/ Voting

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iusedtoclimb 30 Nov 2019

So we should all vote. But personally I can’t see the point. Last election tories 52% and labour 36% where we live.

no way I’m voting Corbyn or Tory (mind you the mp is a really nice guy).

so it all seems pointless to me and a waste of time. 
 

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colinakmc 30 Nov 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

A Tory majority is likely to be a disaster unless you own a hedge fund and have private health insurance. Therefore doing your wee bit to dislodge the Tory is likely to be a good idea. Corbyn’ s lot have aspirations to do things to benefit the majority, if they get to do one or two of them that’ll still be better.

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Tringa 30 Nov 2019
In reply to colinakmc:

I always vote and I think everyone should.

I live in a very solid Labour constituency and I have voted Labour most of my voting life but in the last few elections(general or local) I have voted for a different party.

I know it will make no difference in a first past the post system but I think it is worthwhile doing. In a very small way it might indicate there is some dissatisfaction with the incumbent member and perhaps after a few(it might possiblibly many) years it might have an effect and we might move to proportional representation.

I would like to see compulsory voting. I know it would be difficult to police but I also think if we went for compulsory voting there should be something like the following on the ballot paper -
“I do not feel any of the above candidates or parties will represent me or will take our country in the direction I feel is correct, and therefore I want to register that I do not want to vote for any of them”

As said above there are many countries where voting for a government is a joke. At least here all who are eligible to vote can vote and I think all of us should do it.

I think anyone who does not vote is wrong but, it is their right to do so.

I realise in a free society anyone has the right to voice their opposition to a government policy but, if you haven't voted, then I think you have, yourself, diminished your right to do so.

Dave

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Lord_ash2000 30 Nov 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

You should vote for the party which most closely represents your views. It might seem a bit pointless if you live in an area with a large majority for another party but it is just a short term mindset.

Majorities come and go, even a strong majority can be chipped away at over several election cycles, a safe seat can soon become a marginal as public opinion drifts one way or the next.

So I say forget all this tactical voting nonsense, vote for what you believe in because if you don't nothing will ever change, it'll always be the same two horse races and you'll forever be unrepresented.

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Dan Arkle 30 Nov 2019
In reply to all:

I often vote tactically. It is a pragmatic thing to do, in cases where your vote may otherwise seem wasted.

This time I've voted green.  I'm in a safe Labour seat - my vote won't change the outcome.  However it is possible that the Greens could come second. To have them seen as a serious party is a step forward for saving the planet

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ena sharples 30 Nov 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

complete waste of time voting where I am-they just stick a blue rosette on a hamster.

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Lord_ash2000 30 Nov 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

> complete waste of time voting where I am-they just stick a blue rosette on a hamster.

And they'll always be able to as long as people like you don't bother voting against said hamster.

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Andy Hardy 30 Nov 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

> So we should all vote. But personally I can’t see the point. Last election tories 52% and labour 36% where we live.

> no way I’m voting Corbyn or Tory (mind you the mp is a really nice guy).

> so it all seems pointless to me and a waste of time. 

For this election, please vote for whoever has the best chance of dislodging the Tory.

A hard right "Britannia Unchained" majority would be an unmitigated disaster for 99% of the population.

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bouldery bits 30 Nov 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

Yeah, you're right.

I'm voting for the green team so that I can shout 'Told you so, eh? Eh?' At everyone else whilst the seas boil and famine stalks the land.

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Jenny C 30 Nov 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

> complete waste of time voting where I am-they just stick a blue rosette on a hamster.

Personally I think a pet hamster would do a better job in number 10 than the current PM.

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Toccata 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

65% Tory here with a high turn out. Opposition way behind. Didn’t manage to vote in last 2 elections due to work and won’t manage this time due to being out the country (found out after the postal deadline). Doubt it would have made the blindest bit of difference.

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john arran 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

You may well have strong reservations about voting Labour under its current leadership (as do I), but in reality the best it can hope to achieve is a hung parliament, and therefore its manifesto pledges are largely irrelevant. The great advantage of voting for them in a constituency like yours is that there's a very real chance that your vote would be one of the more effective ones cast in the whole election, if it prevented the Tories from gaining the most damaging parliamentary majority in our lifetime.

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kevin stephens 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

As a matter of interest, if you think voting is a waste of time how else do you propose to use the (estimated) 15 minutes it may take you to go to the polling station and vote more productively?

Pressing tv programme? Washing your hair?

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stevieb 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

If you want a different party to represent you, sometimes you have to take the long view. Look at the election results for Brighton. The greens lost in 2001 and 2005, but their growing vote was almost definitely critical to their win in 2010. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_Pavilion_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

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steve taylor 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb and others:

Use a proxy vote if you can't be there. Find someone you trust and nominate them.

