A modest proposal (baby-eating optional)

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by ExplodingTrousers, Nov 15, 2007.

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  1. Would you happily give up your right to vote for a million pounds?

    I read this thread just after reading this, and it struck me that an awful lot of people would be quite happy to say yes.

    The question makes sense; why force the right to have a say onto people who are determined to say nothing? If anything, it would mean that those of us who have deeper philosophical attachments to democracy would have the say we deserve, wouldn't it? Also, would it not actually provide the otherwise apathetic with a reason to be interested?

    So here's what I propose - that we are given the option to take the million pounds, and those of us who do should have the right to buy it back for this sum (plus compound interest) once in every decade; in exchange, our version of the post-Reichstag fire Enabling Act would be no longer.

    It's got to be cheaper for gov.uk than ID cards, but I appreciate that this idea may need some work. Thoughts?
  2. Why would the government even consider buying your vote off you when they can simply take it away by making the pre-conditions unacceptable to you?
  3. Agreed my vote doesn't seemed to have counted for much anyway :evil:
  4. As the man said 'If voting changed anything they'd ban it'.

    Gordon Brownshirt would soon have most of that million back off you as well.

    I might give up my British citizenship for a million though......
  5. I appreciate that the idea may seem just a little naive; why disenfranchise with money when you can do so far more effectively with apathy? My ponderings were on whether rolling back the franchise would actually be the best thing for British democracy, I suppose.

    I'm just fed up of this whole feeling of powerlessness, rather than anger, that I see among the politically aware, and the sheer disinterestedness of (to my psephologically untrained eye) a majority...
  6. If the Liabour Brownshirts win the next election it'll be time for a coup.
  7. Why not go instead for some form of qualification for franchise.

    We've got in this country a state apparatus for broadcasting news, current affairs and information (the BBC, no don't laugh - think about it in principle), so people really have no excuse for not knowing what's going on around them.

    Make attendance at the Polls compulsory, and have a simple 10 question test on current affairs and the manifestos of the parties/individuals standing. Make people prove that they know what it is they are voting for before allowing them to actually cast their vote.

    I've also mooted in the past a scheme allowing people to cast their vote against a Party/individual instead of for one if they so choose. People tend to be most apathetic when they don't feel they can stop something undesirable form happening, this allows them to do just that.
  8. You have a very good point there smartascarrots.. the possibility of voting against a party could lead to some interesting debates.. I know myself that if I could I would vote against Neu Arbeit if I could and unfortunately at the last election was forced to vote for a party that in reality had no choice of winning anything.. I wanted to vote as I believed that as it was my right to I should, regardless of the votee I was voting for.
  9. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Firstly - I'd give up my citizenship for 5 million, not 1 million - got to find a comfy gaff somewhere else y'know.

    Secondly - Why make voting compulsory? What is the point? You don't get to choose your PM, you don't get to choose the main parties, it's a party political system, you don't get to choose the policies, you don't get to vote on them and you can't STOP policies.

    I've got a better idea; we should:

    1. Be able to nominate and vote for our PM.

    2. Ban the party political system and have independent-only candidates put forward (we used to a long time ago). By all means form cliques when in power, but not out of it.

    3. All political candidates can put their names in the hat and WE choose whether they go forward for election or not.

    4. No shifting people around to safe seats - you stand in the area you come from or live in.

    5. The internet is here, and we can already set an agenda and get people to vote for it on the No. 10 website, so let's have EVERYONE able to propose policies and vote on them. This could be done with perhaps a threshhold of 100,000 votes for a particular policy or change - at such a point, it could go to a national forum and debate, before a national vote.

    6. Have all areas of national importance, as voted for by the voters, strictly controlled by national debate, followed by public votes on any changes. These areas might include: Immigration, borders, taxes, treaties (EU), fishing rights, health, public services etc.

    7. Completely transparent gobment - to include the scrapping of the get-out from the FOI Act. The voters HAVE to have access to all expenditure, accounts and debate, whether these debates are in quangos or parliament.

    8. Very, very strict rules of proberty and decency for our parliamentarians. Get caught lying, stealing, cheating or misusing the office or position - if it is proven, yo don't get a chance to resign, or shift to another department - you are out.

    I could go in, but this will probably give a numbe of politicos the sh!ts.
  10. A lot of good points, Biped, particularly the banning of Party politics. It's fundamentally anti-democratic, but then so much of our current Parliamentary system exists solely to provide a defininte outcome. FPTP is a prime example of a voting system guaranteed to avoid coalition government.

    As to making voting compulsory, I didn't say we should, just that attendance at the polling station should be compulsory. People need to respect and value the power they have over government if they're to use it to any effect; if they give up the right to vote it should be as a matter of informed choice not just because they fancied a bit of a lie in or Corrie is on in a minute.

    Above all, Government should serve the realm, not the other way around.
  11. Interesting points, Biped. I especially agree with 1, 7 and 8, but a couple of questions:

    - Would (2) not encourage unofficial cliques? How could one then differentiate between party politics in all but name and interest groups?

    - (5) and (6): I imagine that the time taken in consultation would be a partial block against knee-jerk legislation; how would voter fatigue work in such a system?

    smartascarrots, I agree completely when you suggest that people need to respect and value their power over governments. My inner cynic led me to believe that they can't or won't, and would only appreciate it when they no longer have any say. Especially if, as John_Charity_Spring suggests, such bribes are reclaimed in tax anyway. I quite like your idea of voting against parties, partly because tactical voting might become that much more entertaining with FPTP... :twisted:
  12. How about we just copy the Swiss system and become a non EU offshore financial haven, governed by referenduma and devolved local government with a small central government rather than an ever expanding Labour superstate. We remain a constitutional monarchy.

    We maintain an independant nuclear deterrent and continue to play our part in world affairs rather than sticking our heads in the sand. But we do it strictly on our own terms.

    Compulsory voting and active citizenship encouraged. We strive to build a high tech economy and encourage scientists, teachers and inventors to immigrate but nobody else.

    Above all we stop running the country as a life support machine for chavs and parasites.
  13. Where do I sign up :D
  14. The EU (particularly some Frenchman) have been ticking about Switzerland's very advantageous tax regime, saying that it is anti-competitive etc, and that Switzerland should come into line with the rest of Europe.
    The EU claims that 'negotiations' have started with the Swiss Government. The Swiss Government's response is, basically, 'Bolleaux. They're telling us what they think, but there is no way we'll negotiate on this.'

    On the chav side, it is illegal, here, for under-16s to be out on the streets after 2200, unless unaccompanied by a responsible adult. A good example to follow, methinks.
  15. Two questions here, what is classed as a responsible adult? Over 18 or what and are they actually responsible for what the under 16 gets up to?

    Secondly what about those aged between 16 and whatever responsible adulthood is supposed to be? ie where most of the worst chavness is seen?