UK Politics in General

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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 25 November 2020, 13:22

Severelius wrote:I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

I'm interested in experiments aiming to improve political participation (I think, for instance, that the arguments for something like a sortition selected People's Assembly, to debate referendum-level issues, are quite convincing), but there's always a little voice in my head that reminds me that we'd almost definately bring back hanging and the belt. We do so miss them.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 13:36

Magic J wrote:
Severelius wrote:I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

I'm interested in experiments aiming to improve political participation (I think, for instance, that the arguments for something like a sortition selected People's Assembly, to debate referendum-level issues, are quite convincing), but there's always a little voice in my head that reminds me that we'd almost definately bring back hanging and the belt. We do so miss them.

If we left policy up to 'the people' as a whole this country would have the death penalty for most crimes, mandatory military service or a lockdown policy for teenagers, caning in public schools, 24-hour pub opening times, and a mandatory 100% ban on all forms of immigration.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 17:20

Marmaduke wrote:I just think we need to disenfranchise the elderly and move citizenship to an app. On it, we can put everything, your passport, your driving license, your NHS information, your tax information, and when the country needs to decide something, it’s just pushed as a question via the app. We can even go fully Nietzsche and put every single matter that would be for the government to vote on onto the app, but tier them. Make it so that certain questions are only visible to people of a certain level or field of higher education. Strip members of parliament down to about half of what they are now, throw the House of Lords in the bin. Retire the Palace of Westminster, move the new government to Manchester in a new purpose built building. All with Marmaduke as Supreme Leader.

:rofl: Count me in, Supreme Leader Marm A. Duke! :monocle:

GaySpacePirateKing wrote:
PopTart wrote:You know, I've come to realise, through talking to alot of people, that there is very little support for direct democracy, even amongst those, who are ardent supporters of democracy, infact, especially amongst those people. It's so bizarre.


I don't really support it either :P

Its probably because most people envision it rolled out on a national level with everything we have current. Nation states, national economy, hierarchy, inequality in wealth and power all still existing, but now with lots of plebiscites.

When its on a decentralised and non-hierarchical, egalitarian scale where we have economic democracy along with political democracy then it sounds better to me.
No, it certainly wouldn't work given current institutions :P

Severelius wrote:
PopTart wrote:You know, I've come to realise, through talking to alot of people, that there is very little support for direct democracy, even amongst those, who are ardent supporters of democracy, infact, especially amongst those people. It's so bizarre.

Because let's be honest, direct democracy would be a shitshow. It would devolve every single issue into complete nonsense because most of us regular clueless dolts out there don't understand the intricate details of government policy so for any vote on a detailed subject it'd end up being fucking Brexit all over again; an incredibly complex topic no random jackass really understands boiled down to the most aggressively stupid lowest common denominator talking points possible just to convince 50.1% of the voters that a terrible idea is actually a vital necessity.

I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

Representative democracy is the best balance between democracy and letting other people handle the shit we can't be bothered to understand. And even that's a pretty busted system though I put most of that busted-ness down to First Past The Post still being a thing that exists.
I think initially yes, it would devolve in such a way as you describe as people would be excited to engage. But given time, don't you think the novelty will wear off and eventually, people with a vested interest in a given issue, will be the ones most likely to vote on them, everyone else will be too busy watching Eastenders or sending out tweets about Jodie Whittakers nipples being too visible on the latest Dr Who episode. :awesome:

Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

Magic J wrote:
Severelius wrote:I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

I'm interested in experiments aiming to improve political participation (I think, for instance, that the arguments for something like a sortition selected People's Assembly, to debate referendum-level issues, are quite convincing), but there's always a little voice in my head that reminds me that we'd almost definately bring back hanging and the belt. We do so miss them.
That is an interesting idea, what would be the criteria for the sortition? Who would be eligible? Would it be subject specific, drawing from a particular area of expertise, for example? So, in the instance of hanging, perhaps have sortition candidates, be selected from amongst those with a background in law, criminal pshychology, and a certain percentage, average joes?

