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Discussion Starter #1
The bloke I voted for didn't get in - democracy doesn't work.

Surely proportional representation is the way forward.

Eric Pickles is out - thank gawd for that.

Another 3 years of austerity - take a long look at your local Council - it won't be there in a couple of years.

Nigel Farage - he's got some of my sympathy - not winning the South Thanet seat - then people from the gathered audience shouting 'bye Nigel - see ya'. Bit cruel that.
 

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Look on the bright side at least we have a majority government another coalition would have been worse !

Scotland now have the yellow peril in control im not sure that's going to be a good thing in the longer term but we will see.

I DO NOT WANT yet another referendum on independence though !!
 

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Some people will be glad to see Camerons Clowns back in government but for some reason I can see a lot of those that voted for them regretting it before the end of the term. Unfortunately there wasn't an obvious alternative but to be honest, a goverment full of teletubbies would have been preferable imho.

Maybe if I win the euro millions I might change my perspective but don't see that happening - mainly because I rarely do the lotteries.

Still, I voted against the clowns so I earned my right to whinge at what they come up with next.
 

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Some people will be glad to see Camerons Clowns back in government but for some reason I can see a lot of those that voted for them regretting it before the end of the term. Unfortunately there wasn't an obvious alternative but to be honest, a goverment full of teletubbies would have been preferable imho.

Maybe if I win the euro millions I might change my perspective but don't see that happening - mainly because I rarely do the lotteries.

Still, I voted against the clowns so I earned my right to whinge at what they come up with next.
Talking to someone this morning who commented that during WW2 we had a coalition that worked because they all pulled together, necessary in the circumstances of the time. Too many politicians are only concerned in staying in power or their constituency rather than working for the common good (imho). Coalitions act to moderate the excesses of a majority party but my belief is that the Lib Dems have paid the price of being in a formal coalition rather than on an issue by issue base which would have not damaged them so much as has happened.
 

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Yes, a true coalition is about working together to achieve a result. Clegg chose to forsake everything his party was supposed to stand for and went against everything they said they would do just so that they could say their party was in power. The old saying 'what goes around comes around' certainly held true on polling day and the Lib Dems result was better than they deserved. Maybe they should rename the party to Cameron's lap dog party.
 

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I'm a Conservative and make no apologies for it. Although I don't completely agree with the aggressive austerity measures, Labour wasn't ready for power and the electorate proved that.

I would have liked to have seen another coalition, but sadly the Lib Dem voters cut off their noses to spite their faces and abandoned the party.

Everyone has been saying for years that Miliband wasn't PM material but Labour blindly carried on supporting their lame duck and ignoring opinion polls and the voices of the electorate. And now the backstabbing will commence from fellow Labour MPs. They don't even know which way they should lean - some say further left to old Labour, others are saying more centre-right.

I just hope to God they don't pick Andy Burnham as the next leader. He was my MP for a while and I can't stand him, he'd turn up to the opening of an envelope to get his face in the paper.
 

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The SNP get 56 seats, UKIP gets 1, yet UKIP polled ten times as many votes, the Lib Dems not much less to return 8 MPs.
Whatever your political views, this is a screwed up system, we haven't come that far from the rotten boroughs of the 18th century.
PR seems to work in Germany as well as many other nations, so I don't see it as a recipe for disaster.

As has been said (attributed to many historical figures); "Democracy is a terrible way to run a country until you consider the alternatives."
Benign despotism could work, but unfortunately that seems to be an oxymoron.
Roger.
 

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I can't see proportional representation ever coming into existence in the UK. No matter which party is in power, they won't introduce it for fear that they will lose out in the next election. Instead they'll keep changing boundaries so that two or more seats that are likely to go to the opposition are merged into one seat and one seat they are likely to win is split into two seats. We only have a semblance of democracy. True democracy is a bit like communism - great in theory but can't really work due the the biggest obstacle - human nature. As for Gibbo being a conservative - well while I don't hold the same political views I won't hold it against him. Just proves that even Gibbo isn't perfect :)
 

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Well, the reason we don't have PR is that the people democratically chose not to when there was a referendum a few years ago.

This is as it should be, as far as I am concerned it's true democracy.

So there are some apparent aberrations (e.g. SNP votes/seat vs. UKIP votes/seat) but that is how the system works.
I don't quite like the SNP taking all these votes but I happily accept the outcome nonetheless.

Despite last parliament's coalition, generally speaking UK has had majority government for most of the last decades.
Of course, each time, at least close to half of the population is against whoever is in power but so what?
It's still preferable to endless coalitions and governments that fall every couple of years as other countries have.
 

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Well, the reason we don't have PR is that the people democratically chose not to when there was a referendum a few years ago.
Less than half of the voting population voted in that referendum so hardly makes it a realistic representation of the views of the whole population.

The followers of the governing party at the time who bothered to vote on PR probably voted against because they thought the opposition would win with PR and if so hardly a true democratic decision.

