Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sir Ming Makes His First Big Mistake

So far so good for Ming Campbell. He has handled the prospect of a hung Parliament and an ensuing coalition with dexterity, calling for a strategy of 'maximum votes, maximum seats'. However, today, forthe first time he admits that he has asked his chief whip, Paul Burstow, to prepare a paper on the conduct of such talks. It's in an interview in THE TIMES.
In an interview with The Times to mark his first anniversary as party leader, Sir Menzies Campbell said that the price of putting Gordon Brown in Number 10 would be a firm commitment to the introduction of proportional representation at Westminster. The success of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, where they secured proportional representation for local council elections, has made the party “more hard edged” about demanding its introduction for the rest of the country, he said.
“The party has moved. The party’s view is pretty clear about PR. If you look at Scotland, the Scottish Parliament, local government and European elections, they were all by proportional representation. The only one that isn’t is Westminster,” he said. The Liberal Democrat leader confirmed that he had asked Paul Burstow, his chief whip, to report on how coalition talks are conducted. “You would be very surprised if I wasn’t getting assistance from any source that I thought helpful,” he said. The report will examine the conventions surrounding coalition discussions, last used in February 1974. Sir Menzies attempted to play down the move, saying that it was part of wider election preparations, and insisted that he did not want the party to become distracted by theoretical discussions. “I am by no means convinced of the statistical probability of a hung Parliament,” he said. “I think the one thing you cannot campaign for is a hung Parliament, you have to campaign for your own policies and your own values.”

Now that he has discussed the subject once, the media can be forgiven if the question is repeated again and again. It's a legitimate subject for debate. The polls currently point to a Conservative victory, but I think a hung Parliament is by no means beyond the realm of possibility.

By even mentioning the possibility of a formal coalition, Sir Ming has opened a Pandora's Box.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting how many Con. members don't beleive the lataest polls.Why would that be?

P Belleron said...

Campbell is making the same mistake Steel did in the 70s and Ashdown did in 97. Sucking up to Labour.

Yes Ashdown saw a hefty increase in seats but that was only because the Tory vote collapsed so dramatically. Their vote actually went down.

Kennedy's "a plague on all your houses" approach was actually more successful and the Liberals will only regret that lost opportunity as they decline back to the fringes.

The personal ambitions of leaders like Steel, Ashdown and Campbell have just stymied them as the prospect of a Ministerial seat is tantalisingly shaken in from of them only to be torn away by an electorate which ignores them for being seen as an adjunct of the Labour party.

See that Charles Kennedy? He wasn't an inebriated buffoon after all.

Graeme Archer said...

I think it's his second mistake actually ... the first one was believing he'd make a credible leader. All that sanctimonious dignity he'd built up over the years as the elder statesman of choice (if the BBC was doing the choosing: that magnificent leftwing disdain, just what the editor ordered!) -- all evaporated in seconds as he was forced to pretend to eat fish and chips, sell his motor car, hang around with people like Susan Kramer - god, it must be awful. I nearly feel sorry for him, but fortunately my patrician-allergy over-rides this.

He must be asked, repeatedly, every time he appears in the media: are you more likely to support Brown over Cameron? The answer's obvious, and it's great news for the Conservatives.

Fib Dem said...

off topic, UKIP turn down diabled candidate, if this lot ran the country Douglas Bader would be unwelcome.
http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/misc/print.php?artid=1218404

"A MAN has been told he cannot be a full UK Independence Party candidate because he is disabled.

Furious Jack Biggs, 65, of High Street, Wyke Regis, wanted to represent the anti-Euro party at the next Weymouth and Portland borough council election."

Anonymous said...

"I think a hung Parliament is by no means beyond the realm of possibility."

Can they get enough rope into Westminster?

Anonymous said...

All the LibDem's over the years have always hung onto the tailcoats of either Lab or Con ,it's a is if they are scared to go alone, I think if they did have a go ,they could be the 3rd party ,I think they will do well in Scotland and here at the locals ,the problem is let's be honest the Cons still have a long way to go to get those 10mil back and a lot of people see a bit of safty in LibDem

AnyoneButBlair said...

