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Thread: UK General Election 2015

  1. #1

    Default UK General Election 2015





    9 days to go.

    Polling has had the Tories and Labour neck and neck throughout ... with the very latest showing a slight surge for the Tories.




    The big change to the political landscape since the last election is what has happened since the referendum, with Scotland now flavouring the direction of things with the rise of SNP as the third party, and the Liberal Democrats suffering massive losses. Labour, also, have lost a lot of support in Scotland, where they normally enjoy a huge majority.

    Both Tories and Labour have stated they will not form a coalition with SNP in the likely event of a hung parliament however.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  2. #2
    The SNP have said they will vote against the Tories and put Labour into government if they control a hung parliament as seems likely. The problem with this is that we have a dog's breakfast of devolution - Scottish MPs can't vote on Scottish laws on issues like health or education as they're decided by the Scottish Parliament. However Scottish MPs can vote on English laws for health and education etc. This is fundamentally wrong and improper, it lacks a democratic mandate.

    The election forecasts show a hung parliament but in some of them we face a real possibility that England could elect a Conservative majority. The Tories currently have a majority of 55 in England and there are 533 English MPs so 267 is an English majority. Currently there are only 9 non-English Tory MPs and that isn't likely to increase so any forecast of 276 or above for the Tories is an English majority, maybe slightly loss accounting for non-English losses.

    If English-only laws are governed by a second-place Labour and foreign Scottish MPs then that is a recipe for disaster.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  3. #3
    I see no Tory path to power in this election. They have no way of getting 326 seats alone or in coalition. I'm guessing it will end up Labour, and the Lib Dems, with the SNP implicitly or explicitly backing the two. This will, of course, create anti-Scottish grievances in England, probably helping UKIP when the next election rolls around.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  4. #4
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but if these districts (borrough is the term in the UK, right?) that are projected to select SNP reps were voting for someone else right now, it would be Labour anyway, right? Rand just doesn't like having Scottish MPs at all because Parliament directs both the country as a whole as well as England. It's got nothing to do with the SNP really. And even wrt the Scottish MPs in general, this is really an issue for him because so very of those borroughs go Conservative.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I see no Tory path to power in this election. They have no way of getting 326 seats alone or in coalition. I'm guessing it will end up Labour, and the Lib Dems, with the SNP implicitly or explicitly backing the two. This will, of course, create anti-Scottish grievances in England, probably helping UKIP when the next election rolls around.
    I see a slight Tory minority, but with so few Lib Dem seats it's not enough for a coalition as at present. Ruling out an SNP coalition, I don't know what other options there are in this scenario.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 04-29-2015 at 11:44 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I see no Tory path to power in this election. They have no way of getting 326 seats alone or in coalition. I'm guessing it will end up Labour, and the Lib Dems, with the SNP implicitly or explicitly backing the two. This will, of course, create anti-Scottish grievances in England, probably helping UKIP when the next election rolls around.
    There are three possible Tory routes.

    1: Slight Tory majority (very unlikely but possible).
    2: Tory minority with LD and possibly DUP (9 Northern Ireland seats) backing (anything around or above the Elections Etc forecast will probably result in this)
    3: Tories far enough ahead of Labour that Labour decide they'd rather not have an unstable rainbow coalition of the losers (extremely unlikely but possible) and abstain on confidence votes.

    The LD's have said (if you can believe it) that they won't work with the SNP.

    Slight advantage Cameron has is that he's the incumbent. Cameron remains as PM until he either resigns or is forced out, in an unclear election result he gets first shot of trying to form a new government (last time Brown stayed as PM for nearly two weeks until the Tory/LD Coalition agreement was signed).
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but if these districts (borrough is the term in the UK, right?) that are projected to select SNP reps were voting for someone else right now, it would be Labour anyway, right? Rand just doesn't like having Scottish MPs at all because Parliament directs both the country as a whole as well as England. It's got nothing to do with the SNP really. And even wrt the Scottish MPs in general, this is really an issue for him because so very of those borroughs go Conservative.
    The formal term is "constituencies" in the UK, but we normally just say "seats". A Borough is an area for local government in some areas, eg my local government is Warrington Borough Council. Some have county councils or city councils.

