This is most fun

It looks like the EU will deliver their verdict on the UK today. It is that we are unable to decide. And because we can’t they’ll give us the time we need to go away and make up our minds.

It’s damning. What they can see is what we know: that we have a political class bereft of ability that is unable to think logically about an issue. Worse, tribalism matters so much that it’s not just compromise that is impossible for them; they are also beyond considering the national interest.

OK. So, the solution?

But most of all I wish for the essential reform that will permit real change in our society, which is electoral reform. We cannot suffer the incapacity that these parties have created for much longer. And that requires fundamental change.

So, we move to a system where the will of the people really is both expressed and enacted? A referendory (referendatory?) democracy perhaps, like Switzerland? Meaning that we’d already be out of the EU?

30 comments on “This is most fun

  1. Counterfactual: with Swiss-style referenda, we’d never have signed up to the Maastricht or Lisbon treaties in the first place.

    Or, to poke the bear, referenda on other subjects might have acted as an outlet for anti-establishment sentiment, reducing antipathy towards the EU.

  2. The fucking scum EU is the source of antipathy to the EU–aided and abetted by scum traitors and remainiacs.

  3. We might still have the death sentence, fox hunting and imprisonment or stoning for bottysexuals. What’s not to like?

    FFS This is a joke. Poor taste, maybe, but a joke.

  4. “Electoral reform” tends to fragment political parties, making it more likely than less, that the final say will depend on a few MP’s who represent only a tiny fraction of UK opinion. Like the DUP. Is that really want lefties want?

  5. If you think electoral reform will solve our problems, then you understand neither the electoral system nor the problems. But, of course, with Spud that goes without saying.

  6. Electoral reform is a euphemism for PR. PR will give us what we got in 2010 in spades. Under the current system we get minority governments that some people voted for. Under PR we get governments no one voted for. And recall that the compromises necessary to create a working government led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth over broken promises from the usual suspects. But they still want this lash-up apparently.

  7. Andrew M said:
    “Or, to poke the bear, referenda on other subjects might have acted as an outlet for anti-establishment sentiment, reducing antipathy towards the EU”

    If they’d given us Ducky McDuckface, they might not have lost their referendum.
    (not mine, but too good not to steal)

  8. Funny how PR is pushed by supporters of parties who expect to be the “hinge party” in a coalition, i.e. the 3rd of 3 parties. So they can wave their willies around and have a massively-overstated influence compared to the number of votes they got since they can constantly threaten to blow the coalition apart.

    This is how it often works in countries with such systems, having seen it first-hand in Holland.

  9. Funny how PR is pushed by supporters of parties who expect to be the “hinge party” in a coalition, i.e. the 3rd of 3 parties. So they can wave their willies around and have a massively-overstated influence compared to the number of votes they got since they can constantly threaten to blow the coalition apart.

    In NZ at least, any party that waves their willies around like that in a coalition is punished heavily at the next election. As a result partners tend to be quite circumspect.

    You may recall the Lib-Dems not exactly gaining much by being in coalition in the UK.

    You do need a quite high minimum threshold, to prevent a proliferation of minor parties.

  10. Coalition is built into the Swiss system, from bottom to top. The governing bodies at local, state and national-level are composed of party members in proportion to the number of votes those parties obtain.

    To my mind, this is exactly the kind of system you want in a country that is mostly functioning ok. Because it stops the politicians from doing anything too dramatic (If it ain’t broke don’t fix it). I’m not sure that applies to the UK at present.

  11. There’s a Tim Besley paper which has weak elected governments outperforming strong elected governments over a period going back to the 19th century.
    Heck, even strong monarchy outperformed strong elected governments in the analysis.

  12. @RichardT

    “If they’d given us Ducky McDuckface, they might not have lost their referendum.
    (not mine, but too good not to steal)”

    It was Boaty McBoatface

  13. Lefties often screech about PR for general elections

    It’s fun to agree with them, citing the injustice done to UKIP

  14. As far as the UK.s concerned, an Augusto Pinochet style government’s really what’s needed. Although, what with the defence cuts, not sure if it’s got the quantity of helicopters’d be required.

  15. “Counterfactual: with Swiss-style referenda, we’d never have signed up to the Maastricht or Lisbon treaties in the first place.”

    Well, we were promised one on Lisbon.

    My thing with PR or d’Hondt is that you can make small adjustments. UKIP would have won a few seats in 2005. Maybe, because it wouldn’t have been a wasted vote, more people would have voted UKIP. The politicians wouldn’t have been able to push Lisbon through because they’d have been restrained by UKIP MPs.

    I know it also means the Greens and the BNP get in, but I think PR means you get proper representation. The Lib Dems might have supported electoral reform because they saw it as a way to win more seats, but how long would that have lasted? Well, they got into coalition and failed their voters, so not very long.