Takes a few minutes to sort.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/proxy-voting-application-forms

If you're minded to unseat your local Tory, check out one of the tactical voting sites and look at their recommendation.

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climbingpixie 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

It's not too late to organise a proxy vote. You still have a couple of days to apply. They don't even need to live in your constituency as long as they can get there on polling day and there are even websites out there devoted to offering/arranging proxies. If you don't want to vote then that's one thing but don't not vote because of a technicality!

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mullermn 01 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

The only counterpoint I see to this argument is that come next election there will be the exact same chorus of ‘If you don’t want [Labour|Tories] to get in you must vote [Tories|Labour], the other parties don’t have a chance!’ and the whole pointless cycle will continue. 
Brexit is a complicating factor, but the argument that this election is singularly important might seem charmingly quaint in a few years time, given how politics in this country is disintegrating at present. 

‘Fortunately’ my constituency is not likely to swing away from the tories, so I can vote for the Lib Dems without having to do any tactical voting soul searching. 

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john arran 01 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> Brexit is a complicating factor, but the argument that this election is singularly important might seem charmingly quaint in a few years time, given how politics in this country is disintegrating at present. 

Brexit is indeed a complicating factor; other than the climate crisis it's the biggest threat to the livelihoods of ordinary people we've seen in many decades. It's therefore of enormous importance that we do all we can to prevent at least the most damaging form of Brexit, which inevitably will be what we end up with if we sleepwalk our way into a Tory majority by voting for parties that are bit-part players in our constituency. If we manage to achieve a hung parliament, we almost certainly will have another general election within a year or two anyway, and by then there's a good likelihood that such a no-deal threat may no longer be a factor and we'll be able to vote once again for our preferred minority parties to make whatever statement we are able.

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Tom V 01 Dec 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

People not voting in the referendum got us in the mess we're in, every bit as much as those who voted Leave.

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Rob Exile Ward 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

The rule is simple, but I'll spell it out:

Vote for the Remain candidate who is the most likely to win, whatever party they belong to.

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balmybaldwin 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

> 65% Tory here with a high turn out. Opposition way behind. Didn’t manage to vote in last 2 elections due to work and won’t manage this time due to being out the country (found out after the postal deadline). Doubt it would have made the blindest bit of difference.


You have until the 4th of December to register for a proxy vote (someone else you trust votes for you). My Neighbour is in the same position (well her postal hadn't arrived when she flew out yesterday) so I'm now voting for her

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Basemetal 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

Votes for candidates/parties who won't make it first past the post might help build the case for much needed electoral reform.

Like a  lot of Scots, I don't want Indy or Brexit. So probably a Lib Dem vote (used to be huge in Scotland, alongside Old Labour before the SNP took over) or wasted ballot us called for.

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Pefa 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

Judging by everyone's passion in politics at the moment from the super urgent matters of climate change, brexit(threat to NHS etc) and 9 years of austerity that require immediate action. This particular election is a very unusual and extremely important one which will shape our country for generations to come, so for that alone I would say it is incumbent on us all to vote. 

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elsewhere 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> People not voting in the referendum got us in the mess we're in, every bit as much as those who voted Leave.

FPTP teaches us that parliamentary representation does not change for plausible voting shifts in 400-450 seats with 5000 or 10000 majorities containing about 75% of the population. 

It's difficult to make the argument that voting is important when it has no tangible impact on parliament  regardless of realistic changes in support.

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hokkyokusei 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

You've organised a proxy for yourself then?

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Lusk 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> People not voting in the referendum got us in the mess we're in, every bit as much as those who voted Leave.


If one is a Labour supporter, it may be a straw to clutch on for a Labour majority.
Hopefully the Con voters will be somewhat complacent with their polling lead, along with elder Con voters (too cold to go out), and not bother voting.

Labour are going to be out en masse.

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Basemetal 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Pefa:

The problem is, the positions I'd support on the critical issues don't correlate with the parties.

> Judging by everyone's passion in politics at the moment from the super urgent matters of climate change, brexit(threat to NHS etc) and 9 years of austerity that require immediate action. This particular election is a very unusual and extremely important one which will shape our country for generations to come, so for that alone I would say it is incumbent on us all to vote. 

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Pefa 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Basemetal:

You can add the future of the UK to that list because if the Tories get their brexit to leave the EU and we don't get a second bite at the apple from a confirmatory referendum that a Labour victory would give us then I think Scots will vote to leave the UK so that we can rejoin the EU. 