The Tories will never give the FibDems PR, NuLab may?
If they do (as Portillo has suggested), then the tories should press the removal of all Scottish and Welsh MPs from Westminster which should become a English and Tory parliament. Brown can be PM of Scotland if he wants....

Anyway, why should we want PR? It is no less fair than fist-past-the-post. It just gives disproportionate power to 3rd parties. Is it fair that the FibDems on around 20% (or less) of the vote could pick a Government and PM and have a veto over it's policies?

Anonymous said...

The next parliament may be hung but will it be well hung that is the question

Graham said...

Do we think our Westminster politicians are up to the task of working together in coalition? Some of them must surely be so used to the oppositional jousting of the Commons that they'll find it a real struggle. Maybe those with experience of local government will be more used to the concept...interesting times ahead.

Anonymous said...

anonymous@ 10.28 ... if we had PR, tactical voting would decline and we'd be able to see how many people really supported the Lib Dems. his could go either way ... their share of the vote could increase meaning they'd have a bigger mandate to have a say about who is in Government or protest voters would turn away from them, their share would decrease and they'd have less of a say.

PR has a lot of potential for people to see that their vote actually matters.

AnyoneButBlair said...

Anonymous at 10.56.
I'm not anonymous!
Regarding your points, you may be right in the spreadsheet world of calculating swings, tactical votes and implications of voting patterns.
In the real world, if we had PR today, it would simply hand disproportionate power to the FibDems to be our parlimentary king-makers. No wonder they want it! The tyranny of the minority party (as Israel) would be become true.
PR also loses the accountability of individual MPs being selected for constituencies and moves to party lists of centrally selected worthies to be parachuted in who are therefore not accountable to the people, but to whoever complies the list.
Personally I don't much like the idea of entrenching a Labour-FibDem coalition permamently in Government, where all political debate essentially becomes an interal Labour-FibDem conversation to broker policies. They have made such a good job in coalition in Scotland haven't they?

Dr.Doom said...

I am utterly amazed at how you believe, beyond reasonable doubt, that the Country either wants you or even likes you for that matter.

They like Dave, that's all.

The Tory Party isn't impressed with dave though.

Doom.

CityUnslicker said...

The move to PR would be such an enormous constitutional change that it woud actually take up much of a parliamentary year to achieve.

Iain is right this is a mistake. I think Lab-Tories have more in common with each other than Lib-Dems.

How about that as the answer?

neil craig said...

"Iain is right this is a mistake. I think Lab-Tories have more in common with each other than Lib-Dems."

Now that woyuld give the game away wouldn't it?

If the Tories refuse to deal on PR & Gordo does they will have nobody but themselves to blame. On the other hand the fact that in 1997 Labour went into the election specificly committed to a referendum on PR & broke the promise means that the Tories have the stronger hand - if they choose to deal it.

Giovanni said...

Speaking as an Italian who has seen PR in action, the question I would ask Ming is simple: so you want the choice of the party that governs the nation to be removed from the people and handed over to political parties instead, then? First-past-the-post is brutal in its simplicity but is does ensure that, usually, a government will have a working parliamentary majority. PR means that the decisions as to who governs occur after the elections, and as the result of often long negotiations.
Also PR renders party manifestos pointelss: unless a party wins 50% + 1 of the national vote, a coalition is usually inevitable. As a result what the parties promise in the elections and what the voters get out of government will be two very different things.

hatfield girl said...

If the next general election results in a hung parliament then we'll all have to go back and try again -that should concentrate the mind on voting to keep out what we really, really don't want.

High among the really don't want criteria has to be proportional representation. Liberal Democrats are demeaned by their winging on about it. They could define themselves up into a winning posture with policies we want enough to vote appropriately.

no longer anonymous said...

What exactly do the Lib Dems believe in at the moment aside from PR, the EU, leaving Iraq and green taxation?

hg said...

giovanni, It couldn't be put better than you did.

Anonymous said...

No need to worry,nobody was listening.

Ed Clarke said...

I have changed my mind about PR (again) after flirting with the idea of it in my own mind.

While I can see the value in "consensus" government and in policies being implemented slowly I think it's important to have a system where the governing party is that which wins the most votes. PR would mean that invariably the LibDems and tiny fringe parties would hold the balance of power.

