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Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories


6:00 pm - March 16th 2011

by Newswire    


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To coincide with the national launch of the Labour Yes campaign, campaign founder Neal Lawson told Liberal Conspiracy how voting Yes to AV will damage and isolate the Tories:

“David Cameron risks becoming the Conservative Party’s Lost Leader if Britain votes Yes to AV – Conservative Home”

“If David Cameron’s not careful, he could become the next lost Tory leader – the Telegraph”

“Tory MPs stop you in corridors to share their worries – an AV win would be “a dagger at the heart of the party” ,“we would never hold power outright again.” – Gary Gibbon C4 news”

“Mr Cameron is a worried man, I’m very reliably informed. The PM has ordered an emergency push to deliver a “no” in the AV referendum at all costs – George Pascoe Watson – former Sun Political editor”

“David Davis leads revolt over ‘anti-Tory’ vote reform – The Mail”

These are all headlines and quotes from just one week in March 2011. The Tories, it seems, have just woken up to the fact they might lose the AV referendum and it will hurt them if they do. But it is not just that First Past the Post is the Tory electoral system of choice when it comes to seats that should get everyone in Labour behind the Yes campaign. There are two even more important reasons why they fear a Yes victory.

The first is the pressure it will put real pressure on the Coalition. Not so much in the sense that it emboldens the Liberal Democrats to break further away from their current partners but because it will encourage Tory backbenchers to ask what exactly they are getting from this Coalition and why did they get into it in the first place? Why did Cameron do a deal which has pegged back their views on a whole number of issues, not least Europe, but allowed a referendum which if passed will deal a death blow to their hopes of re-election? Why didn’t they go into minority government and squash both Labour and the Liberal Democrats at a second election? So the Scottish Herald had a headline that read “AV ‘Yes’ will hurt Coalition, says Tory minister”. Indeed it will.

But it is the wider political culture shift that AV brings and the Tories hate. First Past the Past is their system because it encourages an adversarial form of politics in which the Tory voting bloc can dominate politics. Shift to a more pluralist and constructive voting system in which candidates and parties have to court other voters and parties and then the Tories become isolated. They want the outcome of every election to remain in the hands of a few swing voters in a few swings seats. Just 1.6 per cent of the electorate deciding the outcome. Because then Ashcroft £ millions and Murdoch papers can shape the result.

One Party stands full square behind the No Campaign. The Tories . They know they will lose not just in terms of numbers but the culture of a new politics if AV goes through. The choice is getting clearer by the day.

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Reader comments


“They want the outcome of every election to remain in the hands of a few swing voters in a few swings seats
Just 1.6 per cent of the electorate deciding the outcome. Because then Ashcroft £ millions and Murdoch papers can shape the result.”

Why do over 200 Labour MPs’ and Peers not get this?

Because they’re bigoted, tribal, backward-looking cunts.

‘Because they’re bigoted, tribal, backward-looking cunts.’




4. paul barker

This is a Labour site but other people read it, does it make sense to tie AV to such narrow Party advantage ?
Actually I cant see that AV will hurt The Tories any more than Labour. The point is that the dinosaurs on both sides dream of a return to majority One-Party government & its not going to happen even if AV is rejected.

David Owen has a persuasive analysis IMO – opposition to introducing the AV reform because that will likely block the option of moving to a full PR system, which is his – and my – preferred electoral reform:

“I have been a long-standing supporter of proportional representation and joined the Electoral Reform Society in 1985, determinedly campaigning for proportional representation for more than two decades. This referendum will not set Britain down the path of real electoral reform; it will replace a bad system with a worse one, and risks putting off the prospect of real reform for generations.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/david-owen-i-support-a-pr-system-but-i-will-be-voting-lsquonorsquo-in-the-av-referendum-2240525.html

anyone who thinks a ‘no to av’ will be anything but endlessly ‘interpreted’ by sclerotic political and media elites as a no to any kind of change for eternity is off their rocker.

a yes to av is the only chance we have of pr in our lifetimes (and by extension any meaningful political change either – at least via the ballot box)

David Owen’s argument only washes if you think that AV is a worse system than FPTP, which is utterly risible. He probably thinks that because in exceptional circumstances it can deliver a less proportional result than FPTP. But it’s possible to conjure up exceptional circumstances for pretty much any voting system. Whereas FPTP fails in the common case.

