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Proportional Representation?

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posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Britain currently has a Constituancy Representative system where you vote for the the party Representative in your Constituancy, many people are calling for a change to this system.
The other option is Proportional Representation where the nation votes for a party, for example if Labour gets 50% of the vote they get 50% of the seats.

Constituancy Representative System
Pro: A MP to represent your area.
Con: Leads to limited Party number Government.


Proportional Representation
Pro: Accurately represents party support from the entire country.
Con: No MP to represent your area.




posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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There are many many types of PR available.

Including examples where a link is completely maintained with constituencies - for instance as happens with the single transferable voting system used in Northern Ireland at present.

There is also nothing to stop us choosing a system where there is mix with an element of 'list' candidates and local constituency candidates added to the above system.

It's hard to neatly (and sweepingly?) characterise PR when there are so many versions of it to choose from.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
There is also nothing to stop us choosing a system where there is mix with an element of 'list' candidates and local constituency candidates added to the above system.


I think I'd favour a system where the people vote for a political party, then if the Lib Dems get 15% of the national vote they then get 15% of the seats.
However I'm not sure how the representative system would work, how would the elected MP's be designated to certain areas?



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
I think I'd favour a system where the people vote for a political party, then if the Lib Dems get 15% of the national vote they then get 15% of the seats.


- I'd agree that seems much more democratic to me too.


However I'm not sure how the representative system would work, how would the elected MP's be designated to certain areas?


- I don't see why a mix of constituency and list system could not be employed.

You could have PR elections in the constituencies as now for the bulk of the seats contested with a 'top up' from the party lists completeing the end result.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 04:12 PM
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Yeah there is a push to get a similiar system in Canada too. I hope UK does it first so we can see how it goes
We do have very similiar governance policies and issues.

Basically I am a Green. Last election they got 500,000(or 4.3% of the turnout) votes and no seats



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Basically I am a Green. Last election they got 500,000(or 4.3% of the turnout) votes and no seats


This is why I'd support a PR voting system, the big two parties (Conservative and Labour) are basically the voice of UK politics yet they don't accuratly reflect the views and ideals of the population, PR would mean more political parties in parliament giving a more diverse view and different ideas.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Yeah there is a push to get a similiar system in Canada too. I hope UK does it first so we can see how it goes


- You'll find it at work already in local Gov across the UK, the various devolved assemblies and Parliament use it.


We do have very similiar governance policies and issues.


- I don't doubt it.
Whatever though I think the case is pretty conclusive that PR maximises the democractic voice.
Some prefer to dilute that 'voice' in persuit of supposedly greater clarity and a more 'definite' 'answer' but I think this is cultural as much as anything.

'First past the post' has rarely given us in the UK 'hung Parliaments' or minority gov (although during the early 1970's it did). We tend to have a deeply adversarial partisan Parliament because the 'answer' is usually a 'winner takes all' one.
Whereas in Europe where the PR tradition is strong coalition and colleagiate gov is the norm.


Basically I am a Green. Last election they got 500,000(or 4.3% of the turnout) votes and no seats


- Well I believe strongly that if a system of representitive democracy is operating in such a way that it fails to adequately represent then it either has to change or risk alienation and breakdown with the very people it is supposed to serve.

(MInd you, I imagine that thanks to the shocking catastrophic melt-down the Canadians handed to their Conservative party not so long ago your political parties have had a neat reminder of just what they are supposed to be about and that whole idea of 'serving the public'.

That was awesome!
)



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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(MInd you, I imagine that thanks to the shocking catastrophic melt-down the Canadians handed to their Conservative party not so long ago your political parties have had a neat reminder of just what they are supposed to be about and that whole idea of 'serving the public'.

That was awesome! )


You talking about the vote on the budget or the last election? The way I see it the Conservative Party is on thin ice, within its own party. Both Social Coservatives and Economic Conservatives are complaining loudly.

Stephen Harper has really backed himself into a corner, but what else could he do? Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have piss poor polls, so its in both thier best interests that the current Minority Status Quo stays the way it is. The Liberals really need to learn about the whole 'serving the public' just as much as the Conservatives do I'm afraid. That is why I believe that PR is going to happen sooner or later. The Majority of Parties now Support PR. The Greens support it, so do the NDP(Socialists) and the Bloc Quebecois as well the Conservatives.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 05:13 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
You talking about the vote on the budget or the last election?


- No mate, I was referring to Kim Campbell and the Canadian conservatives being reduced to her and 2 other elected reps only.
(1993? That's not so long ago, is it?)

