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Democracy.

Male
A_man_called_CHIOG  Male  South East London 7-Nov-2019 10:53 Message #4761747
How do you define democracy? How does it unfold in the U.K.?

It was Brexit which has made the usage of this word so prevalent lately but please please do not associate with Brexit on this post as we have heard it all on this subject.

Are we a democratic country?
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Nov-2019 10:57 Message #4761751
We have a form of parliamentary democracy, we elect representatives rather than delegates which is something many don't understand the difference between. I think we'd have better/more democracy if we ditched the FPTP system and had PR instead.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 7-Nov-2019 17:16 Message #4761789
Agree with 'Hen about PR
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire 7-Nov-2019 17:30 Message #4761793
Agree re PR
Female
nellieredshoes  Female  West Yorkshire 7-Nov-2019 20:01 Message #4761810
Totally agree, henny. We might then end up with more consensual politics.
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 7-Nov-2019 20:43 Message #4761814
To be pedantic about this I would say we do NOT have a democracy in it's fullest sense.

Democracy by definition is 'government by the people'. Well we all know that is impractical as all decisions would have to be submitted to the electorate by a referendum or similar instrument. Instead it is understood that we elect representatives to act on our behalf.

We have the 'first past the post' counting scheme which is never going to be democratic in a multi-party society. When it was first introduced there were no female voters and elections were done by a show of hands at a voters meeting, most of the voters were men of some wealth or social standing. Women and the majority of the male working class were excluded absolutely thus disenfranchising the greater part of the population.

Another consideration is the complete lack of any accountability, potential representatives can offer the earth and there is no system to ensure their election policies are valid or achievable or ever delivered.

Lastly the 'representatives' do not, or rarely ever, actually represent the desires or intentions of their electorate. They are merely used as fodder by their party to fill the lobbies at important voting sessions, personal choice is swept aside for the 'greater' good of the party to which they subscribe.

SQL
Male
AQuietLife  Male  North Yorkshire 7-Nov-2019 22:36 Message #4761827
When “democracy” is quoted in an argument it is usually meaningless and nothing to do with democracy at all.
If we had an absolute democracy we would need every person in the country to vote on every single policy and decision which would be impossible. What we have in the U.K. is as close to a democracy as possible in most instances but I’m another advocate of Proportional Representation.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 8-Nov-2019 07:46 Message #4761842
But which form of Proportional Representation?


With or without PR what I wrote below and its linked videos have amazing implications for how one counts votes for more than 2 options. e.g. In one reasonable method of counting votes, "making an option more popular (e.g. adding money to chocolate ice cream) actually makes it less popular!". Please watch the linked videos!
A few weeks ago I sent my maths teacher an email including the following:-

Thank you for considering talking about election paradoxes in a future Advanced Maths session. This is especially important if we soon have a General Election in which more than 2 parties are prominent, and/or a referendum if there are more than 2 options, (e.g. (a) Leave with Boris’s/Theresa’s proposal, (b) Leave with no deal, and (c) Remain). To try to be fair to Leave voters without splitting their vote, everybody should be able to vote for more than one option (whether by crosses or numbers indicating preference), and it should be decided by counting the crosses for each option or having a transferable vote system. Arrow’s Theorem and related theorems indicate that no system is fair in all circumstances, so which is the fairest?
..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoAnYQZrNrQ “Voting Systems and the Condorcet Paradox | Infinite Series” says that Plurality”, “Two-Round Runoff”, “Instant Runoff” and “Borda Count” systems all give different winners, and none meet the Condorcet criterion.

"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhVR7gFMKNg* “Arrow's Impossibility Theorem | Infinite Series” is the sequel to (a). ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJag3vuG834
“Voting Paradoxes | Exploratorium” including (from 7 minutes 20 seconds) making an option more popular (e.g. adding money to chocolate ice cream) actually makes it less popular! (“Failure of monotonicity”.)
Male
Pboro Trevor  Male  Cambridgeshire 8-Nov-2019 08:21 Message #4761843
Proportional representation has been proven to be failure as it leads to lack of control, meaning frequent elections as no party can get their laws through.

Italy is a prime example - elections at least annually if not more frequent.

Proportional representation, unfortunately leads to a form of anarchy

Trevor
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 8-Nov-2019 10:41 Message #4761854
I think it would be fairer to say that Ithe Italian political system dosen't work rather than PR dosen't work. PR usually leads to coalition governments, proper coalitions not the debacle of Nick Clegg propping up the Tories whilst the Tories ran roughshod over them. I think more people would get more of what they want under a PR system and as for more frequent elections, we've had 3 in what 4 years? And a badly run and devisive referenum and you say PR is a form of anarchy, well bring on the anarchy, it works well enough in most other countries.
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 8-Nov-2019 20:12 Message #4761915
Pboro Trevor - 8-Nov-2019 08:21

Proportional representation has been proven to be failure as it leads to lack of control, meaning frequent elections as no party can get their laws through.
Italy is a prime example - elections at least annually if not more frequent.
Proportional representation, unfortunately leads to a form of anarchy


I could not disagree more, calling a better form of electoral representation 'anarchy' just because you don't like the idea that smaller parties would get a better proportion of the seats in any assembly.

I have seen you quote this before and when I put the example of Germany before you I get no response.

Let me put some more data before you:
Elections in 2015, 2017, 2019 (and the next one will be?) That's right this time it's the UK which uses the less democratic 'First Past The Post' system that you deem to be superior. Any justification?

SQL


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