I don’t see that the Tories stand to lose under AV — they’ll get a lot of second preferences from UKIP and BNP voters.

I agree with the principle of the argument – but at the same time I feel it’s sad that people are putting politics before the implications of such a important referendum – which ever side you look at it

“But it is the wider political culture shift that AV brings and the Tories hate.”

AV will require parties to work together more in coalitions. Given the levels of tribalism shown by many Labour members (viz. the vindictive bile poured on the Lib Dems, or all the articles urging us to vote AV, not out of any sort of high constituional principle, but because it will benefit the Labour Party), I think that any culture shift will work at least as much to Labour’s disadvantage, if not more.

“Why do over 200 Labour MPs’ and Peers not get this?”

Because it’s wrong. Mistaken. Incorrect. Misleading, by accident or design.

I had no idea Neal Lawson was the founder of Labour Yes. It explains a great deal, in the nicest possible way, about why the campaign has been fought on the premise of some fictional ‘progressive coalition’, as if the whole thing were taking place in a timewarp 12 months ago, or a parallel universe where the Lib Dem conversion to right-wing ideology hasn’t happened.

I’m more or less convinced that AV is a fairer and more nuanced way of choosing a constituency’s candidate. But a system which produces more coalition governments seems (to me) to cancel out that good effect, by leading to more backroom deals and more king-making power given to smaller parties.

oldpolitics, you revoltingly narrow-minded new labour ultra, do you not see that letting your decrepit party carry on as usual in its turn taking with the tories while hollowing out its own base completely is no victory whatsoever (i.e. a continuing plunge down the same route as the US democrats to a poisonous ideological corporate state singularity, with no escape from complete plutocratic capture and one-party rule in all but name). AV will shake this up and give a chance for alternate centres of power to grow in the background, hopefully putting pressure on the vile, traitorous right of labour. A labour that is indistinguishable from the tories, which was what business as usual would have led to, would be no victory at all. You seem to be basing your ludicrous assumptions on the views of currently elected liars that people mistakenly voted for, rather than what people will vote for in the future given a wider choice, and mistaking seats for votes. Also it is definitely the only way we have a chance at PR, which as a myopic dinosaur I’ve no doubt you are also against. If you actually care about people rather than your crumbling ‘party’, you might open your eyes to the future a little. Business as usual is no future. PS I’d love to see a decent, democratic labour party on the side of the little people back in action.

Joe, I’m sorry, but, “AV will shake this up and give a chance for alternate centres of power to grow in the background, hopefully putting pressure on the vile, traitorous right of labour”

Is completely wrong. Look at a lot of the leading Yes campaigners for Labour. They include most of the stars of New Labour, all the way from Lord Mandelson to David Miliband’s campaign manager.

Under a single member preferential system, the power for the left to threaten to stand their own candidates is nullified – those voters will still back New Labour over the other main parties. In contrast, the option for the right of the party to set up a “New SDP” is made more potent – they could attract second preferences from the left and the right.

Add into that the source of second preferences; let’s be absolutely clear about this, the ‘disenfranchised left’ is, however individuals may feel, very small. Apologies to those who have read this list before, but here are the minor party scores in 2010.

UKIP: 920,334
BNP: 563,743
Green: 269,378
English Democrats: 64,826
Respect: 33,251
Trade Union and Socialist Coalition: 12,275

If you want second preferences, you go to the right, not the left.

@12

“PS I’d love to see a decent, democratic labour party on the side of the little people back in action.”

I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you; as is quite evident from some of the posts above, and the fact that so many Labour MP’s and Peers are against AV, let alone PR, New Labour may have been damaged by the drubbing last May, but (sadly) it isn’t dead.

