Two problems here, Andy

Labour should back proportional representation for Westminster elections to allow more cooperation between political parties on a programme of urgently needed social reform, says Andy Burnham.

1) There are too many people who would like to be a Minister for all to agree on which few should get to be ministers.

2) There’s not actually any one programme that you all agree upon.

13 thoughts on “Two problems here, Andy”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    PR means finding coalitions after the election so parties can make grandiose statements knowing they can walk them back easily and all out their votes with impunity.

    FPTP requires coalitions to be formed before an election so voters know what they are getting.

    I prefer smokey room politics takes place before an election.

  2. How about we elect prime minister, chancellor and home secretary directly like the yanks elect the president?

  3. I think we should Hunger Games style post election competitions, to decide who gets the top ministerial jobs.

    Or bring back Sportsnight : Tonight lions and MPs from White Hart Lane

  4. Ummmm BiND…. Last time I checked that whole FPTP thingie with “coalitions formed beforehand” doesn’t really guarantee anything whatshowever in the UK…

    Mind, the neverending clusterfuck that is british politics is an inexhaustible source of facepalms and other forms of entertainment, but I wonder if the whole idea of UK politics is to provide replaceable strawmen to deflect attention from the career civil servants who really run the show to begin with.

    It would explain the sheer number of clowns that feature in UK politics..

  5. 2) There’s not actually any one programme that you all agree upon.

    Net Zero? Lockdown? Our NHS? The ‘protective arm’ of the State in general?

  6. There’s also the matter of secret coalitions where a party who cannot win, but can split the vote withdraws from an election or by-election to give another party the win.

    Then there was the famous Rainbow Coalition (Labour, SNP, Lib Dems) proposed after Labour lost the 2010 election. Not that this ever stood a chance, but it just goes to show that even FPTP doesn’t free us from this sort of muddled thinking.

  7. Grikath,
    There is no doubt in my mind that the civil servants are running the show and the politicians are just there to provide a veneer of democracy. A bigger problem I think is the way retiring prime ministers get lucrative sinecures from the globalists. Of course Boris isn’t going to implement any conservative policies, it would jeopardize his retirement.

  8. “more cooperation between political parties on a programme of urgently needed social reform”

    aka. We don’t like the electorate, so lets import a new one.
    or; a stitch up between politicians to fleece the Taxpayer even more than they do so already.

    I’m with Ottokring – we need real punishment for failure/incompetence/dishonesty.

    How about a UK version of the Second Amendment so we can shoot the buggers if they fall back on their promises?

  9. PR is both very good and very bad because it covers a wide range of different systems.

    One style is the closed party list system. With this the party chooses a list of candidates and voters vote for parties, with candidates getting elected in order on the list up to the proportion of votes for that party. This is a very bad system as it entrenches power in the hands of the few who get to decide the candidates and their ordering – any rebels get pushed out very easily.

    Another style is the single transferrable vote in multi-member constituencies. In this system parties have no power other than persuasion. It is easy for a candidate to stand on any issue or combination of issues and get elected if the voters like them even in the face of vigorous opposition from established parties.

    FPTP is somewhere in between. Individiuals can get elected, but it’s very rare (e.g. Martin Bell in 1997, but he had significant support from the opposition parties).

  10. @Chris Miller

    Popper’s criticism of PR is a good criticism of party list PR, but he is clearly quite ignorant of psephology as none of the criticisms are valid againt multi-member STV which is a form of PR which works perfectly well even in the total absence of political parties (though that would never happen as people always band together for mutual aid). His discussion of the two-party system is quite laughably wrong, as is much more obvious nowadays with the extremist entrenched views being displayed in two-party America in contravention of his bogus theory.

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