    Yes you're right I wanted Scotland to go independent because its far too left-wing (and other reasons), though not all are currently Labour. Last time Labour elected 41/59, SNP 6/59, Tories 1 and Lib Dems 11. The SNPs are primarily winning from Labour, but are also expected to take potentially 10 off the Lib Dems. Polling shows the Tories are expected to keep a seat. Theoretically then that hurts the Tories chances by 10 seats (since the LDs are willing to work with the Tories) but its not that simple. The LDs have the option of working with either Labour or the Tories. By the SNP taking seats off Labour it means in a situation where the LDs have balance of power they're more likely to decide to continue to work with the Tories.

    A possible election result is:
    Conservatives 300
    Labour 250
    SNP 45
    Lib Dems 30
    Plaid Cymru 5
    Speaker 1
    Other 1
    Northern Ireland 18

    In that scenario Labour+SNP+PC=Tories and Lib Dems are kingmakers. Tory+LD continuing as the government is more stable and more plausible than a rainbow of Labour+SNP+LD+PC
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  7. #7
    One issue not discussed yet here is the opinion pollsters. Some are going to have egg on their head. There is a clear methodological gap between them.

    The phone pollsters have favoured a slight Tory lead in the polls. ICM, whom I personally regard as the "gold standard" of UK opinion pollsters have had consistent Tory leads since February.
    The online pollsters have favoured a slight Labour lead in the polls. YouGov who are the most famous online pollster (and poll 7 days a week now for News Corp papers) have had steady Labour +1 leads (plus or minus a percent or two). A change in methodology a few months ago seems to have virtually removed all variation from them.

    The online pollsters publish the bulk of polls and tend to set the mood music in the media, but there's a clear difference and in such a tight election someone is going to be wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  8. #8
    I'm with Loki, the Tories are going to have hard time scraping together a majority with the polls as they are. Most likely scenario is a minority government or Labour + LD minority government with SNP offering confidence and supply.

    Other things:

    * It's going to be hilarious when UKIP gets like 10% of the vote and then walks away with at most 3 MPs, meanwhile the LDs get 8 or 9% and 20 MPs and get to be in government. I mean, fuck UKIP and everything but is this democracy? With the potential coalition above we might actually see real electoral reform. SNP + LD are both heavily in favour of PR, they will wield more power in this government than the LDs do alone in the current coalition and Labour's position on electoral reform is more "mmm, aaah hmmm well i dunno maybe" rather than outright opposition like the Tories.
    * SNP will extract some concessions for their support of Lab-Lib. Trident will be a thing. One compromise that's not been discussed is to keep a deterrent but to move the damn things out of Scotland - Faslane is a great and everything, but they don't actually *need* to be there.
    * There will be no EU Referendum. Good.
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  9. #9
    I think Lab minority is most likely, but there is no certainty. Especially if ICM are correct, it wouldn't take much of a swing from ~Tory+4 to get into Tory minority territory.

    Yes this is democracy and no there should be no election reform. We rejected it in a referendum 2:1 - in case you've forgotten. If UKIP fail to win seats, they lost fair and square, the rules are crystal clear in advance. We select individuals, not parties as a nation. Labour won't support PR if they're sensible, and never I'd hope without a referendum given we've already rejected reform once.

    Regarding Faslane, they need to be housed in a secure facility with certain functions. They can't just be housed in a warehouse. We haven't got an alternative location (which seems like a failure in redundancy planning to me) but it would cost potentially tens of billions and years to build a new one (likely nearly Plymouth or Portsmouth). Until a new location can be built they do need to be there and it would increase costs dramatically to move them in which case what gets cut to fund the difference?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Just saying, but when women weren't allowed to vote, the rules were also crystal clear in advance, but that doesn't make it fair in the democratic sense.
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  11. #11
    But the argument to give women the vote was that women should have the vote, not just whining about the result. The result is neither here nor there in the discussion.