Severelius wrote:
Magic J wrote:
Severelius wrote:I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

I'm interested in experiments aiming to improve political participation (I think, for instance, that the arguments for something like a sortition selected People's Assembly, to debate referendum-level issues, are quite convincing), but there's always a little voice in my head that reminds me that we'd almost definately bring back hanging and the belt. We do so miss them.

If we left policy up to 'the people' as a whole this country would have the death penalty for most crimes, mandatory military service or a lockdown policy for teenagers, caning in public schools, 24-hour pub opening times, and a mandatory 100% ban on all forms of immigration.
I wouldn't say you would be wrong.

I do wonder if there is any virtue to be found, however, in a society, that absolutely and truly reflected it's people. There would be no room any longer, to hide behind the actions of politicians, to plaster over our willful acceptance of things, we would otherwise object to, if we had to own the responsibility for ourselves, otherwise.

For example, most British people, don't like that we supply arms to the Saudi's but they aren't the ones making the choice and it has the secondary benefit of being financially helpful to our nation, so we let it go and don't talk about it. It's not us doing the deed, right?

But when the responsibility is ours? Is it so easy to dodge the implications?

I've heard people who oppose direct democracy, also suggest that our government would become racist and bigotted (thereby reflecting the people, which I think sells the people short considerably) but even if they are right, how long do you think that would sit comfortably with the people of the nation? How long before we had to take an honest look at outselves, having no-one else to hide behind and acknowledge, that who we are, isn't the people we want to be? Even if the majority now are okay with it, how long before those few that aren't, begin the hard work of changing peoples hearts and minds. Seem too monumental a task? I bet gay rights likely seemed so one upon a time :shrug:

Just musings ofcourse.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 17:34

PopTart wrote:I think initially yes, it would devolve in such a way as you describe as people would be excited to engage. But given time, don't you think the novelty will wear off and eventually, people with a vested interest in a given issue, will be the ones most likely to vote on them, everyone else will be too busy watching Eastenders or sending out tweets about Jodie Whittakers nipples being too visible on the latest Dr Who episode. :awesome:

Let's be honest if direct democracy was a thing people would have already demanded a fucking referendum on whether or not to fire Jodie Whittaker and replace her with a white dude to make the Doctor 'normal' again. That's the kind of shit that would rise to the surface if we didn't have an elected Parliament who, while far from perfect in any way, are at least expected to present a modicum of not being totally insane and actually focus on important governmental shit, not just whatever populist nonsense Facebook-inspired talking point gets enough support among the lowest common denominator of ludicrous shitheels.

Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

I would argue two things here:

1. Coalition governments are almost the expected norm in many other countries and they get along just fine. They've only historically been ludicrous dumpster fires in the UK because our electoral system for Parliament is designed to deliver strong majority governments (or at least that's how the defence of it goes) so when that doesn't happen people tend to lose their shit. I still remember the weeks of hand-wringing and panicked doomsaying when the Tories and Lib Dems formed the coalition in 2010. Grown adults and media professionals just didn't seem to be able to fucking comprehend how this situation could possibly have happened and oh god what are we going to do now, everything is chaos.

If coalitions happened as regularly as they do elsewhere, we'd all collectively be able to get used to the idea of 'government by compromise' instead of 'government by fuck you' that we currently have.

I mean for all the Tories love the "coalition of chaos" line (Cameron's argument in 2015 was that a Labour-led coalition would be chaos and would lose Scotland because of the SNP's influence, May argued that Corbyn would lead one if he won in 2017 and Johnson made the same point again in 2019), the 2010-2015 Tory/Lib Dem coalition was arguably a weirdly more stable and better government than the subsequent Tory governments have been.

Giving one party the entirety of the power only works if that party isn't terrible, having a party that has to compromise with a different often very ideologically distinct one to get anything done moderates the worst instincts of the worst people within that party.

