Party Politics...

findlay234

Junior member
23 2
Firstly this may be in the wrong section but I thought as it is in some way connected to the state of the markets I thought Id put it in here.



What I would like to debate is the need for party politics, id like it to be an open debate with all sides discussed. I don’t have any experience in politics other than the news Ive read.

I look at the UK system and think how we might be better suited to a non party organised system. Where you vote for your MP who will then represent you in parliament. At the moment we have the fate of the nation to be decided by around 100 marginal seats out of a total of around 600. This means that for the vast majority of us in this country it doesn’t really matter who you vote for unless something remarkable were to happen.

As I see it:
Advantages to non-party politics:
- You vote for who you want to represent YOU. I do not know who my local MP is. And at the moment it doesn’t matter. It would take a very bad local MP for people to change party alliances based on that MP. People change party alliances based on the cabinet and shadow cabinet and what the party as a whole is doing. Therefore it doesn’t really matter who actually runs for you, all you hope is that the party you support don’t put an idiot in your area, and if it’s a safe seat that’s likely to happen IMO.
- Honest voting in the house of commons. We currently have things like being absent from vote and also party inline voting which in my mind is TOTAL B@[[@KS. MPs should vote according to whats best for the nation and whats best for their constituents.
Advantages to party politics:
- There is a party policy that has an effect (I disagree with this slighty because we now don’t really have party policies any more maybe 40 years ago you could vote in a party that would spend and tax and then you could vote in a party that would limit spending and tax less and there would be a balance over the years but at the moment we don’t seem to have anyone setting policy anymore. The main parties are all similar and policies seem to be created on public reaction rather than for the good of the nation)

There are likely others but I cant think of them and must get some work done…

I would say that a system designed like the American one but without party politics would be better. A house of commons that makes voting decisions based on whats best for constituencies and a higher house that votes on whats best for the nation as a whole (ie UK PLC)
 

montmorencyt2w

Senior member
2,620 294
I tend to agree with the sentiment because I think the system of party politics has become corrupt and essentially undemocratic - anti-democratic almost. It is a sham democracy.

All this "hand the power to the people" baloney - that's truly the last thing that any of them wants.

Absolutely the worst aspect of party politics to my mind is the whip system, where votes are forced through on the whip. If every vote were treated as a free vote, and decided on its merits, we might end up with better quality legislation (and less of it, almost certainly a good thing). For all its faults, the House of Lords is actually a better chamber because there are more independent-minded members (crossbenchers or people who are not slaves to the party - they no longer need to be).

It will be a long time unfortunately before we ever get rid of the whip system in the Commons, but it would be great if we could make a start with a completely reformed "Lords" ("Senate" or whatever it might be called - personally I'd prefer us not to copy from the Americans....yes I know the Romans had a Senate as well :) ).

The reformed Lords should be all elected, but not on party lines. It should be a chamber of all-independent members.

The other important issue is party funding, which at present is another aspect of the corruption of modern politics. We are in great danger of bringing into being a new system of state funding of political parties - it is already there to some extent, but the funding scandals of the past have led to calls for parties to be completely state-funded (or if not completely, then substantially). I think this would be a disaster, because it would entrench the existing parties probably for ever, and make it extremely difficult (even more difficult) for minority parties to get anywhere. Some people would think, fine that will keep out extremists like the BNP, but it will also keep out genuinely democratic new movements with new, positive ideas (as the present system does to some extent).

I would ban all corporate and trade union funding. Contributions to political parties could only be made by individuals and limited, say, to some small fraction of the income of someone on minimum wage, per year. Parties could raise further funds with traditional events like jumble sales and bazaars, but with no corporate involvement - no "sponsorship". They would be forced to try to build mass membership again (both Labour and Tory membership numbers are pretty abyssmal I believe ... neither is a mass party in the true sense any more).

This would immediately shift the balance in favour of small parties - they'd all be on an equal footing?


What do the parties actually need all this funding for in any case?
It's not for our benefit, you can bet.
 
B

Black Swan

0 0
We have missed a massive opportunity to revolutionise the political landscape by way of velvet revolution. The MPs scandal served up a once in 400 year chance to re-write the script. Sadly we just don't have it in us as a society to revolt, the reasons are far and wide; debt slavery being the most prevalent and wicked...