Galen10 @14

Here is the website of New Labour’s organisational home.

http://www.progressonline.org.uk/

What do you see in the top right hand corner of the webpage? What is the lead article in the magazine this month?

@13 oldpolitics

Sorry, but those figures don’t actually tell you much (or even anything) about what will happen at the next GE if it uses AV, because people won’t be voting in the same way. Similarly there is a large section of former LD voters who aren’t going to be voting for them again, but are centre-left. Whether many of them will vote Labour again is also a moot point (given the lack of progress in de-toxifying the brand, they shouldn’t bank the farm on it).

Many, myself included, will probably look for an alternative or vote tactically where for example they live in a safe Tory seat.

Whether the current Labour front bench and/or Yes2 AV supporters are former (or continuity) New Labour is neither here nor there; Ed Miliband hasn’t had a Night of the Long Knives, nor has he made much progress with his blank sheet of paper. At best what we are presented with is New Labour Lite. The only reason Labour are currently doing well is the fact the Coalition are so unpopular, it isn’t a vote of confidence from voters.

Keeping your head down, and doing as little as possible, isn’t a radical progressive platform….it’s a cop out.

“Keeping your head down, and doing as little as possible, isn’t a radical progressive platform….it’s a cop out”

It’s the sensible strategy under AV, though. Radicalism under FPTP is likely to make people shift you from their second preference to their fourth – makes no odds. Under AV, you have to worry about who you’re upsetting.

Left-wing Lib Dems will overwhelmingly vote Labour first preference. That’s what they tell pollsters and that will happen. More Lib Dem voters have defected to UKIP since the election than to the Greens, so it’s not like they’re scattered to the wind.

AV just lets the Tories scoop up the other half of Lib Dem voters and, with the million UKIP votes, rescue a string of marginals from being Labour gains.

@17 oldpolitics

Don’t you get it? Even if your assumptions are correct (which is arguable), why would you think that people would welcome lots more Labour gains if they are Continuity New Labour?

Given the choice between a return to stonking majorities for either Labour or Tories on thirty odd % of the vote, or more seats for minor parties, I know which one I’d prefer!

I don’t know why you think (or what the evidence is that) left wing LD’s will automatically vote Labour. Some no doubt will do so, either because they see no alternative, or because locally it is the sensible option. Many others (and I’d say it would be the majority) are vanishingly unlikely to support Labour after the past 13 years, absent some Damascene conversion between now and 2015.

“I don’t know why you think (or what the evidence is that) left wing LD’s will automatically vote Labour. ”

Because they have been consistently telling opinion pollsters since last Summer that that is what they intend to do.

“why would you think that people would welcome lots more Labour gains if they are Continuity New Labour?”

Because the actions of the Coalition have demonstrated to most people in the mainstream of the centre left that however bad New Labour was at times, it was an order of magnitude less bad than this.

“Given the choice between a return to stonking majorities for either Labour or Tories on thirty odd % of the vote, or more seats for minor parties, I know which one I’d prefer!”

Fine, but

1) AV doesn’t do that, unless by “minor parties” you mean just the Lib Dems, in which case we know now that those are just extra Tory seats.
2) “More seats for minor parties” if done proportionally, means 5 seats for right-wing minor parties to every 1 seat for left-wing minor parties.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 11 Sarah AB

“I’m more or less convinced that AV is a fairer and more nuanced way of choosing a constituency’s candidate. But a system which produces more coalition governments seems (to me) to cancel out that good effect, by leading to more backroom deals and more king-making power given to smaller parties.”

Couple of things here. Firstly, as coalitions are likely to be made between parties with common ground, the “king-making” thing can often be more democratic than the usual system. For example, if there are two left-wing parties, each with 30% of the public’s support, it probably make more democratic sense for them to be in charge than the right-wing party that got 40%, even though that party got the greatest single share. And vice versa.

