Democracy

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Stradageek
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Democracy

Postby Stradageek » 29 Jan 2020, 9:03am

Is it just me or does the current BBC news article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51281722 completely miss the most blindingly obvious conclusion:

Given following excerpts:

Dissatisfaction with democracy within developed countries is at its highest level in almost 25 years, according to University of Cambridge researchers. Academics have analysed what they say is the biggest global dataset on attitudes towards democracy, based on four million people in 3,500 surveys. The UK and the United States had particularly high levels of discontent.

But a group of European countries has been bucking this trend, with satisfaction with democracy higher than ever before in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands.

Would you conclude, as the article does, that "If confidence in democracy has been slipping, it is because democratic institutions have been seen failing to address some of the major crises of our era, from economic crashes to the threat of global warming," said Dr Foa.

Or are you like me screaming at the computer that they completely missed the point, which is that a first past the post system is NOT democracy

mattheus
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Re: Democracy

Postby mattheus » 29 Jan 2020, 9:10am

<reaches for dictionary … >

<… realizes it's not worth the effort>

Stradageek
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Re: Democracy

Postby Stradageek » 29 Jan 2020, 9:21am

Not a bad point, if I didn't have a streaming cold I'd be out cycling instead of getting wound up by stupid news articles. Perhaps I'll go back to reading my book about a year in the life of the Robin :?

mercalia
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Re: Democracy

Postby mercalia » 29 Jan 2020, 9:35am

well successive Tory govts hve failed to address the most basic of needs in this country. viz having some where you can call home? In fact they have had policys that have created the problem? from Thatcher to her sale of council homes and making it hard for councils to build new ones to Osborne reducing the amount of money for housing benefit, thus scaring off land lords, to the Universal Credit where you have to wait 5 weeks before any payment and its punishing regime?

I read 2 stories today. One of an old man who was disabled who also had mental problems who had his benefits stopped and who was found starved to death in his home after bailiffs broke in due to non payment of rent. There was only an outdated tin of food in his cuboard

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/28/disabled-man-starved-to-death-after-dwp-stopped-his-benefits

and the other how councils up to their ears in housing homeless people in temporary accomodation and running out of cash

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/29/homeless-families-putting-budgets-under-strain-say-councils

A govt that doesnt rule for the whole population has no democratic mandate? Thatcher started it all with her comment about what the torys can do for her people ( viz buying council houses )

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Mick F
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Re: Democracy

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2020, 10:10am

Stradageek wrote: ................ first past the post system is NOT democracy
Utterly and completely agree.

Taken to extreme, a two party system with 50.1% winning, leaving 49.9% unrepresented is a stupid system. Always has been.
Mick F. Cornwall

axel_knutt
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Re: Democracy

Postby axel_knutt » 29 Jan 2020, 10:15am

Mick F wrote:
Stradageek wrote: ................ first past the post system is NOT democracy
Utterly and completely agree.

Taken to extreme, a two party system with 50.1% winning, leaving 49.9% unrepresented is a stupid system. Always has been.

Or even 52% to 48%.
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Carlton green
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Re: Democracy

Postby Carlton green » 29 Jan 2020, 10:23am

Stradageek wrote: ................ first past the post system is NOT democracy


Plus one. The two major parties are not primarily interested in democracy they are primarily interested in being the party in majority Government. We had a referendum about changing the voting system, the two main parties colluded (to keep things as they were) and the change was thrown out.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Democracy

Postby Tangled Metal » 29 Jan 2020, 10:25am

I heard the same story about the dead man. Unfortunately you hear such stories a lot right through the decades and different governments.

There's been so many causes over the years including the inadequate adult social services. That's been underfunded for so long it is possibly a factor in many deaths of people on their own. It's a feature of labour and Tory governments but I admit the austerity response of Tory governments is not helping stop such deaths.

