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Thread: Local Elections - Turnout.

  1. #21
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger_Provins View Post
    That's also been my dream for years but I guess it won't happen.
    If it did happen I can imagine all sorts of problems.

    Foreign policy? I want a government that will get us out of Europe, or alternatively join the Euro. I would have absolutely no idea how to vote or what opinion the eventual 'government' would hold.

    I want a government that would solve the economic crisis. Again I'd have absolutely no idea whether what we would end up with could do the job at all - let alone do it in a way that I think right.

    Yes I know that, under the current system, I might not get what I voted for because there might be more who want something different. At least though we, and the rest of the world, would know what to expect - in broad terms at least.

    In fact would we have a government? Six hundred individuals all with their own opinions? A recipe for chaos?

    No Sir - impractical idealism.

    MickLL

  2. #22
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by MickLL View Post
    No Sir - impractical idealism.
    MickLL
    ... I'm only too aware of that - but then I'm an idealist

    I've voted in too many elections where policies I voted for never became reality but stuff I'm definitely against became law.

    I'm too old and cynical to expect any improvement but I'll continue voting.
    Rog


  3. #23
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger_Provins View Post
    ... I'm only too aware of that - but then I'm an idealist

    I've voted in too many elections where policies I voted for never became reality but stuff I'm definitely against became law.

    I'm too old and cynical to expect any improvement but I'll continue voting.
    You and me both.

    MickLL

    PS Do you admire my grammar?

  4. #24
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by MickLL View Post
    You and me both.
    MickLL
    PS Do you admire my grammar?
    Oh yes, I'm in awe
    Rog


  5. #25
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Voter apathy politicians are all the same, what are you going to do about it. I'm gonna sit on my arse that'll show em!. People that don't vote have no right to complain. If they want change then get up do the only thing you can and vote. It is the only way we can voice our opinion and by the very nature of our system. It's a lot better than some other country's have.

    I didn't need or want prospective candidates knocking on my door canvassing for my vote. For most of us ( big assumption here ) are loyal party members so it's a given to whom our votes are for. If you're undecided then if they don't come to you go to them.

    Yes it might not be as easy for some but you can't wait for a knock on the door you just can't. The difference just 10% more people voting would make a massive difference. It's makes absolutely none when they sit it at home doing nothing except moaning.

    No to compulsory voting that is an affront to democracy but to those not voting shut up or get up stand up.

  6. #26
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post

    For most of us ( big assumption here ) are loyal party members s.
    And a totally incorrect assumption. The last figures that I can find were for 2010 and gave the TOTAL party membership of the three main parties at less than 400,000 as compared with about 4 million in the past.

    (Source: Sources: British Political Facts, 1900-2000; House of Commons Library, 2009; Labour and Liberal Democrat Annual Reports and Accounts, 2001-09, as submitted to the Electoral Commission; Bale, 2011.)

    That's not even a sizeable minority let alone 'most of us'.

    I absolutely definitely want to know something about the person for whom I'm voting especially at local level where party allegiance isn't so strong. In fact I've discovered that none of my parish councillors admit to any party membership. Each and every one of them claims to be independent.

    MickLL
    Last edited by MickLL; 05-05-2012 at 15:55.

  7. #27
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post
    ....For most of us ( big assumption here ) are loyal party members so it's a given to whom our votes are for....
    I think it's also a reasonable assumption that 'loyal party members' of whichever party cancel each others votes out. Therefore it's the floating voter who decides which party gets in/out. The floating voter it could be said is the one who actually compares the parties/candidates and votes for whoever he feels is worthy of his vote at that time. Those who continually vote for X or Y simply because they always have or that 'My Dad and his Dad always voted X/Y so I do as well' are little more than sheep.

  8. #28
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post
    ... People that don't vote have no right to complain. If they want change then get up do the only thing you can and vote...
    I think you've missed the point completely. You assume that if we vote there'll be change.

    As you say, the only thing we can do is vote i.e. choose between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee every few years. Yet everyone knows neither of them will vote in parliament as we would wish. They vote as they are told to by the PM. Period. Parliament is not democratic.

    The change we need cannot be found within the current party/constituency system. We need constitutional reform to make our government democratically responsible to the people who elected it.

