Democracy

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pwa
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Re: Democracy

Postby pwa » 29 Jan 2020, 4:01pm

It is a case of choosing your poison, because all forms of democracy have their downsides. We had the perfect example of every single vote counting the same, full PR, in a little vote we had in 2016, and some here who claim to love PR didn't love that. And in a PR system in which we are voting for parties, you could expect to see the DUP walking into Downing Street for sarnies more often. Minority "big" parties propped up by small parties with a disproportionate amount of clout would be the norm rather than the exception. There would still be distortion, it would just come after the election rather than at the election. I'm not passionately against PR, but let's not pretend it doesn't have its own problems.

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Mick F
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Re: Democracy

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2020, 4:53pm

Tangled Metal wrote:............ 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 .....................
Yep.

Vote for your rep in Parliament.
Consensus politics.
Full coalition .............. because you've elected your rep.

However, another issue is that constituencies are too big.
What we need is regional government, not central government.

Freedom for Tooting! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
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Re: Democracy

Postby reohn2 » 29 Jan 2020, 5:35pm

TBH,the obcenity of FPTP is that money is buying power,millionaires and billionaires(some who own and control the media don't pay any taxes on their earnings and don't even live here!!!!!!) buying parties for their own ends,with jussttt enough done for the majority of the people to stop them waking up and rebelling.
Money doesn't talk,it screams it's abuse in the face of democracy!
PR in the UK would need to evolve of that there's no doubt,there are examples of good PR around the world to look at and learn from.
The problem being the turkeys won't vote for Christmas.
The alternative is revolution,but the rich have sewn up that one by having enough of the people in fear due to debt and the threat of losing what they have or with head stuck into unsocial media :? .
As someone once said(I forget who) "the UK doesn't do revolution" perhaps it's getting time we did.

My 2d's worth
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mjr
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Re: Democracy

Postby mjr » 29 Jan 2020, 5:57pm

pwa wrote:It is a case of choosing your poison, because all forms of democracy have their downsides. We had the perfect example of every single vote counting the same, full PR, in a little vote we had in 2016, and some here who claim to love PR didn't love that.

I loved that it was PR. The problems with the conduct of that campaign and vote are to do with other things entirely. It's also a shame that it was a vote to end the only PR elections some of us can vote in.

pwa wrote:And in a PR system in which we are voting for parties, you could expect to see the DUP walking into Downing Street for sarnies more often. Minority "big" parties propped up by small parties with a disproportionate amount of clout would be the norm rather than the exception. There would still be distortion, it would just come after the election rather than at the election. I'm not passionately against PR, but let's not pretend it doesn't have its own problems.

It has problems, especially the scope for Belgian-style stalemate if the country divides on too many incompatible axes (currently language and federalism axes are the ones hindering Belgium), but I don't think smaller parties being part of the consensus-building is a big problem. I'd also expect the DUP to be invited less often because it should become easier to build more coherent coalitions of several politically-neighbouring medium-sized parties, rather than the master-and-slave coalitions previously seen in the UK.

Germany has been governed by coalitions since 1949. Wouldn't it be awful if we were like Germany? 29 other European countries are also currently governed by coalitions. The UK is so backwards in still hankering after "strong man" leadership.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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pwa
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Re: Democracy

Postby pwa » 29 Jan 2020, 6:06pm

mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:It is a case of choosing your poison, because all forms of democracy have their downsides. We had the perfect example of every single vote counting the same, full PR, in a little vote we had in 2016, and some here who claim to love PR didn't love that.

I loved that it was PR. The problems with the conduct of that campaign and vote are to do with other things entirely. It's also a shame that it was a vote to end the only PR elections some of us can vote in.

pwa wrote:And in a PR system in which we are voting for parties, you could expect to see the DUP walking into Downing Street for sarnies more often. Minority "big" parties propped up by small parties with a disproportionate amount of clout would be the norm rather than the exception. There would still be distortion, it would just come after the election rather than at the election. I'm not passionately against PR, but let's not pretend it doesn't have its own problems.

It has problems, especially the scope for Belgian-style stalemate if the country divides on too many incompatible axes (currently language and federalism axes are the ones hindering Belgium), but I don't think smaller parties being part of the consensus-building is a big problem. I'd also expect the DUP to be invited less often because it should become easier to build more coherent coalitions of several politically-neighbouring medium-sized parties, rather than the master-and-slave coalitions previously seen in the UK.

Germany has been governed by coalitions since 1949. Wouldn't it be awful if we were like Germany? 29 other European countries are also currently governed by coalitions. The UK is so backwards in still hankering after "strong man" leadership.


I don't discount your views, but nor am I sure that PR will solve much. One immediate effect would be to propel the 10% parties into the arena, which on the nice side means the Greens, with which I have no problem, and on the not so nice side means God Knows what. EDL or something like that?

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mjr
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Re: Democracy

Postby mjr » 29 Jan 2020, 6:08pm

pwa wrote:I don't discount your views, but nor am I sure that PR will solve much. One immediate effect would be to propel the 10% parties into the arena, which on the nice side means the Greens, with which I have no problem, and on the not so nice side means God Knows what. EDL or something like that?