We just need to make sure that people actually get out and vote in elections so that the winning party can claim a serious mandate to govern.

This means making people realise that the parties are not the same and that their vote counts!

Sorry for the rant.

Anonymous said...

The fact is I think saying in advance that lib dems will join with labour will annoy some of there own members, will upset the anti war part of there support and will annoy the people who have voted for them locally to get rid of a labour MP. Watch out youll see the lib dems collaspe if they follow this line. The days of pr support have gone in england at least. where most people think we are adversly effected by scotland and wales. On the plus side if it led to an english parliament at least it would always be tory!

machiavelli said...

Quite disturbing that Ming should be discussing a coalition in terms of propping up a discredited Labour administration will have just lost an election... I expect the Orange Bookers will have something to say about that!

Thank goodness for that 11 point lead in the polls; at this rate we won't have to worry about coalition talks at all.

Anonymous said...

11% lead with no policies at all.
Brilliant,just brilliant.

Chuck Unsworth said...

'First' big mistake? You sure about that Iain?

I can think of a few more...

Schoolboy-Error said...

Nothing to do with Ming Campbell but I'd just like to say how rude the Labour benches were to Michael Meacher during question time:Virtually howling him down.So much for the 'Respect Agenda'.(That's the loudest shouting I've heard without the speaker requiring order IMO).Mr Meacher seems like a very decent man (and to quote Tony Benn 'A Signpost not a Weather Vane.'

Anonymous said...

Polls point to a hung parliament, not a Conservative victory, surely.

Madasafish said...

The fact is - whether the Conservatives like it or not - the LibDems were 100% correct on Iraq and the Conservatives supported the Government despite being the notional Opposition.
IDS did not even wait but supported the US long before it invaded.

So to criticise the Libdems for going on about PR is the worst form of hypocrisy and cant...

But imo that's what most UK politicos are like: they can't see the wood nor can they see the trees.

Myopic and short sighted are kind words..

Ed Clarke said...

I'd just like to say how rude the Labour benches were to Michael Meacher during question time

It's amazing that the Labour party has held together this long in the first place. Cue exciting and damaging leadership contest.

AnyoneButBlair said...

Madasafish (great name!)
The FibDems were never 100% correct about Iraq. They trimmed and hummed and hawed before coming out against the war at the last minute just as the "Stop the War" march took place with a million marchers. Hardly principled, more like political positioning.
Ming is on record as saying "We can also agree that Saddam Hussein most certainly has chemical and biological weapons and is working towards a nuclear capability. The dossier contains confirmation of information that we either knew or most certainly should have been willing to assume." regarding the dodgy dossier in Parliament.

But I grant you in hindsight their eventual position was correct. But it's amusing to see FibDems deny this chain of events and deny Ming ever supported the dodgy dossier.

Anyway, I foolishly supported the war believing the intelligence to be "authoritative" and that Blair would not lie to the public. Boy I was fooled and I grant you not speaking from a position of great strength.

But your overall argument is a non-sequitor. Why is it hypocrisy to criticise the FibDems over PR? I think PR is bollocks and criticise the FibDems for constantly proposing it given their huge an unprincipled vested interest. What has that got to do with the Iraq war?

Madasafish said...

>anyone
" Why is it hypocrisy to criticise the FibDems over PR?"

Because so far the Conservatives in Parliament (note my careful choice of words here) have done nothing to show to me or I believe any voter that they are any more principled than the Libdems..

And no matter however you argue, there is a VALID case for PR.. especially in the days when Scotland was over-represented - largely sorted by the Electoral Commission.

No matter how more appealing Mr Cameron may be on TV and how incompetent Labour appear, in Parliament the Conservatives are virtually invisible to me as a voter and they appear reactive...

Frankly the UK's political system - first past the post with two major parties working on Buggins Turn looks like a cosy cartel...

and it took the SNP to break the cash for peerages scandal.. which says it all about the Opposition.

My view is we need more diversity of opinions in Parliament.. not two big party machines whipping into line.

The result of the current system is absolute power for the Government .. and as Labour have shown changing the Constitution etc.

