1. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Britons: Alternative Vote, yes or no

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by art, Apr 2, 2011.

    Will you be voting on Thursday? What are your intentions? I'll be voting ( a rare thing for me) no.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm not completely decided, but I think I'll be voting yes.
     
  3. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Umm, voting for what? I thought it was in May, or is this something different?
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    You're both right. It's a Thursday in May :) May 5th, I believe.
     
  5. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    :eek: You're right Eunoia! I glanced over saw my polling card..and because I'm feeling rather Springy must've thought it was May already...

    Yet this slip gives us all - we hard nosed political types - a full month for reasonable and nuanced debate! Hooray!
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    So why are you voting no, art?
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Banzai.. I don't usually pay much interest in politics..and (some of) the reasons I don't pay much interest are the reasons I'll be voting no. I must now leave to watch the football down the pub but I'll return to this and spell out my reasons. Perhaps you might yet be persuaded?!:eek:
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Perhaps I will. Or perhaps I'll persuade you :p We'll just have to wait and see.
     
  9. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a very unreasonable person, Banzai. You haven't a prayer. :D
     
  10. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, I thought I was being completely ignorant.

    I'm going to vote, just not sure what for. Also, I've just realised that I'll be doing it by post but it'll be posted to my term time address, yet I'll actually be home... I'll have to check when the deadline to post my vote is or I may be unable to.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm on a postal ballot too. I think the deadline is that it has to get to them by 10pm on 5th May (when the voting closes). So posting it a couple of days before should be fine.
     
  12. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I won't actually be able to receive the postal ballot though... whoops. I better contact my local council to try and change it.

    Glad art created this thread, else I wouldn't have realised in time!
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Warning: Politics may be hazardous to your account!

    As with every thread dealing with controversial subjects, this one will be closely watched. As long as everyone remains respectful toward everyone else's beliefs, the thread may continue.

    FAIR WARNING! In the past, we have simply closed the thread when it gets too heated. This time, whoever takes it to the point that requires it to be closed will also be subject to an infraction.

    We have had a very poor track record with contraversial threads in the past, and this is why we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on this one.

    So please keep the tone respectful at all times.
     
  14. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although my Party is urging a "YES" vote, I'll personally vote "NO" to the AV system.

    It's already hard enough to get many people out to vote on General Election day, even although all that is required is the insertion of a "X" next to the candidate that they wish to elect. If we introduce this new system, where the electorate will be asked to place candidates in order of preference, it will give that one-third of the electorate who choose not to exercise their right a further excuse to stay at home.

    We have three major parties in this country now who all expect to pick up over 25% of the total vote at a General Election. If the AV system means that this is accurately reflected in Parliament, then we can wave goodbye to ever having a majority government again, and we'll be faced with permanent coalitions, and the weak government that they create.

    This proposed system will suit the Liberal Democrats, who, as the third party in the UK, will find themselves almost permanently holding the balance of power, and who will find themselves almost permanently in government, albeit as the junior partner. If you're a Lib Dem supporter, I can see the attraction. However, if you support one of the two main parties, I can't see the advantage.
     
  15. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    At least y'all have more than 2 parties. My libertarian party here in the states doesn't have a chance in our system. Every 4 or 8 years or so we switch off between two groups that increase government size with every term. So a democrat will come in, increase things like welfare, government salaries, pension plans, environmental subsidization programs, feel good crap etc etc.

    Then a Republican will come in, increase useless military programs for a ten billion dollar jet that we don't really need, or add agents to some anti-drug fighting program, or corporate subsidization programs etc etc.

    Then, when either party gets elected, they don't even undo the government increases of the last party. They just keep stacking it on top of each-other, one by one, saying how its gonna fix the problems of the last administration.

    Its drives me nuts.

    Whats going on in the U.K. right now anyhoo?
     
  16. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The thing for me is that FPTP benefits the Tories a lot more than it does anyone else. For as long as I can remember they have had a complete monopoly over the right of British politics. Conversely, the left has been split between Labour and the Lib Dems, so even though a majority of voters are left leaning, we're more likely to end up with a right wing government. AV will help mitigate that imbalance.

    As for the Lib Dems... I don't think AV is going to help them a great deal. Even with it, they'll lose most of their seats. Especially if Labour launches (as I certainly mean to) a "no votes for Lib Dem" campaign, then I think they risk electoral eclipse, and being far from the third party for at least one parliament, probably longer. The thing about the Lib Dems is that most, excepting a minority of orange book conservatives-in-drag who currently make up the leadership, of their membership is left aligned. Come an election, a lot will be tempted over to the Red by the newly-reformed Labour.

    AV is, I feel, a minor issue in the electoral fortunes of the Lib Dems. They are going to finish this parliament with massive unpopularity, and victory with this (which actually matters very little to many people, only being a major issue for bearded, sandal-wearing liberals) won't strike out their failures in other places.

    Honestly, the party I can see doing the best out of a change to AV really, is the Green Party. Which is very worrying, but I think worth the gain Labour would receive from it. Even if I can't abide Caroline Lucas.

    Quite a lot :p
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am in Scotland - I like PR and what it has brought to our parliament here (well except for the spineless lib dems lol) - no idea what I will be voting except SNP on the day (our local MSP is amazing we need more of him in politics).
     
  18. MidnightPhoenix
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    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

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    I don't know who I be vote for.
     