On balance, I'd prefer it if the EDL were represented as such, instead of so many of them joining the Conservatives and BxP. The problem they represent is not solved by using electoral trickery to obstruct them.
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, 6:09pm

Less than 10 million people read a newspaper, lots only buy them for reading about Sport fashion or tittle tattle. I believe the main influencer regarding politics is TV which clearly tries to be pretty even handed. On the other hand many Labour voters take a lead from Trade Unions. So all sorts of folk are influenced by someone or something. In a free country its very difficult to shut any influencers out. Whatever government is in power lobyists will be there, they are much less in evidence here than in the US. There is a small minority of wicked Tories but there is a small minority of wrecking Trots too, its even stevens...

Al
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Oldjohnw
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Re: Democracy

Postby Oldjohnw » 29 Jan 2020, 6:11pm

pwa wrote:
mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:It is a case of choosing your poison, because all forms of democracy have their downsides. We had the perfect example of every single vote counting the same, full PR, in a little vote we had in 2016, and some here who claim to love PR didn't love that.

I loved that it was PR. The problems with the conduct of that campaign and vote are to do with other things entirely. It's also a shame that it was a vote to end the only PR elections some of us can vote in.

pwa wrote:And in a PR system in which we are voting for parties, you could expect to see the DUP walking into Downing Street for sarnies more often. Minority "big" parties propped up by small parties with a disproportionate amount of clout would be the norm rather than the exception. There would still be distortion, it would just come after the election rather than at the election. I'm not passionately against PR, but let's not pretend it doesn't have its own problems.

It has problems, especially the scope for Belgian-style stalemate if the country divides on too many incompatible axes (currently language and federalism axes are the ones hindering Belgium), but I don't think smaller parties being part of the consensus-building is a big problem. I'd also expect the DUP to be invited less often because it should become easier to build more coherent coalitions of several politically-neighbouring medium-sized parties, rather than the master-and-slave coalitions previously seen in the UK.

Germany has been governed by coalitions since 1949. Wouldn't it be awful if we were like Germany? 29 other European countries are also currently governed by coalitions. The UK is so backwards in still hankering after "strong man" leadership.


I don't discount your views, but nor am I sure that PR will solve much. One immediate effect would be to propel the 10% parties into the arena, which on the nice side means the Greens, with which I have no problem, and on the not so nice side means God Knows what. EDL or something like that?


I detest everything the EDL - and its cousins UKIP and Brexit Party - stand for, but if they were to end up with an MP through PR, that is democracy.
John

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661-Pete
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Re: Democracy

Postby 661-Pete » 29 Jan 2020, 7:19pm

axel_knutt wrote:
Mick F wrote: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%.
Or even 51.89% to 48.11% - significant figures!

Surely the elephant in the room is this: if you end up on the 'losing' side, when you think you ought to have won, you're going to deride "democracy", whatever the system. But I agree that FPTP has always delivered a result not in accordance with the voters' preferences.

Let me cite the analogy of a tennis match. In a 5-set match, player A beats player B: 7-5, 7-5, 0-6, 0-6, 7-5. So player B has won 27 games as against Player A's 21 - but player A still wins the match! Is that fair! No matter - it's in accordance with the rules of tennis, so it has to stand.

The USA presidential system is the stupidest of the lot - and we all know who really won in 2016. Sort of 'block vote', isn't it: if a party wins a small majority in a multi-delegate state, then all the delegates in that state vote for said party. Surely the Constitution (which has had many Amendments since its inception) could be amended so that the delegates are assigned in each state in accordance with the share of votes?

But that ain't gonna happen - at least, not while the incumbent benefits from this corrupt system, and has a vested interest in keeping things so...

Back to the 'losers' point of view. The trouble is, in some examples - not all - the losers' wishes are subsequently utterly ignored, as if they did not exist. That certainly happened after the referendum - and it will continue to happen until we get another chance, which won't happen under the present regime. There's the opposite effect too - where those who voted for the winning side are rewarded with "sweeties" after the event. That seems to be happening with the Tory switchers in Northern constituencies. Once again, not a whisper of comfort for the losers - of whatever party.

Sometimes, I feel that a populace can't be trusted to deliver a just and humane result in a democratic process. But this is inflammatory talk - I wouldn't put it too strongly!
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Cugel
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Re: Democracy

Postby Cugel » 29 Jan 2020, 10:58pm

Stradageek wrote: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


Do you think PR or some other democratic format would make things different? The nature of modern politics is that its populated by self-seekers, not by people with a public service ethic. Neoliberalism killed the public service ethic - well, drove it into the backwaters where live those who either can't afford to be consumers or don't want to be.

Democracy of many forms often gives us popular governments. They are often popular because of their nasty policies towards various "others", pariahs and scapegoats. And we've seen what a referendum can do.

Cugel

Carlton green
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Re: Democracy

Postby Carlton green » 30 Jan 2020, 8:09am

Cugel wrote:
Stradageek wrote: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


Do you think PR or some other democratic format would make things different? The nature of modern politics is that its populated by self-seekers, not by people with a public service ethic. Neoliberalism killed the public service ethic - well, drove it into the backwaters where live those who either can't afford to be consumers or don't want to be.