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Eric9Points 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Basemetal:

> Votes for candidates/parties who won't make it first past the post might help build the case for much needed electoral reform.

> Like a  lot of Scots, I don't want Indy or Brexit. So probably a Lib Dem vote (used to be huge in Scotland, alongside Old Labour before the SNP took over) or wasted ballot us called for.

Fair enough but I'd check Wikipedia to see what the result of the last vote in your constituency was and vote for the party that got the highest vote that wasn't SNP or Tory. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

Both Johnson and Corbyn would be a disaster if they had a majority and could actually do the stuff in their manifestos. 

The way the polls are now voting for Corbyn isn't going to bring in a majority Labour government that can do the stuff in their manifesto.  It might result in a hung parliament with a minority Tory or Labour government that can't do anything too crazy.

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Dax H 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

> Didn’t manage to vote in last 2 elections due to work and won’t manage this time due to being out the country (found out after the postal deadline).

Easy fix for this. I missed 2 votes back to back as well due to being called out to work and the polls being closed once I got back again so now I always register for a postal vote. Anyone who works irregular hours should register just to be safe. 

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Jenny C 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

>.... Didn’t manage to vote in last 2 elections due to work and won’t manage this time due to being out the country.... 

You can request to get a postal vote by default rather than having to request one each time. Just tick the box on the form you complete to confirm who is eligable to vote at your address. 

Still relies on them getting papers to you before you leave on a trip, but if you miss the deadline for posting then back they can be submitted in person at the poling station. 

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The Wild Scallion 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

> So we should all vote. But personally I can’t see the point. Last election tories 52% and labour 36% where we live.

> no way I’m voting Corbyn or Tory (mind you the mp is a really nice guy).

> so it all seems pointless to me and a waste of time. 

Why bother telling us all then.  

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ena sharples 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Sitting MP has a majority of over 18 000 and the the combined votes of everyone else (plus those who dont vote) still not coming close to overturning that majority. OK clever clogs, then what?

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Pan Ron 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

At least go through the motions, so you can't be accused of being too lazy to vote, and spoil your ballot.

Spoilt ballots get counted and if enough people do so the message will be pretty clear; I don't like the best option on offer, and all the others are even worse.

http://www.spoilyourvote.co.uk/

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yorkshireman 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

In one sense I'm quite glad we have voter apathy. It means despite all the sh#! going we technically still live in an uncorrupt liberal democracy where the rule of law and the institutions of power are such that whoever gets in will have to work within these established conventions.

If you'd lived in Iraq under Sadam, or Mugabe in Zimbabwe you would probably be a lot more enthusiastic about casting your vote once the dictator was gone.

That said, I can see why FPTP frustrates people but the flip side is that it keeps fringe (I'm looking at you UKIP) element influence to a minimum and does help limit the impact of extremism on the workings of government. 

I've traditionally voted Lib Dem because they've more closely reflected my personal beliefs but they've never recovered in my mind from the betrayal during the coalition with the Conservatives. Its a shame because they're as close as we got to a mainstream third choice.

I live in Europe now, so have to vote by post in my old constituency (Tooting) which is a safe Labour seat. I really don't see Labour as a party worth voting for, but I would do anything to avoid a strong Conservative majority (especially because of Brexit) so I've backed Labour to simply try to avoid that.

It sucks that the choices are so poor, but the majority of people, for the majority of human history have had worse or no choice over who actually governs them.

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elsewhere 01 Dec 2019
In reply to yorkshireman:

We compare ourselves with other democracies rather than Zimbabwe or  Iraq.

Much as I dislike UKIP they should have been in parliament as they had the support. Keeping them out allows the issue to fester. FPTP is almost designed to generate a disaffection  and artificial disunity of political monoculture in whole regions.

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Lord_ash2000 01 Dec 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

> Sitting MP has a majority of over 18 000 and the the combined votes of everyone else (plus those who dont vote) still not coming close to overturning that majority. OK clever clogs, then what?

Maybe just accept that where you live people don't want what you want right now and accept that that is how democracy works.

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ena sharples 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Yes, that certainly seems to be the case. I dont know what would be more representative but surely FPTP is a pretty clapped out way to go these days.

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Toccata 01 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

To all who recommended proxy voting thank you. In my naivety I didn’t even know I could do this.

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mullermn 01 Dec 2019
In reply to yorkshireman:

> the flip side is that it keeps fringe (I'm looking at you UKIP) element influence to a minimum

Bearing in mind the events of the last 3 years, how could anyone possibly say that FPTP has kept UKIP’s influence to a minimum? 
It’s pretty much the perfect system if you think problems go away by ignoring them.  