That was really shocking stuff.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 05:57 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

Originally posted by sardion2000
You talking about the vote on the budget or the last election?


- No mate, I was referring to Kim Campbell and the Canadian conservatives being reduced to her and 2 other elected reps only.
(1993? That's not so long ago, is it?)

That was really shocking stuff.


Oh man that!
That was a sorry episode. Brian "Bull"rony threw Kim Campbell to the fricken wolves. I feel sorry for her actually. But she acted like a good conservative and took the fall and she probably has some lucrative career somewhere in the private sector now
He was one sorry lying sack of you know what PM...only politicians I hate more in Canadian politics are Mike Harris and Steven Harper.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:35 PM
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Going through the New Party website I came across an interesting bit on Proportional Representation



There are many examples across Europe where proportional representation has effectively created a permanent coalition of the political elite that has no reference back to voters. In some cases, this electoral monopoly has helped to breed corruption within the political system and extremism outside. There are good reasons why this is the case and they are intrinsic to PR. There have even been, for example, cases of minor parties switching horses mid-term to create a change of government, but nevertheless retaining their own seats in the cabinet. This has happened in Germany and Ireland, where - in both cases - the foreign minister from the third party stayed in place despite a change of government.


Even though Proportional Representation would benefit the Party they oppose it for reasons which seem practical to me.
Basically it points towards examples of how minor parties switch sides in the middle of a term to change a Government but they retain their own seats, causing change without a risk to their seat.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
There are many examples across Europe where proportional representation has effectively created a permanent coalition of the political elite that has no reference back to voters.


- If those voters had free and fair elections (as they did) then this is pure rhetoric.
This is the kind of comment you get from people for whom a collegiate cooperative system of government is utterly alien.


In some cases, this electoral monopoly has helped to breed corruption within the political system and extremism outside.


- Very few cases and almost always cases that have been exposed and brought before the courts (as let's not forget have Ministers in the UK gov from time to time " in some cases". Such is our imperfect world).

As for the extremism arguement?
How is a system which empowers the biggest majority of public view ever going to do otherwise.
Just like the British 'first past the post' system it is hardly going to do otherwise 'of itself' now is it?

But the fact remains that a broader spread of public opinion gets actual representation with PR as opposed to FPTP.


There are good reasons why this is the case and they are intrinsic to PR.


- Nonsense.
There are individuals who act corruptly, that is all. Politics has a sad habit of occassionally attracting the 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' types and every now and again the fail-safes let some corruption through.

It has nothing to do with PR - or any voting system for that matter - and everything to do with a lack of accountability in the specific case, usually a feeling that they'll never get caught and the individual concerned's personal corruption.


There have even been, for example, cases of minor parties switching horses mid-term to create a change of government, but nevertheless retaining their own seats in the cabinet.


- This is called coalition.
It involves everybody getting around the table and those that can agree agreeing to sort things out together with the majority openly forming the gov.
It's hardly corrupt.


This has happened in Germany and Ireland, where - in both cases - the foreign minister from the third party stayed in place despite a change of government.


- So?
Imagine if, say, in 1997 Ken Clark had been asked to remain Chancellor of the UK Exchequer, would that be so aweful if seemingly most able people remain in post regardless of the petty politics, hmmmm?

Why shouldn't we have that as an option to happen from time to time?

(cos although the possibility exists it certainly isn't a regular thing under PR either)


Even though Proportional Representation would benefit the Party they oppose it for reasons which seem practical to me.


- These are just the usual standard points Wizard.
Sadly in Britain the 'winner takes all' mentality is hard to shake off.


Basically it points towards examples of how minor parties switch sides in the middle of a term to change a Government but they retain their own seats, causing change without a risk to their seat.


- ....and what?

What is so aweful and unique about this that could not also happen under FPTP?

Our MP's can switch sides mid-Parliament and not risk the seat.

In the case of a coalition or minority gov in the UK the coalition could collapse and the gov could fall. In that case the Queen would try to appoint a new PM and gov - without there being a general election - which could include an entirely new coalition including some of the same parties as before (effectively 'switching sides') so, what's so different or so aweful about this?

But whatever the short-term dealings (where, in the UK, this might delay a new general election by as much as almost 5yrs) they cannot escape an eventual general election and the public vote at the end of the term (assuming the coalition(s) survive that long) , can they?

So long as the public get a free and fair say then I'd call these objections pretty paltry.

