the interesting stuff. What do you guys think of the FPP voting method and its impact on election results and feelings towards the British democracy in general?

 

Proportional voting methods tend to enable a plurality of parties (which makes it easier for everyone to vote for someone they agree with), compared to the current British situation which encourages two big parties - kind of similar to the US system for voting for Congress but not exactly as awful.

 

I would for sure feel hopeless if my voting system was rigged towards a non-proportional voter representation. Even more so if both the leaders of the big parties were twats.

 

Now even though the FPP system is rigged to enable strong governments it looks as if the only possible governments are either minority governments, unholy alliances or include the SNP. I guess the joke is on you, you get the worst of both worlds.

 

All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person. Parties are supposed to form when the monarch asks a given person if they can form a government. The government doesn't even technically need to have the majority of MPs.

 

Hence what I'll end up doing is voting for the bugger I like, rather than the party they are in.

 

 

Sorry, in scando-land such a thing is incomprohensible, as we inhale socialism and exhale solidarity. Can this "person" you speak of have thoughts and form opinions of their own? Well, i never! Either you belong to a group or become shunned by all, that's what i say!

 

 

You can vote person even in such scando-land systems, but because one person and form minority government/cabinet, but that is usually just waste of time, because one person don't have power in parliament of hundreds of people, so they need to create alliances (in other words parties) to get anything done and minority governments/cabinets have bad habit to fall soon as there is issue that MP in opposition don't like (we have had several minority cabinets that weren't very long-lasting). Although our voting system favors parties especially bigger parties because of usage of D'Hondt method.

 

In parliament votes parties can use issue party discipline, meaning demand to vote as party sees best instead of what individual MP sees best if there is discord in party by threatening its members with different punishments (closing them out from party's functions or in some case even by threating firing them from the party), which usually would make MPs in question job much harder (although not impossible  but rarely MPs go against them, at best they just don't vote), which is not necessary best way to do democratic politics, but such things are hard to prevent in any political systems that are based on cooperation between large number of people.  

 

 

I wasn't that serious :)

 

Currently the system bogged by drunkards "tapping into the conciousness of the little people", inner city-activists trying to tell farmers on how to grow their lands and various celebrities messing it up for everyone else. Thankfully they are too incompetent to touch the constitution.



#30
Meshugger

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Uh, when is the UK election btw?



#31
Nonek

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Every time I see Mr Milliband i'm slightly more repulsed, he doesn't seem quite human, and i've got to admit I almost lost my dinner when watching the Brand interview. Then again I usually do when Mr Brand appears, I think it's something to do with his weird skull.

 

May 7th Mr Meshugger.


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#32
Monte Carlo

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution.

From 1215 England certainty had plenty of violent rebellions and even one successful revolution.

And I could argue that even from 1801 UK social order is more a case of good colonial safety valve rather than any achievement of political system.

 

 

The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

 

Cromwell was a creature of Parliament.

 

As for your last comment, yes you could make that argument. You'd be wrong, though.


Edited by Monte Carlo, 03 May 2015 - 03:53 AM.

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#33
pmp10

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The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

So a more modern revolution then?
Fair enough.
Otherwise you'd have to make exceptions for peasants revolt and catholic uprisings.

#34
Monte Carlo

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The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

So a more modern revolution then?
Fair enough.
Otherwise you'd have to make exceptions for peasants revolt and catholic uprisings.

 

 

* sigh *

 

I'm talking about uprisings that result in a change of regime and / or government. Neither of those count. The peasant's revolt was relatively insignificant and the Mary Queen of Scots through to the Gordon riots were about Sectarianism, not regime change.

 

The point is this - Britain has never fundamentally changed it's course of Government through violent revolution. Cromwell, for example, fought to maintain the rights of an existing political entity - Parliament. He is notable because of his Regicide.


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#35
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Cromwell is a story of his own really. Committed regicide, told the Scots to doubt their own religion, managed to be curse a in Ireland ("Mallact Chromail ort!") and executed after his own death.


Edited by Meshugger, 03 May 2015 - 07:39 AM.


#36
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Every time I see Mr Milliband i'm slightly more repulsed, he doesn't seem quite human, and i've got to admit I almost lost my dinner when watching the Brand interview. Then again I usually do when Mr Brand appears, I think it's something to do with his weird skull.
 
May 7th Mr Meshugger.


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#37
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Here's a Youtube video explaining the first-past-the-post voting system. It's with cute animals so that forumites who don't find voting systems very interesting can manage to keep attention.


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#38
Darth InSidious

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Like Monte I'm contemptuous of the choices on offer. 

 

Perhaps like Monte I'm tempted to vote for the biggest ****hole because this is emphatically what the British public deserve for even pausing to listen to that sack of hairy oddments, Whosit Brand.

 

that senselessly and seductively stupid sack of hideously hirsute and olfactorily offensive oddments, forsoof.

 

 


But why so depressing, you can't put a more positive spin on things? It can't be all bad...because thats what I get from your post 

 

 

We're British. We've been convinced the country is going to the dogs since the Romans landed.

 

The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

 

The so-called Glorious Revolution? Still not on the scale you're talking of, I suppose. And I imagine you'd discount the Pilgrimage of Grace for being monumentally gullible.

 

Still, I'm not sure it's a good thing that major sociopolitical changes have been imposed by a determined, highly-positioned clique rather than by a mass uprising.



#39
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All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person.

 

But wouldn't you rather vote for an ideology, a set of political opinions? .


 

 

No I f***ing wouldn't. I don't mind voting for a set of standards, but ideologies are for people who struggle with complex problems.

 

No one can be more surprised than me to find that I regard Chris Rock as making the definitive point:

 

Republicans are ****ing idiots. Democrats are ****ing idiots. Conservatives are idiots and liberals are idiots.

 

Anyone who makes up their mind before they hear the issue is a ****ing fool. Everybody, nah, nah, nah, everybody is so busy wanting to be down with a gang! I’m a conservative! I’m a liberal! I’m a conservative! It’s bull****!

 

Be a ****ing person. Listen. Let it swirl around your head. Then form your opinion.

 

You wouldn't buy a car because it was red or blue or yellow. Don't spend your vote buying a politician that way.


Edited by Walsingham, 03 May 2015 - 04:09 PM.

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#40
Wrath of Dagon

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Problem is you're usually making decisions based on insufficient information. This is where ideology helps, since it's a set of principles believed by those who hold them to have worked in the past.





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