We need more parties and a break of the Party Machines...most MPs appear to me to act a lobber (I'm sure they are not)fodder

Anonymous said...

A person who is 104

Must have made a mistake before

hg said...

Madasafish, If you go to Ansa which is reporting on Prodi's problems with the satisfaction of your 'need [for] more parties and a break of the Party Machines.' you will see the downsides with PR so precisely analysed by Giovanni@11.47.

Do you really want that person Berlusconi back in office?

Madasafish said...

>hg
Italy has three governments: the official one and the Mafia and the Vatican. They appear to all overlap.

It's a bad example for anything political and to take Italy as an example for anything (look at their economy, their military record for example...)

IF PR is so bad , why employ it in N Ireland?

Neil Craig said...

I don't think the LD's policy over the war can seriously be called indecisive or unprincipled & certainly not by a Tory.

On the other hand it was quite clearly Charlie's policy not Mings.

Nor do I think Tories who, at least in the past, have been massive net gainers from FTPT, can properly accuse the LDs of advocating self interest.

Ed while i take your point about the 2nd party becoming the government because smaller parties approve, as may well happen in Scotland, this can only happen if both parties have quite a bit in common (despite remarks about a Lab/Con coalition to beat the LDs this is unlikely). For example in Scotland the SNP may deal themselves out by insiting that every potential partner support an independence referendum. If politics is the art of getting on with others, as I think it is, then there is nothing wrong with coalition. Indeed this is surely what "big tent" Tories believe.

The real killer however is that under PR the government actually represents the majority of people & under FTPT it almost always doesn't. It is no wonder people are cynical about politics.

hg said...

Madasafish. Whatever have you against Italy's economy (or military record for that matter)?

An imperial power as old as is theirs has long given up caring as long as they are rich and safe in the present and medium term; and they are.

PR is about to be dealt with as threatening that status.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Has he opened up Pandoras box or simply put it in a box. If he is asked the question now, he has a get out, that being that it is something the aprty are examining but has no policy on at present.

Madasafish said...

>hg
If your ignorance on UK politics is as large as your apparent ignorance of Italy's finances...
(record deficits, public debt out of control, deteriorating productivity, balance of Payments problems ..
and military record ( not in any military role in Afghanistan or Iraq, long history of military reverses )

then frankly I suggest you should perhaps do some reading...:-)))

hg said...

Madasafish, Yes, I like reading, I'll take your advice and get back to it.

Newmania said...

Why is everyone so easy on the cruddy spineless Liberals here. The truth with that repellent collection of liars and bleeding heart showboaters is that they don1t know what they believe but as they want to ,“Do something”, about everything in effect they are socialists. There has never the slightest chance of a Liberal Alliance with the Conservative party and those who suggest there could be do not spend any time with Conservatives.. quite apart from Liberals , who detest the Conservative Party, as much as they detest the Country, and the English in particular


That pointless scum ,are the Labour Party plus Conceit, and that is all.
I am also staggered at the equanimity with which folk regard the end of our Constitution.The end of the and MP actually having to be voted for by a Constituency and the beginning of PR. The problem is the Scottish question. While Broon hates PR he will be happy to stop any government being formed before he sees the end of the labour Party in England. I believe he is capable of delibertely frustrating the wishes of the English for a Conservative and independent government at arms length from Europe by this foul vandalism to centuries of democracy.

If he does ,the fight goes to the Streets ,as far as I am concerned . I, for one, will not be taking that lying down and I hope that there will be many with me. The Liberal Party are the Judas in all this the traitors ,the worst that there can be .

antifrank said...

I agree with Giovanni - the problem with PR is that it results in a Government pursuing a balance of policies that no one voted for. Since Madasafish dislikes Italy as a point of comparison, he/she may wish to consider Germany, which is currently governed by a grand coalition, the elements of which were voted for by voters who on the one hand wanted to kick out the bums (the bums remain in office) and on the other hand voted in order to keep out the right (the right now share power). It follows policies that are miles from both parties' manifestos.

No German Government was voted out of office between 1969 and 1998 - Governments changed when junior coalition partners received better offers from rivals. In what way is that a superior democratic process?

