Safe Seats and Rotten/Pocket Boroughs

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#41
Following on from something I read, are safe seats the modern equivalent to the Rotten Boroughs of the 18th and early 19th Century. They do a similar job, shoe horning a candidate into a position where they are guranteed the right outcome.

Is there anyway that this could be stopped and if not, why should it be allowed to carry on. As far as I can see it is just a way of all political parties to get dubious "political" talent on to the gravy train.
Call Me Dave came up with a good suggestion when the MP's expense scandal was at its height - which he characteristically kicked into touch when the problem went off the boil.

The suggestion was open primaries. You register as a supporter of party 'X' - be it Tory, Labour, Limp Dem or Monster Raving Loony. The local constituency party then puts up three potential candidates for the seat and you have an independently organised and supervised secret ballot to determine which candidate was adopted.

It would stop the party machine parachuting candidates in - as if they were not local, they probably wouldn't be voted for. And it would stop people with their entire careers in politics being adopted - as people would probably vote for a candidate with a track record of achievements in the real world.

Finally, it would probably stop extremists being adopted as candidates. For example, Labour would find it difficult to slip a hard left candidate in - ordinary Labour voters would reject the candidate.

But I know why Call Me Dave booted it into touch - it would result in voters selecting candidates they liked rather than ones that brown-nosed party HQ's.

Wordsmith
 
#42
PR would seriously unbalance this
As I see it, and recent UK history supports me, the moment we get anything other than a one party overall majority the next step is horse trading to form a coalition. The electorate get no say in this process. So e.g. how many people voted Lib-Dem in 2010 to see a Lib/Lab pact and were horrified when the Lib-Dems jumped into bed with the Tories. At present the Tories are all sucking up to a bunch of racist, homophobes to stay in power, maybe those who voted Tory like this idea, maybe they don't, but they have no say. The Liberals stayed in power in Germany for a positive age by swapping from left to right wing coalitions just to stay in power. Their price was always the foreign ministry so German foreign policy had a liberal tinge whether you voted Socialist or C/Democrat.
 
#44
Can't help thinking that it would be a good time to reform the Civil Service in a way that subdued their undemocratic activities.
 
#45
I remember when Shaun Woodward crossed the floor in Witney and went Labour not long before the general election.
Labour quickly found him the safe seat of St Helens South which he was parachuted into much to the disgust of the locals, he didn't even know where it was. Not sure he ever moved as he was constantly ungraded his home there and loath to move from his estate with Camilla nee Sainsbury in Sarsdon West Oxfordshire.
The Cons chose DC who was not local but was lent/rented a cottage on Lord Chadlingtons estate in Dean whilst he fought the general election.
Having been in the selection forum for MEPs I would love to see people with life experience at a reasonable level so can contribute to big issues and not be dead above the tie line and with a sense of self service not self serving which so many of them have!
 
#47
Not really, I have lived in the same ward for 20 years, I have no criminal convictions, and I have been in the same job for 13 years...not difficult.
The same for millions of good working folk. However you are dealing with a class of people that live in a different, and somewhat alien world to the rest of humanity, and consider organised politics as a sort of closed club, only open to mainly Oxbridge graduates, and the offspring of the rich and very well connected. They on the whole do not go into, if that is the right description, politics for Altruistic reasons, more to further their meteoric assent up the greasy pole either into commerce, or a ministry.

Cromwell dissolved parliament for the very same reasons, now some 400 years later, the same venal tendencies are now prevalent. To add not all MPs are like this, some are courteous correct and represent their constituents with vim and vigour., and some are not fit to serve, and some are parasites. Please don't get me started on the HoL. rant over....END
 
#48
Following on from something I read, are safe seats the modern equivalent to the Rotten Boroughs of the 18th and early 19th Century. They do a similar job, shoe horning a candidate into a position where they are guranteed the right outcome.

Is there anyway that this could be stopped and if not, why should it be allowed to carry on. As far as I can see it is just a way of all political parties to get dubious "political" talent on to the gravy train.
Wasn't the proposed changes to the voting boundaries meant to address this very issue?
Anyone?
 
#52
Politics is a very complicated game.
One of my mates was a very sucsesfull bloke on my local council.
He moved down to his place of birth and stood for selection, only to be mugged off by the local party.
I told him to give it time and wait.
His missus is now the leader of the council and the old fogies of the local party, after being told too, have done one.
He now sits on the council and does what he passionately believes in, and they both make a very good living out of politics.

I predict He or his ,misses will be in the cabinet one day.
 
#53
Can't help thinking that it would be a good time to reform the Civil Service in a way that subdued their undemocratic activities.

Can't help thinking that that it would be a good time for some of those on this thread who moan about politicians to put themselves forward and stand for election although I suspect it might to be too much like hard work...

If you don't like it the hustings await you...
 
#54
And make 65 or 70 a mandatory retirement age for both HoC and HoL. :cool:
... and 35 or 40 for becoming a MP. It would give them some time grow up [hopefully]
Don't agree about time in commons. some MP's are good constituency bods and man their surgeries on a regular basis. Also, other duties to perform [sounds a bit G&S]
 
#55
... and 35 or 40 for becoming a MP. It would give them some time grow up [hopefully]
Don't agree about time in commons. some MP's are good constituency bods and man their surgeries on a regular basis. Also, other duties to perform [sounds a bit G&S]
Yeah! More old white men! Please give us more of the same! Politicians are doing so well!
 
#56
I have always believed that there should be a residential qualification prior to standing for a particular constituency.
I believe that a starting point should be:

A prospective MP should have lived in a property within the constituency and have done so for 3 years prior to registering/standing as a candidate.
And at least one of your parents should have a British passport.
This should apply to representing your country in any way.
 
#58
Which politicians as a rule don’t - so no need for their parents to have a British Passport by your rules
While I can be as cynical as the next man about the motivation of politicians, I believe a majority are in it to help shape our future in a way they feel is right.

This may not reflect the majority of their constituents opinions.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#59
1. Must of held a non-political job for 10 years.
2. Must be a resident of the contituency that they wish to represent (5 years Min).
3. No criminal convictions.
4. No second job or representative on any board of a company or charity.
5. All private accounts to be audited annually to ensure no bribes or spurious payments are being
I always thought 3 applied anyway, it was put into place to stop prisoners getting out early.
1 is difficult as many senior jobs involve meeting and dealing with politicians
2 is also not easy but all of my local MP's have had residences in my town.
4 is also moot as business is supposed to provide real world experience, you can legislate against lobbying though.
After the London Olympics (the recent one Auld Yin) I suggested that the accommodation shouldn't be sold on but used to house members of the commons and Lords, the Jubilee line goes to Westminster and an early private train can be laid on. They should also pay for the food and accom at the same rates as other public servants.
If the want to serve then they should be willing to make sacrifices!
 
#60
They should also pay for the food and accom at the same rates as other public servants.
Seeing as how MPs would, if in the Civil Service, be classed as on detached duty when visiting Westminster from their constituency (or vice versa) that rate would be zero
 

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