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MauriceMynah

The Problem With Democracy Is...

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The Boundaries commission report of 2018 was laid before Parliament in September last year. The recommendations were to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and equalizer the population size of each constituency.

Who thinks turkeys vote for Christmas?

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And before that we had the PR vote which was rejected, personally I don’t like electing someone on the basis that they are disliked least. If that happens you get faceless beige morons who think they know better than the people. Oh hold on a minute????

 

M

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I largely agree with MM although even local authorities in cities etc are no longer truly representative where boundaries have been moved and 3 or 4 councils have been amalgamated,  I do agree with JM on the current situation, I will say that in my opinion its not so much the format that's wrong as the lack of accountability of the present incumbents.

If the administration  was entirely elected I doubt it would make much difference as the majority of those voting would have no or very little actual knowledge of those standing for election and we all know manifestos mean nothing once elected, the problem here is as with all quangos those who do the appointing have very little interest in overseeing them afterwards and I have no idea how that will change or be changed.

Fred

 

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Each form of democracy has it's problems. First past the post, proportional representation, single transferable vote and I'm sure there are others that don't immediately spring to my mind at the moment. Each has it's merits, each their weaknesses. Such is life.

With the BA the problem is a little different, the tail is wagging the dog. It is not that the BA should be "democratically elected" indeed as I and others have said, it should not. It should however be answerable to the relevant democratically elected bodies that at the moment it is trying to remove. therein lies the problem as I see it.

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29 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

It should however be answerable to the relevant democratically elected bodies that at the moment it is trying to remove. therein lies the problem as I see it.

Then the question has to be - how can that be made to happen? I feel sure that the problem, as you (and many others) see it, could be tackled. However, to date nobody seems inclined to bit the bullet. Are they scared of the tail that wags the dog? Do they really care enough to take action? Is it ‘better the devil you know’? Is it apathy? Is it perhaps a case of nobody really having the ***** (insert word of choice) to grasp the nettle and start the ball rolling? Or is it a mixture of all those things? :default_wacko:

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certainly the moving of the electoral boundaries was not done with forethought and consideration. we were on the edge of one council ward where i live - (we sort of bulged into the adjacent ward), and were moved into another, the consideration and forethought they didnt apply was that there are two care homes in the area moved from one to the other, and that we are now in a ward that we are not connected to directly by road.

our old polling station was just a few hundred yards down the road, the new one is at the further edge of the ward we have joined (about a 2 mile walk), plus to get there we have to travel round to the other side of that ward to get to a road to get into it, furthermore as it is nearer the centre of town, there is no free parking there. as we are isolated from the neighbouring roads in the ward we are in, we do have the benefit that none of the candidates come canvassing as while they can be at an adjacent house, maybe 50 yards from us, there are no easy connecting roads or footpaths (the backs of some of the gardens in our road back onto their gardens, but thats as close as we get).

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52 minutes ago, grendel said:

certainly the moving of the electoral boundaries was not done with forethought and consideration. we were on the edge of one council ward where i live - (we sort of bulged into the adjacent ward), and were moved into another, the consideration and forethought they didnt apply was that there are two care homes in the area moved from one to the other, and that we are now in a ward that we are not connected to directly by road.

our old polling station was just a few hundred yards down the road, the new one is at the further edge of the ward we have joined (about a 2 mile walk), plus to get there we have to travel round to the other side of that ward to get to a road to get into it, furthermore as it is nearer the centre of town, there is no free parking there. as we are isolated from the neighbouring roads in the ward we are in, we do have the benefit that none of the candidates come canvassing as while they can be at an adjacent house, maybe 50 yards from us, there are no easy connecting roads or footpaths (the backs of some of the gardens in our road back onto their gardens, but thats as close as we get).

I am afraid that was more to do with political expediency than anything else I live in one ex council catchment area that has a large majority for one party but after the merger I am now under the control of a different party who concentrate their efforts on the parts of the borough their voters inhabit and ignore our end, but that's democracy as we know it.

Fred

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OO-eerrr Missus! You are not suggesting for one minute that controlling parties in local government instigate boundary changes simply to increase the possibility of said party have more chance of winning that seat are you??? Wash your mouth out with soap you bounder!

