Is PR such a bad thing?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Tubbyboy, May 10, 2010.

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  1. Sorry if someone has put this point of view forward but I'm too tired and drunk to be anything but selfish and start my own thread.

    Anyway, is PR such a bad thing? Yes, it will allow people like the BNP a voice in government. Equally though, look at the percentage results at this page. By a little bit of rough and ready maths, I make UKIP to be the 4th party in the popular vote and to have 2/3 of the combined vote of all of the minor parties that won a seat put together. Surely a party who have come 4th and have a large portion of the vote should have a say?

    Equally, if Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem and "Other" got a notional 25% of the vote each, Labour would have (roughly) 300 seats, Conservative 200, Lib Dem 100, Other 50.

    How can that be fair?


    P.S. Sorry if I am slightly rambling but I don't care...
  2. I don't know where you get your data from, but proportional representation by your figures would keep labour in power, if thats what the majority wants then so be it in my book.

    I am a labour supporter. I would suit me for labour to lose the reigns whilst the majority of the population support them.
  3. Where did you pluck those figures from? Under PR, if each of the four groups got 25% of the popular vote, they would each have 25% of the seats.
  4. My questions are more:

    1. Why aren't each of the constituencies of a similar size of population?

    2. Why do we need so many MP's if most of our legislation is ratifying that from Brussels?

    That way FPTP, may make more sense.

    A referendum on PR might produce something worthwhile, but as the UK voted predominantly for two parties that weren't offering it, why do we (they) think a referendum will be in favour of it?

    Minority parties are just as unlikely to get a say in PR if No's 1 and 3 parties have 55% of the votes anyway
  5. My Bold .... but how would the Referendum on a change be worded ? Would we be given multiple choice and would the selection itself be based on AV .... interesting thought . I have a feeling that it's wording / options / voting advice would be chosen to influence the outcome ... it had already started in the General Election with Government Ministers advising voters to vote with their heads rather than their hearts .
  6. "A referendum on PR might produce something worthwhile, but as the UK voted predominantly for two parties that weren't offering it, why do we (they) think a referendum will be in favour of it?"

    Looking at what has been said about Labour's offer to the Lib Dems, there isn't even the offer of a referendum, they will just impose it on the country without referring it to the electorate.

    By all means lets look at alternative electoral systems, but lets not impliment one it in haste, it is destined to fail if its put together too quickly with little thought, and if its not accepted by the electorate it will be a disaster.
  7. Wouldn't proportional representation exacerbate our current quandary, that is no clear majority and so possibly a series of sporadic, less effective governments? Also doesn't it then serve to stand that we would also lack a unified opposition? Furthermore with peoples issue of MPs being forced to tow the party line by whips isn't the lack of an accountable MP detrimental to this (though then again people may purely vote for the leader they want rather than their best local candidate)?
  8. Yes, PR is shite, it would mean Lib-Lab would be almost impossible to get rid of, effectively creating a 1 party state.
  9. PR also means potentially that if we had say the same amount of seats, parties like the BNP would get something like 2% of those seats.

    But if we were to impose a cap, say you had to get at least 5% to get a seat as some people want, it wouldn't be proportional. PR is only bandied about by the LD as it MIGHT get them more seats.
  10. Unless you get it right, PR can result in a Parliament that is, in effect, permanently "hung" - the Italians are a case in point. That said, others seem to make it work after a fashion.
  11. Genuine PR would have resulted in (and yes some of them are rounded up):
    Conservatives- 235 36.1%
    Labour- 189 29%
    Liberal Democrats- 150 23%
    UKIP- 20 3.1%
    BNP- 12 1.9%
    SNP- 11 1.7%
    Greens- 7 1%
    The one strength of FPTP has always been that more often than not it'll produce a reasonable strong governing party which for good or ill will be able to pass laws to support the policies for which they were elected. The one big downside of PR is that more often than not you stuck with an alliance of parties with minimal mutual ground who'll turn on each other over any major policy decision leading to elections every other year as in Italy, and a failure to deliver on the policies they were elected for unless they horsetrade with neo-facists or communists.
  12. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    PR wouldn't be good for the UK I think. We don't have an established system of political coalitions, we don't have a number of similar parties that would naturally be attracted to a coalition with their siblings, and I suspect we n wouldn't enjoy the frequent General Elections that might result when these nominal coalitions fragment. In addition in a PR system we would not be directly electing our representative to parliment. At best a loyal party flunky would be assigned to our constituency, at worst that illusion wouldn't even happen.

    Personally I'd opt for some form of Single Transferable Vote (think Canada and Australia use this system). I('d also reduce the number of MPs to around 400, have parliment running for a fixed term, have the electoral commision adjust constituency boundaries automatically before a general election so that the population is within 3% of all other constituencies (could be tricky in Northern Ireland I suspect- see the voteshare:seats won ratio for a reason). I would also introduce the use of a computerised voting machine system to replace paper ballots.

    Anyone wants to shoot these suggestions down, feel free. Can't say they have been stress-tested yet ;)
  13. FPTP has resulted in a Hung Parliament - the first since 1974. (2nd since 1929)

    PR means a hung parliament every fucking election.................that's why Clegg et al want it. It's the only chance they have of being involved in decision making.
  14. 11.9% of people didnt vote for the main three, that equates to 77 seats (at the moment its 28, so you are right they would be alot more powerful. Its also possible once they have the publicity of being known better, that their votes might increase, causing larger factions with more power to occur.
  15. IMO preferential voting is the fairest system (I believe some Australian states use it) where by you'd have three votes with points attached to each of them ie 1st-5 2nd-3 3rd-1 so that if you are a supporter of a smaller party your vote isn't completely ignored.