08 June 2009

Under First-Past-The-Post UKIP Would Have No MEPs: There Would Be No Bigger Electoral Fraud Than That.

So why do we tolerate first-past-the-post for Westminster? First-past-the-post is not a system any democracy would adopt, it is the sort of system a tinpot dictator might adopt to give the impression of democracy rather than the real thing.


  1. Neil, like me, you appear to have gone round the clock and decided that the two least-bad parties are UKIP and The Greens (the eco-wibble is just wibble, but they are relatively socially libertarian and go for CBI and LVT, so that's good).

  2. Long time no speak, Neil. I must confess I thought you'd be crying into your beer more than this! I have changed my philosophy since we last spoke. I now support Popular Alliance and hope to see Tories lose the next election so they collapse, and a real conservative party can take their place.

  3. Greg, I have to admit, never heard of Pop Alliance. Weren't you an English Democrat? They seem to have done very well. I am glad Labour has done badly, frankly there are few members that think Brown deserved to do well. Brown has to go.

  4. Why do we tolerate FPTP? Well, I don't think most of us do. The problem is that most existing MPs, who were elected by that system, have (or anyway think they have) a vested interest in retaining it. That's why some way must be found of having a referendum on the issue, even though on all other matters I am opposed to referendums on principle.

  5. pzt, There are a lot of diehard opponents of PR. Frustratingly they all trot out tired old discredited arguments, all of which can be disproved by looking at what actually happens in PR countries. A lot of these people including David Cameron are opposed to even giving people a say in a referendum. Yet they are outraged over tha lack of a referendum on lisbon treaty. We need to make this point. Reading a post the other day someone claimed that Cameron in his younger days agreed that PR is fairer. This just confirms my view he is a charlatan rather than just misguided

  6. Trooper Thompson9/6/09 9:25 pm

    "on all other matters I am opposed to referendums on principle."

    What contemptuous principle is this, I wonder? Obviously not one that you hold so very dearly, as you are calling for one on the electoral system.

  7. TT: Referendums are a thoroughly bad idea, for all sorts of reasons that have been extremely well-rehearsed over many years. The only reason for having one on the voting system is because it is the one issue where MPs are by definition likely to be biased in favour of the status quo (i.e. they support the existing system because it got them where they are), so the decision has to be taken out of their hands.

  8. Trooper Thompson12/6/09 7:36 pm

    "...reasons that have been extremely well-rehearsed over many years"

    They may be well-rehearsed. That doesn't make them correct.

    "it is the one issue where MPs are by definition likely to be biased in favour of the status quo"

    What a sweeping assertion! I'm sure we can find many issues where this is the case. Here's one for starters:


    On the same grounds, do you favour a referendum on this?

  9. TT: No, of course I don't. That's a completely different kind of issue. What makes you think that that is an issue where by definition MPs would be in favour of the status quo? They don't have any vested interest in the matter qua MPs.

  10. Trooper Thompson17/6/09 7:18 pm

    It's a fact that they're biased in favour of the status quo, because otherwise they'd change the law - Q.E.D.

    They're also biased in favour of the status quo with regard to the EU and everything else.

    I'm just trying to understand why you support a referendum on one thing only, when you consider giving the people a say to be 'a thoroughly bad idea'. I'm guessing because you have contempt for the people.

  11. TT I think you are just being obtuse. Capital punishment is not a matter of changing the constitution. Having capital punishment, or not, wouldn't affect whether MPs got elected. Changing the voting system is a constitutional change that needs to have broadly based support if it is to be sustainable. Capital punishment isn't a constitutional question, it is either a question of policy efficacy (does it deter murder? As it happens, the answer is no) or a moral/ethical question (in what circumstances is it morally justified to take a human life?, etc.).

  12. Trooper Thompson17/6/09 10:28 pm

    I'm still trying to understand why you consider this, and this alone, to be worth sacrificing your anti-referendum principles.

    If the answer is that it is a constitutional question, then we should also have a referendum on the last EU treaty (quite apart from the fact that the Labour government promised it), and on numerous other issues, not just the voting system.

    I brought up hanging because I have heard it given as an example of why true democracy is a bad idea, because the people might bring it back if we had a say in the matter.

  13. TT: I think that all PZT is saying is that the voting system is special and requires a referendum because MPs have too much vested interest in how they are elected - it needs to be taken out of their hands and decided directly by the people.

    No other issue directly affects their terms of employment.