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I was always fiercely against proportional representation, but that changed a few years back when UKIP polled nearly 4,000,000 votes, yet only got 1 seat. The Scottish Nationalists,  plus the Green Party, Plyd Cymru, and the Democratic Unionists Party (Northern Ireland), got (i think it was) nearly 60 seats, but polled less votes altogether than UKIP.  When that happened, i started asking myself what really IS a better, more representative and fairer system?.  You`re never to old to learn.

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That's fair comment as far as PR goes but it does open another whole can of worms and a very important one at that. If Ukip had won the seats apportioned to them under PR and had subsequently (as it seems) swung to the very far right we would have by now a parliamentary makeup that, I believe, does not represent British values!

People have strong political views and I am not about to say anyone is right or wrong however, in my purely personal opinion, extreme right and left politics descend into bigotry and elitism and I not only would have no part in them but would oppose them in any way I could.

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Call me an old cynic however had 4 million votes resulted in the 65 members of parliament that they deserved, maybe the “ lurch to the right “ resulting from the disillusionment resulting in genuine activists leaving resulting in a hard core lunatic fringe remaining. Then maybe we wouldn’t be worrying about lurching and opposing  anyone. 

To be frank if we had the 5 million people north of the border represented by proportionately the same number of parliamentarians as represents the 56 million living south of the border this discussion wouldn’t be taking place. 

In such a world there would not be a hope in hades of an alternative to the blue rinse brigade and the youf of today would be even more disillusioned than they are now ( I know I have three of em) 

I don’t  have an answer other than to respect the opportunity for people to disagree. It seems we like to oppose views  in any way we can when we don’t like what they say when we should be supporting their right to speak, no matter how abhorrent and disgusting their views may be and opposing them with argument rather than labels. Shining the light of publicity on extreme views is usually sufficient and the resulting ridicule enough to let the movement wither on the vine so to speak. 

Remember when one doesn’t do this, one day, “they” come for you ! 

That is what democracy is about. 

M

 

Rant over 

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"

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Well said my friend.... well said 

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4 minutes ago, ZimbiIV said:

I still vote for Guy Fawkes.

paul

the only man to enter the building with an honest intention

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Naw too much a religious zealot for me but good intentions lol.

 

M

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2 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

I was always fiercely against proportional representation, but that changed a few years back when UKIP polled nearly 4,000,000 votes, yet only got 1 seat.

I think it is very commendable that you were able to change your opinion in such manner. I don't think that is too common in British politics where most of the electorate have very entrenched views. I agree with you entirely, as I suggested in my earlier post that was a huge percentage of the UK electorate who were not heard, whilst largely nationalist parties have much greater voice from smaller support. I don't mind saying that I grew up a young Liberal. I was a teenager in the years of David Steel's leadership and whilst the two main parties seemed intent on spitting venom and vitriol at each other for the sheer sake of it, in Steel there was a reserved, moderate character who would not engage in the petty squabbles of Foot and Mouth, sorry, I mean Thatcher! As a young Liberal I was in the hall in Llandudno in 1981 when David gave his famous "Get ready for government speech". Of course that was quite likely at the time but the Falklands War came along and as Sir Humphrey Appleby very astutely commented, their is nothing like winning a war to restore faith in a failing government. In contrast the Lib/SDP alliance was torn assunder when David Owen took over the leadership of the SDP with policies that were, to quote that phrase from Evita, "slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun".

The one thing that Liberalism of my younger years left me with was a strong support for proportional representation but it has to be the right sort of proportional representation. There are many different kinds each suited to different political systems. Dodgy Dave (sorry I could not think of anything better to satirise Mr Cameron, and didn't want to show any political bias by leaving him "unmolested", hence I have shamelessly plagiarised Dennis Skinner's work here) was very clever in agreeing a referendum on PR but then ensuring a form of PR which was so unfeasible that not even it's staunchest supporter could vote for it was put forward. 

I still hope that one day we will see PR in place in the British Electoral system, but the only form it would work in my opinion would be mixed member voting, whereby a certain number of elected members are returned by the constituancies in the same was that happens now, but an additional number of MP's are returned under a proportional system. This would ensure that the UKIP vote of 2015 would have received a proper voice in Parliament. Don't get me wrong, I don't support UKIP and have never voted for them. Whilst I agree with some of their policies I disagree strongly with others. But the fact remains that 3.88m people voted for them, and were not heard. 