    One odd thing with the impending potential SNP landslide is that "token" candidates who'd never expect to win are now on the cusp of winning. One of Labour's safest seats in the country, for Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, could fall to a 20 year old student who will be taking her exams after the election result. She'd be the youngest MP since 1667: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...est-seats.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Just saying, but when women weren't allowed to vote, the rules were also crystal clear in advance, but that doesn't make it fair in the democratic sense.
    But majority voting is better because it leads to stable governments which don't have to rely on flawed coalition building...

    oh wait...
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    But the argument to give women the vote was that women should have the vote, not just whining about the result. The result is neither here nor there in the discussion.
    But results can highlight the problems of course.

    One odd thing with the impending potential SNP landslide is that "token" candidates who'd never expect to win are now on the cusp of winning. One of Labour's safest seats in the country, for Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, could fall to a 20 year old student who will be taking her exams after the election result. She'd be the youngest MP since 1667: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...est-seats.html
    That's okay, you vote for individuals not for parties so there's no such thing as token candidates, so there's no way she's getting elected because of her party affiliations, just because of how she is as an individual politician!


    Sorry but I couldn't resist For the record, I recognise that your system has its advantages as well (though I don't agree with all your arguments).
    Last edited by Flixy; 04-29-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by earthJoker View Post
    But majority voting is better because it leads to stable governments which don't have to rely on flawed coalition building...

    oh wait...
    FPTP gives the possibility to have a majority government. If the polls are right the public don't want one currently so fair enough, but it gives the possibility.

    Even in minority governments, FPTP gives power to the most popular parties locally and not the fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists (to borrow a term). This past government has been stable and overall a success IMO. Good result.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    That's okay, you vote for individuals not for parties so there's no such thing as token candidates, so there's no way she's getting elected because of her party affiliations, just because of how she is as an individual politician!
    I view her election (if she is elected) as a success and not failure of FPTP. She'll only win if she (and her party) are the most popular locally. Ditto for Danny Alexander (a potential future Labour leader) losing. In 1997 Michael Portillo, then Secretary of State for Defence and candidate to be new Tory leader (and nearly became PM himself two years earlier) lost his seat. Again a credit to the system. Alexander (and previously Portillo) would have been near the top of his parties list under PR and guaranteed by that to be re-elected. FPTP means that no candidate is ever untouchable, unlike only those in the middle of the list being lost in PR.

    Plus any candidate if they become popular enough locally can win, even 20 year old students. If she was a token candidate near the bottom of her parties list under PR she'd never have a chance.
    Sorry but I couldn't resist For the record, I recognise that your system has its advantages as well (though I don't agree with all your arguments).
    Thanks for that
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  15. #15
    Incidentally I'm not remotely sure the SNP would want PR if the polls are right. The SNP has two aims - to leave the UK and to represent Scotland, anything else is subservient to that and should be viewed through that prism.

    The SNP were fans of PR when they thought that FPTP worked against them, but now they may find a new-found willingness to accept the situation. If as forecast the SNP win 50 to potentially all 59 of the Scottish seats why would they want to give up most of them by implementing a change in voting? How does that help them destroy the UK? How does that help them be the "voice of Scotland"?

    The SNP should be the biggest winners of this election. I'm not sure they'll want to give that all up instantly. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas. Their aim is to win a second referendum and not to reform Westminster.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    FPTP gives the possibility to have a majority government. If the polls are right the public don't want one currently so fair enough, but it gives the possibility.
    Bavaria has a majority government, without FPTP. Your argument is invalid.

    Even in minority governments, FPTP gives power to the most popular parties locally and not the fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists (to borrow a term).
    I thought the result should decide about the issue. Or is that only if it suits you?