2. We literally fought a Civil War over the subject of the monarch getting too involved in Parliament's business. This is why the Queen's only involvement in Parliament these days is to give the 'royal assent' that has not been refused in hundreds of years, and to deliver a speech written by the government at the beginning of every year's session of Parliament. That and the whole "I've asked Her Majesty to allow me to form a government" thing every PM says after an election that again, is just an expected symbolic formality because the monarch is never going to refuse that.

Charles is an idiot, but he still at least understands that as soon as the monarch interferes with the Parliamentary process in any way, be it refusing to allow the winner of an election to form a government or refusing royal assent to a bill that has passed through Parliament, the monarchy is going to be gotten rid of it. That thing only exists because it's a harmless symbolic position, there is no actual power associated with it and everybody knows that.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby René » 25 November 2020, 18:26

PopTart wrote:Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

That's because of FPTP. Look at countries with proportional representation, where you don't get situations where one party gets 33% of the vote but 50%+ of the seats in parliament. You find far more examples of stable coalition governments there, as well as a much wider variety of political parties to choose from to match one's views.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 18:48

René wrote:
PopTart wrote:Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

That's because of FPTP. Look at countries with proportional representation, where you don't get situations where one party gets 33% of the vote but 50%+ of the seats in parliament. You find far more examples of stable coalition governments there, as well as a much wider variety of political parties to choose from to match one's views.

Exactly.

The sooner FPTP dies the better off we'll be cause the sooner we'll be able to become a more actually functional democracy.

... it's possible I'm disproportionately angry about this given I tend to vote Liberal Democrat and the Liberal Democrats so regularly get absolutely fucked over by FPTP being a thing. Seriously in 2019 the party had a net swing of +4.2% of the vote but ended up with a net loss of one seat. The system is bullshit.

I just want a system where the majority of the population don't have to just resort to unenthusiastic tactical voting just to prevent someone else potentially getting the seat, but rather can vote for who they actually want to vote for because their vote actually matters. Rather than at the moment where voters in 'safe seats' might as well not bother voting at all if they're not voting for the party the seat is safe for because that party will always win regardless.

My constituency is over 100 years old and it's never elected anyone but a Tory. So why should anyone else living here who isn't a Tory voter even bother? It's not a good way to run a democracy or make voters more engaged in the process, because so many voters are fundamentally disenfranchised because of how this system works.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 25 November 2020, 18:51

Severelius wrote:The sooner FPTP dies the better off we'll be cause the sooner we'll be able to become a more actually functional democracy.

But other systems are too complicated, especially for ethnic minorities. :nag:
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 18:54

Severelius wrote:I would argue two things here:

1. Coalition governments are almost the expected norm in many other countries and they get along just fine. They've only historically been ludicrous dumpster fires in the UK because our electoral system for Parliament is designed to deliver strong majority governments (or at least that's how the defence of it goes) so when that doesn't happen people tend to lose their shit. I still remember the weeks of hand-wringing and panicked doomsaying when the Tories and Lib Dems formed the coalition in 2010. Grown adults and media professionals just didn't seem to be able to fucking comprehend how this situation could possibly have happened and oh god what are we going to do now, everything is chaos.
You're right, that in many other countries, coalition governments are the norm, but they have never been so, here. Indeed, many of our political institutions revolve around majority leadership setup. I would also argue that coalition parliaments can be dumpster fires elsewhere too, not just in the UK.

Just because they work somewhere else, doesn't mean they will work here, we already have a system, that has, for a century atleast, been very effective at good government (much of the time)

Severelius wrote:If coalitions happened as regularly as they do elsewhere, we'd all collectively be able to get used to the idea of 'government by compromise' instead of 'government by fuck you' that we currently have.
But they don't and everytime we have one, it's a disaster, you point to the Tory/LibDem coalition, but I would argue, that the Lib Dems, would consider that coalition a complete disaster, it saw their party completely humiliated. The only real pieces of legislature they managed to get through, where those that the Tories let them, which inevtiably turned out to be losers in terms of success and public support. Yeaah... awesome! :english: :D It might not be a national crisis every times we have one, but it's certainly not great.