Craig Ranapia said...

Anonymous (7:26 AM):

I believe in the one poll that really matters - the general election. I know the political/media elites collapsed under the weight of their own spin and cynicism years ago, but I'm still naive enough to believe policy is more important than polls, and substance (or the lack of it) more important than spinning polls that, in the end, is just the high-tech equivalent of getting a witch doctor to throw chicken entrails at a wall and 'read' the blood stains left behind.

Madasafish said...

Personally I think you are all fighting - like generals - the last war.
:-)

It makes not one whit of difference how we elect our politicians : it's what we do when we elect them.

Now in the pre electronic age, communications - or their lack - meant that the election system was so cumbersome, that it happened every 5 years and then the Government did essentially what it liked.. and Government was essentially local for all key services as centralisation was impossible due to the lack of communications.

Then communications enabled transport of news and ideas and we eneded up with centralise dgovernment.

Now we have the internet and we have the means of controlling everything locally with local voter participation..

and we have: centralised government.

Here we are on a blog debating this. Not with an MP or a Minister but with each other.

It's pathetic that Government and MPs are continuing the old pre 1900s style of government (brought in with the telex and telegraph) and we are arguing about how we vote under this system.

We should not be debating this.. but how we change politics to make it more relevant at a local level...

And PS I am not a great supporter of PR (and certainly not of the Libdims ) but as a voter I object when supporters of one party try to dish the dirt on the others and fail to recognise their own mistooks.


PR is not the issue for the 2020s : how to devolve pwers from central government to local and reverse voter apathyis.

fail to do that and the old syle political parties will continue to drift away from voters' attentions...

Anonymous said...

Hg

Only surpassed by you knowledge of history. The Italian state, if you can call it that even now, is a relatively new state. PR is like socialism, plausible in theory but impossible to implement. Under FPP voters are encouraged to make a decision, PR allows support for 'notions' not government. If the UK had PR we would have 10 elections in 10 years until an extreme view prevailed, a majority government under PR, that would govern for a multiple of the term of the usual coalition could be very dangerous.

Didnt the National Socialists benefit from a PR system that gave extremists electoral credibility way beyond their support? UKIP will get no seats in FPP but would get 5%+ under PR. Its an easy decison to vote for no hopers under PR.

hatfield girl said...

Anon.8.09 You may have been misled by madasafish's representations of my understanding of UK politics and Italian military capacity. Madasafish could not have been better chosen as a nom de plume.

P R produces the worst democratic results achievable - instability, extremism, compromise, distancing of political choice from the electorate, and lack of representation of those who fail to have their candidates elected, plus mandated MPs answering to their groupings rather than directly to the electorate. First past the post has none of these draw backs. Whipping keeps some discipline in the House but we are all still out there, at the weekends, in our constituencies waiting to make our views felt to our most representative members of parliament.

Madasafish's statements about the Italian forces are at best wrong, and display a nasty attitude.

This last can be said of you and your understanding of Italy and its history.

Why you address your comments to me about Germany during the nazi period I cannot imagine, but I fear that Germany is being treated to the same garbage-style interpretations you apply to Italy.

Peter said...

Yes a very big mistake and very welcome. Disillusioned Labour voters are much more likely to go the whole hog and vote Tory if they think that by voting for the Libdems they are simply letting Brown in again.

garypowell said...

Madafish
If I understand what you are saying correctly I agree with you.

Thats exactly why we need a Conservative government because they listen more then socialists. They dont listen much but they do listen, they have to.

Socialism is a dogma. Conservatism is a reactionary representation of the will of the common man. It has to listen otherwise it could never get elected or stay in power for long if it did not.

I expect that this site will be just as buzy when DCs in power as now. I certainly hope it will be anyway.

I am looking forward to bending Tory ears because at least their's will not have Starlinist Marxist fingers stuck in them.

Newmania said...

Well said HG on PR. The question at the heart of a working democracy is not which of the smorgasbord of delicacies do I vote for alone . It is equally which do I vote to vote for to keep that lot out. BY this complex process we arrive at a national government that is accountable not only to a small coterie of professional politicos . PR would be disaster and when you combine it with the existing ceding of sovereignty it would mark the end of an Englishman’s right to set the course for his own country

Newmania said...