There's Facebook campaigns to stop Simon Cowell's last (forgotten) protege in becoming the Xmas number one, but no such campaign to encite individuals in each borough to gently remove political parties and replace them with independents who could then completely re-draw the rules by which we're all governed. But sadly some of those independents look like cheap opportunists; ours has a full page ad in the local paper promising the earth right next another full page ad with the new branding of his firm of solicitors...he is a Blair style marketing clone in the making...

We're also collectively far too worried about what we'd potentially lose as opposed to what we'd gain from taking the risk to overturn; think what'd happen to house prices :rolleyes: That combined with general apathy has disengaged huge swathes of the electorate which is why only an estimated 6mil will tune in for the debate tonight and I'd suggest a record low turn out in the election - 50% cannot be ruled out. With 8 mil working for the state and another 15mil relying on benefits it's no wonder that Mandy and Gordo are bullish, they know and are planning for a hung Parliament, at the last minute they'll play the benefits and working for the state cards.

Look at the key debating agenda deliberately avoided thus far; immigration, law and order, the economy, unemployment...not one of the 3 5hit-houses has mentioned the boys in Afghan and Iraq being sacrificed for US imperialism...:(

Me, I'm actually past giving a 5hit, we are powerless, our Parliament is simply a squawk box in relation to the EU, if I was to vote it'd be for UKIP, fook it I won't vote until Simon Cowell takes it over and makes the excitement last over a few cold winter months, at that stage I'll know it's finally relegated to the right level of importance with the rest of the UK populus...
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,581 920
Without party politics you would never get any agreement on doing anything. Where you have weak majorities or hung parliaments then it becomes almost impossible to see policies through. Personally I would rather see a strong winner from either Labour or Tory than any form of hung parliament. If we do get a hung parliament then get ready for inflation to soar as the GBP collapses against all currencies and as we import almost everything costs everywhere will sky rocket.

Why would this happen ? Because there would be no confidence in the direction of the economy from international trading partners. It would not surprise me to see the GBP be at parity with the USD in these circumstances.

Strong government is needed and whether you agree with the policies or not at least there is conviction to see them through when there is a clear majority.


Paul
 

maiden22

Established member
675 91
I largely agree with most of what Findlay, MM and BS have written.

One area I would seriously disagree MM is an elected Lords. I can see why you would want this and agree that the current farrago is a disgrace, but I actually think that an all-elected upper house would be worse. Might be an interesting subject for a debate if you fancy it.

As for parliamentary reform, all I would need is two weeks and the ability to sign death warrants with a rubber stamp.
 

findlay234

Junior member
23 2
But on hung parliaments.... where labour and tory had 90%+ of the vote they now get more like 75-80%. the more this slide continues the more likely hung parliaments are going to happen in the future. With a completely revised system there is more allowance for the other parties. Hence thinking that people shouldnt vote for what their party wants but what is best for their constituents.

I like the idea of an elected lords, where their voting would take in the (senator style) national view as opposed to specific constituent areas.

I also believe that a cabinet and PM would have to be somehow voted in as well. At the moment it happens as a matter of cause if one party gets more seats their leader becomes PM... that doesnt seems totally right to me... of course going down the american route and having seperate presidential elections may not be the best route either but something should change.... how can a minister sacked from one cabinet position suddenly become minister for another area.... corruption is the word.

Thanks all
 

montmorencyt2w

Senior member
2,620 294
I largely agree with most of what Findlay, MM and BS have written.

One area I would seriously disagree MM is an elected Lords. I can see why you would want this and agree that the current farrago is a disgrace, but I actually think that an all-elected upper house would be worse. Might be an interesting subject for a debate if you fancy it.

As for parliamentary reform, all I would need is two weeks and the ability to sign death warrants with a rubber stamp.
The usual argument against an elected 2nd chamber is that it would be a mirror image of the Commons, but there is no reason for this to happen, especially if it is not elected on party lines. Even if it were you could arrange for staggered elections or election by thirds, as in some local authority areas. I suspect that even the Tories and Labour will be forced to accept PR for an elected 2nd chamber, even if it's only partly elected.

Strong government? We've had enough of that - see where it led to. We don't have the checks and balances that even the US has on its leader. A British Prime Minister with a large majority is a virtual dictator. Even his own party can do little to control him or her, let alone the opposition. Cameron will be just as much a dictator as Brown and Blair (and Maggie) were, for all his talk of "power to the people".
 

