Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: 4 July Bloomberg news on Britain IRV referendum plans

Expand Messages
  • WarrenS
    ... --well, I doubt it. I think the libdems will get little benefit from the FPTP-- IRV switch and most of it will end up for Labour. But I am just basing
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 6, 2010
      > The most benefit will go to the Lib Dems.

      --well, I doubt it. I think the libdems will get little benefit from the FPTP-->IRV switch and most of it will end up for Labour. But I am just basing this speculation on general past historical experience, not on any polls in Britain. I guess (?) the libdems and labour parties have secret IRV-poll data that makes them think this?

      Based on what I know (which hopefully is less than what they know) my speculation is, the whole libdem theory is wrong, and the labour
      perception the libdem theory is right, also is wrong. They're all prognosticating wrong. They're all massively deluded, especially medium-long term. But as I say, I have no British poll data
      whatever so this is pure armchair theorizing.

      Anybody have any actual IRV poll data for Britain?
    • jimrtex4192
      ... This was all part of the Queen s Speech. The Conservative manifesto had called for reducing the size of the Commons and making the seats more equal in
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 6, 2010
        --- In RangeVoting@yahoogroups.com, "WarrenS" <wds@...> wrote:
        >
        > Below story claims there will be an IRV referendum since Cameron+Tories and Clegg+LibDems will both vote to have it. Which seems odd because IRV should advantage their common rival Labour.
        >
        > Even more incredibly: "While Labour proposed the idea of [IRV] before the May 6 general election, some of [their] lawmakers now oppose [it] because the Conservatives also plan to make all electoral districts the same size" (!!!) and as part of the IRV plan,
        > parliament will be reduced from 650 to 600 seats, which is about the first time I ever heard of a REDUCTION. Not that I'm opposed to it -- it is just essentially impossible to get politicians to eliminate their own jobs.

        This was all part of the Queen's Speech. The Conservative manifesto had called for reducing the size of the Commons and making the seats more equal in population. Presumably this will involve more constituencies crossing county boundaries. In England, constituencies are apportioned among counties. Since counties typically have population equivalent to 5-ish constituencies, rounding tends to produce fairly large variation between constituency populations. There are also provisions that say existing constituencies should be preserved, which tends to mean areas that are declining in population are overrepresented, and those increasing in population are underrepresented.

        Since the goal is minimizing electorate deviation from a target electorate size, the harmonic mean is used when determining the number of constituencies in a county. But then for the next redistribution, the new target is the arithmetic mean for the entire country, calculated using the increased number of constituencies. This tends to ratchet the number of constituencies.

        I think reducing the number of constituencies is more of a forcing mechanism. It is large enough to force a radical redistribution, instead of a gradualist approach. And it is also something that can be sold politically (the Commons is about 50% larger than the US House of Representative, while the UK has about 1/5 of the population. The Commons is also large than the parliaments in Germany, France, and Italy. The cost savings is relatively minor, about UKP200,000 per MP, but it sounds good, especially given the expenses scandal, and explaining the details of making constituencies equal is hard, especially when the opposition can come up with populist counter-examples.

        > So I'm really astounded and impressed to see politicians apparently acting in the interests of their country not themselves in at least 2 different ways!! Wow!! I suspect, though, that voting systems other than IRV would benefit Britain more than just switching from FPTP to IRV (although the FPTP-->IRV change probably is an improvement).

        The Lib Dems have always favored STV. The Tories have always favored FPTP. Labour floated the idea of a referendum on AV as a desperate and cynical election ploy by Gordon Brown. In effect, he wanted would-be Lib Dem voters to vote for Labour in the 2010 election, so that in the future they had the possibility of voting for Lib Dem before transferring to Labour. In the past, Labour backbenchers had always opposed any sort of switch from FPTP, and would threaten to push Tony Blair out and replace him with Gordon Brown. When Labour first floated the idea of a referendum on AV last summer, Ken Ritchie, who is the head of the Electoral Reform Society and also a member of the Board of Directors of FairVote, totally ripped the idea because AV is simply not STV. When it was formally proposed this Spring, Ritchie was more favorable - he probably heard from FairVote.

        Lib Dems went along with the AV proposal, because they saw it as a way to eventually get to STV - perhaps by first forcing a coalition government (that is how Scotland got STV for local elections). They ran in May on a manifesto of STV. Labour ran on a manifesto of a referendum on AV. But that has never meant that individual Labour MPs necessarily favored AV.

        The Lib Dems probably like the idea of greater population equality between constituencies - being liberals and also somewhat idealists. They might not be all that favorable to larger constituencies, since that also means larger STV constituencies (Lib Dems would also tend to favor larger rather than smaller magnitude STV constituencies, perhaps 5 to 7 rather than 3 to 4.

        > Clegg Sets May 5 for U.K. Referendum, Risks Coalition
        >
        > July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said a referendum will be held on May 5 on changing the U.K.'s voting system, risking divisions in the governing Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

        "Clegg said" was actually a speech and debate in the Commons. If you go to the Parliament website you can find the debate in the Hansard for July 5, and there is also a video.

        > Clegg said the referendum on whether to adopt a system known as the alternative vote in place of the current first- past-the-post will be held on the same date as local elections and those for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. The government also plans to reduce the number of lawmakers in the House of Commons in London to 600 from 650, Clegg said.

        A single bill will provide for (1) the next election in May 2015; (2) a new redistribution based on a smaller Commons and changes in the rules for the boundary commissions. May 2010 was the first election using new constituency boundaries (except in Scotland), but they were based on 2000 populations; and (3) a referendum on use of AV.

        The 2015 election will be on the new boundaries, regardless whether AV is approved in the referendum.

