Some questions just do have such easy answers

Why won’t the left combine to give people the progressive alliance that they so clearly want?

Because the left never do give people what they so clearly want.

True, they often enough talk a good game but the delivery is only ever of what the left think people should get which isn’t, as history shows, what they actually want.

25 thoughts on “Some questions just do have such easy answers”

  1. If we are lucky, if the people in sufficient number make the right choices, or rather, left choices, and if the right boxes go missing, yes, definitely the right boxes to go missing, Germany will shortly become the torch bearer of that united left front. A government fully dedicated to abolishing wealth, private property, and freedom, in all its forms in the powerhouse of Europe! Excuse me, I have to go and rub one out.

  2. Maybe because “the Left” is so fragmented into pet peeves Important Issues that don’t see eye to eye that other than a generalised principle there’s no way in hell you could get the lot to form a working coalition for more than a week before they try to kill each other?

    The Wishful Thinkers are pushing for such a coalition in Clogland, despite the election results clearly showing we do not want a Leftist government. (They all lost seats, in some cases massively, across the board…) .
    It’s incredibly funny to see people try anyway… 😉

  3. The Left fight like rats in a sack when attempting to co-operate, because the fundamental desire of everyone on the Left is Power, rather than trying to achieve specific policies. So they are all fighting over who gets to wield the Big Stick, not what to do with it once they’ve got it. To any given Leftist faction, co-operation with anyone, regardless of their nominal political hue, is view purely as power ceded to someone else. You might as well ask them to co-operate with a Rightist party as one of ‘their own side’, the feeling of power loss is identical.

  4. And the “right”* is different how, Jim?

    Not saying there are actually any parties of the right in UK politics.

  5. Jeez!

    This twice-divorced man, whose self-admitted capacity for acrimonious splits from almost everyone he’s ever worked with, desperately pleading for co-operation?

    Another gem of self-insight from this absurd parody whose own level of cooperativeness and tolerance is on free display at his own blog.

  6. “the delivery is only ever of what the left think people should get which isn’t, as history shows, what they actually want.”

    As being played out in New Zealand right now.

  7. Ducky McDuckface

    Grikath – how time flies, it seems like only five years since the last one.

    Have they formed a government yet? It’s only nearly June, after all.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Why won’t the left combine to give people the progressive alliance that they so clearly want?”

    FPTP, long may it live.

    Politics is local and coordinating all those local parties and expecting some to step aside for a party they’ve got a blood feud running against would make Hayek smile, let alone asking the to campaign together.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    To emphasise the point, with FPTP they have to agree policies and constituencies before the election. With PR they can lie to their heart”s content and then dump policies in the name of forming a coalition and fuck those who voted because they liked those policies.

  10. Ducky, nope…

    Partially because the results in and of itself requires inclusion of the Party of Europhiles (D’66) or , Gods Forbid, inclusion of one of the two populist parties ( both excluded out of “principle” )..
    Neither sit well with, well… anyone…

    No-one wants to set up a coalition doomed to fail, so it’ll be a loooong dance until the next forced election.
    Meanwhile a demissionary cabinet that can’t make decisions without an actual majority in the house of commons on anything suits people well.

    Secretly I think the lot in the Hague can’t stand Belgium having the world record for longest parliamentary formation, and they’re aiming for that.. 😉

  11. Oh, for our non-clog readers… D’66 is the dutch political party you get when you allow the Guardian columnists we all know and “love”, courtesy of our host, to actually create a political party.

    Yes, they’re that bad….

  12. To emphasise the point, with FPTP they have to agree policies and constituencies before the election. With PR they can lie to their heart”s content and then dump policies in the name of forming a coalition and fuck those who voted because they liked those policies.

    So Boris’s “Net zero” is what the Conservative Party promised? There’s no more come back with FPTP than with PR.

    My experience is that an majority government allows parties free rein. There are no checks at all. That’s why Jacinda is free in NZ — not because it’s PR, but because she isn’t in coalition. FPTP tends to give more majority governments, so tends to allow unchecked rule.

    Coalitions — which can form in in FPTP, as UK shows — actually force some sort of consensus. Not always well, but not always badly either (it was NZFirst in the last NZ Parliament that stopped Jacinda doing what she is now).