    This past government has been stable and overall a success IMO. Good result.
    So has been the last government of Switzerland. Cool for you.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  17. #17
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    To be fair PR system generally has the option to elect low ranked candidates by preferred votes, but it's a little harder. But I do think you're living in a fantasy world if you don't think people still mostly vote for a party, and the candidates are often less of an influence.

    On a side note, am I correct that your members of the cabinet also have to be members of parliament? It always seemed weird to me to exclude the best man for the job just because he wasn't elected in a single seat. Or more generally speaking, that if from a single constituency you happen to have multiple excellent politicians, you can only get one, while in the next you might only have two shitty candidates but no option to vote for any politician you do personally support because he's from a different place.
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  18. #18
    My big problem with those who support voting reform is they just ignore totally the fact we had a referendum on this and it was comprehensively rejected. The SNP are being told the issue was "settled for a generation" when it was a very close result, the voting reform referendum was overwhelmingly rejected but that doesn't seem to matter. At least let a whole Parliament pass before bringing it back up, this is worse.

    As for the SNP would they even want a change to the voting system if they win all or vast majority of seats? Yes they previously wanted STV but that was while they were 'hard done by' in Westminster before this breakthrough. Why would the SNP turkeys vote for Christmas and sacrifice most of their MPs in Westminster to Labour.

    If I was in the SNP I'd accept winning a relative Scottish landslide and try to keep all those seats and prioritise getting a second independence referendum. Given the indy referendum was close (and had a vow for more reform that the SNP can argue hasn't been delivered) it should surely be re-ran before a voting referendum that was rejected without a promise of any alternative. The SNP have a perfect excuse to turn down reform and keep their MPs rather than give them up - so why should they decide to cut off their own nose instead?
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    On a side note, am I correct that your members of the cabinet also have to be members of parliament? It always seemed weird to me to exclude the best man for the job just because he wasn't elected in a single seat. Or more generally speaking, that if from a single constituency you happen to have multiple excellent politicians, you can only get one, while in the next you might only have two shitty candidates but no option to vote for any politician you do personally support because he's from a different place.
    Sort of but not exactly. Currently the Lords are by appointment so the tendency is for a good candidate for a job who isn't in the Commons to be appointed to the Lords. In 2008 Brown made Peter Mandelson a Lord in order to make him Business Secretary.

    But yes that's extremely rare. The Commons is where government business is done and you need to be in the Commons typically in order to be held to account. As part of our system every week each member of the cabinet is held to account by vigorous questions in the Commons - most famous is PMQs (Prime Ministers Questions) but there's also questions for other roles too. If you lose election, you're not part of the Commons and can't be held to account by the Commons so how can you hold the post?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    My big problem with those who support voting reform is they just ignore totally the fact we had a referendum on this and it was comprehensively rejected. The SNP are being told the issue was "settled for a generation" when it was a very close result, the voting reform referendum was overwhelmingly rejected but that doesn't seem to matter. At least let a whole Parliament pass before bringing it back up, this is worse.
    The referendum was about "alternative vote", I wouldn't conclude that everyone voted against any reform at all. That is a difference to the independence voting. I can't propose another type of independence but you can propose another type of voting reform.

    Sort of but not exactly. Currently the Lords are by appointment so the tendency is for a good candidate for a job who isn't in the Commons to be appointed to the Lords. In 2008 Brown made Peter Mandelson a Lord in order to make him Business Secretary.
    The upper chamber not being a representation of the state does make the FPTP of the lower house more important, doesn't it? Almost all cantons vote our upper chamber in majority vote, which means the upper house is much more about persons and local representation than the lower house.
    Living in the largest canton doesn't really help to make it feel that way though.