Secondly, I think people have a tendency to imagine that coalitions under AV or PR would be the same as coalitions formed under FPTP. It’s unlikely that this would be the case. Because FPTP has historically been a battle between two parties, those parties have attacked each other whenever possible (e.g. the opposition rubbishing one of the government’s ideas, even though they secretly agree with it, just because it’s the government that suggested it). The knowledge that they were likely to need to form coalitions to get power would probably make the parties act more reasonably towards each other, backing policies on their own merit. Which would hopefully lead to more grown-up politics.

@19 oldpolitics

“Because they have been consistently telling opinion pollsters since last Summer that that is what they intend to do.”

You may be right (any links to the polls on it you’ve seen?). However even assuming there is polling evidence backing up this claim, we don’t know what that will trnaslate to in 2015, particularly if AV does actually go through. Whilst it might be anecdotal, I don’t know anyone who formerly voted LD who plans to vote Labour anytime soon.

“Because the actions of the Coalition have demonstrated to most people in the mainstream of the centre left that however bad New Labour was at times, it was an order of magnitude less bad than this.”

No, sorry, it just hasn’t. I doubt you have any actual “evidence” of this other than gut feeling. All the evidence I’ve seen points to the opposite. New Labour was in fact worse in many respects than what we have now in certain respects (much as it pains me to admit it given how much I hate the Tories and the Coalition), and of course if New or Newer Labour were in power, either alone or with the LD’s, they wouldn’t be doing anything significantly different.

As for your last two points, where is the evidence for your figures? Also, if AV is so flawed, the simple answer of course is to adopt STV: that would be a much more efficient way of blocking the centre-right from power for a while.

22. Mr S. Pill

@17

“More Lib Dem voters have defected to UKIP since the election than to the Greens,”

Wait, what? Can we get a source for that please? I find it tricky to believe that even the most slippery of unprincipled Lib Dems would go from supporting the most pro-EU party on the ballot paper to supporting the xenophobic boarder-line racist fruitcakes and nutjobs in UKIP.

“Because FPTP has historically been a battle between two parties, those parties have attacked each other whenever possible (e.g. the opposition rubbishing one of the government’s ideas, even though they secretly agree with it, just because it’s the government that suggested it). The knowledge that they were likely to need to form coalitions to get power would probably make the parties act more reasonably towards each other, backing policies on their own merit. Which would hopefully lead to more grown-up politics.”

This sounds to me like more technocratic politics. Might be a good or a bad thing, but it’s interesting that some people are backing AV because they think it will lead to the parties getting closer together and more co-operative, and others backing it because they think it will break the cosy consensus and allow parties to be more radical and different.

Someone’s going to be disappointed!

oldpolitics – very apt name – you are extremley pig-headed aren’t you? You just dont seem to get that politics is not a static snapshot and these irrelevant figures you keep trotting out from a past election under FPTP have no bearing on the situation on the ground, which will manifest themselves differently given different electoral conditions…

You are using VERY dubious assumptions to support an untenable case and I’m not sure what your motivations are but the only logical conclusion is that you are a tribal labour ultra with no view of the bigger picture at all.

Yes, lots of people turn to labour in desperation despite their absolute disgust at their traitorous behaviour, just to keep the worse evil out (I voted labour last election in a very close three way marginal, for my sins, though the conservative candidate got in on something ridiculous like 36% of the vote), and lots more probably will next time.

AV merely formalises this tactical voting and allows the true strength of alternative views to be seen and built on for the future. The ‘business as usual’ future you are talking about is no future at all. Yes, labour probably will pick up a lot of desperate left-leaning votes from those horrified by the tory-led rapaciousness of this government, positioned as they are as the only ‘viable’ alternative, and could win the next election. But with no pressure on any (no doubt typically undemocratic and unaccountable) new labour government they will be just as profoundly disappointing as the last one. Is this the most ambitious vision for the future you can muster – where two parties continue to swap power with the passive acquiescence of an ever-more apathetic populace, the only difference being that the devastating erosion of our hard-won public rights and hope for a better, fairer future proceeds marginally slower (and with a friendlier public face) under one party than the other?

That’s no future at all.

