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Is the U.K a Functional Democracy?

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posted on May, 8 2010 @ 06:59 PM
In recent U.K elections the Alliance Party received 42,762 votes and gained 1 seat. Here are the votes received by other parties that didn’t gain any seats.

Info Source:

UK Independence Party: 917,832 3.1 +0.9
British National Party 563,743 votes
Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force 102,361
English Democrats 64,826 votes
Respect-Unity Coalition 33,251 votes
Traditional Unionist Voice 26,300 votes
Christian Party: 18,623 votes
Independent Community and Health Concern 16,150 votes
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 12,275 votes
Scottish Socialist Party 3,157 votes
Others 319,891 votes
delivers 1 seat

The Raw Facts…
1. Total votes for 10 other political parties is 1,758,518 votes
2. Number of seats held by the 10 political parties: is 0
3. The average number of votes, per political party is 175,851.8 votes, each (over 4.1 times the number of votes gained by the Alliance Party which obtained 1 Seat!!!)
4. Add another 319,891 votes (from all other, lesser, political parties) and the last 2,078,409 votes obtained only seat.
5. Yet 29,653,638 U.K citizens voted for 650 seats, which is 45,620.98 votes per seat. In a mathematically, proportional system, the last 2,078,409 would obtain 45.55 votes (instead of just 1).

6. It's true these last 2,078,409 votes were just 7.008% of all votes cast.
7. But 10,342,633 votes were cast for political parties other than the dominant “Con-Lab” parties. These 10 million votes obtained a total of 85 seats (i.e. an average of 1 seat for every 1,21,678.03 votes).
8. Meanwhile the “Con-Lab” parties received 19,311,005 votes, and obtained a total of 564 seats, (i.e. an average of 1 seat for every 34,239.37 votes)!
9. Because the average number of votes, per seat, is 1,21,678.0353 for all other political parties, voting for the Con-Lab group obtains over 3.55 times more Westminster Seats (per vote). Is this really "functional democracy"?

My Thoughts About the Statistics…
Might we as well, have a mathematically, proportional, system, but then deliberately count the vote for people who vote Conservative or Labour over 3.55 times as often, as any other vote?
Because that’s also a fair representation, of what happened on May the 6th 2010 when the U.K. government, held its people, an election.

Apparently one major advantages of the “first pass the post” voting system (or “first loose the post” system, as I prefer to see it!) is that, it delivers, something called “strong government”. But the 2010 election delivered the United Kingdom a “hung parliament”. This means the government is anything but strong, because it commands less than half of all seats.

But I agree our government is certainly a lot “stronger” than a Two Party State that openly awards itself 3.55 times more votes.
It’s because the ability for the Con-Lab parties to “hide behind” an ancient, flawed, system (but “flawed” in a way that benefits themselves!) is a far stronger (intellectual position) for combating either popular discontent, or rebellion, than a system that’s (mathematically) equally as unfair, but more open-blatant about its unfairness(s).
So I believe this is the major reason why the U.K electorate have tolerated “post pass the post” for centuries.

But it’s also because over time, and over most (but obviously never all political issues) the Con-Lab parties have began to resemble something, more-like a Group, than two independent-competing political bodies. Between them, they have held power for nearly a century, and during this time they have certainly been loyal to each others "convictions-concerns" in opposing the reform of the “post pass the post” electoral system.

I'm also aware that one of the (apparent) advantages of a dictatorship is also strong government. The government is very strong because little time is lost considering the opposition. Barring a mad-man like Adolf Hitler, I seriously question whether a dictator would be better in leading our country out its problems, than the type of democracy we currently have.
The U.K government is currently spending more than 26% than it receives in tax’s. See for yourself, from our treasuries own website:

And (no doubt, partly because, no party wanted to be unpopular) none of the 3 major, political parties promised to return public spending to less than what the treasury receives in tax’s, even after the next election (in up to 5 years time!!!). A dictator in comparison wouldn’t be frustrated by these self-serving, party political, games.