Post edited at 17:16
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deepsoup 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Maybe just accept that where you live people don't want what you want right now and accept that that is how democracy works.

That's how our democracy works, in Westminster anyway, but maybe that's not how a democracy that works works!

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cumbria mammoth 01 Dec 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

Worth pointing out that Labour will bring in some significant electoral reform in an elected House of Lords.

https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/tackle-poverty-and-inequality/

It doesn't say in the manifesto but I think the intention is for a PR HoL.

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jkarran 01 Dec 2019
In reply to yorkshireman:

I don't think FPTP has saved us from fringe extremism, it's turbocharged it. For UKIP and its voters to have their voices heard they've had to hijack the governing party, I don't believe that would have happened had they had 50 MPs exposing their nonsense to serious scrutiny in parliament, had their voters felt heard.

Jk

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jkarran 01 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

We don't need an elected Lords, we need rid of FPTP.

jk

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Andy Hardy 01 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Demographics has played a significant role too. The Tory party has been essentially taken over by the far right, which has been allowed because the average age of Tory members has crept up to retirement age, and the number of active members has fallen. 

If there was a centre right party which believed in, and could articulate the case for well regulated capitalism, it would do very well, hell I'd probably vote for them

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cumbria mammoth 02 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Reform of both would be nice but in terms of urgency I would argue that having an unelected upper chamber is a bigger affront to democracy than FPTP.

Labour will bring accountability to the House of Lords and that is a significant improvement to our democracy.

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summo 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Labour will bring accountability to the House of Lords and that is a significant improvement to our democracy.

Unlikely. Shami was given a place in the lords just because she wrote a nice report saying Labour liked jews. 

They love the gravy train, power, titles and easy money as much as any other party. 

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yorkshireman 02 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Some interesting points. Unlike the politicians we're discussing I'm not ideologically trying to force my ideas on anyone and am happy to have my opinion changed.

> I don't think FPTP has saved us from fringe extremism, it's turbocharged it. For UKIP and its voters to have their voices heard they've had to hijack the governing party, I don't believe that would have happened had they had 50 MPs exposing their nonsense to serious scrutiny in parliament, had their voters felt heard.

That is undoubtedly true although I think with Brexit we've had a specific hot-button issue that has caused this to happen. I personally dislike FPTP as well, it feels wrong especially as I don't think I've ever lived in a constituency that voted the same way I did.

However I was talking about in general principle terms rather than what's happened over the last 3-4 years. I think if UKIP had 50 MPs we'd be into coalition territory which would be even more disastrous than the current system of the Tories essentially leaning further right than usual in order to catch the UKIP/Brexit vote.

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colinakmc 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> You should vote for the party which most closely represents your views.....

>....forget all this tactical voting nonsense, vote for what you believe in because if you don't nothing will ever change, it'll always be the same two horse races and you'll forever be unrepresented.

‘Agree in theory, but I live in a 3 way marginal where the Tory is snapping at the heels of the SNP incumbent, with the labour guy ( who is local and decent so far as I can see) 200 votes south of them both.(2017)

so for me, “not the Tory” is more important than “what I’d like ideally” because I think one more Tory mp might make the difference between them being able to trash the country for most of us through irresponsible neoliberalism, or being reined in (or consigned to history). So I’ll be voting SNP even though I have major reservations about their central policy.

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Trangia 02 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

You should vote because you live in a society where you have the right to do so. It is a sacred right which people have struggled and given their lives for. Choosing not to vote is an insult to those who still do not, and historically did not enjoy that right . Sometimes the choice is not easy nor obvious, but not doing so is a cop out.

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GrahamD 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> You should vote for the party which most closely represents your views. It might seem a bit pointless if you live in an area with a large majority for another party but it is just a short term mindset.

^This^

It is the only way to register your true position.  And parties swing left and right over relatively short time frames so even if your moderate or whatever vote does not dislodge a Conservative, enough of these votes will tend to pull the Conservatives back towards the centre.

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daWalt 02 Dec 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

> Sitting MP has a majority of over 18 000 and the the combined votes of everyone else (plus those who dont vote) still not coming close to overturning that majority. OK clever clogs, then what?

Vote. No vote is ever wasted, it registers your preference of what you want, and a non-vote is tacit approval of the incumbent. 

Even if you're chosen candidate has only the tiniest chance of winning the seat, if there's votes to get then the major players will start to rethink their policies to try and pick these up. This is looked at nationally, not just constituencies in isolation.

If you want proof of how this affects the real world even with a FPTP system, just look at how the Tories shifted in response to some niche party that had little chance of winning a majority. And by that, we are where we are......