    Back to the UK. I would really like to see the SNP taking many seats, it would put some preshure to finally solve the West Lothian question. Well at least in theory.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  20. #20
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    My big problem with those who support voting reform is they just ignore totally the fact we had a referendum on this and it was comprehensively rejected. The SNP are being told the issue was "settled for a generation" when it was a very close result, the voting reform referendum was overwhelmingly rejected but that doesn't seem to matter. At least let a whole Parliament pass before bringing it back up, this is worse.
    While that's certainly a fair point, AV is nothing like PR.
    As for the SNP would they even want a change to the voting system if they win all or vast majority of seats? Yes they previously wanted STV but that was while they were 'hard done by' in Westminster before this breakthrough. Why would the SNP turkeys vote for Christmas and sacrifice most of their MPs in Westminster to Labour.

    If I was in the SNP I'd accept winning a relative Scottish landslide and try to keep all those seats and prioritise getting a second independence referendum. Given the indy referendum was close (and had a vow for more reform that the SNP can argue hasn't been delivered) it should surely be re-ran before a voting referendum that was rejected without a promise of any alternative. The SNP have a perfect excuse to turn down reform and keep their MPs rather than give them up - so why should they decide to cut off their own nose instead?
    Sure, but didn't you just say the results shouldn't matter? This means the result would be their only benchmark for whether to support this or not. Which is probably how it will work out, yeah, but still.

    Sort of but not exactly. Currently the Lords are by appointment so the tendency is for a good candidate for a job who isn't in the Commons to be appointed to the Lords. In 2008 Brown made Peter Mandelson a Lord in order to make him Business Secretary.

    But yes that's extremely rare. The Commons is where government business is done and you need to be in the Commons typically in order to be held to account. As part of our system every week each member of the cabinet is held to account by vigorous questions in the Commons - most famous is PMQs (Prime Ministers Questions) but there's also questions for other roles too. If you lose election, you're not part of the Commons and can't be held to account by the Commons so how can you hold the post?
    You can be held to account by the Commons if you are not part of it - what makes you think you cannot be questioned if you're not an MP? Over here cabinet members if they were elected to the parliament resign their post there, but the cabinet has to get a vote of confidence. If the cabinet as a whole, or one minister in particular (or more) loses that confidence they can get a vote of no confidence, though usually they resign before that. At which point he can either be simply replaced by someone else, or new elections can be held. And unless I'm mistaken, they are required by law to answer any questions coming from the parliament, so they really can be held accountable. And in the USA, unless I'm mistaken, cabinet members have to be approved by the House (though TBH I'm not sure whether they can be forced to, say, resign). And frankly, an MP can have very different qualities than a minister running a department - the latter is definitely more of a manager type role.

    And to show that they can be held accountable, we recently had a prominent minister and state secretary (which is like an under-minister here) resign after misinforming parliament (due to pressure from parliament, it had not come to an actual vote of no confidence yet). So I'm really not sure why you think ministers cannot be held accountable or work with the Commons without being in it, because they clearly can in other countries. Besides, one part of government being held to account by another part, that's the basis of the trias politica isn't it? Which btw also makes it odd to me that you have people working in both the executive and legislative branch at the same time, though even if they are not the same person, they would still belong to a political party and presumably cooperate anyway, so I don't think that's a real problem.


    BTW, the part I do like a lot about your system is that you have someone directly responsible for you and your area. We don't really have the whole 'write to your congressman/MP' thing, and no single person can be held to account. This can be a good thing when countering NIMBYism, but also leads to less accountability. For example, we do have a couple of issues that are partly local, for example gas drilling which leads to earthquakes in a province. You don't have MPs for that province standing up for the local problems, and they feel ignored by The Hague. And more broadly speaking, there has always been some resentment towards the fact that The Hague is more concerned about the Randstad (The Hague/Rotterdam/Utrecht/Amsterdam) while ignoring the rest of the country, and I feel your system addresses that better.
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I think Lab minority is most likely, but there is no certainty. Especially if ICM are correct, it wouldn't take much of a swing from ~Tory+4 to get into Tory minority territory.
    The polls have been neck and neck for months now, where do you think this magic 4% swing is going to come from? The Tories are boned. Assuming the SNP get their nigh on clean sweep in Scotland, no national party is going to be able to form a government without their say so, and the SNP simply will not work with the Tories. Unless the polls are drastically wrong, a Tory government isn't going to happen.

