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Weird, weird, analysis

From semi-dictatorship to democracy in days: Poland has seen off Putin’s puppets. Isn’t that great?
Witold Szabłowski

Catholic nationalists, perhaps the biggest military land power in Europe now, are Putin’s puppets?

Eh?

18 thoughts on “Weird, weird, analysis”

  1. Doesn’t seem much like democracy to me. When the minority parties form the government by cutting deals between them after the election. It’s not what Poles actually voted for, is it?

  2. Doesn’t seem much like democracy to me.

    Well, it’s not much like a newspaper article. It’s just a gay man from Poland, sneering that his pals won an election and the gammon didn’t.

    Most Guardian articles are NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH, when they’re not KILL THE YTs.

  3. @BiS

    There are a few on this site who blame all ills on FPTP. I’ve often had to point out to them that PR is a system under which the people vote and then the politicians decide who has won. It’s why it’s so popular with the EU.

  4. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    At least the new lot probably won’t be trying to impose a new Versailles treaty on Germany.

    BiG in Hong Kong.

  5. No doubt the EU is already hiring coaches to ship the diversity to Poland in their thousands. Poles prepare to be enriched (rape gangs, suicide bombings and general third world crome and shittiness) You were warned but no some of you wouldn’t listen.

  6. Meanwhile, in the formerly British country of Britain:

    Sunak to push ahead with delayed ban on gay and trans conversion practices
    Prime minister to include draft bill banning conversion practices in king’s speech, sources confirm

    Kiran Stacey Political correspondent
    Thu 19 Oct 2023

    “DURR! HURR! you just don’t like Rishi becoz he is brown fnarr fnarr! X-D X-D”
    – MC

  7. As far as my Polish friend is concerned, the Russians can go f*ck themselves, along with the Germans. Even we Brits don’t get away free of criticism, they blame us for letting Stalin take over after the war. There’s no love between the Poles and the Russians, so one doubts that any politician in Poland would get far by cosying up to Uncle Vlad.

  8. @Chris Miller Ummm… Not quite… Or at all, really…

    FPTP gives a Ruling Party only if there are just two major players in the field, like in the UK or US.
    When there’s three or even more relatively equal players in the field, like in most of Europe, FPTP would yield the same result as PR: Unless one party magically gets 51% of the votes, you end up with 3 or more parties who by themselves do not have a majority in Parliament, and therefore must form a coalition to get that majority.

    FPTP may skew seats towards a majority ( or at least a major “Win” ) for one party, but only if there’s a lack of actual choice.

  9. @Chris Miller – “I’ve often had to point out to them that PR is a system under which the people vote and then the politicians decide who has won.”

    The reason why you have to keep pointing it out is that it’s not true.

    @Grikath – “Unless one party magically gets 51% of the votes,…”

    What matters is the distribution of votes between constituencies. A voter for a party in a constituency where that party is more popular has a less powerful vote than one where the parties are more equally balanced. This is the basis for one form of gerrymandering – put all your opponent voters densely packed in some constituencies, while you spread your own supporters over more constituencies where you only have a small majority. FPTP is more vulnerable to this because anything over 51% is wasted. In a three-seat STV constituency, however, you have to reach 75% for votes to be wasted through this effect.

  10. Here’s a particularly stupid comment by a nationalist: “she succeeded in overturning a 1997 ruling which she argued put Scotland “out of step” with other countries”.

    If you want independence, love, it’s because you want the right to be out of step. Arseholes the lot of ’em.

  11. @Grikath

    “FPTP gives a Ruling Party only if there are just two major players in the field, like in the UK or US.”

    In FPTP there usually are two major players, even if their identities change occasionally. And that’s not just true in the UK where Labour supplanted the Liberals/Whigs who’d been one of the Big Two for centuries. The US had a basically two-party system before the Republican Party came into being, with Democrats vs Whigs. If you look at modern-day Canada, the old Conservative Party crashed and burned and its place in the system got taken by its upstart/splitter right-wing rival. In the mid-80s, you almost saw the same thing in the UK Left, but while the SDP polled about the same as Labour for a while, their support wasn’t efficiently concentrated across constituencies and they ended up (mostly) folding into the Liberals (whence “Liberal Democrats” not just “Liberals” any more). In a PR system, UKIP/Reform/whoever would be a significant force in the UK. But they’re not, because we’re FPTP.