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Mike Stretford 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> You should vote for the party which most closely represents your views. It might seem a bit pointless if you live in an area with a large majority for another party but it is just a short term mindset.

> So I say forget all this tactical voting nonsense, vote for what you believe in because if you don't nothing will ever change, it'll always be the same two horse races and you'll forever be unrepresented.

Typical right wing hypocrisy from a Tory.

It's perfectly acceptable and upright to vote against a candidate you really don't like. The Tories have been encouraging tactical voting all my lifetime, and have benefited massively from it, especially as they've got their pals in the media to smear opponents.

What's good for the goose......

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Darron 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

You’re not too late for a proxy vote you know. First time for me this GE. Amazingly easy to set up.

Apologies....just noticed this has been recommended above. Get on it, even if you live in a safe sit there is surely satisfaction in voting against ‘the gits’😊

Post edited at 11:43
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In reply to Tringa:

> I would like to see compulsory voting. 

That brings its own problems, People motivated enough to vote now have probably at least thought about it a little bit.

People who are forced into the polling booth are just as likely to vote for someone who they heard on local radio promising them a free Ferrari as they are to make an informed choice to put "none of the above because they don't match my criteria".

Post edited at 11:58
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jkarran 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Reform of both would be nice but in terms of urgency I would argue that having an unelected upper chamber is a bigger affront to democracy than FPTP.

I don't see why a chamber with a remit to scrutinise and revise needs to be elected, I'd prefer it was qualified time limited appointees from political and a range of 'technical' backgrounds. The HOL for lords and bishops is an appalling anachronism but it's FPTP that disenfranchises and disengages us.

> Labour will bring accountability to the House of Lords and that is a significant improvement to our democracy.

Maybe but again, it is not the one we desperately need right now. That one Labour will not touch with a barge pole while they retain the (now mistaken) belief the system is rigged to periodically favour them as a party of government.

jk

Post edited at 13:08
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HansStuttgart 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Reform of both would be nice but in terms of urgency I would argue that having an unelected upper chamber is a bigger affront to democracy than FPTP.

In terms of urgency this election is the chance to do something about FPTP. It can only happen when both CON and LAB are weak and it is hard to imagine that both parties will remain in their current state in the next decade.

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jkarran 02 Dec 2019
In reply to yorkshireman:

> That is undoubtedly true although I think with Brexit we've had a specific hot-button issue that has caused this to happen. I personally dislike FPTP as well, it feels wrong especially as I don't think I've ever lived in a constituency that voted the same way I did.

It wasn't that hot. Most people ranked the EU a very low priority before Farage and his backers weaponised that low level discontent to hijack the Conservative party.

> However I was talking about in general principle terms rather than what's happened over the last 3-4 years. I think if UKIP had 50 MPs we'd be into coalition territory which would be even more disastrous than the current system of the Tories essentially leaning further right than usual in order to catch the UKIP/Brexit vote.

We would definitely be in coalition teritory but maybe not the far right populist ones we have now, after all even if voting patterns remained unchanged the votes wasted on LibDems would likely deliver 100+ seats and 50 odd to Greens. If we want a far right government we should elect it with a majority of our votes (or something approaching it) rather than stumbling into this mess where 30-40% of voters choose one for us because events have got ahead of the boundry reforms historically employed to keep parties in check.

jk

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HansStuttgart 02 Dec 2019
In reply to yorkshireman:

> That said, I can see why FPTP frustrates people but the flip side is that it keeps fringe (I'm looking at you UKIP) element influence to a minimum and does help limit the impact of extremism on the workings of government. 

That is funny.

Exhibit A: the ERG

Exhibit B: Momentum

Whereas PR would allow for a nicely boring coalition between the moderate wing of the conservatives, the Lib dems, and the moderate wing of Labour.

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Timmd 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Typical right wing hypocrisy from a Tory.

> It's perfectly acceptable and upright to vote against a candidate you really don't like. The Tories have been encouraging tactical voting all my lifetime, and have benefited massively from it, especially as they've got their pals in the media to smear opponents.

> What's good for the goose......

Hypocrisy applies to us all but you're absolutely correct, if politics is 'the art of the possible', informed tactical voting is fine. It's really got to be well informed though. 

Post edited at 13:23
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cumbria mammoth 02 Dec 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> That is funny.

> Exhibit A: the ERG

> Exhibit B: Momentum

> Whereas PR would allow for a nicely boring coalition between the moderate wing of the conservatives, the Lib dems, and the moderate wing of Labour.

No it wouldn't because under PR the 'moderate' wing of the Conservatives and the neoliberal wing of Labour would be just as much under the umbrella of their larger party as they are today under FPTP.