Severelius wrote:I mean for all the Tories love the "coalition of chaos" line (Cameron's argument in 2015 was that a Labour-led coalition would be chaos and would lose Scotland because of the SNP's influence, May argued that Corbyn would lead one if he won in 2017 and Johnson made the same point again in 2019), the 2010-2015 Tory/Lib Dem coalition was arguably a weirdly more stable and better government than the subsequent Tory governments have been.
See, this is a misunderstanding of the way the Tories always operate. In the Lib Dem/Tory coalition, the Tories had a single goal, make the Lib Dems look bad. They were quite artful, so much so, that come the next general election, the Tories cleaned up at the election and the Lib Dems? never recovered.

The Tories need a strong opposition force, to be kept on point, kept together and to prevent them running off with all the money. Without some form of outside opposition, the Tories inevitably full upon one another like a bunch of pirahna, backstabbing, throwing eachother under buses etc. People often fear an unoppossed tory government, but they needn't. They'll soon tear their own party apart in a feeding frenzy.

Severelius wrote:Giving one party the entirety of the power only works if that party isn't terrible, having a party that has to compromise with a different often very ideologically distinct one to get anything done moderates the worst instincts of the worst people within that party.
See, this sounds like someone who has been exposed too much to American politics and the American brand of democracy. The entirety of our political establishment, is built towards this goal, a strong, majority government, that holds the reigns of power and is kept in check by an equally robust opposition party. Many of the faillings in limiting Tory excess in the past, have come at times, when there has been weak or non existant opposition, as opposed to strong opposition. Take the current climate for example, I feel the SNP does a better job of acting as opposition to Tory ambitions in Westminster right now, than Labour does. Because labour remains a deeply divided, schismatic party, that can't decide who it represents. :shrug:

Severelius wrote:2. We literally fought a Civil War over the subject of the monarch getting too involved in Parliament's business. This is why the Queen's only involvement in Parliament these days is to give the 'royal assent' that has not been refused in hundreds of years, and to deliver a speech written by the government at the beginning of every year's session of Parliament. That and the whole "I've asked Her Majesty to allow me to form a government" thing every PM says after an election that again, is just an expected symbolic formality because the monarch is never going to refuse that..
You need to brush up on the role of monarchy, in this century alone, in British politics and indeed, in politics across Europe (where a given country has a constitutional monarch)
George V, for example, was a very active figure in British politics, becoming well regarded for navigating and mediating, some of the most important political crisis, of his times. Monarchs in Sweden and Spain, have also taken active participation in government, acting as arbiters, during times of political deadlock, helping to resolve political crisis, where nobody else could.

It has only been with Queen Elisabeth, who has chosen to take a completely hands off approach to her responsibilities as monarch, that we don't have a monarchy, that fulfills that same role.

If you want a coalition style of government, then your going to need someone, who is positioned to break deadlock when it inevitably occurs. France has a president, as does America, other countries have similar persons that assume similar roles.

We don't.

Severelius wrote:Charles is an idiot, but he still at least understands that as soon as the monarch interferes with the Parliamentary process in any way, be it refusing to allow the winner of an election to form a government or refusing royal assent to a bill that has passed through Parliament, the monarchy is going to be gotten rid of it. That thing only exists because it's a harmless symbolic position, there is no actual power associated with it and everybody knows that..
You assume the role of the monarch would be... usurping power? Denying legally elected power? Ofcourse not, in those circumstances, a monarch would have to go, rightly so. There is, actually plenty of power invested in the monarchy, it's just the current holder of the title, perhaps wisely so, chooses not to use it. Personally, I think alot of people might have been in favour of her maj, stepping in during the brexit gridlock, if the old girl is still around, she might come out with something to say, when Scotland has it's referendum.

The role of the monarch, is not to deny a properly elected government from forming or refuse royal assent to a bill, fairly voted on, it is to resolve issues, that elected officials prove unable to, to end petty infighting and cut to the heart of an issue.