@21/22 Picking the most recent poll for which the breakdown is available, 2010 Liberal Democrat voters currently say they would vote as follows; it has it slightly the other way round on UKIP/Green, so fair enough, although it’s close and has been the opposite way round on and off. The point that they’ve mostly moved to Labour is well made, though.

Labour: 45%
Lib Dem: 33%
Tory: 12%
Green: 4%
UKIP: 3%
SNP/PC: 2%
BNP: 1%

“I find it tricky to believe that even the most slippery of unprincipled Lib Dems would go from supporting the most pro-EU party on the ballot paper to supporting the xenophobic boarder-line racist fruitcakes and nutjobs in UKIP.”

While a lot of people have a vision in their head of what a Liberal Democrat voter is, it’s often based on a small and biased sample – ex-Labour voters. Last time YouGov asked “If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?” (September 2010), 33% of Liberal Democrat voters (and, by the way, 37% of Labour voters) said they would vote to leave the EU.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ 23 oldpolitics

“This sounds to me like more technocratic politics. Might be a good or a bad thing, but it’s interesting that some people are backing AV because they think it will lead to the parties getting closer together and more co-operative, and others backing it because they think it will break the cosy consensus and allow parties to be more radical and different.

Someone’s going to be disappointed!”

You’re overegging the pudding somewhat. I said they would hopefully become more co-operative – this is NOT the same as them becoming closer together. If anything, I think AV might push parties away from the centre, though I’m not certain.

Co-operation in this sense isn’t about policy, it’s about attitude. It’s about parties treating what other parties say with at least a modicum of sense instead of twisting it out of all logic to find a way to criticise. It’s a lot harder to form an effective coalition of someone you’ve been demonising for the last four years.

Shortly before the last election, all were abuzz with debate over whether the Lib Dems would go into coalition with Labour or the Tories. Absolutely nobody pondered whether the two biggest parties would cut out the middleman and have a Labour-Tory coalition, and with good reason. They hate each other, partly because of ideology but mainly because of decades of mutual abuse.

27. Mr S. Pill

@25

“While a lot of people have a vision in their head of what a Liberal Democrat voter is…”

Having grown up with my mum as a Lib Dem town councillor (& indeed having LD meetings in my home occasionally) I have a pretty good idea thanks 😉

@23 oldpolitics

“Someone’s going to be disappointed!”

..and you think we’ve all been overjoyed with what we’ve had over the past decades?

Ever since I could vote, it has been one disappointment after another. 18 years of Thatcherism on the basis of around a third of the popular vote. 13 years of New Labour that started with “Things Can Only Get Better” and ended with a crypto-Thatcherite neo-liberal administration that in some respects made thatcher look like a liberal. Your only response seems to be a touching faith that we can trust the Labour party. Yeah, right. If we do what we have always done, we’ll get what we’ve always had.

Breaking the consensus and promoting something more radical and different doesn’t necessarily preclude parties being more co-operative, and trying to work together…… this Coalition may not be a great example, and is definitely unpalateable to those on the centre-left, but it shouldn’t blind us to the potential benefits of proper coalitions under a fully proportional system.

People are sick of the current system. they know it isn’t working, and it has patently failed over past decades. It is deeply to Labour’s discredit that it did not change the system during it’s 13 years in office, despite using the system in the Scottish Parliament…. only goes to show that New Labour were (are?) part of the problem, not part of the solution.

thanks for talking some sense in the face of this maddeningly obtuse individual galen 10.

“Ever since I could vote, it has been one disappointment after another. 18 years of Thatcherism on the basis of around a third of the popular vote.”

Our hatred for much of what went on in the 80s and 90s shouldn’t blind us to the facts. A lot of people voted for Thatcher. The “around a third of the popular vote” meme is widespread, but in fact the average Tory share of the vote at the general elections from 1979 to 1992 was 42.6%, in a range from 41.9 to 43.9. Closer at every election to a half than to a third.

31. Mr S. Pill

@30

Yes, it’s amazing what a jingoistic far-right leader can achieve in terms of popularity isn’t it.