I do want to see reform but I also want to keep MP's accountable to constituents so it's a difficult one.

Just my own musings here but if the Lord's had democratic accountability then it could expand its brief. How about FPTP for the Commons and PR for the Lords from the same vote?

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Offwidth 02 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

I think everyone should vote. I'd advise, in anything like a marginal, any progressive voter to vote for the candidate with the best chance to remove any majority from Boris and his cabinet (the most reactionary the UK has ever seen in modern times). In really safe seats (or if you won't vote otherwise) I'd advise progressives to seriously consider voting Green, as in the end climate change is the issue that will stuff everyone and although a good Green result won't elect many Green MPs, it will add pressure to the main parties, so any vote will make a difference in that respect.

It's always worth remembering that it suits popularists, like Boris and co, to piss most people off about voting and to try and get people who might support them, to look for simplistic solutions,  and those that won't, to not vote. It's simply not true that all parties are as bad as each other. This radio 4 show on those who don't vote was interesting on the subject of why. The strong hint was these 'dispossessed' would gain most from party that suited them (ie a progressive one... in terms of things from better care for the poor to electoral reform).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bvxl

Post edited at 14:41
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jkarran 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> I do want to see reform but I also want to keep MP's accountable to constituents so it's a difficult one.

Most of them aren't. They're accountable to their parties in so much as they need the rosette in order to win the seat. So long as they keep that rosette they can by and large do as they please (or don't) in their constituencies. Most of us are so rigid and myopic we simply don't care who the candidate is or what they do.

> Just my own musings here but if the Lord's had democratic accountability then it could expand its brief. How about FPTP for the Commons and PR for the Lords from the same vote?

Expand the role of the Lords to what end?

jk

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HansStuttgart 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> No it wouldn't because under PR the 'moderate' wing of the Conservatives and the neoliberal wing of Labour would be just as much under the umbrella of their larger party as they are today under FPTP.

I think both parties would split without FPTP.

> I do want to see reform but I also want to keep MP's accountable to constituents so it's a difficult one.

FWIW I have absolutely no need for someone representating the place where I live, but I do like someone representing my views.

But you can have both PR and local representation at the same time, see the German system. (you have to accept a larger number of citizens / MP ratio though.)

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Trevers 02 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

> So we should all vote. But personally I can’t see the point. Last election tories 52% and labour 36% where we live.

> no way I’m voting Corbyn or Tory (mind you the mp is a really nice guy).

> so it all seems pointless to me and a waste of time. 

We won't know until the votes are counted whether the polls are correct. Go and vote, or throw away your right to at least complain.

Why not campaign in a nearby marginal, if you think your personal vote won't make a difference?

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Trevers 02 Dec 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

> complete waste of time voting where I am-they just stick a blue rosette on a hamster.

Sounds like an improvement. A hamster probably would be missed walking through the lobbies.

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Moley 02 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

Filled in and sealed my postal vote this evening, once it's in the post box in the morning there's no going back and no more angst for me till election night and results start.

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cumbria mammoth 02 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Most of them aren't. They're accountable to their parties in so much as they need the rosette in order to win the seat. So long as they keep that rosette they can by and large do as they please (or don't) in their constituencies. Most of us are so rigid and myopic we simply don't care who the candidate is or what they do.

How less accountable to the public would MP's be in a PR system where MP's near the top end of a party list are as good as untouchable?

> Expand the role of the Lords to what end?

You were making out that it is responsible for so little that it doesn't matter if it is unelected. I disagree,  but under my fantasy hybrid system the Lords would be elected from the same GE vote as the Commons but counted as full PR so that every vote does count and then the Lords would have a mandate to hold the FPTP Commons to account.

Anyway, those are my own ideas. Along with Lords reform Labour's manifesto does potentially lead to an end to FPTP - 

"We want our political institutions to be connected fully to the wider electorate, and will take urgent steps to refresh our democracy. The renewal of our Parliament will be subject to recommendations made by a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly."

https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/tackle-poverty-and-inequality/

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cumbria mammoth 02 Dec 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> I think both parties would split without FPTP.

> FWIW I have absolutely no need for someone representating the place where I live, but I do like someone representing my views.

The UK is already massively London centric as far as power goes, I think it's important that our representatives represent places and are accountable to them or the Westminster bubble will only grow bigger.

> But you can have both PR and local representation at the same time, see the German system. (you have to accept a larger number of citizens / MP ratio though.)

Or you could keep the ratio with a larger number of MP's.

Anyway, Labours UK wide Constitutional Convention could give us the electoral reform many on this thread are looking for.

