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This has made my day:
I don't like this. Not the pledge, but the fact that a normal promise is so meaningless that they have to pass a law to make sure they remember to do it.
just suspect a lot of folk wouldn't give two hoots
Why not hold a referendum on election day?
This isn't really a new pledge - just a re-iteration of a commitment made at conference. Moreover it is another embarassing example of this govt's recent tendancy to use the Parliamentary process as a means of getting more coverage for their press releases.
And most of all, the alternative vote is not especially proportional at all, or at least the results it is likely to produce in this country won't be.
Still, very glad they're taking a step in the right direction and lets hope it doesn't end up as a roadblock to further reform.
At the very worst, the status quo remains unchanged. But even in simply proposing it, it gives them something fresh to run on and, although I think it overstates the case in the article, it could take some of the gloss off a Tory victory if the idea of proportional representation starts to take hold.
And if it passes, the Tories are very likely fucked. The Lib Dems are always likely to partner with Labour in a proportional coalition government, yet unlikely to ever be the dominant partner. Which means a long-term Labour government with a junior partner to blame when things go wrong.
Having said that, how popular is the idea of propotional representation anyway? Even after all the guff last year it's not something that seems to be talked about all that much.
which it is, I suppose, if politics doesn't include campaigning for something on its principles.
A lot of people would say that it's a bit shameless.
They've got nothing in the tank, and it is a stunt - and they will have to defend the timing of this epiphany occurring at the exact moment the sun is setting on their years in power - but when you're in as bad a shape as they are, you've got to hustle. And this is good hustle.
that's pretty much true BUT how much do people talk about not having a say in politics / politicians don't represent me etc. Its basically the same issue and this argument needs to made to people. I think a referendum campaign would provide a great opportunity to do this.
Smaller parties have splintered off from the main two and given everyone a broader spectrum of policies to support.
That came about after a national referendum with a long lead-in time so everyone could debate each side of it. I think in that case though - crucially - it wasn't necessarily in one or the other main parties interest like it clearly is here, which does taint the process somewhat.
They promised a referendum in their 1997 manifesto, and are only now trying to make good on that - not because they believe in it, but because they're trying to make Cameron look bad.
Plus, all they're talking about is AV, which is not really PR and wouldn't particularly benefit the small parties who currently lose out. Why not even a mention of AV+, which was the solution proposed by the report they commissioned back in the day?
I'd still vote for it, but it certainly isn't enough to make me even consider voting for Labour.
If its worth doing......why not do it NOW.
It doesnt take much, it doesnt need to be complicated. START NOW.
I mean they could actually just go ahead and make a policy right now....to actually do some Electoral reform....as long as they increase the accuracy of the vote % representation then there is no moral need to actually even have a referendum........but If you want a referendum.....then have one.....NOW start NOW....WHY NOT?
there is no specific constitution it is a collection of stuff, they are often chenged without referendum.......As I said if you increase the accuracy with which voting split is represented in parliament then this is an increase in the accuracy of representation....i.e. it is a GOOD thing for democratic principle.....it is not a BAD thing.....BAD things for democracy principlea are likely to be introduced without referendums, as well you know......to insist on a referendum for a GOOD thing intorduces and increased possibility that it will not be introduced (inconsistant results....no clear will....etc) i.e. things that a gov can chose to pay attention to...or ignore.
THe principle of PR ENPOWERS more peoples votes....it would increase turnout at elections, it would re-engage many people who are dissillusioned with the idea of voting.
Do any of the main parties even declare themselves to be morally/ethically against the idea of PR? Do any parties? (naturally some labour and some tories might not support it fully, but this will be for practical reasons of keeping their parties power share up)
because it results in "weak government". Given the results of strong government in my lifetime, I'd be quite up for a change.
sorry vikram I realise thats cheating a bit, but it is to illustrate that the counter to having PR is not a fair one (when you say that it might be weaker...it might also be stronger.....and that is the point, it is up to parliament to make sure that it is not so weak as to be ineffectual.....Im not certain that having a referendum would be that useful in determining what would make for strong pr gov and what would make for weak pr gov....can t he public work this out?
The thing is at present democracy is circumvented by parties tactics and methods.....the tories (as is mentioned) are against PR cos it would be 'weak'....so basically they do not have a moral or ethical objection to it.....their objection is that it would make their party weaker (in relation to parties other than labour)
Also please tell me what is the weakness in the following.
Voting is done as now....however the split of the proportion of ALL votes is added up. then on top of the MPs with a constituancy extra non constituant based MPS are added per party to ensure the proportions within parliament are equal to those in the voting.
yes that will result in more mps...but that can be adjusted by reducing the constituancies, and yes this will result in some mps for libdems (mostly) without a constituancy.....but this is better than not having the correct proportion of votes within their party.
It will mean that there might be green or bnp or ukip mps (without constituancies).....which is fine
How is that NOT an improvement?
Also HOW is that weaker?
It is Incredibly simple, does not involve second votes, yet is an instant improvement to PR, It is incredibly easy to understand, it is fair, I cannot see how that is weaker.
Many do want a more sophisticated PR......fine, but if you are not going to introduce a more sophisticated PR cos of 'its difficult' 'it will be weaker' 'it will confuse people' or somesuch then the above system is simple.
Im just a little suspicious of the motives of them having a ref on this, but not say 'europe'.
Of course the reason that labour has done this is canny, to attract some libdem/abstainers vote in the election, people who are bvoting for just this possibility of electoral reform......i.e. if you are disatisfied with the electoral system and think it needs improving.....vote labour....hah! I hate them, cos i want electoral reform, but I dont like having my arm twisted to support something else cos of this
maybe in the future.
I don't like this cos it feels like its cheating, Im being cheated into thinking i should vote for them cos of this......just give us an electoral reform referendum NOW...before the election...
They're basically saying "the only way you'll get electoral reform is if you vote for us", as the Tories are almost certain to come out against it. In fact, if they did it now it would work against them, as they'd be (rightly) accused of doing it for electoral advantage in a last-ditch attempt to cling to power.
Plus if (/when) the Tories win the election, they'd have to pass legislation specifically to stop the referendum from happening, which would be cause for complaint from a lot of people early on in their first parliament.
stick the referendum on the ticket for next years general election. that way they get to stick the tories with it in the run up to the election and then, when they lose, leave them holding a long list of names of people who think PR is a good idea. that's what i'd do.
According to http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/dec/01/electoral-system-reform-referendum-plan
Not that Labour would listen that hard to the electoral commission if they thought they knew better.
which they're ignoring.
as to referndums and general elections, it seems to work well enough in the states with their 'propositions' attached to state and national elections.
all dey do iz argue but nuffin eva changes n keep all our taxes in there pockets!!! our brave soldiers shuld be runnin this country!!1
There is no reason to trust Labour on this or indeed on anything.
It'll be like the EU referendum all over again, quietly shelved.
Desperate last minute posturing from the worst government of the post-war era and the worst Prime Minister of all time.
I mean I know that a democratic method of deciding on government is that of free and equal voting, but I don't know how you can say that you have a democratic government.
I think that in the UK we could say that we have an approaching democratic method of selecting, via multiple choice, a government. But that has little to do with wether we are then administered by a democratic (or even meritocratic) government, in fact if cover ups and lies are the order of the day in parliament, then event the re-election after a term of office is not really subject to democratic process (The process involving accountabilituy for the previous terms inadequacies, as most people have not got a clue on what the futures governments policies will mean in reality, people tend to vote according to how sick they are of the previous government, and therefore how little store they hold by manifesto promises)
Can anyone tell me when a government can be said to be 'truly democratic'?