29 July 2005


South Africa now has PR. This is for the same reason that STV was introduced in Northern Ireland. It was so minority people (i.e. white in SA or Catholic in NI) could have proportionate representation in their parliaments. In other words to be fair to everyone!

All PR does is reflect the views of the voters more accurately.

Most African states that are dubious democracies (there are a lot e.g. Zimbabwe) choose FPTP, because it is easier to rig!

In Europe, the UK is the most unequal society and PR countries are the most equal, same is true about PR in South America and Africa!

Proving the link between PR and equality is like trying to prove passive smoking is harmful to health. It is obviously true but very difficult to isolate from others factors to prove it absolutely, but the evidence is there if anaylsed deeply!

I'm actually doubtful that the USA can be called a democracy anymore under their FPTP system? Look at what FPTP has encouraged in the USA. There is widespread concern at their voting procedures, (e.g. 5 hour queues to vote, disenfrachisement of black people, drawing boundaries to suit winning parties, employing voting machines made by companies funding one political party!) Not to mention their right wing media! This is the way we are heading!

If the Tories win next time with 35% of the vote, they change the size of the boundaries to disadvantage us. Under PR the Tories could not win. PR is the only way to prevent another dose of Thatcherism that most people vote against!

PR cannot be gerrymandered. Here is why! AMS is a proportional system with constituency boundaries! No matter how much you manipulate the boundaries and change the constituency results, this is always corrected by the top-up results to give the end proportional result. Same with other PR systems like Cellular Constituencies. List PR systems do not have constituencies so obviously can't be fiddled!

STV is not strictly a PR system, it would be theretically possibe to change results here, though it would be much more difficult than FPTP because of the large size of constituencies.

The Lib Dems are con artists! But people 'think' they have progressive policies. Therefore 60% consistently vote for progressive policies. The Lib Dems in coalition government would be found out and the progressive voters would change to a more progressive party, i.e. Labour!

1992 Tory Government didn't need urban Tory MPs:
Glasgow 1992=0
Newcastle 1992=0
Liverpool 1992=0
Manchester 1992=0
Birmingham 1992=2
Sheffield 1992=0
Apart from suburban areas, the Tories were dead and still won the election.

"If others cannot agree among themselves then thats their look out". I'm afraid it's the voters who are punished for this.

I will give you an example. If I was in a marginal where it was very close between Labour and Tory, it would be worth my while funding UKIP to stand, to help Labour get elected. Same for the Tories, it would be worth their while funding a left wing party or the Greens to help them win the seat. That is how ridiculous and unfair our electoral system is.

Socialism to me, means concern for the welfare of everyone. PR means concern for the views of everyone. PR=Socialism!

The Labour Party is just a vehicle, it is not the aim. It is policies that come first. How can we get socialist policies? That is what is important. The Labour party is being strangled by FPTP.

1 comment:

  1. Remittance Man26/10/05 5:17 pm

    One comment on PR, with particular reference to SA.

    In the SA system the ratios of seats in parliament are determined every five years by the voters. Ideally these ratios should remain fixed between elections. For the last couple of years we have had the curious situation of legalised "floor crossing". In other words, an MP elected to represent part of the X% of the population who voted for his party can change allegiance. Again ideally, any MP who felt his own party wasn't representing his conscience should resign and let someone else take his place. Unfortunately this is not happening. Although it is hotly denied the suspicion is that MP's cross the floor for personal advantage rather than for any issue of conscience.

    At least with a FPTP system an MP can claim (with how much honesty I'll leave the voters to decide) his change of allegiance was because he felt the "other side" represented his constituents better. Of course any constituency MP with a shred of honour should step down and fight a by-election. But how often is that likely to happen?

    I realise FPTP has its flaws, but on a personal level I still favour it over PR largely because having a local MP does something to increase accountability and forces someone in parliament to take at least a passing interest in local matters. In my view PR widens the gap between the elected and the electors.

    I was once chatting to an Italian on the subject of the multiplicity of governments that country has had since 1945. He said that in reality Italy had only had one government since that date. If you looked at the makeup of the coalitions PR had forced the same faces from both main parties cropped up in cabinet after cabinet. In other words, the same ruling clique, whether they were nominally socialist or conservative, ran the country for 50 years. The only real changes came when someone died, retired or was caught stealing too much and the theives often got back in after a few years penitance (his words).

    No, flawed and quirky as it is, I'll stick with FPTP for the moment.