What if the Queen had stepped in during the Brexit fiasco and "suggested" that a second referendum be called to resolve the matter? I bet alot of people would have been in favour of that and while it might have cost the royal family some political clout, it would have won them friends in certain quarters (and possibly upset people in others)

But the monarchy could take a more active political role and not become a pre-cromwellian absolutist wannabe :lol:

René wrote:
PopTart wrote:Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

That's because of FPTP. Look at countries with proportional representation, where you don't get situations where one party gets 33% of the vote but 50%+ of the seats in parliament. You find far more examples of stable coalition governments there, as well as a much wider variety of political parties to choose from to match one's views.
I'm not so sure anymore. I used to agree with you, that PR was the way forward, but I've seen just as many national governments, which rely on it, that don't provide results that i would argue, are any more beneficial.
Why change the entirety of our political establishment for just PR? At that rate, we might aswell talk about far more fundamental and radical reform, why not go state federal? Hell, there are other options too.

I think that we have to face upto one fact at the very least and that is, that the current political setup in the UK, isn't working anymore and will continue to be dysfunctional, until we sit down as a nation (and collection of nations) and start to seriously talk about how things need to change.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 25 November 2020, 19:00

Severelius wrote:If we left policy up to 'the people' as a whole...

Perhaps. But maybe not. Could break deadlocks by exposure to disagreement in a less hostile environment (and people you ordinarily wouldn't speak to). We could have a system in which people are randomly selected to attend the assembly for a set number of weekends (with paid time off work and stipends for those who require it, to encourage as wide a sample as possible). They'd be briefed on the issue at hand, hear evidence from experts, listen to a wide range of views, and debate the issue with the other chosen people. This would be made public week by week. Then, they'd make a decision, amend it and so forth, and submit a report to the elected body (perhaps even binding, in some cases).

It's certainly not impractical, it's actually been done a few times here and in Ireland. Not particularly revolutionary, either, certainly not the solution to most of our problems (that would require much more radical steps, and they ain't going to give up that easily :P), but as a short term goal it might help to address some of the problems around alienation and lack of community decision making. Particularly if they could be implemented at more local levels and gain real decision making power.

This is very "wet" stuff, though. Suitable for more optimistic and doey-eyed moments. Like, the struggle needs to happen. Easily co-optable. I'm happy to support experiments like this, however.

PopTart wrote:That is an interesting idea, what would be the criteria for the sortition? Who would be eligible? Would it be subject specific, drawing from a particular area of expertise, for example? So, in the instance of hanging, perhaps have sortition candidates, be selected from amongst those with a background in law, criminal pshychology, and a certain percentage, average joes?

The idea is that it would be as random as possible, everybody living in a certain place ("UK", "Wales", "Scunthorp", etc) depending on the scope of the issue. It wouldn't be subject specific, there wouldn't be any requirements other than voluntarily participating (with incentives, if required, as I mentioned. Would be too technocratic otherwise. They'd listen to the arguments of experts and people with first hand knowlege in addition to each others, though.

That's the idea, anyway.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 19:01

Severelius wrote:
René wrote:
PopTart wrote:Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

That's because of FPTP. Look at countries with proportional representation, where you don't get situations where one party gets 33% of the vote but 50%+ of the seats in parliament. You find far more examples of stable coalition governments there, as well as a much wider variety of political parties to choose from to match one's views.

Exactly.

The sooner FPTP dies the better off we'll be cause the sooner we'll be able to become a more actually functional democracy.

... it's possible I'm disproportionately angry about this given I tend to vote Liberal Democrat and the Liberal Democrats so regularly get absolutely fucked over by FPTP being a thing. Seriously in 2019 the party had a net swing of +4.2% of the vote but ended up with a net loss of one seat. The system is bullshit.

