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Electoral Reform


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#1
rugmonkey

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This topic can be a discussion about electoral reform in any country but seeing as I am British I will start off with Britain.

The state of the British electoral system at present is pretty dire in my opinion. The party who controls what legislation goes through Parliament and becomes law received less than half the popular vote. It seems after the recent turmoil with expenses this has come to the forefront and the leaders of the main parties have made pledges to reform the current system. I was wondering what everybody else thought needed to be done and which party has the right ideas?
Here is a link to the articles by Brown, Cameron and Clegg and a load of other stuff on reform. Click

The main issues I think to discuss are:
Proportional representation
Fixed-term parliaments(really only applies to Britain)
House of Lords(same only applies to Britain really)
A greater form of direct democracy
A more robust form of freedom of information
A cap on amount that can be spent in elections to stop corporations having too much power

These are just a few feel free to discuss any others.
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#2
Starblaiz

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Well the first thing I really want to pick up on is "Proportional Representation" - worst idea in history, and the Lib Dems are the ones who have always championed it. Yeh, I'd never vote for them primarily because of that. Why is it such a bad idea? Simple - all you need is one subversive group to pretend to be Lib Dem, and that's it - we're fucked! Never ever *EVER* vote for anyone touting that shit, caus it can only end badly... *VERY* badly!

As for the current state of the government - I am actually gobsmacked that we aint all turned round and lynched the fuckers. Seriously, they took us into an illegal war that had shit all to do with us despite 80% of the population turning round and saying "fuck right off", they then completley ballsed up the banking system and led us into ecconomic meltdown (granted they werent the only ones but they were still *PART* of the world-wide fuckup), they try to push an obviously flawed "ID Card Big Brother Central Database" load of bollox on us (again, not listening *AT ALL* to what *WE* actually want...), and then for their grand finale, they all get flagged up for stealing all our money like common thieves! claiming expenses on things that they very, *VERY* much should not have been (IE stealing the money and feathering their own nest's!). I mean come-the-fuck-on! How much more do they have to take the piss before we all turn round and say "ya know what? GTFO!" I can honestly not think of a single (and I mean *SINGLE*) good thing that this government has done for us. Seriously not one. Every time a Labour MP has opened his or her mouth, they have fucked this country up just that little bit more. It shouldnt be allowed. But the thing that gets me most is that we all know it, so why the fuck arent we doin summit about it? GAH!

/rant iconrtfm1mo.gif

on a lighter note - LOL! icon_lol.gif

#3
Master C

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Well this is why I support the Conservatives, I want to take on a Government that at least considers the idea of economic freedom instead of our continuation of failed socialist policies. The more left wing a government, the more power it puts in the hands of greedy, hypocritical and untrustworthy politicians. Unfortunately changing this looks like a scheme to benefit the rich, and thus cutting taxes etc is unpopular. This country is well and truly fucked while we continue this retarded belief.

edit heyyo third post and the thread is partially derailed, yay for internet debates.

Edited by Master C, 27 May 2009 - 04:32 PM.


#4
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QUOTE (Master C @ May 27 2009, 10:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well this is why I support the Conservatives, I want to take on a Government that at least considers the idea of economic freedom instead of our continuation of failed socialist policies. The more left wing a government, the more power it puts in the hands of greedy, hypocritical and untrustworthy politicians. Unfortunately changing this looks like a scheme to benefit the rich, and thus cutting taxes etc is unpopular. This country is well and truly fucked while we continue this retarded belief.

edit heyyo third post and the thread is partially derailed, yay for internet debates.


Heh yeh that was one of the points i was skirting around the edge of but given the tone of my post i wasnt sure quite how it would go down icon_razz.gif

Tories do indeed seem to be the lesser of the evils, but in all honesty i dont really trust *ANY* of them anymore... Fool me once, i guess...? icon_confused.gif and na i wouldnt say its derailed. Its all relevant background stuff to the OP icon_wink.gif


#5
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i approve of electoral reform, specially when it comes to reforming other countries. WOOTS!
lol jk. What system do you guy have in britain? first past the post? In BC, Canada, we just had a referendum to see if people wanted to switched to STV (something that malta and ireland have apparently). It failed pretty badly. Last elections, it failed only by a little bit.

#6
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The point of having too much money poured into electorial campaigns is a notable point.

Especially in the US. If you outspend your closest rivals, you win.

Also, nations like UK and Australia, that are governed by party should have the candidancy for party leadership be decided by the general public via votes.


#7
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i live in Canada and i am happy with democratic machinery in this country...
public opinion actually sways the behaviour of our elected officials...

i think our "founding fathers" designed the system this way...
the fact that its remained in tact and semi functional since 1867 though.. i think included alotta luck.. not just brialliance on the part of the creators of the country...
but hey.. i'll take it icon_smile.gif

QUOTE (James Madison @ Aug 25 1781, 11:48 AM)
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#8
rugmonkey

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Yeh we have first past the post in Britain although i believe we should have some form of proportional representation, not the full hit as it causes too many problems as ViRuS52 aptly pointed out.

