Ricky Hatton-Brown Proposes Rules Change 18


After being knocked to the canvas for the third time in two minutes, nose split and gums bleeding, Ricky Hatton-Brown struggled to his feet and said:

“Errr, I god ad good idea. What if we change the rules, so the guy is nicest to the other guy winds, rather than the one who hits him the most?”

He was promptly smashed to the floor again.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/10/voters-could-recall-mps-says-gordon-brown

Brown’s hypocritical conversion to constitutional reform, after twelve years of this government blocking all progress, is beneath contempt.

I sketched out my own views recently. Plainly several of the commenters did not understand what single transferable vote is. It is not the terrible system in place for the EU elections, where you vote for the party and not the person. It is the antithesis of that. You have all the candidates’ names, and you vote for them 1,2,3,4, etc in order of preference. So you can put Tory Joe Bloggs first, Green Trishia Windpower second, and Tory Tufton-Bufton third because they are who you like.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/05/a_new_constitut.html

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/06/we_need_proport.html#comments


18 thoughts on “Ricky Hatton-Brown Proposes Rules Change

  • Leo Davidson

    It should be considered false advertising to claim something is a democracy without transferable votes.

    The sad thing is it’s probably only situations like the current one where any party who managed to get elected via the existing system would consider changing it. Unless, heaven forbid, the current system accidentally allowed the election of people guided by the principals of right and wrong rather than self-promotion and self-preservation.

  • eddie

    If you have ever been involved in elections you will know that many people have trouble dealing with a single cross. STV is way too complex for many people – and that is not being snobbish, it is just reality.

  • Craig

    The Irish have used it succsefully for decades. Obviously they are cleverer than us.

  • Abe Rene

    Remind us, if you don’t mind: what things do you have against the Tories’ policies? Two examples might be that they would have followed the Americans just as uncritically as Blair did, and not be any more enthusiastic about civil liberties. What else? Good practice for Norwich!

  • Jon

    Abe – but the Tories might be even more regressive on welfare and reducing social mobility, and I would expect that they would been even more keen than Labour to preserve the wealth of a privileged elite.

    If however they have a policy to, for example, abolish the tax loopholes for non-domiciles, and make a decent effort on closing down tax havens, then I will put my hat on a plate and season it liberally with pepper.

    (Annual cost of tax evasion and avoidance, allegedly £40bn/pa. Annual cost of benefit fraud, allegedly £0.5bn/pa. Hmm, which to go for?)

  • anticant

    No, Eddie, not snobbish – just elitist. Unless you advocate literacy and numeracy tests to qualify people for the vote, you must accept that some voters aren’t very bright. Too bad – it’s called democracy.

    Having been a consistent supporter of STV for many years, I look upon the sudden surge of Labour interest in electoral reform as entirely cynical and the Tories’ firm opposition – stressed by Cameron at PMQ today – to any system but FPTP as absurd. All these politicians, except for the LibDems, contemplate electoral reform solely from their own party’s assumed interest, and never from the standpoint of justice for the voters, which is what it’s really all about. Only STV will place power effectively where it should belong – with the voters and not the parties.

    It’s a great pity that Jenkins, instead of plumping for straightforward STV as he should have done, produced a weak hybrid form of ATV topped up by party lists, in an unsuccessful attempt to lure Blair into fulfilling one of his election promises. (What a hope!)

  • Abe Rene

    The Jenkins report says regarding STV: “..constituencies of about 350,000 electors would entail a very long ballot paper and a degree of choice which might be deemed oppressive rather than liberating..” Certainly the ballot paper I had for the recent European electiosn was over a foot long (and I understand that UKIP complained about a fold at the bottom). Imagine something treble the size!

  • derek

    Why does STV require constituencies of 350000?

    Why not have single member constituencies based on existing boundaries?

    STV would then return the ‘least hated’ candidate in each constituency.

  • Abe Rene

    Derek

    I see what you mean – there seems to be confusion over terminology. In multiseat constituencies, advocates of STV hope to achieve something like PR, while you were referring to something also called ‘AV’ in Jenkins, or ‘instant runoff’ in the US. But, according to Jenkins, AV would have achieved even _less_ proportionality in 1997! From my point of view – regarding PR as bad for political stability – AV (or STV for single-member constituencies, or instant runoff) sounds fair enough, but for all the difference it makes to proportionality, we might as well stick with simple FPTP. Besides, Lord Alexander in his ‘dissenting voice’ in Jenkins gives good reasons for not moving from FPTP to AV.

    Jenkins gives importance to top-up votes added to AV, of course, to bring about greater proportionality. My main concern about the method of top up votes is that nutters not get into parliament.

    But I’m glad you brought this up. This whole discussion has given me the chance to learn a little about voting systems in general.

  • anticant

    I doubt whether ANY voting system will prevent nutters from getting into parliament. Maybe only nutters want to get into parliament (sorry, Craig!).

  • dreoilin

    Abe,

    I don’t know how you can see “PR as bad for political stability”. We’ve had Fianna Fail in power for 80% of the last 50 years. We’re now trying to get rid of them, and they’ve just received a kicking in the local and European elections.

    Our Dail (Parliament) reflects the spread of votes of the Irish electorate. Yes, we’ve had coalitions, but e.g. it was a Fianna Fail/Labour coalition that got rid of third level fees in Ireland. (The Education Minister was Labour.) I was damn pleased about that.

    As for Eddie talking about “too complex” — there’s nothing complex about casting one’s vote. You have a list of names with their party (or ‘Independent’) beside them. You put 1,2,3,4 against these names as your preference dictates. You can go right down the list to 7 or 8, or stop after 1, or 2, it’s entirely up to yourself. You can ignore party names if you wish and vote purely for individuals.

    What’s slightly more complex is to explain the counting and transfers. But anyone who has done this many times (say, a university lecturer in politics) could write a neat/clear explanation in just a few minutes.

    There’s one here

    http://tinyurl.com/yrokkc

    but it’s very detailed and I think a simpler one could be “distilled” for voters (who could be referred to a longer explanation for those who want it).

  • Abe Rene

    Dreoilin

    Just as Socialism would work fine in a monastery, living as you do in the land of poets, saints and scholars (possibly you can tell I haven’t been there), you can make PR work in Ireland, whereas the result in other places would be much less promising.

    Jokes aside, my point is that in a smaller country with a more homogeneous culture and population, certain political systems may work much better than they would in large ones. That’s why I find it very interesting that Western Australia should move back to FPTP from a STV-PR system.

  • Abe Rene

    Anticant

    Our system of FPTP is pretty effective at preventing extremists getting into Westminster! The European system, alas, is less so (as we saw last week).

  • dreoilin

    Abe,

    I don’t see how size matters (!). As for “a more homogeneous culture and population” — not any more. Come and visit us.

    Anyway, you haven’t given any real reason for your argument. I too would like to know why Western Australia has moved back to FPTP. I’ll see if I can find out.

  • Abe Rene

    Dreoilin

    If by ‘real reason’ you mean why PR is undesirable, the best argument I can think of is the history of Weimar Germany. I see FPTP as being a preventive against the degeneration of democracy, though no voting system can be a panacea for society’s ills.

    But I might take up your suggestion to visit your country one day. Other people from Ireland have made me the same recommendation!

  • mrjohn

    An easy way to solve this dilema is to go back to an absolute monarchy, the divine right of kings. Or maybe a brave new world republic run by matriarchs and patriarchs. This democracy thing is just a fad.

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