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Fun, isn’t it?

Lib Dems hint at pact with Labour in a hung parliament
Sir Ed Davey weighing up his wishlist for propping up a Starmer government with closer ties to EU and proportional representation at the top

So PR gives greater visibility of the details of opinion. Referenda give even greater detail and visibility. But Gurning Eddie is in favour of PR but not of referenda results.

Odd that.

12 thoughts on “Fun, isn’t it?”

  1. I don’t think PR would change things much. The LDs have this delusion about gaining power, but look at the Brexit vote, which was done nationally rather than constitutionally and we voted with the gammons. Or the vote on AV. People didn’t vote with the Lib Dems.

    If you change the political system you change the incentives. A lot of people don’t vote under FPTP because they live in Islington or Witney and it’s a waste of time. Jeremy Communist or Sir Tufton Bufton are going to win. Turnout is considerably higher in Nuneaton or Swindon. And my guess is that LDs are more likely to vote regardless.

    And I think the biggest effect would be a turnover in parties. FPTP entrenches existing parties. Remove it and people wouldn’t feel so inclined to vote Conservative just to stop Labour getting in. They’d vote UKIP, Reform etc. The Lib Dems might find themselves suffering as people shift to the Greens instead. We’d probably get a lot more radicals in all directions.

  2. Baron Jackfield

    I think that “Gurning Eddie” would be best advised to take note of what happened when the “Great British Public” were given a crack at a national election under PR rules – UKIP became by far the largest UK party in the European Parliament. ISTR that the split, when projected onto FPTP electoral constituencies, would have given them a 200+ seat majority in The Commons.

  3. Noooo. You need to build PR from the bottom. STV for local government for England so there’s a uniform system across the country, to get the English used to it. Then, *later*, using the experience gained, reform the Parliamentary system. They never learn, do they?

  4. The more I learned about it, the more I liked the Irish system. It did however still elect that twat Varadker, but he only just squeaked in.

    And this is the problem. The bad candidates can still squeeze in because they will have enough of a constituency or there are always worst choices on the ballot paper.

    I don’t like it in head-to-head competitions ( mayoralties etc ) and we shoud have run-offs there.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    I prefer deals made in smoke filled rooms before the election and manifestos printed before I vote rather than afterwards when I can’t change my mind. Germany is a classic case at the moment, all three coalition partners are pissing off their own voters and there’s complaints that they aren’t even prepared to go on TV and defend the coalition.

  6. PR, as evidenced by the EU, tends to centrist parties appointing yes men.
    You end up with mush but lots of scope for bribery and corruption.
    Can’t think why the LibDems are in favour.

  7. I don’t like it in head-to-head competitions ( mayoralties etc ) and we should have run-offs there.

    They had a runoff with the SNP leadership election and Humza Useless still got elected. Just because Wee Free Katie wasn’t far behind him doesn’t mean a damn thing.

  8. PR always ends up with MPs, TDs or whatever theit title is, being chosen by the party caucus instead of the lumpenelectorat. With FPTP, the voters get a chance to throw out the Neil Hamiltons.

  9. @john77 – “PR always ends up with MPs … being chosen by the party caucus instead of the lumpenelectorat.”

    That depends on the type of PR used. With a closed party list system, what you claim is true. That is why such a system should never be used. But with STV in multi-seat constituencies and no recognition of parties (as is the case in Ireland), it is completely false. It works in both directions – the official favoured party candidate can lose, while a candidate opposed by the party can win. Obviously, since the party knows perfectly well the power that the electorate wield, they will be very careful to only put forward candidates that will be acceptable.

    With FPTP the candidates are very much chosen by the party elite. That’s why there is so much fuss over all-women shortlists and suchlike. The whole purpose of that sort of thing is to prevent the electorate getting a choice, and it works quite well.

  10. I’m not sure that a system capable of throwing up Leo Varadkar is necessarily one to imitate.

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