I just want a system where the majority of the population don't have to just resort to unenthusiastic tactical voting just to prevent someone else potentially getting the seat, but rather can vote for who they actually want to vote for because their vote actually matters. Rather than at the moment where voters in 'safe seats' might as well not bother voting at all if they're not voting for the party the seat is safe for because that party will always win regardless.

My constituency is over 100 years old and it's never elected anyone but a Tory. So why should anyone else living here who isn't a Tory voter even bother? It's not a good way to run a democracy or make voters more engaged in the process, because so many voters are fundamentally disenfranchised because of how this system works.

I will say I'm curious about AV.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 19:04

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:That is an interesting idea, what would be the criteria for the sortition? Who would be eligible? Would it be subject specific, drawing from a particular area of expertise, for example? So, in the instance of hanging, perhaps have sortition candidates, be selected from amongst those with a background in law, criminal pshychology, and a certain percentage, average joes?

The idea is that it would be as random as possible, everybody living in a certain place ("UK", "Wales", "Scunthorp", etc) depending on the scope of the issue. It wouldn't be subject specific, there wouldn't be any requirements other than voluntarily participating (with incentives, if required, as I mentioned. Would be too technocratic otherwise. They'd listen to the arguments of experts and people with first hand knowlege in addition to each others, though.

That's the idea, anyway.
I could get behind that.

The technocratic parts, I think some people would like that. Not me personally, but then I don't feel that one needs to be fully informed on a subject to be able to say, how it will impact upon them and thus, have a valid opinion. But I recognise, that not everyone feels that way.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby René » 25 November 2020, 19:05

Severelius wrote:
René wrote:
PopTart wrote:Ironically, on a more serious note, you spoke about being very much against parliamentary majorities, yet it is most often in minority and coalition parliaments (in England and the UK atleast) that politics descend into the shit show you speak of. Every time in history, that the UK has had coalition or minority governments, it's been a complete, bickering, intransigent clusterfuck, once or twice in history, being so bad to as to topple parliament entirely! The few times it hasn't, has required arbiters in the form of power figures, such as the King (at the time) or retired politician, to step in and arbitrate. Could you imagine Charles becoming active on the political scene? :shudder:

That's because of FPTP. Look at countries with proportional representation, where you don't get situations where one party gets 33% of the vote but 50%+ of the seats in parliament. You find far more examples of stable coalition governments there, as well as a much wider variety of political parties to choose from to match one's views.

Exactly.

The sooner FPTP dies the better off we'll be cause the sooner we'll be able to become a more actually functional democracy.

... it's possible I'm disproportionately angry about this given I tend to vote Liberal Democrat and the Liberal Democrats so regularly get absolutely fucked over by FPTP being a thing. Seriously in 2019 the party had a net swing of +4.2% of the vote but ended up with a net loss of one seat. The system is bullshit.

Similarly, in 2015 the Green Party of England and Wales got 3.8% of the vote but got... one seat. 1/650 = less than 0.2% of the seats. :crazy:

Surely that can't be right, James?

PopTart wrote:I will say I'm curious about AV.

AV would not solve the problem under discussion here and can in fact produce even more wildly disproportional results than FPTP.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 25 November 2020, 19:06

What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 19:07

Magic J wrote:
Severelius wrote:If we left policy up to 'the people' as a whole...

Perhaps. But maybe not. Could break deadlocks by exposure to disagreement in a less hostile environment (and people you ordinarily wouldn't speak to). We could have a system in which people are randomly selected to attend the assembly for a set number of weekends (with paid time off work and stipends for those who require it, to encourage as wide a sample as possible). They'd be briefed on the issue at hand, hear evidence from experts, listen to a wide range of views, and debate the issue with the other chosen people. This would be made public week by week. Then, they'd make a decision, amend it and so forth, and submit a report to the elected body (perhaps even binding, in some cases).

Okay maybe this is an indictment of just the kinds of people I mostly end up associating with but if people start getting told "hey you have give up your weekends to come and be lectured and debate government policy" I predict like maybe 5 people out of 100 would actually bother to turn up.