    And FPTP is really broken outside of 2 parties contesting a seat. Caroline Lucas won in Brighton with 31% of the vote. So, if you get enough candidates, contrary to accepted wisdom, you can let extremists in. In fact, you could have an extreme government just by that party winning 20% of the vote in every seat in a 7 party system.

  16. In NZ at least, any party that waves their willies around like that in a coalition is punished heavily at the next election. As a result partners tend to be quite circumspect.

    Wasn’t the case in Holland – D66, the Lib Dem equivalents, were quite obnoxious as hinge party, but in a way that pleased their base and anyone who broadly shared their views but would normally vote PvdA (Labour).

    Ironically the best coalition partners were the SGP – religious nutters, but who were humble and more or less silent partners, and didn’t throw their 2 seats around.

    It amuses me whenever I see British people claiming that tactical voting wouldn’t exist under PR – yet there were whole articles on it in the Dutch press on how to vote tactically to encourage the coalition you want. People in the UK really don’t like looking at how stuff ACTUALLY works elsewhere, do they?

  17. The question’s not what method you use to elect politicians. It’s whether they do what they’re told when elected.
    A great deal, possibly more than half, of the policies of various governments over the past few years, no one asked for & would have rejected if asked. Governments don’t by & large represent the electorate. They represent powerful vested interests & vociferous pressure groups.

  18. BiS has it. If they don’t have any intention of implementing their manifesto policies there is no electoral system that can fix it.

    So the electoral system isn’t the problem. The quality of our politicians is. What is the fix for that? I don’t know, but how I would like a system which embodied the principle of freedom. And a lot less politics.

    Anyhow, we are still at step one, define the problem. A step which is widely disregarded but which if omitted leads to failure.

  19. Dongguan John, is that one man, one vote African style?

    One man, one vote, once. See Zimbabwe.

  20. “The question’s not what method you use to elect politicians. It’s whether they do what they’re told when elected.”

    But it’s also about whether it’s easy to replace them with an alternative and it isn’t under FPTP because the threat is always that you’ll split the vote and let the bad guys in. PR, AV, d’Hondt all allow this.

  21. Henry Crun has it

    The great potatoes idea of Proportional representation is two fold.

    1/ Only a limited number of parties would be permitted. Rather like his bliog, anyone deemed ‘neoliberal’ or going against the ‘fundamental tenets of democracy’ – i.e anyone who disagreed with him would not be allowed to stand

    2/ After a while people would recognise his genius and his role as ‘the authentic voice of the people’ so there would be no need for elections as his theories will have created a nirvana which noone of right mind would look to escape or disagree with in any way

    Be under no illusion that this man is a friend of democracy. It is hard to overstate the monstrous evil he exudes with every utterance.

  22. We need to reform the HOL. I think the sensible way forward would be to try and include an element of FPTP ( which has some good qualities) and PR
    What about a PR elected second chamber with much increased powers , there are far too few checks on executive power in this country and this might solve two problem at ponce whilst not severing the MP constituency link

    I think the best argument for PR is UKIP, I listened to Steven Pinker addressing the genuine attack on truth in US academia .
    As he said , if you make crap unsayable , and bollocks forbidden it is never revealed to be the bollocks it is ( well he didn`t put it that way)
    Tim , who is a bright boy has not had a word of sense to share on the EU since this whole nightmare started- he likes the idea that it is somehow expressing freedom to share this stuff with other zealots
    If his “case” had been addressed publicly over the years most of the lies would have been pre exposed

    So lets give UKIP , Nazis ,Creationists and believers in the Great God Pan representation if they get the votes – then lets tear their infantile gibberish into the cruddy little pieces once and for all

  23. Newmaniac

    You broadcasting from one of the 10 states where marijuana is legal in the US or from within the EU?

    ‘If his “case” had been addressed publicly over the years most of the lies would have been pre exposed ‘ – the case being that leaving the EU was a ‘good idea’ I presume? How has this not been addressed. We have seen relentless propaganda in schools for the better part of thirty years. Civil servants (who have mounted a rearguard action against Brexit which appears to have succeeded) have been deeply imbued with the ‘Brussels ethos’. since the 1980s. Academia is almost entirely pro- European, as is the state broadcasting service, and much of the blogosphere, as well as almost all the front organisations for mist economic interests. All said Brexit would be a disaster and even in spite of that propaganda onslaught you still lost? Are you saying we needed even more?

  24. @ Newmania “So lets give UKIP , Nazis ,Creationists and believers in the Great God Pan representation if they get the votes”

    Just as we should give a platform to you, paedophiles, devil worshipers, cannibals and ISIS.

  25. “PR, …, d’Hondt all allow this.”

    Unless the person you want rid of is high up the party list, above the waterline. Then you are stuck with them.

  26. Dongguan John has it
    Murphy wants one man, one vote, with the electorate restricted to one man – *himself*

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