Bad moon rising for the Labour Party…

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sunnoficarus, Sep 12, 2011.

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  1. 50 less MP's then?
  2. Typical BBC dedication to accuracy - "MPs will get their first look later at which seats may disappear and how others may change as overall Commons numbers are cut by 650 to 600 by 2015."

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    50 down, 499 to go and 101 to be left in no doubt about what's expected from them on pain of a one-way visit to the Tower (well, one can dream).
  4. Is this really a good idea?

    Surely more MPs would be better, to allow the wishes of hte people to be fully heard in the house.

    Bigger constituencies just mean more people didn't get who they wanted, especially as the new way of voting was kicked in the balls.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    I'd put a different view. Reducing MP numbers would mean that members of the national assembly would focus on national issues - the constituencies would simply be too big to focus on whether Mrs Scroggins got a four-wheeled invalid carriage or a three-wheeled one. That would open up the field for those elected to local bodies and give our elected representatives at all levels a clearer indication of where their focus should be than exists at the moment. I really don't want those who are charged with the formulation and scrutiny of national policy to be distracted by the state of the drains in Dagenham. I appreciate the traditions involved but let's have local issues resolved by local politicians and national issues addressed by national politicians - anything else is a bit too Eighteenth Century in my view.
    • Like Like x 1

  6. Since when was that in the remit of an MP, not in my lifetime.
  7. Like where you are going with this, perhaps we could have several local councillers working 'under' the MP. Then a quick letter to the MP could get some arrses kicked if needed? We need accountablity at all levels really, and no tthe 'I will take my one vote from you' accountability.
  8. Both houses of the US Congress combined are smaller than our House of Commons. The Americans run their country with around 500 legislators. We have well over 2000 for a country that's a fraction the size of the USA.

    Throw in the Euro parliament, various regional assemblies, county councils, borough councils and parish council and you can see why politics is just about the only growth industry left in Britain.

    We need a bonfire of the parasites and I, for one, look forward to seeing formerly honourable members fighting like ferrets in a sack to secure their place at the trough.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Yeah but AM, America has far more power devolved to the individual States who in turn devolve power down to County level. Add up all the elected officials in the US and you'll get a far higher number than the UK I reckon.
  10. Another point -

    We currently have a system for Euro MPs that makes them all but unaccountable. With only 72 MEPs elected on the List system there is absolutely no connection between the voters and the elected official. As a result, the parties stitch it up to send who THEY want, not who WE want.

    In a UK context, less MPs is a bad thing in terms of holding the Govt to account. Successive governments have increased the size of the cabinet, made more ministers, junior ministers, private secretaries etc etc. Every MP who takes such a position cannot vote against the Govt (or he/she loses the position, the pay and any chance of promotion). Effectively, Govt is buying backbench votes.

    I can't remember the exact number, but it's around 180-200 MPs who cannot vote against Government because of this.

    If we reduce the number of MPs, they won't reduce the number of Ministers etc so the proportion of bought votes increases.

    How long before an elected government effectively cannot be opposed in the House of Commons?
  11. "We currently have a system for Euro MPs that makes them all but unaccountable. With only 72 MEPs elected on the List system there is absolutely no connection between the voters and the elected official. As a result, the parties stitch it up to send who THEY want, not who WE want."

    Is it a Party List System ?

  12. Eh?
  13. We have that now. In my lifetime, I have only seen a government defeated on a vote in the Commons a handful of times, and it is almost invariably with issues of next to no national importance (Gurkhas, Circuses, Expenses - even if these things were of great principle).

    The current system is incredibly effective at preventing the overturn of government majorities, although reducing the number of MPs is only going to enhance this.

    The size of the executive is a problem but, even including all of the "Chief Stamp-Licker" jobs bandied around by Ministers, the Executive has only an inbuilt number of guaranteed votes of around 200 out of 650. That still accounts for less than one third of the legislature and the reasons for the executive constantly riding rough-shod over public wishes are not to be found alone in the size of the executive.

    Other problems include, but are not limited to:

    - The Whips. I have witnessed some of the most fantastical threats bandied around by Whips against MPs who threaten to rebel against stupid proposals. Most of these revolve around "You'll lose your seat and never work again" etc etc. They also utilise some of the most bizarre inducements as bribes. There is the famous story of one back bench Labour MP emerging from Gordon Brown's office when Brown was pushing for 42 Day Detention Without Trial, whereupon he revealed that Brown had "offered [him] Cuba" in exchange for his vote (i.e. lifting trade sanctions against Cuba).

    - The tribal adversarialism between party MPs which makes them fundamentally incapable of working together to defeat stupid proposals.

    - The 'traditional' and frankly ridiculous notion that every UK government that has ever formed has had, that if its proposals are defeated it is "unable to govern" and must dissolve Parliament and convene an election. This perpetual myth cements the idea in the minds of back-bench MPs that cross-cooperation with opposition will result in an election in which the opposition will benefit at the expense of the rebelious back-benchers.

    - The control that central party offices have over regional constituency candidates allows them to both select supine candidates whose compliance can be relied upon and ensure independent candidates often aren't even allowed to get on the shortlist.

    The European Parliament is even worse - of my (considerable) group of friends I am probably the most politically aware, and I couldn't tell anybody a single thing that the European Parliament is currently doing. At most I could name about 10 UK MEPs. In my opinion people cannot hold something to account that they know almost nothing about.

    UK MEPs to the EU Parliament are elected by Proportional Representation and, as such, Party Lists do determine the candidates.