UK democracy deficit?
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08-05-2015, 04:41 AM
UK democracy deficit?
I am interested in your opinions on the UK general election.

One thing that stands out for is the absurdety of the UK electoral college or however you may call the election system the UK has. Where I live we also have a first by the post system to determine a representative of a constituency, but the ballot paper also contains a party list since our parlaiment has twice as many seats as there are constituancies. Through this system, the parties receive additional representatives in accordance to the popular vote.

Now.... I want to make very clear that I am not a UKIP supporter, I am pro EU and pritty much a center left German social democrat. But most important to me is preservation of democracy in my country and one thing that strikes me is this:

The SNP got 4.8% of the national vote and sends 57 MPs.

UKIP got 12.6% of the national vote and sends 2 MPs.

Am I the only one who thinks this is completly absurd? 7600000 people voted for UKIP and 3200000 voted for SNP. So this system effectively nullyfies the votes of 4400000 voters and the votes of the remaining 3200000 UKIP ovters are literaly only worth 3.5% of the SNP voters.

Like I said before. I am not a UKIP supporter and I am not a supporter of the Conservatives. But according to the popular vote the UK government after this election should be a Conservative-UKIP coalition government.

Your thoughts? Am I wrong?

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08-05-2015, 05:00 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
No I don't think you're wrong and the system is definitely flawed, as I suspect, are many other systems to varying degrees all over the world. But one good thing to come out of this is the evil little troll that is Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP. But alas I'm sure another evil troll will take his place.

Nick Clegg has also resigned which I think is a shame as I think he was the fall guy/whipping boy of the Tories and their Murdoch run right wing press. Possibly his own fault for forming a coalition with them in the first place but he is certainly paying the price for that now and the Lib Dems having took quite a beating.

I have been trying to find out what nation percentage The Green Party got but haven't found anything yet. I know they only have one seat which is no change from what they had before but I'm wondering if their overall support is slowly increasing?

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08-05-2015, 05:13 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 05:00 AM)Eva Wrote:  No I don't think you're wrong and the system is definitely flawed, as I suspect, are many other systems to varying degrees all over the world. But one good thing to come out of this is the evil little troll that is Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP. But alas I'm sure another evil troll will take his place.

Nick Clegg has also resigned which I think is a shame as I think he was the fall guy/whipping boy of the Tories and their Murdoch run right wing press. Possibly his own fault for forming a coalition with them in the first place but he is certainly paying the price for that now and the Lib Dems having took quite a beating.

I have been trying to find out what nation percentage The Green Party got but haven't found anything yet. I know they only have one seat which is no change from what they had before but I'm wondering if their overall support is slowly increasing?

That is really a shady answere to be honset.

In a democracy it shouldnt matter what you think of a candidate with whom you disagree with. A vote is a vote and an election is an election and the results should be accepted and respected unless there was fraud involved.

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08-05-2015, 05:32 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 05:13 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  In a democracy it shouldnt matter what you think of a candidate with whom you disagree with. A vote is a vote and an election is an election and the results should be accepted and respected unless there was fraud involved.

Yup.

UKIP and the other parties didn't challenge these rules before the election, they agreed to compete under those conditions, so they can't whine now that they've lost their seats. I can see how it would arise that they wouldn't get so many seats though. If you elect an MP for an area, and 49% vote UKIP and 51% Conservative, then the Conservatives win and all those UKIP votes don't count for anything. If that happens in a lot of places, then UKIP gets a large percentage of the total vote and not a lot of seats.

I mean I guess you could change it to some kind of "get this percentage of total votes, get this number of MPs" system, but then you'd have to not do it geographically, and you'd have to have some kind of referendum (or maybe her Majesty would just tell you to get lost).

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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08-05-2015, 05:40 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 05:13 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  
(08-05-2015 05:00 AM)Eva Wrote:  No I don't think you're wrong and the system is definitely flawed, as I suspect, are many other systems to varying degrees all over the world. But one good thing to come out of this is the evil little troll that is Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP. But alas I'm sure another evil troll will take his place.

Nick Clegg has also resigned which I think is a shame as I think he was the fall guy/whipping boy of the Tories and their Murdoch run right wing press. Possibly his own fault for forming a coalition with them in the first place but he is certainly paying the price for that now and the Lib Dems having took quite a beating.