Hilarymannah

Well-known member
467 52
I think the political system we have is way out of date!
I like the technocratic ideology, it makes far more sense,..
IMO, that's the system that is coming to fruition, hence the goings on around the planet.
We're emerging into a new system,.A New World Order! : )
 

maiden22

Established member
675 91
The usual argument against an elected 2nd chamber is that it would be a mirror image of the Commons, but there is no reason for this to happen, especially if it is not elected on party lines. Even if it were you could arrange for staggered elections or election by thirds, as in some local authority areas. I suspect that even the Tories and Labour will be forced to accept PR for an elected 2nd chamber, even if it's only partly elected.

Strong government? We've had enough of that - see where it led to. We don't have the checks and balances that even the US has on its leader. A British Prime Minister with a large majority is a virtual dictator. Even his own party can do little to control him or her, let alone the opposition. Cameron will be just as much a dictator as Brown and Blair (and Maggie) were, for all his talk of "power to the people".
I think that the problem is that however it is structured it is likely to end up split along party lines, particuarly given the tribal nature of the electorate.

Then there is the nature of politics these days - it is a "profession" (ugh) for professional politicians. Thus if the Lords have to campaign to get elected (which would be difficult in opposition to the main parties) we would likely just end up with more professional politicians. Now, we do need more of these - but rotting in the Tower, not taking up space in the House.

I think it is likely that you would actually get fewer independents, fewer people of distinction, in fact fewer people who had done anything outside of politics or the usual nurseries for politics.

Then there is the problem of dominance. The Commons takes precedence because it is democratically elected (I know, it's difficult to read that with a straight face, but you know what I mean). If the Lords were elected, why should one take precednce over the other? And if we had such a situation we could face total deadlock, even over something such as the Budget.

The "reform" thus far was a childish, spiteful and wanton act of constitutional vandalism - imagine making a constitutional change without having the foggiest idea of what you would do afterwards!

I have no particular love for the old system, except for the fact that it worked rather well (and also that it it was an old-fashioned anomaly, but that's by the by).

The trouble is our system, which did work very well, depended upon honourable people who would abide by the spirit of our constitutional arrangements. These are long departed.
 

findlay234

Junior member
23 2
Good point maiden,

here at lunch we were discussing this point. What about a rule whereby you can only enter politics after a certain age. 40?? therefore ensuring that youve at least spent some time working for others or unemployed and at least had a chance to experience real life...

We also have ministers with no real financial background running the economic policy of a nation. surely someone with experience (no bankers please) would be better. A CFO of a top company would be able to grip it a bit better?? Then again some would argue that having a leader without preconceived ideas of economy might be a good thing, but in my mind they would be more susceptible to funny ideas and persuasion.
 

maiden22

Established member
675 91
Good point maiden,

here at lunch we were discussing this point. What about a rule whereby you can only enter politics after a certain age. 40?? therefore ensuring that youve at least spent some time working for others or unemployed and at least had a chance to experience real life...

We also have ministers with no real financial background running the economic policy of a nation. surely someone with experience (no bankers please) would be better. A CFO of a top company would be able to grip it a bit better?? Then again some would argue that having a leader without preconceived ideas of economy might be a good thing, but in my mind they would be more susceptible to funny ideas and persuasion.
I think that your idea is very sensible, although I hate the fact that I've come to the point where I think such things are necessary. There are obvious negatives and difficulties, but overall I think that it would be preferable to the current situation where you mostly get has-beens, brown-nosers, no-hopes and people who've given the party a lot of money.

The second point is equally true in my opinion. Defence ministers with no experience, whiling away a few months until they get promoted to a better job, chancellors with no experience who you wouldn't trust to run a tombola, health secretaries who last on average about 18 months, again with no experience of running any enterprise at all, let alone a behemoth employing 1.3 million people.

A truly farcical situation.
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,581 920
A British Prime Minister with a large majority is a virtual dictator
The UK system may have its faults but it is institutionally set up to prevent exactly this sort of thing happening. It is one of the reasons why we have the House of Lords and changing this to an elected upper house would increase the chance of a dictatorship becoming a reality in my view.


Paul
 
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maiden22

Established member
675 91
That is correct since 1911 (Parliament Act), which stemmed largely from the Lords rejecting Lloyd George's budget a couple of years previously.
 

findlay234

Junior member
23 2
As far as I know they can only delay.



Maiden you mention the NHS and how many people work for it, I heard a statistic that it was the third largest employer in the world. behind the chinese army and the indian rail network.
 
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