I'm neither arguing, or suggesting that the current U.K electoral system, is inferior to a dictatorship. I'm just suggesting that the fact it “might be” inferior to the right type of dictatorship, led by the right kind of person-people, is hardly cause of celebration, for any kind of democracy (but especially a dysfunctional one!!!).

Does Our System “Only” Disadvantage 10,342,633 voters?

For me, this is the most irritating obstacle in preventing anyone from (justifiably) viewing the U.K as a “functional democracy”. It’s the fact, that the reason why many 19,311,005 people who voted Con-Lab, did as they did, was because many believed they’re vote would be “wasted” otherwise.

Many feel their vote will be “wasted” if it doesn’t help one of the major political parties, remain dominant over all other political parties. It’s because only by voting for one of the two parties, does your vote has so much more “effect-value” (I doubt very few people actually calculate that its over 3.55 times more!) but many of the electorate are certainly aware of the difference).
I personally believe that a vote could hardly be more wasted than by supporting a major political party, that you (basically) disagreed with. Especially when the extra “effect value” of you your vote is stifling (more times than one) the efforts of other voters, from all other parties.

I understand others may disagree with my point of view. But we simply mustn’t have a system that so dramatically cuts the voting power “effect value”, of anybody who chooses to vote for anyone, other than two “top dogs” (or maybe pigs is more appropriate word?) But no offence to pigs or dogs, either!!!

Finally Another “Failure” in our Constitution…
Currently the British Constitution (“unwritten” or otherwise!) delivers us a Labour Prime Minister in the form of the (unpopular) Gordon Brown. Unpopular because about 29% of people want him as PM. This is in spite of the fact that the (less unpopular) Conservative, leader, David Cameron (with 42% popular support) Source… leads a political party with 306 seats, as opposed to Gordon Brown’s 258 seats. Nevertheless Gordon Brown is PM, and will remain so until the Conservatives form a coalition, with more than half of, parliament’s seats. If they Tories don’t succeed, then the man with the 2nd number of votes (and seats) will remain as our national leader. How is this constitution “wise”? Let alone justified!?

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 09:10 AM
What a surprise? Over two days and no replies (let alone flags!) I guess either the way I write (or less likely, this issue itself) commands no interest here on ATS. Needless to say this is the last time I'll be bothering to make such an effort, on such a "non-interesting" issue.

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 09:17 AM
No it isn't functional. And it isn't democracy.

I don't know if you know but;

British taxpayers ordered to bail out euro

You didn't even get a vote on that. And you didn't even get a proper vote on the Lisbon treaty.

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 09:17 AM
i didn't reply because i just saw this now but i would have.

i know that uk polotics a very flawed.
1 thing that bugs me is that even though conservative got most the votes and seats, they're still not officially the leading party.
this hung parlement crap is stupid, they shouldn't be allowed to make deals with minor parties after election because the deals made will not be the policies that anyone voted for, i say another election is needed and this time they should prepare the polling stations for capacity.

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 09:34 AM
George Orwell had some apt things to say about British democracy in 1941 that sort of apply today (IMHO)

British democracy is less of a fraud than it sometimes appears. A foreign observer sees only the huge inequality of wealth, the unfair electoral system, the governing-class control over the press, the radio and education, and concludes that democracy is simply a polite name for dictatorship.

But this ignores the considerable agreement that does unfortunately exist between the leaders and the led. However much one may hate to admit it, it is almost certain that between 1931 and 1940 the National Government represented the will of the mass of the people. It tolerated slums, unemployment and a cowardly foreign policy. Yes, but so did public opinion. It was a stagnant period, and its natural leaders were mediocrities.

Hmmm.. could that be said about now, do we tolerate the situation we are in? Are our national leaders mediocrities? I think so. I just hope we are breaking out of our stagnant period but not into war, into something healthier.

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by Liberal1984

My dear the UK lost its sovereignty the day it became part of and union.

How do you know that the elections are not planned and fixed for the entertainment of those citizens that are still edgy about the European Union.

Still I doubt that the Union will very allowed now a government in the UK that will go against their control.

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