  13. FPTP may be bad, but PR / coalitions always seem to allow fringe parties with no electoral mandate an opportunity to foist their unwanted policies on the majority (although I did enjoy watching Nick Clegg, as Deputy Prime Minister, who’s Liberal Party had explicitly promised voters they would not introduce student tuition fees, announce the introduction of student tuition fees. Probably the best decision David Cameron ever made…..).

  14. bloke in spain,

    “And the “right”* is different how, Jim?”

    I can tell you, based on my experiences in local politics that the right really understand things like forming coalitions for the greater good. The local councillors are a mix of classic liberals to Ken Clarke fans and they all get on, work things through, find agreement. You have people who don’t get nominated for a councillor position and they keep working.

    I think it’s a lot about what Jim said, but more specifically, for the left, getting a political job is a much bigger promotion than it is for the right. Conservatives tend to have good jobs and run businesses. Lefties don’t. Most leftie MPs weren’t in £82,000 jobs before they became MPs. A lot of righties don’t care who does the job, they just want the job done.

  15. Addolff, Blair’s labour introduced tuition fees, Clegg merely broke his promise to abolish them. Blair gets away with it, Clegg is humiliated.

  16. “Probably the best decision David Cameron ever made…” – not really imo, it was another one of his massive gambles, the price for the tuition fees was a referendum on PR. Had PR won then we’d still have Clegg now plus Caroline Lucas and god knows who else. So to reformulate – Voting for FPTP -one of the best decisions the British electorate has ever made.

  17. @Chester
    There’s no more come back with FPTP than with PR.

    Yes there is, after a few more years we can throw the blighters out. PR ensures that you can never throw the blighters out.

  18. Chris Miller,

    “Yes there is, after a few more years we can throw the blighters out. PR ensures that you can never throw the blighters out.”

    That’s the Lib Dem thinking, but there’s no guarantee of that at all. Look at what happened in the EU referendum, which was a binary PR vote – the majority didn’t vote for the sort of world the Lib Dems want. They voted for the world Nigel Farage wanted.

    They add up votes and say that you’d have X seats under PR, but if you have PR, the incentives around voting change. People in “safe seats” are more likely to turn out because the vote doesn’t feel so pointless. We have no idea what the effect of that would be.

    Also, there’s no guarantee that the LDs would keep their slice of the vote, because it would encourage more competition.

  19. Hallowed, it wasn’t a referendum on PR, that’s how useless Clegg was, it was a referendum on AV which is very much *not* PR.

  20. @BiND: “With PR they can lie to their heart’s content and then dump policies in the name of forming a coalition and fuck those who voted because they liked those policies.”

    That depends on the type of PR. For party list systems, you’re right. They further entrench the power of a small number of people, but STV (and especially STV with multi-seat constituencies) the voter votes for specific individuals, so if their representative doesn’t do what they promised, then at the next election the voter can vote for someone else in the same party and get rid of them in favour of someone better. They are not forced to choose between a poor example of their favoured party and a party they hate.

    @Chris Miller: “PR ensures that you can never throw the blighters out.”

    You most certainly can. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland for an example running over the last hundred years. This is why the specific type of PR is so important. Ireland uses the form where voters vole solely for individual candidates (which was once known as British Proportional Representation). The party has no power (except to endorse a candidate and pay their expenses). It’s even possible for a representative to leave their party and successfully stand as an independent (see Neil Blaney who was expelled from his party in 1972 and kept being re-elected until his death in 1995), so voters can get exactly what they want regardless of what the parties try to do.

  21. Never is a long time, and I was using hyperbole. But the fundamental problem with all flavours of PR is that they have a very strong tendency to produce a hung outcome, which then requires a coalition, which in turn requires horse trading, during which manifestos are thrown out of the window.

    People who think there’s a magic, perfect voting system out there somewhere, don’t understand Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.

  22. @Chris Miller: Ireland has elected 20 single-party governments and 13 coalitions, so not such a strong tendency after all. And in the last election in Ireland the candidates elected got 63.7% of the vote compared to the last election in the UK where they got 56.2%. If you actually believe in democracy, it seems pretty bad that the House of Commons only represents 56.2% of the votes, so a majority government can be formed by a minority of the votes. In fact it’s much worse than that due to the distribution of votes and Boris has a majority of 80 seats with only 43% of the vote.

    One of the great advantages of more accurate elections is that parts of the manifestos do get thrown out as if a policy is not contrary to the wishes of a majority of the electorate it should not be implemented.

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