    Yes this is democracy and no there should be no election reform. We rejected it in a referendum 2:1 - in case you've forgotten.
    Randblade, do you think I'm stupid or something and am going to fall for this level of drivel?

    In the referendum, AV was rejected. Not PR. Not some other system. Just AV. Nor did the question on the referendum rule out any further referendum or any other changes to our current system in perpetuity. Come on, man.

    Normally, when we argue, you come up with better shit about why I'm wrong than this. What is it about defending FPTP that makes your brains drop out your ears? Is it because it's basically indefensible using honest and logical arguments?

    If UKIP fail to win seats, they lost fair and square, the rules are crystal clear in advance. We select individuals, not parties as a nation. Labour won't support PR if they're sensible, and never I'd hope without a referendum given we've already rejected reform once.
    Like, this crap "these are the rules, therefore they are fair" - I mean, really?

    Regarding Faslane, they need to be housed in a secure facility with certain functions. They can't just be housed in a warehouse. We haven't got an alternative location (which seems like a failure in redundancy planning to me) but it would cost potentially tens of billions and years to build a new one (likely nearly Plymouth or Portsmouth). Until a new location can be built they do need to be there and it would increase costs dramatically to move them in which case what gets cut to fund the difference?
    Well, that would certainly be the first time a decision on defence was made because of political compromise, even though it wasn't really the best solution.

    TBH, I'm coming round to the idea that we should not replace Trident. It's just so damn expensive. We could probably double the surface fleet with that kind of money.
    Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus Subcommittee Prize Investigation Dance, those ants-in-pants glaces?
    Well, look behind the eyes: it's a hallowed, hollow anaesthetised "Save me own ass, screw these guys" smoke and mirror lock down

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    BTW, the part I do like a lot about your system is that you have someone directly responsible for you and your area. We don't really have the whole 'write to your congressman/MP' thing, and no single person can be held to account.
    Yeah, that is kidna sad. The German system is also interesting, there you have two votes. One for your local representative and one for the party you vote for.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    The polls have been neck and neck for months now, where do you think this magic 4% swing is going to come from? The Tories are boned. Assuming the SNP get their nigh on clean sweep in Scotland, no national party is going to be able to form a government without their say so, and the SNP simply will not work with the Tories. Unless the polls are drastically wrong, a Tory government isn't going to happen.
    Which polls?

    ICM have had the Tories approximately 4% in the lead, that could be enough. A few weeks ago they had the Tories 6% in the lead, that's almost certainly enough. To go from 4% lead to a 6% lead is a 1% swing (Tories up 1, Labour down 1 is a 1% swing). A 4% swing would put the Tories 12% in the lead and would be a landslide. Last time Tories got a 7% lead but due to advantages in the system for Labour, Tory votes are less efficient. This time Tory votes are more likely to be more efficient (due to UKIP taking votes but not seats off the Tories in safe Tory seats for example).

    As for where a swing could come from, there's a few answers for that. The polls frequently underestimate the government, in a landslide election that doesn't matter but in a close one it does.
    Randblade, do you think I'm stupid or something and am going to fall for this level of drivel?

    In the referendum, AV was rejected. Not PR. Not some other system. Just AV. Nor did the question on the referendum rule out any further referendum or any other changes to our current system in perpetuity. Come on, man.
    Except the arguments made were largely the arguments made for (and against) PR. Yes PR wasn't on the table, but it was what most of the arguments were about at the time - and what was argued against at the time. I thought that was stupid, but it was the case and the status quo was supported overwhelmingly against change.