Madfish - I just browsed your silly posts including your pointless excursion to Italy. Why ? Did you have an nice holiday there ? How interesting .

1-The fact is - whether the Conservatives like it or not - the Lib Dems were 100% correct on Iraq .
The Libs are pacifists and are against war . They got lucky this time but that is right only in the sense a stopped clock is right twice a day. The rest of what you say here is a non sequitur to out it kindly so I shall call it crap!
Being “More principled than the Lib Dums is faint praise but the Conservative party are showing principle by adopting a nationally acceptable stance across a range of issues. The LibDums operate chiefly locally where they say whatever happens to suit them . That is the difference.
And no matter however you argue, there is a VALID case for PR

No
.”. especially in the days when Scotland was over-represented -”
Irrelevant and it has not been sorted by the electoral commission by a long shot
“No matter how more appealing Mr Cameron may be on TV and how incompetent Labour appear, in Parliament the Conservatives are virtually invisible to me as a voter and they appear reactive…”
You appear to be an irrelevant minority and so once again you are saying nothing

“ looks like a cosy cartel…”

For reasons of access to the political process which would far far worse under PR and possibly because you choose to take no part.

“My view is we need more diversity of opinions in Parliament.. not two big party machines whipping into line“

“No because that would take Policy a further remove from the voter and would render the view of the electorate irrelevant.”

The result of the current system is absolute power for the Government .. and as Labour have shown changing the Constitution .

The power of government is limited when we can see what they are doing look at Iraq and the Poll tax. They would be delighted to add layer opinion layer of PR chosen committee so the entire process could be kept opaque. It would be the end of representation and the final accomplishment of fake Consultation followed by the rule of a Bureaucracy. The two Party system works by the immensely complex and inter connection between the Parties and the electorate. If we could just go back to deciding what we are doing in a visible Parliament that actually ruled the country in this manner we would once again be the envy of the world.

You madasfish sound like a the worst sort of armchair twiddler who , lacking any real interest, only makes mischief , with a view to showing off ,what I assume you think ,is your fine plumage
I have a horrible feeling that we may need to defend oursleves against the threat of PR and the end of accountable government and you are not helping.

Decadent Fop

Anonymous said...

Hi Newmania,

I'm an Englishman, and I don't feel I have had much opportunity to set the course for my country through the existing electoral system. In my lifetime the course has been set by a small coterie of professional politicos backed by frequently unaccountable vested interest groups.

I think we could do much better than the existing system. I suppose this means I am not a conservative.

Newmania said...

I suppose this means I am not a conservative.


Another Fop possibly ?

It is aproblem that PR would make even worse. David Cameron`s failed atempt to use the A list and the Mayoral elections to open the system up show what an intractable difficulty the proffessional European style poltico is.

That is why , more than ever we need transparency and the ability to vote against Party knowing what our vote will do.

IMHO

( Anon)

Newmania said...

I suppose this means I am not a conservative.


Another Fop possibly ?

It is aproblem that PR would make even worse. David Cameron`s failed atempt to use the A list and the Mayoral elections to open the system up show what an intractable difficulty the proffessional European style poltico is.

That is why , more than ever we need transparency and the ability to vote against Party knowing what our vote will do.

IMHO

( Anon)

Madasafish said...

>Newmania
"I have a horrible feeling that we may need to defend oursleves against the threat of PR and the end of accountable government and you are not helping"

I'm sorry but are you suggesting that the current system of government makes it accountable?
If so please explain to me how under both Conservative and Labour Governments the electorate has absolutely ZERO input into:
-the control of policing
-NHS policy as it affects their local facilities
- local transport policy.

You (deliberately ?) misunderstand my points.
Westminster government is all centralised. That suits both parties (Mrs Thatcher effectively abolished Local Council's taxtation powers).

It does NOT give the electorate any stake in local decisions.
Hence the apathy and fall in voter numbers.

Neil Craig said...