In fact when you look at it some of the criticisms they make of PR are actually just as applicable to our system and their invitation to you to be critical of PR is merely reliant on you not knowing about some of the 'ins and outs' of our very own FPTP.


[edit on 16-3-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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i made another thread of this,
its an interesting subject and its important so im bumping it



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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would we see a difference in leadership? i.e would the Lib Dems do better under a PR because you'll be voting for a party to lead the country, not an MP to represent your area.

The question is, shall the UK turn to one? Lib Dems state, that if they got into power, they would have a PR system in place. Many of us in this board have stated that the UK may be better off with a PR system is place.

But a disadvantage is, Far right parties tend to get seats in a PR system, See France Front National Party that gained a lot of backing due to the introduction of a PR system. The same happened in Germany and across most European Countries who have PR systems.

Well, should we switch to a modern system?

[edit on 7-5-2005 by infinite]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 07:34 PM
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hi,

It's interesting that this thread starts by listing the pros and cons of the two systems and so fixes the debate as just a choice of system for the house of commons. i think supporters of PR would be better served to propose this system as part of reforms to end the house of lords;

Theoretically, one chamber of our parliament could be a straight PR contest between any and all parties and the other chamber could be elected representatives for 'local' seats won on a first past the post basis. if you make the elected representatives stand independantly of political parties it would do much to increase access to politics for the increasingly disillusioned british voter. under such a system, laws would be proposed and drafted by the professional politicians from the parties (who would also form the government), but approved by the local boys who will be better placed to vote in accordance with their constituents wishes.

No extra hassle on voting day either; one tick selects a party for one house and a second selects a local representative for the other. the local representatives could carry on House of Lords traditions, such as titles, just like town mayors and the like do nowadays. and with PR in one house, we might even see a monster raving looney politician in the parliament. happy days......

I caution against framing the debate in terms of alternative systems for the house of commons, as previous posts do. the opinion formers in the uk who do this (newspaper moguls, think tanks and civil servants mainly), never mention reform of the outdated house of lords because they hope to one day be 'ennobled' themselves.


You have voted None Of The Above for your way beyond useless government. You have two votes left before the enforcement of a universal police state.



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 08:52 AM
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I would prefer to stick to the Constituancy Representative System.

I see voting for and having a local MP as an important part of our government!




posted on May, 12 2005 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee
I would prefer to stick to the Constituancy Representative System.

I see voting for and having a local MP as an important part of our government!



yeah, i kind of argee with you when it comes to this.
I prefer having a local MP to represent me



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 12:30 PM
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i would like both, and end to the unelected house.

we should demand more democracy and more access........



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 06:20 AM
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Thought people might find this interesting, reading the questions and answers section in the back of the Daily Mail an interesting question had been asked:


Had the General Election been fought under the proportional representation system proposed by the Liberal Democrats how would the Commons look now?


Basically the reply gives the answer for two methods of proportional representation.

System 1: Pure PR (as used in Israel)
Labour: 227
Conservative: 209
Liberal Democrat: 142
Other: 68 (including 15 to UKIP and 6 to Greens)

The system of Pure PR would end the tradtional link of MP's to constituencies and is not favoured by the Electoral Reform Society.

System 2: Single Transferable Vote (as used in Australia and Ireland)
(note this is a estimate and not completely accurate)
Labour: 245
Conservative: 214
Liberal Democrat: 145
Other: 42 (of which are mostly UKIP and Greens)

The Single Transferable Vote is proposed by the Lib Dems and backed by the Electoral Reform Society, it retains the link to constituencies.
When a person votes they rank the candidates in order of preference, thus leading to between three and five MP's being elected in each constituency. This system gives the voter a choice between same party candidiates which I thinks a good idea. This system also gets rid safe seats and tactical voting.

Thoughts?


[edit on 9-6-2005 by UK Wizard]



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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This issue is being looked at in a black and white way. Yes, PR does give an exact percentage of votes obtained to a party and give them that percentage of seats in parliment, therefore creating a greater sense of democracy. BUT, as shown in many counries around the world, if PR is used the government often ends up with lots of parties with percentages of power, often meaning nothing ever gets done and no policies ever get put through parliemnt becasue of to much opposition and opposing ideas.

Look at Italy. They use PR, and they have to have elections every few months becasue no desicions can ever be made. At least with a CR system parites are chosen with often substancial gaps between them, allowing pollices to go through and actually enabling the WINNING PARTY from this system to control the country; which after all is what being in government is all about. Being in control and guiding the fate of the country.

[edit on 14-6-2005 by John Pearce]



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