One of the main changes needs to be curb on what parties are able to spend at elections. Most MP's owe alliegence to their party and therefore vote the way they want them to is because the party provides the money to elect them. This would allow the MP's to vote the way that they thing is right for their constituents not for the pary. This would also porbably produce more independent MP's meaning the parties in power have to introduce legislation that they think a wider range of people and MP's will agree with not just tell the party MP's to vote for it.

The curbing of the money being able to be spent at elections by parties would also reduce the influence of the corporations that provide this money. Also it would mean the elections would be fought over ideas rather than money allowing the less wealthy parties to have a chance at elections.


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#9
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QUOTE (Master C @ May 27 2009, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well this is why I support the Conservatives, I want to take on a Government that at least considers the idea of economic freedom instead of our continuation of failed socialist policies. The more left wing a government, the more power it puts in the hands of greedy, hypocritical and untrustworthy politicians. Unfortunately changing this looks like a scheme to benefit the rich, and thus cutting taxes etc is unpopular. This country is well and truly fucked while we continue this retarded belief.

edit heyyo third post and the thread is partially derailed, yay for internet debates.


That's your opinion. That has nothing to do with the process of how politicians come into power. This thread is about Electoral Reform.

QUOTE
i approve of electoral reform, specially when it comes to reforming other countries. WOOTS!
lol jk. What system do you guy have in britain? first past the post? In BC, Canada, we just had a referendum to see if people wanted to switched to STV (something that malta and ireland have apparently). It failed pretty badly. Last elections, it failed only by a little bit.


STV is bollocks.

Edited by Hellswarm, 28 May 2009 - 04:33 AM.


#10
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QUOTE (Hellswarm @ May 28 2009, 02:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's your opinion. That has nothing to do with the process of how politicians come into power. This thread is about Electoral Reform.



STV is bollocks.


fascinating. Care to elaborate?

#11
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I don't know why I'm about to present an argument for something where the vote has already passed, but ...

BC STV encourages less individual MLA representation and more voting among party lines. I don't think I need to say why having lack of individual MLA representation is bad - if someone fucks us over, we know exactly who did what. We can hold them DIRECTLY accountable.
------

Let's say we have 4 different ridings in the province of Tamriel now:

Populations
Skingrad - 8,000
Bravil - 4,000
Leyawiin - 6,000
Cheydinhal - 6,000
----

Under the current system, with 1 MLA elected per riding, this is what we get. This is how the vote turn out is.

Skingrad
Breton Party - 5,000
Khajiit Party - 2,000
Argonian Party - 1,000
Elected MLA: Breton Party

Bravil
Breton Party - 3,000
Khajiit Party - 0
Argonian Party - 1,000
Elected MLA: Breton Party

Leyawiin
Breton Party - 1,000
Khajiit Party - 3,000
Argonian Party - 2,000
Elected MLA: Khajiit Party

Cheydinhaal
Breton Party - 4,000
Khajiit Party - 1,000
Argonian Party - 1,000
Elected MLA: Breton Party

Final Result: Breton Party 3, Khajiit Party 1, Argonian Party 0
-----

Now let's see if this were handled by a STV vote. The 4 ridings are now turned into 1 big riding with 4 different MLAs representing it called the Cyrodiil riding. The BC STV Electoral System would reduce the number of ridings from 85 to 20.

BC STV supporters claim that using the STV system increases Proportionality; a claim I don't refute. Assuming that is true, here's how the vote turnout looks like.

Popular Vote: 13000 Breton, 6000 Khajiit, 5000 Argonian
Popular Vote (In Percentage): 54.2% Breton, 25.0% Khajiit, 20.8% Argonian

Final Result: Breton Party 2, Khajiit Party 1, Argonian Party 1
-----

Popular Vote (In Percentage): 54.2% Breton, 25.0% Khajiit, 20.8% Argonian
FPTP Result: 3 Breton, 1 Khajiit
STV Result: 2 Breton, 1 Khajiit, 1 Argonian

According to the percentages, it's more representative.

BUT WAIT!

In the old system where 4 ridings were used, the Cheydinhaal riding voted the Bretons 4:1 against the Argonians! In Skingrad it was 5:1! Why should the Argonians still get the represent the Cheydinhaalites?

In Bravil, they voted for ZERO Khajiits but now have 1 Khajiit representing them. That Khajiit will now go to Legislature and say "The riding of Cyrodiil wants this, this, and this", even though Bravil never voted for him and never wanted "this, this, and this"

Why shouldn't their particular region get representation based on who they distinctly voted for rather than get their votes thrown in with a bunch of other votes from people they don't know in places they don't care about?

Now, they have 4 different MLAs per riding than 1. Who are you going to hold accountable when shit hits the fan in your riding? Why the hell did that school just get shut down? You're going to get nothing but scapegoating and fingerpointing.

Holy shit that's alot of writing.

Edited by Hellswarm, 29 May 2009 - 12:28 AM.


#12
TubularLuggage

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Here in Canada, I see no problem with our current electoral system.

The only real problem right now is caused by having one right wing party and three left wing parties. That could easily be solved by having another right wing party though (having a center-right party again would be great).
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QUOTE (TubularLuggage @ May 30 2009, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here in Canada, I see no problem with our current electoral system.