    We can't even choose our PM or any other government minister, (the most powerful group in Parliament), and on top of that we have no say whatsoever in how they vote anyway. What sort of sham democracy is that?

    Once upon a time the Lib Dems claimed to want proportional representation. Ah, but that was before they gained power. Now they never mention it and we can do nothing about that. You see the Catch 22 we are in?

    To blindly repeat the mantra about not having a right to complain if you don't vote demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of where the problem lies in British politics.

    Regards, Mike
    "The fate of all mankind, I fear, is in the hands of fools"

  9. #29
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikerMike View Post
    I think you've missed the point completely. You assume that if we vote there'll be change.

    As you say, the only thing we can do is vote i.e. choose between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee every few years. Yet everyone knows neither of them will vote in parliament as we would wish. They vote as they are told to by the PM. Period. Parliament is not democratic.

    The change we need cannot be found within the current party/constituency system. We need constitutional reform to make our government democratically responsible to the people who elected it.

    We can't even choose our PM or any other government minister, (the most powerful group in Parliament), and on top of that we have no say whatsoever in how they vote anyway. What sort of sham democracy is that?

    Once upon a time the Lib Dems claimed to want proportional representation. Ah, but that was before they gained power. Now they never mention it and we can do nothing about that. You see the Catch 22 we are in?

    To blindly repeat the mantra about not having a right to complain if you don't vote demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of where the problem lies in British politics.

    Regards, Mike
    What's your solution?

    MickLL

  10. #30
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    The reality is this is the system we've got. If people want PR then go out and vote for the Liberals. We haven't got a perfect system and PR ain't perfect. Politics isn't about politicians it's about us and our responsibility to participate. People fought and died for our right to vote, something our apathetic non voters seem to have forgotten or probably don't care about.

    I'm not going to question why people vote for their chosen candidates. It's not for me or anyone to judge what's the important thing here is they voted at all. If some don't want to vote that's their prerogative but they can't come back and moan. If they want change then do a protest vote and vote BNP UKIP Greens whatever.

    The ultimate truth is if you don't vote you have no say. If you do vote you might have a say depends on who wins and no matter what system is in place. There will always be winners and losers.

    I vote for one reason because I can and a greater part of that reasoning is out of respect to those that gave us that privilege. If some were prepared to die then the least we can do is not wait for a knock on the door.

  11. #31
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikerMike View Post
    I think you've missed the point completely. You assume that if we vote there'll be change.

    As you say, the only thing we can do is vote i.e. choose between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee every few years. Yet everyone knows neither of them will vote in parliament as we would wish. They vote as they are told to by the PM. Period. Parliament is not democratic.

    The change we need cannot be found within the current party/constituency system. We need constitutional reform to make our government democratically responsible to the people who elected it.

    We can't even choose our PM or any other government minister, (the most powerful group in Parliament), and on top of that we have no say whatsoever in how they vote anyway. What sort of sham democracy is that?

    Once upon a time the Lib Dems claimed to want proportional representation. Ah, but that was before they gained power. Now they never mention it and we can do nothing about that. You see the Catch 22 we are in?

    To blindly repeat the mantra about not having a right to complain if you don't vote demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of where the problem lies in British politics.

    Regards, Mike
    There is no system that will give all you ask for, other than having a general referendum on all decisions that are made in Parliament, which is totally unworkable - nothing would ever get done.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to influence your MP how to vote in Parliament, other than not to vote for him at the next election. This is the problem with Party Politics and could only be changed if all MPs were Independents, which is unlikely; there will always be alliances of one sort or another.

    I suppose you could always outlaw Party Whips, though!
    Roy

    You can't please everybody, so you have to please yourself

    http://royscollages.blogspot.com

  12. #32
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post



    I vote for one reason because I can and a greater part of that reasoning is out of respect to those that gave us that privilege. If some were prepared to die then the least we can do is not wait for a knock on the door.
    Then what about those of us who have served in the armed forces and been in areas of conflict where death was a distinct possibility. Have we no right to say, 'I choose not to vote because I believe the political system is rotten through and through, and that those who are rich and powerful individuals who 'buy' political influence through direct or indirect measures (eg: lobbying companies) are exercising a grossly unequal and unfair measure of influence on our political system, should have that right?
    Before you make such silly criticisms do remember that some of us were prepared to fight and (possibly) die for this country, who hold the belief that politics is unworthy of our vote.
    Mike.
    That's all very well but what does Ken Rockwell have to say on the matter?

