Home | About | Donate

The UK's Electoral System Failed

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/25/uks-electoral-system-failed

3 Likes

There is a downside to a PR system and that is it gives extremist parties a vote and seats in a Countries Government. You will see these parties with seats in many of those Countries that have a PR system. In Pizza Parliaments they can often hold the balance of power when forming coalitions and will often force the Party they ally with into passing legislation that would otherwise not be passed.

As example imagine a Country having a traditional “Conservative” party and in a given election outcome being able to form a majority Government only by allying with a Fascist party.

Now I am not opposed to PR. In fact during the last two referendums here in British Columbia I have voted in favor of PR. I am just pointing out downsides.

1 Like

Pizza Parliament - Parli.
[Search domain parli.ca/pizza-parliament/] https://parli.ca/pizza-parliament/
A term invented by pundits during the 1993 election campaign, when an unprecedented five major parties were all vying for seats in Parliament.

“PARLI”:

parli/parlee/noun 1. web-based dictionary of the unique language of Canadian politics. 2. Canadian political language, deconstructed. 3. Canadian political language, contemporary usage. 4. Canadian political language, demystified. The Prime Minister was pleased to find words from his speech defined in Parli.

Parli is the world’s only online dictionary of Canadian political words, terms, and phrases. It covers the A to Z (pronounced as ‘zed’, course) of Canadian political language, and its origins.

It is published by Campbell Strategies, Canadian public affairs and strategic communications consultants. It is offered free-of-charge to anyone with an interest in the past, present, and future of Canadian politics and its impact on our lives.

I am also a big proponent of proportional representation. I think the US Senate should be comprised of 100 seats elected at large and elected every 4 years either on the presidential cycle or on the midterm cycle (I’m not sure which is better). But I don’t believe in the idea of a coalition government - the president should be a non partisan office selected via RCV (IRV is good enough for me in terms of a counting scheme - though I realize there are other options). With the leader chosen by a popular vote there is no need for an overall coalition - only coalitions on issues by issues.

Another dumb thing about the way England does it is that the prime minister has to win the local seat when the best person for the job could be in the minority party in that locale.

England should get rid of the stupid monarchy thing by now too - it’s just embarrassing at this point.

I wish them luck making positive change - we aren’t shining a great example.

1 Like

The Monarch really has no substantive powers. While I think it has had its day it really not too great a factor in what Constitutes true political power. What they should get rid of is that House of Lords. While they do not have the Political power of the House of Commons, they do have political power and should not exist.

Here In Canada , our own Senate needs revision just as I think the Senate in the USA just a tool to preserve the power of the 1 percent.

1 Like

The franchise is not perfect, that is for sure. Political democracy under capitalism is not all that it is claimed to be by the supporters of the system and it is severely limited. Yet acquiring the vote was a gain for the working class and became a potential class weapon, a potential “instrument of emancipation”

In Britain, the provisions for voter registration, nomination of candidates, counting of votes and declaration of results can be used to express and count, more or less fairly and accurately, a majority desire.

What is voting? It’s a chance to tell the country and the world what your vision of government and society really is. If you can’t vote for what you believe in or don’t believe in what you vote for, then, voting means nothing. An unprincipled vote is a wasted vote. You aren’t standing up for what you believe in by voting “the lesser of two evils.” You have sold out your personal beliefs. We vote to tell everyone else which choice we think best represents the direction which we want the country to go. When you vote, you gain a certain power that a non-voter doesn’t have; the power to change the status quo. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, if you want change, then create change. So rather than waste your vote on what you consider the lesser evil, Labour or Tory, cast a meaningful ballot that clearly says what you believe. If the difference between Conservative and Labour is that one party truthfully promises evil, and the other deceitfully promises good, surely the right thing to do is to judge the difference too small to be worth calculating, and walk away from that Hobson’s choice.

In a vote between lesser of two evils, " Vote Cholera or Vote for Typhoid", not voting at all may be a valid choice but casting blank ballots is a more effective option. One or two spoiled ballot papers can be ignored, tens of thousands or even millions could not be, especially when backed by a vocal protest movement.

As Debs said “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”

The author correctly indicates some weaknesses of the electoral system but fails to highlight the real issue - people are not using it as a revolutionary weapon.

How will you vote, fellow-worker?
Have you given the matter a thought?
Will you prove befooled when the last votes polled,
By bribe or promise bought?

Will you vote for the same old parties
By whom you’re bought and sold?
Will you bow once more, as you’ve oft before,
To the cursed rule of Gold?

Will you vote to be saddled and bridled
And rode by a grafting crew?
Will you say that what was your father’s lot
Is good enough for you?

Will you vote to be human cattle?
For your babes to be the same?
Will you throw away your vote today
To their wrong and your shame?

Will you vote again for the master class,
For their right to rule and rob?
Will you vote that the best you can hope for the rest
Of life is (perhaps) a Job?

A job that is merely lent to you,
At your master’s will to lose;
Thraldom for you and your children, too,
Is this the lot you’ll choose?

Will you vote for a life uncertain.
Which constant cares annoy?
To suffer need, to sweat and bleed,
That Idlers may enjoy?

Or will you vote for a grand new right?
The right to be really free,
The right to produce for the workers’ use,
The right to security.

Will you vote for the Socialist demand?—
THE WORLD FOR THOSE WHO WORK;
The means of wealth and comfort and health,
And "naught for those who shirk.”

Think of these things well, brother,
And it will come to pass
That your vote will be a vote. to be free,
A vote for the working class!

Wilfrid Gribble

Gribble was a founder member of the Workers’ Socialist Party of United States in 1916 and was the WSPUS’ first organiser.
https://www.wspus.org/

Hi bojimbo26:

And Al Gore won the popular vote, but apparently the views of Florida and the Supreme Court won. It is very hard to believe that any nation is ever fair in counting the votes of those who disagree ( often called We the People.) : (

1 Like

The first-past-the-post electoral system has seen its time. Time to move ON to representing the People.