    As soon as it was over, rather than acknowledge the public had decided to reject change and keep the status quo the argument instantly became that the public rejected this change and we should just do it again. Maybe without asking the public next time, in case they get it wrong again. That is hubristic and wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  24. #24
    RB - correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't AV just a ranked preference version of FPTP? To my admittedly untutored eyes, it seems like this would strengthen a FPTP system by further eliminating the effects of third party spoilers (as LD has done in the past and UKIP is likely to do now). PR results in everyone getting a piece of the pie - AV results in only mainstream candidates getting into Parliament, and largely eliminates tactical voting to boot.

    I personally think PR is a mess - yes, it might be more inclusive, and as such has a place in countries riven by stark ethnic, cultural, or religious divides (and now, I'm not talking about Scotland and Wales - more like Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites). But it often results in less stable governing coalitions and reversions to identity politics for ever-smaller groupings. There are fixes to the problems of PR, but I think people rate it too highly for 'fairness' over more majoritarian systems.

    That being said, FPTP fails when the two main parties fail to provide compelling narratives simultaneous with the growth of nativist regional parties with no national significance. The UK's parliamentary system is fundamentally adversarial and confrontational, which is not conducive to the sort of coalition building and compromises necessary in a majority-free world. Much as it is deeply flawed, the US Congress benefits from the fact that government is formed and can (theoretically) function even in the absence of a legislative majority for the party of the executive - this has led to a long history of (grudging) compromise between the parties. In the UK, the government goes about its business with barely a by-your-leave from the opposition, which doesn't lead to much in the way of dealmaking or coalition building. It seems like AV would reinforce a FPTP system rather than weaken it.

    I get your comments about there already being a (rejected, poor participation) referendum on the topic. And maybe the UK isn't interested in it. That's fine. But I see the logic of AV as a way to strengthen, rather than weaken, a FPTP-based two party system.

    In terms of the election, I don't see much in the way of hope for the Tories unless there's a late surge in a number of marginal constituencies. Labor is likely to form the next government, but it will be cobbled together and quite weak.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I personally think PR is a mess - yes, it might be more inclusive, and as such has a place in countries riven by stark ethnic, cultural, or religious divides (and now, I'm not talking about Scotland and Wales - more like Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites). But it often results in less stable governing coalitions and reversions to identity politics for ever-smaller groupings. There are fixes to the problems of PR, but I think people rate it too highly for 'fairness' over more majoritarian systems.
    I have yet to be convinced about the causality between majority voting and the stability of a government. The stability of the government is mostly dependent on the stability of politics in general and the building/voting process of the government. The easiest way to have stable government is to have fixed terms. Switzerland and the US both have this. Only on resignation or impeachment a US president or a Swiss minister may leave the office during a term. This could actually be enforced in any country, no matter how the parliament is voted in the first place.

    I actually like this kind of system, as they - IMO - come closer to a real division of power. I also prefer fixed terms over voting dates which are defined by the party in power.
    The UK's parliamentary system is fundamentally adversarial and confrontational, which is not conducive to the sort of coalition building and compromises necessary in a majority-free world.
    Even the way the UK parliament is physically built gives that away, doesn't it? Are there any parliaments outside the Commonwealth which are seated like that?
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  26. #26
    Is the Scottish Parliament just some kind of terrible mistake?

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Is the Scottish Parliament just some kind of terrible mistake?
    Are you GGT?
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Is the Scottish Parliament just some kind of terrible mistake?
    Yes and no.

    Devolution was on the agenda for decades, it nearly came into effect in the seventies with a very narrow yes vote in a referendum in 1979 that was repealed due to low Yes turnout beneath the threshold set in advance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottis...ferendum,_1979

    The demand for devolution became even stronger following the Thatcher years (the Scots hated Thatcher) so some form of devolution was almost inevitable once Labour won back power. So that's the no.

    However the way it was done was wrong. It was done in a petty and partisan manner devised to help the Labour and Lib Dem parties and to hurt the Tories and SNP, right down to the voting system used that was completely alien to the UK was devised to stop the Nats. It was famously said that the "devolution will kill nationalism stone dead" - well that backfired. Labour also deliberately didn't deal with the incredibly important West Lothian Question that was raised by one of their own MPs again back in the seventies (and raised about Irish "home rule" back in the nineteenth century).

