‘Coz We Can’t Win Otherwise

First past the post is a deeply flawed electoral system. However, that is not an argument for proportional representation.

Why it’s time for Labour to back proportional representation

Labour is so toxic, it is unelectable. PR is the only way they would get a whiff of power, which is why Burnham is backing it. Sure FPTP is bad. Really bad. It creates safe seats, where the incumbent merely needs to turn up with the correct colour rosette to win. It means that opponents effectively waste their vote in such locations. However, PR is not the solution to this as it effectively gives small parties an unreasonable amount of influence.

Under FPTP a lot of people don’t get what they want. Under PR, once the horse trading has been done to form a government, no one gets what they want. Unless someone can come up with a better system than both of these, I’ll stick with FPTP as it is the less worse system. Burnham is being cynical here. He was part of a Labour government that did nothing about this while in power because the current system suited them. Now that they are in perpetual opposition, suddenly he wants a change. Well fuck off.


  1. “safe seats, where the incumbent merely needs to turn up with the correct colour rosette to win” I don’t see what liebour have to complain about: the system served them well for all the years they traded on Keir Hardie and co’s achievements. These being the years during which they pretended to be affiliated with workers while so many of their cronies worked to sell those same workers out to the soviets..

  2. Maybe a combination of FPTP for parliament, and proportional for a revamped house of “lords”.

    Most important however in my opinion is the introduction of term limits for any elected position. Two times and go do something else. Maybe with a hiatus of at least 2 terms to come back.

    The current system means we have ended up with professional politicians who don’t care about anything but their job and how to keep the gravy train going.

    • Term limits, yes, absolutely. A return after a hiatus, no. Two terms, that’s your lot. Now go out and get a proper job and don’t come back.

    • I’ve always favoured secret ballots in Parliament myself. If the idea is good enough for the rest of us – preventing abuses such as wealthy candidates literally buying their seats – it ought to be just as good for them when they get there, right? Oddly enough, no political party anywhere has ever favoured this, or to the best of my knowledge even suggested it.

      • Not a good idea.
        If MPs’ votes in Parliament are not public, therefore open to view by their constituents the constituents cannot make an informed choice about the performance when an electiuon comes.

  3. With term limits you would have a PM who, at best, has been in parliament for 5 years. Cabinets would have members with no political experience at all every time the government changed.

    I wouldn’t want a country ruled entirely by newbies with “good ideas” they would never have to pay for.

    That is why no country has short term limits, except at the top.

    What would actually happen is that the country would be run by experienced advisors and civil servants who were *unelected*. That is, frankly, far worse.

    • What would actually happen is that the country would be run by experienced advisors and civil servants who were *unelected*. That is, frankly, far worse.

      Kind of like the current system then…

  4. Here in New Zealand we have a form of PR called MMP.After 6 years here I have still not worked out how it works,but I do know that it gives small parties a chance if they get more than 5% of the total vote.We also have list MPs who have not stood in any constituency for election but are on a party list and are given seats in proportion to the total party votes. The result is a real dog’s breakfast and no one gets the government they wanted.

  5. Does any of it matter any more when the west is actually ruled and owned by the Blofelds of Spectre, sorry the WEF, and assorted club members including those 3 investment firms that own almost everything, check out many leaders and shakers of western countries were young WEF disciples.

    Our democracy is a sham and arguably has been since around 1997, since when you couldn’t get a fag paper between the policies of or the 2.5 teams members themselves, all doing the bidding of the worlds owners.

    The present electoral system is guaranteed to return any of the 2.5 present identiparties to power, seeing as the only difference between them is the rosette colours of the clones nothing will ever change, and soon enough it will be too late anyway.

    Immigration alone, legal and otherwise, all part of the plan and supported by the 2.5 parties, will guarantee this country will change irreversibly in a shorter time than most think.

    • @Judd,

      This is the grim reality, and it is actually so stark that it takes a quite wilful obtuseness not to see it.

      Regarding the fairness or otherwise of FPTP vs PR or anything else, this is in the context of political parties, not individual voters (I.e. their expectations). Given the above though, this might be irrelevant, but it is a useful tool of diversion for globohomo. Rather like multiple brands of biscuits, that might taste a bit different in different packages but which are all made by the same big company.

      Whatever the faults of FPTP, it has the virtue of simplicity and it does allow for the possibility of a non-aligned “outsider” to gain a seat in parliament.

      Not sure how this would properly work in any alternate (I.e. I’m sure it could be designed to remove the possibility)

  6. It takes a spectacularly clueless opposition to be unelectable when the sitting government is as universally awful as this one. Also you are right, Labour had no interest in PR until they became such a minority party and suddenly had a need for it. It was always the Lib Dems who wanted it and for just the same reason.

    • When the LibDems finally had a crack at power, they gave us a first hand example of how it will work. No one was happy with the result and they were annihilated at the next election for it.

  7. Remember the episode of Auf Wiedersehen Pet where the builders voted on the colour that they were going to paint the hut?
    They had a first choice and a second choice. Each of them voted for a different first choice colour but they all put yellow second as a wasted vote. Oz went to the stores and came back with a load of tins of yellow paint after he counted the ballot. Barry said “who voted for yellow?”. Oz replied “no-one did”.

  8. I agree with LR that FPTP is the least bad system. The difficulty in defending it is that its faults are more glaringly obvious than those of PR which superficially appears fairer. In fact it guarantees that nobody knows what they are voting for or what policies will emerge from the horse trading that inevitably follows an election.

    Well, that’s what I think in principle, but our UK parties are now so similar and so feckless and inept that I’m not sure it matters anymore.

  9. I like choice, because of choice I was able to get the internet a few years ago within days – BT told me it would be months.
    PR gives us more choice because it would be easier to create new parties and this is a good thing.

    • As LR says, plus “elected” representive is often a name on a list, not an actual candidate

      • Back in the bad old days, I was a member of the Labour Party. We had a pretty good MEP. Local man, everyone liked him. At the next round of selection, the party switched to a list system. Locally we voted for our man but got someone else parachuted in due to the list system. It changed my mind on a number of issues, this one included.

      • Thanks for admission. Similar to Hitchens, Daley, Phillips etc then

        I’ve always been a Unionist, then Conservative & Unionist

        I still remember as a child (8-10 yo) B&W BBC Nationwide talking about BL, BR, B.Steel etc strikes and losses and concluding, with no parental input, this was insane

        • I don’t think that I’m particularly unusual in changing my mind. Also, I was always opposed to extremism, so applauded Neil Kinnock’s attempt to draw Labour back to the more reasonable centre left rather than the far left where it was going and where it now is.

        • Difference post Kinnock is Labour now hide their far left stance as do media

          Why? Because Trotsky Blair proved it worked and allowed him to politicise entire public sector, charities, media an regulators

          At least Corbyn & Foot were honest on their position

          Kinnock was a grifter, Blair a grifter & traitor

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