A big problem with our political system is voter apathy, to be sure, but making government decision-making akin to jury duty isn't going to make more people engaged, it's just going to piss off the people who aren't and who don't give a shit. The people who are already politically engaged will be fine with it, but they're the ones who reliably vote on every possible thing anyway.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby René » 25 November 2020, 19:09

Brenden wrote:What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?

I believe it actually involves some seats being allocated in a way designed specifically to make the final result roughly proportional to the national vote, while retaining constituencies and local M(S)Ps. Which seems like a very nice compromise.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 19:10

René wrote:
PopTart wrote:I will say I'm curious about AV.

AV would not solve the problem under discussion here and can in fact produce even more wildly disproportional results than FPTP.

I'm curious about it :P Not saying we need it. I had heard of it in passing, but not much else, I've been on a "reassessing my political assumptions" drive over the last couple of months (actually been a disaster as I now have a political outlook that would resemble swiss cheese! :rofl: I need to reconstruct.)

I checked out a youtube video that made it sound interesting but it was very "hand holdy" almost educational, so I'm not familiar with the specifics.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 19:11

René wrote:Similarly, in 2015 the Green Party of England and Wales got 3.8% of the vote but got... one seat. 1/650 = less than 0.2% of the seats. :crazy:

Yeah smaller parties just get absolutely screwed in FPTP. I don't doubt there are a lot more poeple out there who would vote for parties like the Lib Dems, or the Greens.... if they thought they actually had a hope in hell of winning. But because under FPTP they don't they just line up behind Labour to try and keep the Tories out, or the Tories to try and keep Labour out, and nobody is really all that happy.

AV would not solve the problem under discussion here and can in fact produce even more wildly disproportional results than FPTP.

I mean we had a referendum on switching to AV and it lost. Hard. Because it wasn't a great alternative, the Tories in government campaigned against it hard and Labour just didn't bother to do anything.

I can't stress enough how much the Tories and Labour piss me off.

Brenden wrote:What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?

I'll be honest I have never understood how that system works. Like whenever they release opinion polls for Scotland there's the regular vote and then the 'list' vote and I just don't get it.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 19:12

Brenden wrote:What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?

And become a one party state like scotland :toogay: eeew

:lol:

I jest.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby René » 25 November 2020, 19:18

Severelius wrote:
Brenden wrote:What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?

I'll be honest I have never understood how that system works. Like whenever they release opinion polls for Scotland there's the regular vote and then the 'list' vote and I just don't get it.

As I understand it, it's basically like the current UK House of Commons, except only a subset of the seats are awarded based on local constituency polls. The remainder are awarded specifically in a way to make the final result more similar to the actual distribution of the votes. So if e.g. the Greens or Lib Dems got quite a lot of votes but they were all spread out and would result in 0 seats under the current UK HoC method, in a mixed-member proportional system, they would be allocated "compensatory" seats so that Green and Lib Dem voters *are* represented by M(S)Ps of the party of their choice. Thus their votes are not "wasted".
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 19:20

René wrote:
Severelius wrote:
Brenden wrote:What about a mixed-member system such as Scotland's, in which some MSPs are elected through FPTP in constituencies and others are elected regionally based on a proportion of the total vote in that region?

I'll be honest I have never understood how that system works. Like whenever they release opinion polls for Scotland there's the regular vote and then the 'list' vote and I just don't get it.

As I understand it, it's basically like the UK House of Commons, except only a subset of the seats are awarded based on local constituency polls. The remainder are awarded specifically in a way to make the final result more similar to the actual distribution of the votes. So if e.g. the Greens or Lib Dems got quite a lot of votes but they were all spread out and would result in 0 seats under the UK HoC method, in a mixed-member system, they would be allocated "compensatory" seats so that Green and Lib Dem voters *are* represented by MSPs of the party of their choice. Thus their votes are not "wasted".

That actually sounds like a pretty good way of doing it.

But it would require Westminster admitting Scotland has a point about something, so it'll never happen. :P
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