The only real problem right now is caused by having one right wing party and three left wing parties. That could easily be solved by having another right wing party though (having a center-right party again would be great).


image if one or two more party entered the race. Right now we have the NDP, the liberals, the conservative, the bloc. Imagine that the Greens get their shit together and become a full blown party and same thing with the libertarians. we'd have 6 parties. imagine if the parliament was really really divided and alot of the parties won some seats as well as some indepedents. The Bloc could easily win a majority government if the parliament was really divided. That's a problem that could very well happen. We're seeing a surge of Green party activity and support. although this is not probable, it could very well happen (theoretically) with our current system.

#14
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Well, though I really doubt the current Libertarian Party of Canada will ever make it to the big time, I would love to see a fiscally right, socially left party that emphasized personal liberty, and responsible spending. The current LPC is too extreme, and many members are against national health care, which is actually a great system, and just needs more funding. The Liberal Party has potential, or at least did up until Paul Martin lost and the party promptly forgot to have any real direction. I'd also like to see them be more progressive on certain social issues.

As for a potential for the Bloc to win an election;
First, any party has the right to run, and if they win, they win. That's what's so great about our system. With the Bloc specifically, there's no real risk, since they only run in Quebec. Even if they won every riding they ran in, they'd be 80 seats short of a majority government. They could theoretically win a minority government, but
a) It will never happen.
B) They'd need support from the other parties to pass anything, meaning no separatist legislation would ever pass.

A bit off topic, but it ties in to what I'm talking about;
I would love to see the Bloc become a nationwide Provincial Rights party. Gilles Duceppe actually has the potential to be a good PM, provided he stops with all the separatist nonsense.
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#15
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The local elections that have just happened over here in Britain are a good example. Liberal Democrats received a higher percentage of the vote than Labour yet Labour have control of more seats. That to me doesn't make any sense.
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#16
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QUOTE (rugmonkey @ Jun 6 2009, 11:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The local elections that have just happened over here in Britain are a good example. Liberal Democrats received a higher percentage of the vote than Labour yet Labour have control of more seats. That to me doesn't make any sense.

But it does make sense. Obviously there were more districts where the majority in that district wanted a Labor candidate representing them. The whole point of a parliamentary system is that your vote chooses your representative, and not the overall government.

It happenes here in Canada. The Bloc Quebecois regularly get more seats than the NDP while getting fewer votes. It's because the votes for the Bloc happen to be much more concentrated. It allows for more local representation, and actually makes it easier for smaller parties/independents who are running in a small number of districts.
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QUOTE (TubularLuggage @ Jun 6 2009, 06:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But it does make sense. Obviously there were more districts where the majority in that district wanted a Labor candidate representing them. The whole point of a parliamentary system is that your vote chooses your representative, and not the overall government.

It happenes here in Canada. The Bloc Quebecois regularly get more seats than the NDP while getting fewer votes. It's because the votes for the Bloc happen to be much more concentrated. It allows for more local representation, and actually makes it easier for smaller parties/independents who are running in a small number of districts.


Did you just sum up everything I tried to say in less than 5 lines?

#18
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QUOTE (Hellswarm @ Jun 7 2009, 12:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did you just sum up everything I tried to say in less than 5 lines?

Don't worry, I'm a political major. I spend a freakish amount of time on politics icon_razz.gif .

Regarding the US political system; I was discussing the upcoming Iranian presidential election with a few people, and realized that their electoral system for presidential elections is way better than the current American system. The electoral college really needs to go.

The Iranian system is runoff multiple round popular vote. That's not the official name, but it describes it well. In the first round, there are a bunch of candidates. People vote for who they want. If there's no majority, which there probably won't be in the first round, all but the top few (usually two) candidates are removed from the ballot, and everyone votes again. This allows people to vote for whoever they want in the first round without some ridiculous fear of 'wasting their vote', because they'll get to vote again when it comes down to the final two.

The US could obviously put variations on this. They could have multiple rounds where a maximum certain number are left after each round or something. It's way more democratic than one round electoral college voting.
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#19
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Hey TubularLuggage, I was wondering if you could explain to me the concept of "Wasted Votes" (surplus votes for a winning candidate) which I don't at all seem to understand. How are votes "wasted" when they are providing a more clear-cut majority?

Edited by Hellswarm, 07 June 2009 - 03:12 PM.


#20
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QUOTE (Hellswarm @ Jun 7 2009, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey TubularLuggage, I was wondering if you could explain to me the concept of "Wasted Votes" (surplus votes for a winning candidate) which I don't at all seem to understand. How are votes "wasted" when they are providing a more clear-cut majority?



well let's say there are 4 candiates: a fascist, a communist, a liberal and a conservative. If the Liberal and the Conservative are the most popular, then thousands will vote for them, while only a few hundreds or even tens will vote for the fascist or communist. Those who voted for the fascist or communist are wasted votes, because they will never come close to winning. Wasted votes will only help the two leading candidates. If the fascist wasn't in the race, then his supporters would have voted for the conservative candidate. Same deal with the communist.




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