Democracy of many forms often gives us popular governments. They are often popular because of their nasty policies towards various "others", pariahs and scapegoats. And we've seen what a referendum can do.

Cugel


I can’t answer for others but I’m convinced that PR would make things different and (overall) in a positive way. The current first last the post system isn’t delivering good results and doesn’t put the wishes of the voters at the heart of decision making it puts the party political policy makers in charge instead. There are many good people in this country and they do serve society in a multitude of ways but they are locked out of politics by the two party / FPTP system. The Green Party is one example of such ‘good’ people but they struggle to get anyone elected. By the number of people voting for them the Liberal Democrat’s should be the second largest party in Westminster but FPTP robbed them of those seats. IMV the SNP are over represented in Westminster and crowd-out other voices who want different things for Scotland.

It is doubtless that PR will have some unintended consequences and, of course, some forms of PR work better than others. However the current TPTP system doesn’t serve us well and hence a transition to one of the better forms of PR is desirable, it may well be an iterative process too as better ways of repressing the electorate are tried, modified and tried again.

Stradageek
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Re: Democracy

Postby Stradageek » 30 Jan 2020, 8:27am

Carlton green wrote:I can’t answer for others but I’m convinced that PR would make things different and (overall) in a positive way. The current first last the post system isn’t delivering good results and doesn’t put the wishes of the voters at the heart of decision making it puts the party political policy makers in charge instead. There are many good people in this country and they do serve society in a multitude of ways but they are locked out of politics by the two party / FPTP system. The Green Party is one example of such ‘good’ people but they struggle to get anyone elected. By the number of people voting for them the Liberal Democrat’s should be the second largest party in Westminster but FPTP robbed them of those seats. IMV the SNP are over represented in Westminster and crowd-out other voices who want different things for Scotland.

It is doubtless that PR will have some unintended consequences and, of course, some forms of PR work better than others. However the current TPTP system doesn’t serve us well and hence a transition to one of the better forms of PR is desirable, it may well be an iterative process too as better ways of repressing the electorate are tried, modified and tried again.


+1, we have to start somewhere and this is better than starting a revolution methinks

PhilD28
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Re: Democracy

Postby PhilD28 » 30 Jan 2020, 9:05am

Cugel wrote:
Stradageek wrote: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


Do you think PR or some other democratic format would make things different? The nature of modern politics is that its populated by self-seekers, not by people with a public service ethic. Neoliberalism killed the public service ethic - well, drove it into the backwaters where live those who either can't afford to be consumers or don't want to be.

Democracy of many forms often gives us popular governments. They are often popular because of their nasty policies towards various "others", pariahs and scapegoats. And we've seen what a referendum can do.

Cugel


Yes I agree, with exception of a minority and as we saw with the conservatives, they managed to expel that particular minority prior to the election.

pwa
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Re: Democracy

Postby pwa » 30 Jan 2020, 9:20am

Cugel wrote:
Democracy of many forms often gives us popular governments. They are often popular because of their nasty policies towards various "others", pariahs and scapegoats. And we've seen what a referendum can do.

Cugel

Is this just an observation or is it suggesting that democracy is finished and some alternative to democracy is needed? Or is it an suggesting that a popular government is a bad thing?

I'm wondering if my image of Cugel living an eco lifestyle in West Wales is in fact a fiction, and what we have here is an infiltrator based in Beijing and trying to steer us round to appreciating the Chinese way of governing. :lol:

But seriously, Cugel, don't you think the government of any nation ought to strive for widespread contentment with its policies? I'm not as sceptical as you, in that I think if we had a Parliamentary candidate here in my area who was racist or homophobic, he or she would lose support because of it. That sort of thing doesn't work with the electorate any more. Not here anyway. Most voters are better than that.

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Cugel
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Re: Democracy

Postby Cugel » 30 Jan 2020, 9:58am

reohn2 wrote:TBH,the obcenity of FPTP is that money is buying power,millionaires and billionaires(some who own and control the media don't pay any taxes on their earnings and don't even live here!!!!!!) buying parties for their own ends,with jussttt enough done for the majority of the people to stop them waking up and rebelling.
Money doesn't talk,it screams it's abuse in the face of democracy!
PR in the UK would need to evolve of that there's no doubt,there are examples of good PR around the world to look at and learn from.
The problem being the turkeys won't vote for Christmas.
The alternative is revolution,but the rich have sewn up that one by having enough of the people in fear due to debt and the threat of losing what they have or with head stuck into unsocial media :? .
As someone once said(I forget who) "the UK doesn't do revolution" perhaps it's getting time we did.

My 2d's worth


You must read "Reflections on The Revolution in France" by E. Burke and reconsider. Or perhaps peruse the histories of various large revolutions since the French one, such as those in China, Russia and various South American nations. Or how about that in the USA? All of them end in one sort of disaster or another. It's, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss". In fact often much, much worse than the old boss.

The problem is humans and their nature. Mother Nature will eventually deal with this problem, in a probably draconian fashion. No human-wrought fix to political problems will do any actual fixing other than the sort practiced by spivs and conmen.

Cugel