I have been trying to find out what nation percentage The Green Party got but haven't found anything yet. I know they only have one seat which is no change from what they had before but I'm wondering if their overall support is slowly increasing?

That is really a shady answere to be honset.

In a democracy it shouldnt matter what you think of a candidate with whom you disagree with. A vote is a vote and an election is an election and the results should be accepted and respected unless there was fraud involved.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough when I agreed with you and said "No I don't think you're wrong and the system is definitely flawed"

The rest was merely my own satisfaction that Farage is gone.

"The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species." - Christopher Hitchens

"Remember kids, if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing. Have a great day!" - Ricky Gervais
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08-05-2015, 05:49 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 05:40 AM)Eva Wrote:  The rest was merely my own satisfaction that Farage is gone.

I am sad Farage is gone.

Not that I am a big UKIP supporter, but as a German I admired his plan of implementing Bismarcks policy of isolating Britain. He was the top clown in a clownshow and his successor could very well be a lesser clown or not a clown at all and through that be able to repackage UKIPs silly message into something that looks less silly but still is very silly.

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08-05-2015, 07:32 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 04:41 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  The SNP got 4.8% of the national vote and sends 57 MPs.

But that's not 4.8% of the national vote spread evenly throughout the population. That's 4.8% concentrated in a small area which means that a particular interest can be represented. Even the parties who used to benefit from First Past The Post now admit that's not fit for purpose (mainly because they're not benefitting from it anymore).
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09-05-2015, 11:20 AM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
I think it is quite obvious that the elections were gerrymandered. The party that have traditionally been in control (Lab, Con) have done everything they can to keep rising parties like UKIP from getting elected.

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09-05-2015, 01:13 PM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(09-05-2015 11:20 AM)Res Publica Wrote:  I think it is quite obvious that the elections were gerrymandered. The party that have traditionally been in control (Lab, Con) have done everything they can to keep rising parties like UKIP from getting elected.

Yeah, quite obvious. If it's that bad, UKIP et al are free to challenge in court. You think they're gonna?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-05-2015, 06:36 PM
RE: UK democracy deficit?
(08-05-2015 05:32 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(08-05-2015 05:13 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  In a democracy it shouldnt matter what you think of a candidate with whom you disagree with. A vote is a vote and an election is an election and the results should be accepted and respected unless there was fraud involved.

Yup.

UKIP and the other parties didn't challenge these rules before the election, they agreed to compete under those conditions, so they can't whine now that they've lost their seats. I can see how it would arise that they wouldn't get so many seats though. If you elect an MP for an area, and 49% vote UKIP and 51% Conservative, then the Conservatives win and all those UKIP votes don't count for anything. If that happens in a lot of places, then UKIP gets a large percentage of the total vote and not a lot of seats.

I mean I guess you could change it to some kind of "get this percentage of total votes, get this number of MPs" system, but then you'd have to not do it geographically, and you'd have to have some kind of referendum (or maybe her Majesty would just tell you to get lost).

So they can't complain because they agreed to run in the elections? Nigel Farage did criticize the system years ago during the referendum on the issue (source). Also, what would you suggest UKIP, the Green Party and the other parties that suffered because of this do is they can't complain because they agreed to it? Boycott the elections? That would get them nowhere.

Also, as for your point about what the alternative could be, most European countries use the MMP system. Below I have included a right good video on the topic.




(09-05-2015 01:13 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(09-05-2015 11:20 AM)Res Publica Wrote:  I think it is quite obvious that the elections were gerrymandered. The party that have traditionally been in control (Lab, Con) have done everything they can to keep rising parties like UKIP from getting elected.

Yeah, quite obvious. If it's that bad, UKIP et al are free to challenge in court. You think they're gonna?

No, because the FPTP system is not in any way illegal under British law. No one is arguing that, what is being argued is the merit of the system and whether the law should be changed. The labour party and the cons are threatened by the Greens and UKIP respectively, therefore I suspect that they probably had some say in these electoral districts and made them with keeping power in mind.

Here in Canada we have the same problem. If you look at this chart you will see that while not as bad as the British election, our last election suffered from the same problem (Here in Canada we use the same FPTP system). Most Canadians did not want to cons to get a majority government, only around 40% of Canadians wanted them to be the government at all, yet they got an absolute majority in the House of Commons.

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