So where does this all tie in the the OP, and with the Broads Authority (and a great many other similar kwangos for that matter). Such a PR system as MM would end the monopolies of the biggest parties. They would still have the largest representaion, as they rightly should, but they would have to work together to create policy and in doing so they become more answerable to the electorate.

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Why this talk of democracy on the Broads? To much complacency by Authority members perhaps? The Authority has an emasculated, kowtowing chairman and an overreaching CEO, don't suppose there could be much argument about that. Just my opinion of course but this call for elections is relatively recent and clearly born out of frustration and increasing anger along the river banks. For this the Authority's higher echelons only have themselves to blame. We shouldn't need elections, but what other tool is there for dissatisfied stakeholders?  The present BA hierarchy has a patently deaf ear and a cavalier manner when it comes to us, the much maligned  and largely ignored 'little people'. Personally I regret the growingly obvious need for elections but how else can we have any sort of input and control over the future well being of OUR Broads? Didn't used to be like this in the days of Aitkin Clark, the previous Authority CEO! Roll on democracy, there has to be a way.

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A couple of things occur to me reading the latest posts, mainly What would the mighty Dr do if he were to win a democratic vote? This would give him a mandate to fulfil  all his wishes, and given his silky tongue, winning would be a realistic possibility given that many would vote in the "better the devil you know" frame of mind.

I am told that although Ukip won a significant number of votes but won only one seat, they have not been listened to. Sorry but I can't go along with that. We have had a referendum. The very thing Ukip wanted. the whole reason for Ukip's existence (originally). Had Ukip not had so many votes we would not have had that referendum. Ukip has done it's job and has won it's day 

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Perhaps the answer with National Park / Broads CEOs is to engage a system such as with US Presidents, where they need to be "re-elected" every four years and serve no more than 8. The Broads is not the only member of the National Parks family with a contentious CEO.

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1 minute ago, MauriceMynah said:

We have had a referendum.

The referendum was not down to being listened to, in fact very much the opposite. David Cameron only inserted a referendum promise in to his 2015 manifesto to counter their growing popularity and attempt to win back votes from them in order to secure the majority he didn't get in 2010. He only did so believeing that there was no way the UK electorate would vote leave. It was another in a long line of political gambles that marked his career. 

This one backfired on him, spectacularly, But it was not in any way listeneing, it was attempting to silence them.

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1 hour ago, MauriceMynah said:

A couple of things occur to me reading the latest posts, mainly What would the mighty Dr do if he were to win a democratic vote? This would give him a mandate to fulfil  all his wishes, and given his silky tongue, winning would be a realistic possibility given that many would vote in the "better the devil you know" frame of mind.

 

Hi John, Guess what?........................... 

I`m NOT going to agree with you on this (well i have done so 3 times recently, and twice in one day earlier this week lol)

Regarding the attitude "better the devil you know", i`m sure you remember Margret Thatcher and Tony Blair, they won huge majorities, but lost them in later elections, as people got fed up with them, result, a leadership change. 

I also agree with the point made earlier regarding time limits on terms of office. Also, as well as central government, we also have LOCAL government which is also elected. So an elected authority, where absolutely ANYBODY (within the Broads stakeholder system) can stand for election can only be a good thing. If the person in office knows something is going to go against the requirements of the electorate, and possibly the law, they will always be fearful of losing out at the next elections.

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In fairness if I remember correctly neither Blair nor Thatcher ever lost a general election, Blair handed over to Gordon Brown, who then went on to lose. Thatcher resigned as leader of the Conservative party and John Major took over as Prime Minister. However, I don't see this as a "devil you know" situation

The problem of absolutely anybody being able to stand for election for Packman's job cannot work. Even if you limited it to stakeholders. How well do you think the owner of "Water Cuckoo" would do? How much would you need to know about him, as well as everyone else standing, to be able to make an "informed choice"? 

There is a great difference between Council and general elections, mainly that in local elections people tend to vote for people whereas in general elections people tend to vote for a political party.

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