Thatchers vote was still well short of a half of people who actually voted and under a third of total eligible voters. Hardly a mandate for the extremist right-wing destruction of our society. And in every case centre/left votes exceeded the thatcher vote.
You really are desperate to underplay the fact that the current system has worked extremely well for a reactionary plutocratic minority aren’t you?

I still want you to explain why we should trust the current labour power structure to deliver anything but – absolute best case scenario – a marginally slower erosion of the power and rights of the general public in favour of transnational capital?

And taken for granted that we can’t (we can’t), why we should see the prospect of left voters turning to labour for lack of any alternative (which I admit probably will happen under FPTP) as a good thing?

@30 oldpolitics

As a % of votes cast she may have polled in the 40%, but it represented closer to one third of the electorate. In either case, it was hardly the mandate for the kind of policies enacted that her supporters would have us believe.

From what I can see, the figires are:

1979: Tories won 43.9% on a 76% turnout.
1983: Tories won 42.4% on a 73% turnout.
1987: Tories won 42.2% on a 75% turnout.
1992: Tories won 41.9% on a 78% turnout.

1997: Labour win 43.2% on a 71% turnout.

In ALL of the above cases, the other parties would have been able to stop the main party forming a government if we’d had fairer voting.

AV may not be perfect, but looking at the above, it’s a no-brainer to vote yes.

“In ALL of the above cases, the other parties would have been able to stop the main party forming a government if we’d had fairer voting.”

So in all the above cases, the election would have been broadly irrelevant under pure PR, with the only important thing the attitude of the third placed party to the relative merits of the main two? I’m not clear how the merits of PR are relevant to the case for moving to the often-less-proportional-than-FPTP system of AV, anyway…

You are looking at everything through the perverse FPTP lens of ‘party loyalties uber alles’ which is not how real people on the street think and has no bearing on the realities of how other election systems would work. You cannot extrapolate your bizarre assumptions outside of this heavily distorted little world. Your petty little two party world would crumble under PR so your scenario that some third party would be kingmaker for ever does not apply either. PR allows changing shifts in public opinion to be accurately reflected. FPTP allows nothing but a meaningless see-saw while transnational capital gradually buys off every last vestige of independent politics. We will never achieve PR without AV first, or at least not soon enough to matter. If the pseudo-democratic political system as it stands continues for much longer, it’s chronic lack of accountability will coincide with a number of deep global structural issues coming to a head and we will have no defence when shit really hits the fan, with disgusting plutocrats empowered to take increasingly large slices of a dwindling pie. They are playing the long game. New labour aren’t going to help.

“You are looking at everything through the perverse FPTP lens of ‘party loyalties uber alles’ which is not how real people on the street think and has no bearing on the realities of how other election systems would work … PR allows changing shifts in public opinion to be accurately reflected.”

Hang about. One of my main problems with pure PR is precisely that it reduces everything to a party choice, which, as you say, is not accurate in terms of how people think and vote in the real world. PR allows changing shifts in public opinion to be reflected a bit, at the margin, in support for political parties. However, in its pure form, it entirely removes from voters the ability to make choices based on a candidate’s place of residence, background, class, gender, religion, independent-mindedness, etc etc.

which is why noone is talking about a completely pure form of PR, which I don’t believe exists anywhere.

(and I would also be fighting for much more democratic grassroot organisation of parties so you could be more sure the candidates accurately reflect the position of its voters)

@36 oldpolitics

We shouldn’t be encouraging people to chose a candidate on the basis of their religion, gender or class….it should be on the basis that they are the best person for the job.

As noted above, “pure” PR isn’t being suggested even by supporters of reform. the kind of system used at Holyrood answers your point about retaining some link to constituency MP’s.

Face it, the reason most Labour “antis” are against AV or AV+ or STV is they prefer the current system, and actually see Tory majorities every now and then as a price worth paying for their crack of the whip next time round.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ Galen10

“Face it, the reason most Labour “antis” are against AV or AV+ or STV is they prefer the current system, and actually see Tory majorities every now and then as a price worth paying for their crack of the whip next time round.”