    It’s no coincidence that FPTP is associated with having two major players. The voting system changes the political landscape in a way that encourages people to join forces with others whose views aren’t quite pure enough for their taste, but you can just about fit in a bigger tent for electoral purposes. The Conservative and Labour political coalitions would both split into multiple competing parties if we lived in a voting system where that was feasible. Even the much smaller Liberal Democrats would likely cleave in two – there’s not many around from the days when Liberals and Social Democrats were two separate parties, but a lot of the fault lines in philosophy are still there.

    Even in FPTP you’re not necessarily stuck with same two parties, if one gets rejected conclusively enough. As the old Canadian Conservatives or UK Liberals or US Whigs will tell you. It’s just hard to do. But FPTP relatively rarely ends in coalition government, so a lot of the factional bargaining between different political clans takes place within party structures and you can see the result in the manifesto so you have some idea what you’re voting for. I’m not saying it’s a perfect system, certainly as a voter you don’t get much choice: in many constituencies, you might have to vote for a stinker of a candidate of your preferred party, whose views clash significantly with yours, but in fact it doesn’t matter as that constituency’s result is a foregone conclusion. But the point people are making about pre versus post-election stich-ups that people are making is basically sound. FPTP tends to push the political dynamics in that direction. While it’s possible to find examples of FPTP countries where you do have more than two large-ish competing parties and resultant coalitions, that’s often just a dynamic phase en route to a two-and-a-bit-party system.

  12. BiFR: At least the new lot probably won’t be trying to impose a new Versailles treaty on Germany

    You could argue that that’s a process that Mutti initiated in 2015 and that subsequenly the Greens have vigorously pursued.

  13. @ Charles
    You are ignoring what we have actully seen to happen in the real world and lecturing us on what might happen if there were three equally- or roughly-equally-sized parties. This has only occurred once in the UK – before I was born and the Lib-Lab coalition only lasted one year.
    In real life we have seen multiple examples of PR where electors cannot choose an individual MP but only vote for a Party List with the order of precedence determined by party hacks in “smoke-filled rooms” (probably now cannabis rather than tobacco smoke). I must point out that Israel, where the tiny hard-line Shas party has repeatedly held the government to ransom might not be at war if it had operated a FTPT system.

  14. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Grikath,

    Under FPTP probably every postwar government in (west) Germany would have been a Union supermajority. And as much as socialism is to be despised, there is a lot to be said in imperfect systems for power changing hands now and again (see TMBs valid point about the Merkel Junta).

    Since Germany has constituencies plus PR it would be trivial to check this.

    BiG in Hong Kong.

  15. How many countries have pure PR?

    I voted for a constituency member just a week ago in NZ.

    We’ve had coalitions, but only once had a genuinely unstable one. The UK is likely to have a worse one if you get a Labour-LD-SNP one.

  16. “DURR! HURR! you just don’t like Rishi becoz he is brown fnarr fnarr! X-D X-D”
    – MC

    Hit a nerve did I? I thought you’d officially stopped caring cos everything’s gay?

    The legislation you refer to has been on the cards since 2018. I don’t doubt for a moment you had no time for the PM then, but you didn’t make repeated childish jokes about her being made of shit.

    If you don’t like being called out for being a racist cunt, try not being a racist cunt.

  17. @john77 – “we have seen multiple examples of PR where electors cannot choose an individual MP but only vote for a Party List”

    Yes, and they’re worse than FPTP. PR is a property of a system. It is not itself a system, so advocacy and analysis should not be framed as FPTP vs PR but FPTP vs a specific other system, and a property of a better system than FPTP will be that it is more proportional simply because FPTP is poor at that.

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