I much prefer the system we use regardless of it's flaws to a dictatorship but saying it's true democracy is misleading. It's like democracy but not true democracy.

It really shouldn't be voted on - it should be set in stone. A much fairer way of choosing the governing party would be to just vote on which party you would like to see in power and the party that gets the most votes is the governing party. Or an alternative would be that each and every seat had the same number of constituents so no single party could get 2 seats with the same number of eligible voters to a single seat.
 

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Less than half of the voting population voted in that referendum so hardly makes it a realistic representation of the views of the whole population.

The followers of the governing party at the time who bothered to vote on PR probably voted against because they thought the opposition would win with PR and if so hardly a true democratic decision.

I much prefer the system we use regardless of it's flaws to a dictatorship but saying it's true democracy is misleading. It's like democracy but not true democracy.

It really shouldn't be voted on - it should be set in stone. A much fairer way of choosing the governing party would be to just vote on which party you would like to see in power and the party that gets the most votes is the governing party. Or an alternative would be that each and every seat had the same number of constituents so no single party could get 2 seats with the same number of eligible voters to a single seat.
It appears that 67% of the population voted and of that 67% 37% voted Tory
Labour had Nothing to offer as Policy :( the vote is getting Split by Multiple offshoots which Does not help

Sterling is very Strong under the present Government and the Measures they are going to take regarding Welfare Reform (reducing the Benefits Bill) may seem harsh but the Working population seem to get no rises its only people on benefits that seem to have more Income

I did not vote Tory and I suppose we are stuck with it for 5 years but until 100% of the Voters Use their votes that people fought for nothing will change
 

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It's a crying shame that anyone doesn't vote. Our forbears struggled for many years and through blood sweat and tears we now can have our say in who will govern us.
It's a far from perfect system, but much better than it used to be. Not that long ago we were ruled by whoever had the best army.
Mostly the Conservative and Labour parties rely on voter inertia, when it comes to the crunch most people vote for the main parties, the success of UKIP in the by-elections was unlikely to be repeated at a general election. Effectively we have had a two party system in the UK for the last 300 years, the Whigs and Tories, which morphed into the Liberals and Tories, then after WW1 the liberals rapidly faded away and the Labour Party took its place.
It will probably take another shake up of the social system on the same scale as WW1 to change the political scene to any great extent. It might be no bad thing for some of the extreme political movements to gain some influence if it galvanised a lot more of the population into taking some interest in how their country is being run and voted accordingly.

Roger.
 

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It's a crying shame that anyone doesn't vote. Our forbears struggled for many years and through blood sweat and tears we now can have our say in who will govern us.
It's a far from perfect system, but much better than it used to be. Not that long ago we were ruled by whoever had the best army.
Mostly the Conservative and Labour parties rely on voter inertia, when it comes to the crunch most people vote for the main parties, the success of UKIP in the by-elections was unlikely to be repeated at a general election. Effectively we have had a two party system in the UK for the last 300 years, the Whigs and Tories, which morphed into the Liberals and Tories, then after WW1 the liberals rapidly faded away and the Labour Party took its place.
It will probably take another shake up of the social system on the same scale as WW1 to change the political scene to any great extent. It might be no bad thing for some of the extreme political movements to gain some influence if it galvanised a lot more of the population into taking some interest in how their country is being run and voted accordingly.

Roger.
I agree 100% with the first comments and for this reason both my wife and I have postal votes as we are frequently out of the country doing voluntary work in West Africa at the time of the elections. The system is not perfect and much of what one considers perfect another person may not but it is the system we have. If people had the courage of their convictions they would vote for their favoured party and turn up at the voting station to cast your vote. Without doing that you will get the government you (and I do mean those who do not vote) deserve.
 

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RE. "not many people voted in the 1st past the post vs. PR referendum" and "some people never vote in elections"

This, again, does not bother me. The people who do not vote simply leave the decision to the ones who do. The fact that they accept that decision afterwards or not is irrelevant.

Also, IMO, the fact that lot of people do not bother to vote is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an indication that people feel (maybe not consciously) that things are comfortable the way they are now and that, no matter who wins, they will not change that much.
And I think this is the case in the UK (as well as probably US and the north-western European countries).

Yes, it's true that everywhere you look you see criticism of this situation and that situation but really, it's normal. News are always about what's wrong not what's right. Ordinary people are stirred to trumpet their opinions mostly when something upsets them, but are things really that bad?

In the end, in our time, people can and do vote with their feet. If the situation becomes truly unbearable (not just a moan) there's always emigration. Last time I looked there wasn't an exodus out of the UK.

As for "true" democracy, who can say what that is?
Not everyone agrees on a definition. I'm sure that if we would pick 5-6 major "choices" that characterize "true"democracy and we'd put them to a vote here in this Forum we would not emerge with 1 definition backed by much more than 50% of the respondents.

For me, this GE was quite clear cut and surprising. The fact that I was surprised (as well as most of the media and "pundits"), by the outcome is further strengthening the idea that most the noise and "opinions" you hear before an election is in fact given by a self-selected minority.
 