This.

Which is why the bleating about the Lid Dems “only wanting to change the system to benefit themselves” is laughable. It’s members of the two unduly privileged groups whinging that they might actually have to compete under something approaching fair terms.

Surely FPTP benefits Labour more than it does any other party.

Labour won 258 seats on 30% of the vote in May 2010; The Conservatives won 198 seats on 33% of the vote in 2005.

Those 200 Labour politicians are being quite sensible.

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 41

“Surely FPTP benefits Labour more than it does any other party.”

Yep.

“Those 200 Labour politicians are being quite sensible.”

They’re being sensible bastards, certainly. If people have a good thing, no matter how unfair or ill-gotten, they generally won’t volunteer to give it away. Which is why I’m fairly impressed by Milliband et al supporting the Yes vote.

depends if you are talking about careerist labour MPs in safe seats or the party and its followers as a whole. (benefitting, that is)

“We shouldn’t be encouraging people to chose a candidate on the basis of their religion, gender or class….it should be on the basis that they are the best person for the job.”

The position of the Liberal Democrats throughout recent history. How’s that working out for them in terms of a Parliamentary Party that isn’t 90% white and male?

45. Planeshift

“Surely FPTP benefits Labour more than it does any other party.”

It has benefited labour and the tories at the expense of all others. It has benefited labour over the tories at some points, and the tories over labour at some points, depending on boundaries.

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 44 oldpolitics

“The position of the Liberal Democrats throughout recent history. How’s that working out for them in terms of a Parliamentary Party that isn’t 90% white and male?”

What’s your point? That because someone tries to realise an ideal and fails, that ideal is wrong?

44 oldpolitics

I was referring to how the general voting public should chose between candidates, not how the parties should select candidates.

I have no particular axe to grind for or against the LD’s, as I’m not a member. Having quotas to increase selection of certain types of candidates makes me a tad nervous, altho’ I do think there is a case to be made for it, particularly to increase the % of women and ethnic minorities.

I doubt that the LD’s are the only ones guilty of falling down with respect to candidate selection; how much did Blair’s Babes do to make the House of Commons, their party, or the country as a whole, a better place?

oldpolitics/36 and Joe/37: Some countries – generally not ones with as many MPs as the UK, of course – do have whole-country PR elections, using a List system. (And List is what is generally meant by a generic “PR”) The Dutch elections run this way, I believe.

It’s worth noting that a List system need not make things entirely about the parties, though – the European elections in the UK do, by using a “closed” List system in which order on the list is determined by the parties, but an “open” List system is also possible where the order on the list is determined by the electorate, and unpopular candidates within parties can be pushed aside.

Chaise/46: The ideal’s fine (in so far as “best person” is a meaningful concept, anyway) – it’s the Lib Dem’s method of implementing it through wishful thinking that’s no good.

Thanks Chaise Guevara for your response to my question – and thanks oldpolitics @34 for anticipating my own objection.

oldpolitics, for what it’s worth the BNP is pretty left-wing economically, even if they’re bigots. 2nd preferences could well give startling benefits.


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    Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/e15FGD

  7. UFOHUNTERORGUK

    RT @conspiracyboy: Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/e15FGD

  8. Nick H.

    RT @libcon: Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories http://bit.ly/fbevmJ

  9. clean2green

    Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories | Liberal Conspiracy: To coincide with the national launch of the Labour Yes … http://bit.ly/gE2IT2

  10. tweettheoracle

    Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories | Liberal Conspiracy: To coincide with the national launch of the Labour Yes … http://bit.ly/godfLX

  11. xerode

    Tory MPs on AV: "we would never hold power outright again" That right there is the number one reason for #yestoAV http://bit.ly/g9ly0k

  12. David Dickson

    RT @libcon: Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories http://bit.ly/fbevmJ

  13. David Dickson

    RT @libcon: Labour Yes: AV will isolate Tories http://bit.ly/fbevmJ Important for debate. I will vote yes.





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