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elsewhere 02 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> How less accountable to the public would MP's be in a PR system where MP's near the top end of a party list are as good as untouchable?

There's no perfect system that puts a uniform fear of the electorate into them but long term parties rise and fall more responsively under PR.

See the Bundestag - FPTP constituencies with top up members from party lists to make overall number of MPs had is proportional. It's approximately your hybrid but all in one body.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-member_proportional_representation

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mullermn 03 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Anyway, those are my own ideas. Along with Lords reform Labour's manifesto does potentially lead to an end to FPTP - 

There’s no way Labour, as one of the only two parties that benefit from FPTP, are going to make any substantial change to it. They might polish the turd up a bit (I imagine there are some constituency boundaries they would like moved etc) but that will be it.

The manifesto doesn’t shy away from making bold claims in other areas, so the fact that it makes such a weak passing allusion to electoral reform is telling.

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cumbria mammoth 03 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

The manifesto doesn't recommend what form the change should take but it does promise a democratic revolution following a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly which is quite bold.

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jkarran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> How less accountable to the public would MP's be in a PR system where MP's near the top end of a party list are as good as untouchable?

Yes, as they are now. That is all but unavoidable and not what PR seeks to address. Under PR the house of commons which is supposed to represent us the electorate would actually reflect our views (or the warped snapshot captured by an election, a fight for another day), not as it does today our views filtered through the FPTP hall of mirrors.

> You were making out that it is responsible for so little that it doesn't matter if it is unelected.

Not at all, the HOL has a lot of responsibility but it is predominantly technocratic, I believe it should be selected to execute that role to the best of its ability, not form a cushy retirement club for good eggs of each political hue and what's left of the landed gentry.

> I disagree,  but under my fantasy hybrid system the Lords would be elected from the same GE vote as the Commons but counted as full PR so that every vote does count and then the Lords would have a mandate to hold the FPTP Commons to account.

So which house, given they are under the fantasy system both directly elected creates law, which has precedence? What is the role of an elected Lords? How does the mismatch between a Red-Blue HOC and a rainbow HOL play out, which is the legitimate representative of the views and wishes of the electorate when the houses come into conflict?

> Anyway, those are my own ideas. Along with Lords reform Labour's manifesto does potentially lead to an end to FPTP -  "We want our political institutions to be connected fully to the wider electorate, and will take urgent steps to refresh our democracy. The renewal of our Parliament will be subject to recommendations made by a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly."

Well I hope I'm forced to eat my words but that's worthless handwaving. Nothing will come of it until Labour have lost maybe another 2-3 GE, enough to realise demographic change and political change particularly in Scotland, Wales and working class towns have properly locked them out of power under FPTP. Then of course nothing can come of it because we've stumbled into a defacto one party system.

jk

Post edited at 09:44
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mullermn 03 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> The manifesto doesn't recommend what form the change should take but it does promise a democratic revolution following a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly which is quite bold.


None of those words mean anything. What is a citizens assembly? What powers does one have? What force does it’s recommendations have? Labour doesn’t even guarantee to implement the motions passed by its own membership at conference (quite wisely) so I suspect the answer is naff-all.

What is a democratic revolution, aside from some thing an idealistic 6th former with an interest in politics would shout about from a soapbox? Any examples of one?

What’s a constitutional convention? How does taking ‘UK wide’ advice on the constitution square with preemptively ruling out another independence referendum for Scotland? Given that they’re prepared to do that, what makes you think they will implement change that weakens the party’s own chances of being re-elected?

Seriously, you’ve got to hold them to a higher standard than this. 

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cumbria mammoth 03 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn and jkarran:

You can be sceptical about any manifesto if you want but you're more likely to get the change you want if you vote for the party that is talking about it than if you vote for the party that isn't.

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timjones 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> The rule is simple, but I'll spell it out:

Is that your rule or one that you expect others to blindly follow?

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mullermn 03 Dec 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> You can be sceptical about any manifesto if you want but you're more likely to get the change you want if you vote for the party that is talking about it than if you vote for the party that isn't.

It’s easier to be skeptical when the talk consists of a load of politics bullshit-bingo though. For contrast take the Lib Dems, who demonstrated how easy it is to make commitments that actually mean something* in their manifesto:

  • Put an end to wasted votes, by introducing proportional representation through the Single Transferable Vote for electing MPs, and local councillors in England.

And obviously they gain further plausibility by virtue of the fact that this reform would actually help them. Labour have no more interest in replacing FPTP than the Tories do.

* yes, I know they haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of being a majority government.

