2015 General Election

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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Darth-Lampshade » Sat 9 May 2015 00:09

So is complaining about this FPTP in the UK like those in the US who complain about our electoral college which was apparently some horrible racist evil crime against the American public until Obama got elected?
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Mitchverr » Sat 9 May 2015 00:13

Darth-Lampshade wrote:So is complaining about this FPTP in the UK like those in the US who complain about our electoral college which was apparently some horrible racist evil crime against the American public until Obama got elected?


Not sure how the college goes but with this over 60% of the public want it changed from all parties so its not like "only the minority want it" or something, its a clearly large % large enough to arguably be a strong majority as many people want it but are not as vocal with another large group "not caring", the fptp groups pretty small these days.

But to be frank, keeping fptp today is arguably anti democratic and "evil" because the main party is only keeping it due to them being the party that does well from it.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Darth-Lampshade » Sat 9 May 2015 00:26

Mitchverr wrote:Not sure how the college goes but with this over 60% of the public want it changed from all parties so its not like "only the minority want it" or something, its a clearly large % large enough to arguably be a strong majority as many people want it but are not as vocal with another large group "not caring", the fptp groups pretty small these days.

But to be frank, keeping fptp today is arguably anti democratic and "evil" because the main party is only keeping it due to them being the party that does well from it.

I don't keep up with UK politics too much but wasn't a referendum on possibly changing the process a few years ago defeated by like 12 million to 6 million?
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Mitchverr » Sat 9 May 2015 00:51

Darth-Lampshade wrote:I don't keep up with UK politics too much but wasn't a referendum on possibly changing the process a few years ago defeated by like 12 million to 6 million?


There was alot of fear mongering about the BNP getting votes, "cant survive a minority government" and other silly things like that which have all been shown to not be the end of the world now so its drastically changed, this incident where a group can be outnumbered 4-5 to 1 and have 7 times as many people in government will likely show the rest "we might want to change". It was also less than half the country, people who want change are more leftist and centre, less likely to vote anyway, those who want to keep are right wing tory, more likely historically to just vote anyway.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... endum-lost

This covers alot of the issues fairly well.
Last edited by Mitchverr on Sat 9 May 2015 00:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Graphic » Sat 9 May 2015 00:54

FPTP has problems but the more I think about it, I still prefer it to virtual/proportional representation. Especially in the US' case.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Kraxis » Sat 9 May 2015 01:03

Graphic wrote:FPTP has problems but the more I think about it, I still prefer it to virtual/proportional representation. Especially in the US' case.

First Past The Post can work. But it is very very prone to a sort of corruption. Because of the way it works the electoral districts need reworking very often, otherwise you get into the 'Rotten Borough' issue. And that we can all agree isn't democratic. But the reworking itself is part of the problem because it can lead to Gerrymandering. I don't think I need to post some of the silly cases, though I have to admit the case of the guy being moved out of his own electoral district in order to pit him against one of his own was a particularly low blow.

You can argue that those things can be defeated by having a third party (not political party in this case) doing the reworking. But it hasn't yet happened, so it is doubtful it will ever happen. Might as well make it representative and avoid those issues.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Graphic » Sat 9 May 2015 01:13

There's a growing movement to have independent bodies draw congressional districts, at least one state has already tried it but it's caught up in courts at the moment IIRC.

The fundamental problem I have with proportional representation in the US is that with such a large country, you need representatives tied to their local constituency in order to have their concerns raised on the federal level.

If congress were a bunch of random ministers supplied by the parties, what cause would any of them have to care about what a piece of legislation would do to Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, etc.? Even if they wanted to be concerned, who raises the issue? Lobbyists? The small states' lobbyists will just be marginalized by the wealthiest states.

Essentially you'd end up with the same problem that the electoral college has where the parties would only focus on the top megalopolises and everyone else gets marginalized. I see that as even worse than gerrymandering.

I think proportional representation is definitely the best system with quite small countries where the issues people have are more purely political in nature rather than about local issues.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby ikalugin » Sat 9 May 2015 01:19

You could always have a two level system, on one level the parlament members are supplied by parties and on the other by the regions.

The presidential election should use direct representation though imo.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Kraxis » Sat 9 May 2015 03:01

Graphic wrote:There's a growing movement to have independent bodies draw congressional districts, at least one state has already tried it but it's caught up in courts at the moment IIRC.

The fundamental problem I have with proportional representation in the US is that with such a large country, you need representatives tied to their local constituency in order to have their concerns raised on the federal level.

If congress were a bunch of random ministers supplied by the parties, what cause would any of them have to care about what a piece of legislation would do to Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, etc.? Even if they wanted to be concerned, who raises the issue? Lobbyists? The small states' lobbyists will just be marginalized by the wealthiest states.

Essentially you'd end up with the same problem that the electoral college has where the parties would only focus on the top megalopolises and everyone else gets marginalized. I see that as even worse than gerrymandering.

I think proportional representation is definitely the best system with quite small countries where the issues people have are more purely political in nature rather than about local issues.

Proportional systems come in many forms, and they all have their own issues naturally.
You can have a proportional system where the representatives are connected to their local areas.

For instance you can have a system where you have personal votes, where you run in a set place where there can't be votes for you personally outside that area, and after a set amount you are guaranteed a spot. All votes after that then goes to the party, or if you are independent they are added to the pool of 'lost votes' (usually only an issue in case of many very very small parties). That itself can be constructed in many ways (candidates assigns surplus to someone, proportional assignment, per group etc).
This surplus in case of a party pool, then then be assigned to candidates of their choosing (who naturally must have run somewhere), or proportionally (oh Candidate X only needs 5 votes, let's top him off first rather than Y who only got 7 votes total). The size of the pool geographically or demographically can naturally be set to small (pretty much first past the post) or very big (national pool). In this case it would make sense to make it into a state pool in most cases (in case of the very smallest states it wouldn't change much other than a state might go from 3:0 to 2:1). I doubt any state would be willing to share with any other state(s) in any case. So Wyoming doesn't have to worry about changing all that much. :P

This system really forces the candidates to work for their local areas in order to get significant number of votes for them personally and thus a greater chance of getting in. And thus a candidate who would in FPTP lose 10 times out of 10, could still make it because he still got pretty close to the breakpoint and then was topped off with lost votes from somewhere else, where the candidate did less well. Of course each electoral area would be multiple seat regions, otherwise it is back to FPTP. You can argue in the case of very big and sparsely populated areas, this would work less well for that local connection, but even in FPTP each area is already very big, I doubt many people would notice a difference.

I'm not some electoral expert, but proportional is very flexible as you can effectively tailor it to fit your needs. Nobody says it has to be one big pool and random dudes and ladies get pulled out of the hat based on those results. In fact I don't think anyone has that sort of system, unless they are Monaco sized. :D
The only thing you can be sure of is that in FPTP you lose a hell of a lot of votes, and if there are multiple candidates doing well, you can end up with a minority representative. In the USA right now that isn't likely, but just look at UK right now. Two parties with millions of votes (of a voterbase of less than 50 million) barely got represented in a very large parliament.
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Re: 2015 General Election

Postby Graphic » Sat 9 May 2015 03:40

The system you outline sounds like a horror show.

I'd rather have my vote thrown out than be used without my knowledge or consent to help elect a candidate somewhere else I know nothing about, and I don't want the excess vote of someone in a different district being used to determine the outcome of the election in my district.

My vote should only be used exactly how I intended it to be and the outcome of a local election should be decided only by the people who actually reside there.
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