    Imagine a scenario in the USA where Democrat-leaning States had law making powers on health, education and others (soon to be taxation too) controlled by the State Congresses but in Republican-leaning States there were no State government institutions at all and State laws (and taxes) for those Republican States were being set Federally by Federal Congressional Democrats from other States. With the laws those Democrats in Congress passing only applying to the Republican States as their own States powers had been devolved. EG New York State controlled New York's laws, but Texas had no State institutions and New York congressmen were setting the laws for Texas (but not New York). The situation is absurd and a travesty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Which polls?

    ICM have had the Tories approximately 4% in the lead, that could be enough. A few weeks ago they had the Tories 6% in the lead, that's almost certainly enough. To go from 4% lead to a 6% lead is a 1% swing (Tories up 1, Labour down 1 is a 1% swing). A 4% swing would put the Tories 12% in the lead and would be a landslide. Last time Tories got a 7% lead but due to advantages in the system for Labour, Tory votes are less efficient. This time Tory votes are more likely to be more efficient (due to UKIP taking votes but not seats off the Tories in safe Tory seats for example).
    All other polls seem to have put them neck and neck for months. I don't know why you'd take ICM to be correct and the others to be wrong, other than the ICM one suggesting that your preferred outcome might come to pass.

    You point out that last time the Tories had a 7% lead over Labour, but that still wasn't enough for them to get a majority on their own, they needed the Lib Dems. But the Lib Dems are going to get wiped out, and loose about 50 seats. The Tories were 20 short last time so, assuming the Lib Dems are prepared to work with them again, they will actually need to exceed their performance last time by about 10 seats to even have a shot at a coalition. Even your most optimistic scenario leaves them with serious problems.

    Labour, meanwhile, only needs about 260 seats to form a government with some kind of SNP, Lib-Dem, PC coalition.

    Except the arguments made were largely the arguments made for (and against) PR. Yes PR wasn't on the table, but it was what most of the arguments were about at the time - and what was argued against at the time. I thought that was stupid, but it was the case and the status quo was supported overwhelmingly against change.
    I don't know why you think that this somehow changes the fact that AV was on the referendum, not PR. I also don't know why you think the rejection of AV somehow means the UK public has rejected any change to the electoral system in perpetuity. You're deluding yourself about what the vote actually meant, as you are with the Tories current position in the polls.
    Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus Subcommittee Prize Investigation Dance, those ants-in-pants glaces?
    Well, look behind the eyes: it's a hallowed, hollow anaesthetised "Save me own ass, screw these guys" smoke and mirror lock down

  30. #30
    I prefer ICM whether they have us ahead or behind, they are in my eyes the gold standard and this is from literally decades of them being the most accurate pollster. Half the pollsters polling now have never been through a General Election before so who are we supposed to trust - newcomers whose methods haven't been tested, or tried and tested experience? ICM were the best pollster in 1997 and 2010 and second-best in 2001 and within margin of error in every election from 97 onwards. No pollsters get any credit from 92, though even then ICM did better than most. If another pollster had the same track record I'd rate them the same. Others have a reasonable if less distinguished track record so I take stock in what they say too, the ones without any track record I'm not so sure about.

    Polls are all over the place at the moment (besides YouGov who changed their methodology recently). IPSOS-MORI today went from Lab+2 to Tory+5. That could mean literally anything or nothing, so anyone who claims they know the result is absurd - all results are within the range of possibility.

    A rainbow coalition of Labour, SNP, LD and PC will be unstable. In 2010 that rainbow had 324 seats between them, an effective majority of 3 (323 provides an effective majority as there are 647 seats taken in Parliament). It was rightly rejected last time as being implausible.

    I think electoral reform should maybe be another thread if you want to discuss that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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