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DancingOnRock 03 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

I think I’m with you there. I looked at the last few election results and even if all the people who didn’t turn out voted Labour they’d still not have been in the running. Whether they stayed at home because Cons was a forgone conclusion and their vote wasn’t needed or because their vote wouldn’t have got labour in is a mute point. 
 

I’m aware that voting for one of the other two parties gives them support and could change the political landscape on years to come. But voting for them now sends no message at all to Cons or Lab because the two parties are blinkered by their set in ideology. 
 

Why do politicians only canvass when there is an election coming, after they have set out their manifesto and only to secure your vote. They should be canvassing year round asking for people’s opinions. 

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Rob Parsons 03 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> ... For contrast take the Lib Dems, who demonstrated how easy it is to make commitments that actually mean something* in their manifesto:

> Put an end to wasted votes, by introducing proportional representation through the Single Transferable Vote for electing MPs, and local councillors in England.

It's odd if that's what they've written: Single Transferable Vote does not equate to Proportional Representation. (I think STV is a very good idea by the way.)

> And obviously they gain further plausibility by virtue of the fact that this reform would actually help them.

They gain 'plausibility' from something which would be in their own interests? Really?

> * yes, I know they haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of being a majority government.

Quite. So they can say anything, and know that they have no chance of being held to account. We had all this - including the STV policy - in the 2010 election and subsequent coalition government. It didn't add up to much in the end!

Post edited at 10:53
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gravy 03 Dec 2019
In reply to iusedtoclimb:

You must vote even if it is simply to spoil your ballot paper - don't let the next generation of ******** get in because of your apathy

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mullermn 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

>It's odd if that's what they've written: Single Transferable Vote does not equate to Proportional Representation.

That is directly from the manifesto. Exactly how they anticipate those two systems aligning I don’t know. 

> They gain 'plausibility' from something which would be in their own interests? Really?

Well, yeah? As far as non-binding promises go it’s easier to believe ones that will pan out in favour of the person making them than ones that are contrary to their own interests, isn’t it? At least it makes sense that the Lib Dems would want to move away from FPTP.

> they can say anything, and know that they have no chance of being held to account.

This is ultimately true of 99% of all manifesto promises. With very few exceptions (eg the student loans Lib Dem debacle) the parties can talk their way out of any of them. 

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jkarran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I think I’m with you there. I looked at the last few election results and even if all the people who didn’t turn out voted Labour they’d still not have been in the running. Whether they stayed at home because Cons was a forgone conclusion and their vote wasn’t needed or because their vote wouldn’t have got labour in is a mute point. 

Please show your working.

31% of registered voters (not even those eligible to register, just those registered) didn't turn out in 2017. That's 14.5 million people didn't vote. The difference between Con and Lab was just 760k votes, far fewer than that targeted in key marginals could have delivered a clear red or blue landslide. In fact that's quite significantly more than voted for the winning party in total (Conservatives, 13.6M) or 2nd and 3rd placed combined (Lab & SNP as measured in seats).

https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/elections-and-referendums/past-elections-and-referendums/uk-general-elections/results-and-turnout-2017-uk-general-election

The clear winner of the 2017 election was apathy.

> Why do politicians only canvass when there is an election coming, after they have set out their manifesto and only to secure your vote. They should be canvassing year round asking for people’s opinions. 

The good ones do, usually in village/church hall meetings and their constituency offices rather than door to door but that's fair enough.

jk

Post edited at 12:28
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DancingOnRock 03 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

In my constituency just under 50% of the total electorate voted Conservative.

20% of the electorate voted Labour  

Even if the 25% of the electorate that didn’t vote turned up and voted labour, Cons would win. 

Its not clear that that 25% would vote labour. I suspect they wouldn’t. 

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jkarran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Yes there are some very safe seats, some far safer than yours but there are not nearly enough that the DidNotVote bloc couldn't, at least in theory, radically change the course of our country.

Perhaps as few as 1000 voters (feel free to do the sums more carefully on a seat by seat basis to arrive at an exact minimum figure) could have denied the Conservatives their disastrous 2015-17 government *if* they had swung to the second placed party in key ultra-marginal constituencies.

14,500,000 people could but didn't vote in 2017.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/insights/ge2017-marginal-seats-and-turnout/

jk

Post edited at 13:45
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DancingOnRock 03 Dec 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Depends on what the turnout usually is. I have a feeling that 2017 was highest turnout since 1997 or something. The swing is more important and I think you’ll get less swinging voters now as the parties separate on ideological outlook and ‘don’t vote for the others it’ll be armageddon’ politics of fear. 

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jkarran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

What depends on turnout? I think we're maybe missing each others' point.

jk

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