  13. #33
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by MickLL View Post
    What's your solution?
    MickLL
    Democratic reform is evolutionary, it's actually very difficult to envisage a future system as each change brings up further issues which in turn need to be addressed in a new, future context. What you have to do is to reform with the aim of reducing the worst aspects of what we have and move forwards cautiously. It requires a level of detachment and 'objectivity' which is sadly lacking in British party politics.

    Anyway, since you asked, here goes.


    Democratise the House of Commons - abolish the Whip system.
    Democratise the Lords - abolish hereditary Peerage.
    Abolish first past the post - introduce PR
    Abolish over 1,000 non-democratic Quangos which currently have delegated parliamentary powers.
    Abolish lobbying - the whole idea is corrupt and anti-democratic.
    Introduce Swiss style "feedback" voting. i.e. what parliament decides must be resubmitted locally before becoming law.
    Allow MPs time to actually scrutinise, discuss and absorb what they are voting for in Bills - It's widely known that the majority never even manage to read what they vote for!!!
    Finance the whole of Parliament from the public purse - avoids corrupt vested interests.
    Prohibit MPs from holding positions in the private sector - avoids corrupt vested interests.
    Streamline referendum system for frequent referrals to the voter - as in going to war or major national decisions.

    That should at least get us going in a better direction.

    Parliament needs to be seen as a responsible, corruption-free institution. Train individuals for the important role they will play in their country's government. Respect the voters and win back respect.

    One can but dream

    Regards, Mike
    "The fate of all mankind, I fear, is in the hands of fools"

  14. #34
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Not a bad stab....

    ......I quite like correctly run quangos....apart from the quasi bit. If they are used for a clear purpose (set a well defined task, guided by legislation and/or constitution ), which deals with an issue that is best set aside from constant political manipulation, I think they work well.

    Graeme
    AGW (BSRIPN)

    Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing. (Camille Pissarro)

  15. #35
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post
    The reality is this is the system we've got. If people want PR then go out and vote for the Liberals...
    Missed the point again?

    People did vote for the Libs but now they don't want PR. And you wonder why people are disillusioned with "democracy"?

    Mike
    "The fate of all mankind, I fear, is in the hands of fools"

  16. #36
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikerMike View Post
    Democratic reform is evolutionary, it's actually very difficult to envisage a future system as each change brings up further issues which in turn need to be addressed in a new, future context. What you have to do is to reform with the aim of reducing the worst aspects of what we have and move forwards cautiously. It requires a level of detachment and 'objectivity' which is sadly lacking in British party politics.

    Anyway, since you asked, here goes.


    Democratise the House of Commons - abolish the Whip system.
    Democratise the Lords - abolish hereditary Peerage.
    Abolish first past the post - introduce PR
    Abolish over 1,000 non-democratic Quangos which currently have delegated parliamentary powers.
    Abolish lobbying - the whole idea is corrupt and anti-democratic.
    Introduce Swiss style "feedback" voting. i.e. what parliament decides must be resubmitted locally before becoming law.
    Allow MPs time to actually scrutinise, discuss and absorb what they are voting for in Bills - It's widely known that the majority never even manage to read what they vote for!!!
    Finance the whole of Parliament from the public purse - avoids corrupt vested interests.
    Prohibit MPs from holding positions in the private sector - avoids corrupt vested interests.
    Streamline referendum system for frequent referrals to the voter - as in going to war or major national decisions.

    That should at least get us going in a better direction.

    Parliament needs to be seen as a responsible, corruption-free institution. Train individuals for the important role they will play in their country's government. Respect the voters and win back respect.

    One can but dream

    Regards, Mike
    I have to say that some of your ideas, IMHO, would end up being just as chaotic as the 'no party' idea. However that's too difficult a discussion for now.

    Allow me to make a comment about Quangos. I really believe that many people don't understand what quangos do and therefore have an unnecessary 'down' on them.

    I obviously can't talk about all quangos but I can tell you about the one that I served on. Yes I did get paid. Not much but it was still payment.

    I served on a quango concerned with funding the London Further Education colleges. We were given a budget by central Government and we allocated as fairly as we could amongst the London Colleges.