        The Tories and Lib Dems will be whipped to support the bill, but will be free to support or not support the use of AV. Cameron will probably not be involved in the campaign during the referendum.

        Labour will nonetheless be tempted to turn the referendum on AV into a referendum on Cameron. They will also be confused because of the new redistribution. They will want to campaign against the new boundaries (which will be just in their initial stages at that time), and so may produce some No votes on AV. Labour may also want to punish the Lib Dems for going into coalition with the Tories instead of Labour.

        > "All parties fought the general election on an absolute pledge to move fast to fix our political system, so we must get on and do that without delay," Clegg told lawmakers in Parliament today. "In the event of a vote in favor of AV, the 2015 general election will be held on the new system."
        >
        > Clegg's Liberal Democrat Party has long supported changing the current voting system, where smaller parties struggle to get enough votes in any one place to win a seat. The AV system allows voters to rank candidates in order, with the second preferences of lower-scoring candidates redistributed until someone has the support of 50 percent of electors. The Conservatives under Prime Minister David Cameron fought the last election opposing any change to the voting system.
        >
        > 'Other Things to Do'
        >
        > Cameron will order his party's lawmakers to vote in favor of the referendum, while leaving them free to campaign for a "no" vote in the poll itself.
        >
        > The prime minister's spokesman, Steve Field, said Cameron wouldn't take a large role in the campaign against AV. "He's the prime minister; he's got other things to do," Field told reporters after Clegg's statement. Asked what role other Conservative Cabinet members would play, he said: "I would imagine they would approach it in the same way."
        >
        > The vote also poses risks for Clegg. The May 5 date may work in his favor, as the other elections that day may bolster turnout.
        >
        > It also gives the Liberal Democrat leader a chance to campaign against the Conservatives, allowing him to assert his party's independence and demonstrate to supporters that the Liberal Democrats have not become merely an appendage to Cameron's government.

        Most of the opposition in the debate was because of the date of the election, which coincides with the elections for the Scottish Parliament and the Assembly for Wales. It is hard to say how much of the opposition is real - since it easy to say that Cameron and Clegg disrespected Scotland and Wales by using their election day.

        > 'Risks Are Profound'
        >
        > By contrast, if Clegg doesn't secure a "yes" vote next year, his authority may be undermined and Liberal Democrat supporters may question whether they should continue to support a coalition that hasn't taken any steps toward changing the electoral system, something for which Liberal Democrats have campaigned for decades.

        There is still the matter of how the Lords will be elected, and that is an area where the Tories might allow STV to be introduced. They really don't like party lists, and generally accept the idea of proportionality.

        > "The coalition was born out of its personalities and circumstances, not principles and values, and this vote highlights that," said Mark Wickham-Jones, a professor of politics at Bristol University. "The risks that both Cameron and Clegg face are profound."
        >
        > While Labour proposed the idea of AV before the May 6 general election, some of the party's lawmakers now oppose a referendum because the Conservatives also plan to make all electoral districts the same size -- a measure that will probably reduce the number of Labour representatives.
        >
        > "Labour could take an extremely unprincipled but practical view from opposition," Wickham-Jones said. "And use this issue to rock the coalition."
        >
        > The AV referendum and the equalization of district sizes will be bundled together in a bill to be presented to Parliament this month. A second bill, also scheduled to be published this month, will make it more difficult for prime ministers to call elections when they choose, instead putting them on a five-year timetable. The new law would still allow elections earlier on a two-thirds majority in Parliament or if no one can form a government within 14 days of a vote of no confidence.

        They backed off on their earlier proposal for fixed-length parliaments. If you are going to engineer a no-confidence vote, you can also "fail" to form a new government. And if Parliament can get a 2/3 majority to force new elections, you were in desperate shape anyway.

        > Field said constitutional experts will devise rules for how ministers and officials should behave during such a 14-day period. Earlier this year, Gus O'Donnell, who as Cabinet secretary is head of the civil service, ordered new rules to be drawn up to protect the Queen's constitutional position during coalition negotiations. These rules enabled Gordon Brown to stay on as prime minister for five days after losing the May 6 vote.
        >
        > "It's simply not right that general elections can be called according to a prime minister's whim," Clegg told lawmakers. He also announced plans to allow voters to "recall" their lawmaker if he or she is found guilty of wrongdoing, and increase transparency in lobbying.
      • jimrtex4192
        ... The LibDems probably figure that they are getting squeezed - with voters concerned that if they vote for a Lib Dem candidate, their vote will be wasted.
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 7, 2010
          >-- In RangeVoting@yahoogroups.com, "WarrenS" <wds@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > > The most benefit will go to the Lib Dems.
          >
          > --well, I doubt it. I think the libdems will get little benefit from the FPTP-->IRV switch and most of it will end up for Labour. But I am just basing this speculation on general past historical experience, not on any polls in Britain. I guess (?) the libdems and labour parties have secret IRV-poll data that makes them think this?
          >
          > Based on what I know (which hopefully is less than what they know) my speculation is, the whole libdem theory is wrong, and the labour
          > perception the libdem theory is right, also is wrong. They're all prognosticating wrong. They're all massively deluded, especially medium-long term. But as I say, I have no British poll data
          > whatever so this is pure armchair theorizing.
          >
          > Anybody have any actual IRV poll data for Britain?

          The LibDems probably figure that they are getting squeezed - with voters concerned that if they vote for a Lib Dem candidate, their vote will be wasted. And if more persons voted their true beliefs, then they would have a more credible performance which would attract additional support. But they are really after STV.

          Labour supported a *referendum* on AV as cynical short-term ploy.
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.