There's a very good piece on the Dutch election stalemate HERE
. What a shambles. It's a very good illustration of why we shouldn't have any truck with PR at general elections. In all likelihood the Dutch will still be horsetrading for another three months before a Cabinet can be formed.
If no party gets a simple majority; and if no government is formed, does that mean we don't get any more stupid laws/increases in taxes/nannying exortations from crap ministers? PR sounds great and I'm with Polly on this one.
with PR the tyranny of the majority (NuLab having a massive majority yet in reality a minority of the overall vote) is replaced by the tyranny of the minority....in our case that means the LibDems having power totally out of proportion to their share of the vote i.e the power to make or break governments, effectively the power to pick prime ministers and their cabinet, to pick and choose policies ane ensure that any future governments policies are to LibDem tastes even though they (the LibDums) would have the smallest proportional share of the vote - in the real world PR would deliver a total debasement of democracy as the smallest proportion gets all the power...thats real "proportional" representation
With a hung parliament possible next time PR is a policy to raise its head.
anyonebutblair is wrong. If the Lib Dems ask for too much, then the Tories can form a coalition with Labour.
"To hell with democracy - we want an easy life in our route to unfettered power."
Sounds like a good Tory line, Iain. Tony Blair would be proud of you.
Experience around the world shows that the minority parties in a coalition do not have as much power as people assume here in the UK.
If we had PR, I'd expect several things: Labour would be likely to split, the socialist wing and the Blairite wing would both get enough support for representatives.
The Tories may split, UKIP would seem more attractive to some of those disaffected Tories.
Even the LibDems could find themselves splitting, into a liberal (economic and social) party and a social democratic/wet party.
Amongst these new parties there'd be more shuffling of members.
As a liberal I say bring on PR, it will give a fairer representation to every person, give people a reason to vote (their vote can actually matter) and it may mean less legislation, certainly legislation would be harder to force through.
Also STV will allow voters to choose between members of the same party which could be much fun ;) (as well as allowing the electorate to send a signal about which candidates they prefer).
We have of course had STV in Westminster elections, only for a few constituencies (and to all the libdem haters, only 2 Liberals ever got elected in them...)
To your credit Iain, at least you didn't bring up the mess of Israel (nobody in the UK seriously suggests the Israeli system... it seems to be an exercise in how not to do that).
PR allows the electorate to get what they vote for. You can also have successful minority government.
Say the Tories win an election- they can court the other parties on different issues (and hopefully members may get back to voting on the issue and listening to debate, but that may be a pipe dream)
I'm looking forward to the Liberal, Green, Respect, Anarchist
As the Dutch "shambles" shows no party has a right to people's votes, they are only as good as they currently deserve (eg the wiping out of Fortuna's party) & I can see why a Dutch politician could prefer our cosy system.
Of course it makes it far more difficult to form a stable government & force through government policy - whether this is a bad thing depends very much on whether strong government is something you look forward to.
For a more balanced view of the Dutch elections there is a good piece on it in the Brussels Journal.
Very well put, Tristan.
I'm sorry, Iain, I couldn't disagree with you more.
I can't understand why tories support FPTP elections. Given that they 'trade' in the range 36% to 30% of the popular votes, they will never regain power: I have always be assured that the 'lust for power' is the only thing that keeps the desparate wings of the "Toty" Party together.
Obviously you have fond memories of the 1970's and 80's when 42% was enough to keep the political imbeciles Thatcher and major in power. I can't believe the tory ever expect to get above 40% again, given the lack of support in Scotlans, Wales and the North of England.
The numbers just don't add up
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