    It was a tough job but I would strongly argue that we did a better job than any group of MP's could ever have done. The reason is that our quango was composed of mainly educational professionals plus folk (like me) who had extremely close links with one or more colleges. We all had intimate knowledge of London and its needs and all, without exception, were passionate about doing the best for the students. I can, with hand on heart, promise you that nobody I worked with appeared to be doing it to feather their own nest.

    Of course there was a staff behind us to actually do the accounting and the disbursements (that's where most of the cost went - not on we 'directors') and I sincerely believe that the organisation was as lean as it could be.

    I'd argue therefore that the job could not have been done any better by a bunch of random politicos and a,most certainly could not have been done more cheaply.

    Since I served on that Quango it has been wound up as you would wish. The task has been shipped out to local authorities. I'm retired now but I have it on good authority that there are more staff now involved (across all the London Boroughs) and there are funding anomalies all across the capital because there's no central oversight to ensure that colleges get treated equally.

    In short be careful what you wish for - you might just get it.

    MickLL

  17. #37
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikerMike View Post
    Missed the point again?

    People did vote for the Libs but now they don't want PR. And you wonder why people are disillusioned with "democracy"?

    Mike
    No Mike you missed the fact that not enough people voted for the Liberals.

  18. #38
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank1 View Post
    No Mike you missed the fact that not enough people voted for the Liberals.
    Results of 2010 elections:

    CONS - 36.1%
    LAB - 29.0%
    LIB DEMS - 23.0%

    Enough to put pressure on the government, if they so wished.

    My point is that the Libs, like all other parties, make promises which they then conveniently forget once in power. It is this habitual contempt for voters which has brought politics into disrepute.

    This is not a one-off. It is a pattern which has become the norm. Hence the alienation of the electorate, illustrated by the appallingly low turnouts.

    The answer is not to criticise those who do not vote, but to create a trustworthy system which rewards voting.

    Regards, Mike
    Last edited by BikerMike; 05-05-2012 at 20:58.
    "The fate of all mankind, I fear, is in the hands of fools"

  19. #39
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    I voted because I firmly believe if I don't vote then I have no right to complain about whoever gets in but as usual I find myself thinking the reason they don't put "None of the above" as an option is "none of the above" would win by a landslide
    "I am the very model of an amateur photographer"

  20. #40
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    Re: Local Elections - Turnout.

    Quote Originally Posted by MickLL View Post
    I have to say that some of your ideas, IMHO, would end up being just as chaotic as the 'no party' idea. However that's too difficult a discussion for now.

    Allow me to make a comment about Quangos. I really believe that many people don't understand what quangos do and therefore have an unnecessary 'down' on them.

    I obviously can't talk about all quangos but I can tell you about the one that I served on. Yes I did get paid. Not much but it was still payment.

    I served on a quango concerned with funding the London Further Education colleges. We were given a budget by central Government and we allocated as fairly as we could amongst the London Colleges.

    It was a tough job but I would strongly argue that we did a better job than any group of MP's could ever have done. The reason is that our quango was composed of mainly educational professionals plus folk (like me) who had extremely close links with one or more colleges. We all had intimate knowledge of London and its needs and all, without exception, were passionate about doing the best for the students. I can, with hand on heart, promise you that nobody I worked with appeared to be doing it to feather their own nest.

    Of course there was a staff behind us to actually do the accounting and the disbursements (that's where most of the cost went - not on we 'directors') and I sincerely believe that the organisation was as lean as it could be.

    I'd argue therefore that the job could not have been done any better by a bunch of random politicos and a,most certainly could not have been done more cheaply.

    Since I served on that Quango it has been wound up as you would wish. The task has been shipped out to local authorities. I'm retired now but I have it on good authority that there are more staff now involved (across all the London Boroughs) and there are funding anomalies all across the capital because there's no central oversight to ensure that colleges get treated equally.

    In short be careful what you wish for - you might just get it.

    MickLL
    Good to hear from someone with direct experience of a Quango - I have none.

    I imagine, as with most organisations, the quality of work done probably depends more on the quality and motivation of the individuals than on the format. My real concern is that they are accountable and seen to be doing a good job. My fear is that many are not.

    Regards, Mike
    "The fate of all mankind, I fear, is in the hands of fools"

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