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RE. "not many people voted in the 1st past the post vs. PR referendum" and "some people never vote in elections"

This, again, does not bother me. The people who do not vote simply leave the decision to the ones who do. The fact that they accept that decision afterwards or not is irrelevant.

Also, IMO, the fact that lot of people do not bother to vote is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an indication that people feel (maybe not consciously) that things are comfortable the way they are now and that, no matter who wins, they will not change that much.
And I think this is the case in the UK (as well as probably US and the north-western European countries).

Yes, it's true that everywhere you look you see criticism of this situation and that situation but really, it's normal. News are always about what's wrong not what's right. Ordinary people are stirred to trumpet their opinions mostly when something upsets them, but are things really that bad?

In the end, in our time, people can and do vote with their feet. If the situation becomes truly unbearable (not just a moan) there's always emigration. Last time I looked there wasn't an exodus out of the UK.

As for "true" democracy, who can say what that is?
Not everyone agrees on a definition. I'm sure that if we would pick 5-6 major "choices" that characterize "true"democracy and we'd put them to a vote here in this Forum we would not emerge with 1 definition backed by much more than 50% of the respondents.

For me, this GE was quite clear cut and surprising. The fact that I was surprised (as well as most of the media and "pundits"), by the outcome is further strengthening the idea that most the noise and "opinions" you hear before an election is in fact given by a self-selected minority.
Surely you do have to be concerned when in many constituencies the person elected is done so on a minority vote of those who did bother to vote. Our first past the post voting favours the main parties as they know this is true and does not give in parliament a true picture of the wishes of the people overall.
OK, you do have a higher risk of a coalition but many countries have worked with such quite well, e.g. the last UK government because they set a five year period for elections come what may. My take on it is that the Lib Dems made the mistake of having a formal coalition, suffering the result of its own supporters losing faith, rather than an issue by issue coalition which makes the extremes of some parties much more careful if they are the largest party of the government.
Anyway, the next time I hear someone moaning about what the government has done the first question I will ask is whether they voted at the last election. If not, you know what my likely comment is going to be!
 

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Surely you do have to be concerned when in many constituencies the person elected is done so on a minority vote of those who did bother to vote. Our first past the post voting favours the main parties as they know this is true and does not give in parliament a true picture of the wishes of the people overall.
I'm not that concerned with the person elected on a minority of votes, I suspect in a lot of constituencies it's quite clear cut, in the ones that it's not, well, there has to be a system and this is it.

I agree that 1stPTP does not give a true picture of the wishes of the people overall, I could hardly object to the logic of it.

But I believe coalition politics has two main dangers, indecision (or rather non-decision) which can degenerate in political stagnation (e.g. Belgium at times) and the other is extremist minority parties and interests gaining power disproportionate with their representation because they prop-up "main" parties (e.g. Israel).
Or worse, coalitions unravelling and leading to short (and short-termist) governments, e.g. Italy for most of the 50s to the 2000s.

Our last "coalition" was not typical. We had one party that was completely outmanoeuvred mainly through lack of experience and frankly a mixture of naivety and hubris from some of its leaders.

If PR makes it less likely to have stable governments then I'd rather keep 1stPTP even though I fully agree that it can have some aberrant results.

As for people who do not vote and yet declare that they have political opinions, well, I cannot understand them. I really can't, no matter how I think about it and how I try to think from their point of view.
Maybe it's a limitation of my intellect.
 

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But I believe coalition politics has two main dangers, indecision (or rather non-decision) which can degenerate in political stagnation (e.g. Belgium at times) and the other is extremist minority parties and interests gaining power disproportionate with their representation because they prop-up "main" parties (e.g. Israel).
Or worse, coalitions unravelling and leading to short (and short-termist) governments, e.g. Italy for most of the 50s to the 2000s.
Seems to work in Germany, Holland, Sweden, Norway, to name a few.
A problem with one party having an overall majority is it's leader can push through badly thought out policies, and their party members dare not speak out for fear of their jobs.
Margaret Thatcher's poll tax and child support agancy policies, Tony Blair's PPFI and entry into the Iraq conflict are some examples that come to mind.

Roger.
 

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The SNP pretty much painted Scotland yellow in the general election as neither the torries or labour were trusted up here they stupid thing is people were voting for the SNP for the same reasons they did in the independence referendum they think they were voting for independence !

There were people with YES all over their cars with SNP stickers they actually believed it was a referendum again !

It is going to be an interesting 5 years as I think in some ways Nicola sturgeon is as stubborn as Margret thatcher :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
"There were people with YES all over their cars with SNP stickers they actually believed it was a referendum again !"

Now that worries me on so many levels.

Nicola isn't even an MP - what's going on there then?

Only sticking point with PR is that we will lose the 'local' input into Westminster - perhaps we should just get rid of MP's and have one rep in Westminster from each Council - the ruling party. On second thoughts its not going to work - Council's will go bankrupt in another couple of years.
 
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