FPTP system is a system I've changed my mind about recently. When we had a vote on it I was firmly for it because I didn't like list based systems at the time. I still prefer the idea of voting for an individual not a party but I think we need more consensus politics and full coalition governments. I think we also need a federal system where all regions and nations have an equal system. I'm thinking of Belgium here. I think FPTP is impossible to achieve good outcomes in these modern times.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Democracy

Postby Oldjohnw » 29 Jan 2020, 10:36am

Carlton green wrote:
Stradageek wrote: ................ first past the post system is NOT democracy


Plus one. The two major parties are not primarily interested in democracy they are primarily interested in being the party in majority Government. We had a referendum about changing the voting system, the two main parties colluded (to keep things as they were) and the change was thrown out.


Agree. Labour had many years of power but since the FPTP system worked for them they were not interested in change. Trades Unions have for ever been involved in telling Labour politicians what to do - and still do. Just like big business tells the Tories what to do.

Democracy is a distant dream now that Johnson has his large majority..
John

mercalia
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Re: Democracy

Postby mercalia » 29 Jan 2020, 11:14am

Oldjohnw wrote:
Carlton green wrote:
Stradageek wrote: ................ first past the post system is NOT democracy


Plus one. The two major parties are not primarily interested in democracy they are primarily interested in being the party in majority Government. We had a referendum about changing the voting system, the two main parties colluded (to keep things as they were) and the change was thrown out.


Agree. Labour had many years of power but since the FPTP system worked for them they were not interested in change. Trades Unions have for ever been involved in telling Labour politicians what to do - and still do. Just like big business tells the Tories what to do.

Democracy is a distant dream now that Johnson has his large majority..


Yes I have been wondeing to what extent the Unions were responsible for Labours failure this time. Union membership is falling?

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mjr
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Re: Democracy

Postby mjr » 29 Jan 2020, 11:23am

It's biggest takes all. It's not even first past the post because there is no post to get past. It's like if horse races were consistently "won" by the horse that got furthest with none actually passing the finishing post! It is so blatently broken that our governments don't have to represent a majority of voters, or even anything close to it.
Last edited by mjr on 29 Jan 2020, 11:24am, edited 1 time in total.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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al_yrpal
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Re: Democracy

Postby al_yrpal » 29 Jan 2020, 11:24am

Democracy has so many forms, it seems its what you make it. The events of the last few years have focussed minds on our outdated Democracys' shortcomings. As to how we will ever reform it the mind boggles. There is no incentive for a government with an 80 seat majority and the power to create so called Lords at will to do anything in the way of reform?

How can reform happen?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

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mjr
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Re: Democracy

Postby mjr » 29 Jan 2020, 11:26am

al_yrpal wrote:Democracy has so many forms, it seems its what you make it. The events of the last few years have focussed minds on our outdated Democracys' shortcomings. As to how we will ever reform it the mind boggles. There is no incentive for a government with an 80 seat majority and the power to create so called Lords at will to do anything in the way of reform?

How can reform happen?

The Democrats or another reformist party to hold balance of power and a leader with less desire for immediate office than Nick Clegg who will actually hold out for reform, even at the expense of all else?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Stradageek
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Re: Democracy

Postby Stradageek » 29 Jan 2020, 1:03pm

mjr wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:Democracy has so many forms, it seems its what you make it. The events of the last few years have focussed minds on our outdated Democracys' shortcomings. As to how we will ever reform it the mind boggles. There is no incentive for a government with an 80 seat majority and the power to create so called Lords at will to do anything in the way of reform?

How can reform happen?

The Democrats or another reformist party to hold balance of power and a leader with less desire for immediate office than Nick Clegg who will actually hold out for reform, even at the expense of all else?

+1 Yup, that's about the only way I could ever see it happening. Downside is that our politicians would then have to overturn years of confrontational politics and and learn how to negotiate if PR were to work.

The cross party coalition that blocked the Boris Johnson 'no-deal' Brexit presents a glimmer of hope

Tangled Metal
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Re: Democracy

Postby Tangled Metal » 29 Jan 2020, 1:22pm

No it didn't. That was just a load of self interest and opportunism masked as consensus. I see no hope in that.