"P R produces the worst democratic results achievable - instability, extremism, compromise, distancing of political choice from the electorate, and lack of representation of those who fail to have their candidates elected, plus mandated MPs answering to their groupings rather than directly to the electorate. First past the post has none of these draw backs"

I think FTPT is considerably more vilnerable - lets go through them:

Instability - in the 80s the options were either a privatising Thatcher or a "nationalise the commanding heights" Labour,

extremism - see above

compromise - politics is the art by which we live together through compromise, this is a much better thomg than a particular minority being able to ride roughshod over everybody else as happens under FTPT

distancing of choice - quite the reverse, everybody gets to have their choice without being effectively disenfranchised if they don't like either of the big 2

"lack of representation of those who fail to get their candidates elected" - seriously? Currently the substantial majority of votes go to candidates who don't get elected, under PR very few do.

MPs answering to groups rather than the electorate - in a "safe" constituency, ie most of them. now the candidates greatest hurdle is getting selected or not deselected by their constituency committee which often, in all parties, have some rather strange hobbyhorses. While there is some problem with those versions of list system that don't allow the electorate to make individual selections from the list, under PR the overwhelming priority is to persuade as many as possible of the electors to vote for you, which is how it should be.

Newmania said...

Madasafish

-The Home Secretary has been forced to drop plans for local Police Forced merging due largely to the opposition of David Cameron and widespread local objection

The Conservative Party are floating the local Sherrif idea and I think it is likely that we may see that as Policy. I have a say in the party and through my vote

So that was a bad example of our supposed powerlessness, and on the day Blair decided that Road pricing is electoral suicide! This how the two Party system works , you can chuck one of them out . With PR you cannot

The NHS is not a local policy, it is paid for by the tax payer which has every right to expect some accountability nationally via government.This is dummest sort of localism . Oh goodness local people are protesting that they want more free services. AMAZING!


Transport is not really a local issue is it ? But you are right there us no transport policy in this country. It is on transport that the Labour Party are suffering as badly as on anything and this will contribute to the end of their reign of misrule.
You cannot tackle transport without an overhaul of the way the treasury counts money and this is a big job. I am certainly trying to get my views across with a view to informing Conservative Policy which is , admittedly , vague on this area at the moment . It has to be because it is part of the taxation debate on which "We " are saying nothing .This is in effectsaying "Lower" but not that mnuch lower.

You see how subtle it all is . BUT evryone understands the rules and this is what you would lose with PR .
LOCAL GOVT.
Come and live in Islignton and see the pretty gratitude that the foul bitch Enva Hodge was not allowed to start her own Soviet State by Margaret thatcher. Liberals always believe local is bestbecause its their only game . It is not when the majority are collecting benefits and can hold the minority to ransom.

Mrs Thatcher was quite right but there is a case now for some returning of power to Coucils ther first thing to do is to lose the Prescott white Elephant regional assemblies and with ken Fucking Livingtsone in it I could do with out the GLA personally.

Apathy is from philosophical closeness and the development of a disengaged poltical class. the fact we no longer run our own country also contributes. With PR far far fewer votes would count and the myriad of other ways you can have an effect would be closed.

Re-engagement comes from ditching Europe and opening politics to the working population. That would never never happen under PR and it isnt easy now .


I feel there may be a case for local PR where far to many Coucils are entirely dominated by coteries of "activists" dues to the low turn out and endemic cronyism of the rotten local scene. Many of the obvious national objections do not apply and this would be a reasonable thing for the Libs to ask for .

They are not reasonable though.

Neil Craig you are talking bollocks but I have to get back to work .Rest assurred though , I am thinking contemptuous thoughts!

C4' said...

Ming Campbell as leader of the Fib Dims is a mistake!

Madasafish said...

My point is quite simple. Mrs Thatcher centralised the Business Rate in the 1980s to prevent the loony left in Lioverpool forcing business out and ending up in a council going bust.. (with the majority on voters on the dole/benefits there was little motivation on voters to vote sensibly).

I think that was wrong. Local councils should be allowed to do what they like, and go bust and NOT be bailed out by Central Government.

A few lessons like that would end voter apathy...and encourage the others into fiscal repsonsibility...

Newmania said...

loony left in Lioverpool

and elsewhere.

you may have a point there