  19. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    One of the lines - perhaps the one they are most fond of - of the Yes campaign is that AV will make MPs work harder and force them to pay attention to all the voices in their constituency. Attendant upon this, sometimes said, sometimes not said, is the idea that the expenses scandal was a result of MPs becoming lazy and complacent....and that, in a word, AV would not have given rise to such pitiful outrages.

    I don't doubt, that on the face of it, AV will make MPs work harder. But what will this hard work consist of? A fat middle-aged man coming round, once in a while, to weed your garden or a fat middle aged man having perhaps to pay some regard to your concerns and urgings? I think the latter is what most have in mind. But he will not only listen... but also adjust his platform to recognise those demands that (perhaps) formerly left him unmoved. Which is to say, he will have to compromise.

    Compromise. When the object and methods of an enterprise are yours, and, when the object of the enterprise is your heart's* desire, you work hard and with good cheer. When you work towards a goal that is not yours but which is the product of a consensus that resides in no single human heart, you work less hard and with no cheer.

    Why have the MPs been a little naughty of late? Their hearts are not in it. British politics dilutes dreams. Pathetic - and very predictable - efforts at self-enrichment result.

    Of course, this is old news: the three main parties sitting atop one another somewhere in the middle. No meaningful choice for the voter. (If you think there are meaningful differences you are almost certainly a member of one those parties and well, I don't know what to say:)) Stagnation of ideas and methods. Politicians who care about your vote but don't care. AV will only make this worse.

    And yet, it seems to me that AV is in one sense rather more fair, rather more democratic than FPTP. On the surface, the Yes campaign has much the stronger arguments if you like that sort of thing... fairness and democracy, I mean.

    But, perhaps, a fair democracy is something rather more than a forum in which all voices must, to some extent, be pandered to. Maybe a fair democracy is that system which tends to produce powerful people: produces individuals who are free to be individuals; who have meaningful choices open to them; and who, as they make their way, are certain of meeting justice rather than injustice. It is absolutely democratic then to refuse to compromise with those whose ideas denigrate the individual, or justice, or both.

    [sledgehammer > nut ]
    * excessiveness of emotion due to a happy combination of nostalgic music and chocolate consumption (and cheapness)
     
  20. Joanna the Mad
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    Joanna the Mad Senior Member

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    What kind of voting system would you prefer, Art? A full proportional system?
     
  21. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm actually very much against PR, and yet in favour of AV. Does that make me some sort of oddity?

    The thing about PR is that it dissolves the link between representative and constituency. Some of the best MPs at the moment are the ones who have real local connections and links with their locality and with the people who live there. On a PR system you'd need much larger constituencies, meaning that you'd be less concerned with the individual rather than the party. Which is good news for policy-based politics, but bad news in terms of the actual individuals in parliament.

    A mixed list system, as used in Scotland, has it's appeal, but I foresee a problem with it. You'll have two sets of MPs: the constituency MPs, and the list MPs. I speculate that in such a situation you'd see the party leadership on the party lists, and the rank-and-file MPs at a constituency level. Which might be preferable, but it seems like just a way to shoehorn in politicians no one can stand and then put them at the head of the table.
     
  22. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Certainly not that. Honestly, I don't know. The difficulty is producing a system that is democratic (in the narrow sense) but doesn't end up producing a whole load of petty politicians who don't much differ from one another.

    The sameness of the (major) political parties in the UK is one of the reasons why turnout is low..why people don't care much. In some countries, still, the choice at the polls might be between being at war or peace, might be between socialism or capitalism... rather than say whether you spend 90 or 95 billion pounds on the NHS.

    In some respects a low turnout, a population that doesn't care much - as in Britain - is something to be rather proud of...because it points to a long history of stable democracy which is always working towards consensus. It also points to a population that has a certain disregard for those in authority and who readily recognise that politics (certainly as it's now practised) barely touches the things that matter in human affairs.

    In my long-winded argument above I'm saying that it would be nice if people would care, but honestly, I'm rather fond of them not caring.
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except it isn't a long history - it is less than 100 years since women had the vote on equal terms with men. My Gran was one of the first women to vote on an equal footing with the men in her life (she turned 21 in 1928).

    I only have to turn to my Grandmother and her sisters for people who had to fight for suffrage people who I have met in my lifetime.

    I actually have no bother turning to a list MSP but then MPs/MSPs even MEPs in this area of Scotland tend to be really good - I have met on a social footing several of them without even trying. I know Alex Salmond is the first to offer to wash the dishes after dinner etc and apparently is a delightful house guest. Mary Scanlon is a pretty amazing woman and is doing a lot for ME - her personal work for a lot of people when she heard some of the situations highlights a decent human being. Winnie Ewing always had a cup of tea wherever she was working etc When my problems with my neighbours got bad one of the best sources of support I had was Richard Lochhead. There aren't many people in the local area who don't have personal stories of acts of compassion from our representatives (Angus Robertson is notable in his absence).
     
  24. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    When your island is populated by reasonable sorts who have little concern for extreme positions ...and when those who join the party late in the day add, if anything, a conservative element rather than an extreme one ..then that's a very long time.:)
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I grew up in Liverpool as a child - everyone had an extreme position and wasn't shifting from it lol

    Also my husband doesn't have a vote !! Cannot even be entered on the electoral register. In order to get him that he has to go through the ridiculousness these days that involves singing, dancing and pratfalls to become a British Citizen.
     

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