Arguing With Idiots on the Internet

Another in my occasional series. This one is in the comments below this video on Reform and the electoral system. Anyway, I chipped in on the matter of changing the system and why people vote as they do. I didn’t expect it to be controversial. Anyway for your delectation, I present Andi Ward, buffoon extraordinaire.

I tend to agree with the hybrid idea. We’ve discussed it here often enough. FPTP and PR both give adverse outcomes and any system needs to address that.

I’m inclined to agree regarding helpfulness. Usually you just get the standard party line. However, there are MPs who don’t and retaining that link is useful. The biggest single benefit of FPTP is the ability to remove an MP that we don’t like. Remember Neil Hamilton? I refer to him later.

The stuff about the tiny part of the electorate is missing the point – the whole advantage of FPTP is the localised nature of the process. Democracy works best at a local level. If you don’t like your MP, you have the ability to vote against them regardless of political colour. Bear in mind here, that I’ve given examples from personal experience of the downsides of the party list system – a man who wasn’t acceptable in his own area was parachuted in over a local candidate. It was then up to the electorate to decide whether they wanted to keep him. As it transpired, they did. That the party chooses the candidate isn’t an argument against FPTP and one in favour of PR. It’s an argument against the party system. Also note that I repeatedly point out that I am not a fan of FPTP, merely arguing that it isn’t all bad.

This guy isn’t very bright. I’ve already acknowledged this point and he is missing mine by a country mile. If I don’t like an individual – even if I support the party – I can choose to vote against him should I so wish. See Neil Hamilton as mentioned above. Also he counters nothing. He ignores the very real flaws that exist under PR. Simply saying that you have countered something doesn’t make it so.

As I say, not too bright. I am not one of the lucky few. That’s just silly and I have said more than once that I do not support the current system. I didn’t get to vote out Neil Hamilton, for example. Anyway, whether JRM’s views align with mine has no relevance to the point I am making – that the constituency link is worth preserving because it holds individual MPs accountable to their electorate. This guy is all over the place and has poor comprehension skills, but he thinks he is making an argument.

His response?

I have countered it and I haven’t moved onto anything else.

As I say, none too bright. I have already dealt with these points. We know that the party selects candidates. However, the electorate can reject them under the current system. Under a national popular vote system, they are divorced from removing individual MPs. It really is very simple stuff. And I haven’t ignored anything. I’ve responded with reason and logic, but this guy simply cannot comprehend. I feel like I am dealing with a child who keeps asking ‘why?’ when given the relevant answers.

You’d think that would be it. However, despite saying I’d call it there, there is just a little more as the stupidity continued.

This argument is getting dangerously like a child who cannot accept a response so starts playing silly games by simply repeating the same thing over and over. As for the Jeremy Corbyn point – yes, they should. They, after all, are his constituents. That is the one shining example of FPTP and there aren’t many, frankly. Putting it into reverse, I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn, but his constituents clearly do and they have spoken. That is up to them, not me.

Oh my. This is the equivalent of saying ‘and your mother smelled of elderberries’ or ‘boohoo with knobs on.’ He hasn’t presented any counter argument and he simply claims that my facts are wrong. Clearly he prefers his own facts whatever they are. As I said, not very bright, doesn’t understand how an evidence based argument works, cannot reason and cannot present a valid case and certainly is unable to comprehend plain English.


  1. The problems with PR systems can be seen both with the coordinated efforts to keep Wilders out in Holland and in what looks like a French DS stitch up unfolding against Le pen today.

    The best argument for localism is what Tim Worstall terms “Svens Beer Law”

    Local accountability is not just germane to MPs.
    So called devolution under Blair was another fib.
    Example: Scotland prior to devolution had 9 Chief Constables with some element of local accountability, now it has one – wholly controlled by and part of the SNP/ Edinburgh lawyers cabal.
    There is a strong argument that in the days of shire & local town councils being responsible for tax raising & spending and Whitehall having very little say that those who were running local affairs were much more competent.
    My small town population 12 k, 100 years ago had a population of 3 -4 k, yet had the competence to run its education, build a high school, town hall, improve & enlarge the harbour, build a public baths etc etc.
    Now – it’s wah ! The govt must do something.

    • Hey. You are talking about my home town.
      Now the headquarters of “local” government is 80 miles of very poor country track away.
      Do we even have a Coast Guard?
      And the Polis is controlled from over 80 miles away. Probably all on social medja looking for hurty words. Local Bobby? Yer ‘avin’ a laff.
      Hospitals? No local, what English called Cottage Hospitals. Just the same bumpy 80 mile country track. No helicopters. The
      And by the way ‘n’ that, good luck with getting a battery car charging point out in the Scottish sticks in the Saudi Arabia of wind energy.

  2. Richard Tice said today that Reform would consider working with the Green loons on issues such as electoral reform. Well, frankly, I hope that’s all Reform cooperate on with the Greens. We don’t want any of the Greens’ nutty policies, thanks.

  3. I generally would favour FPTP over other systems, but I’m not dogmatic or in any way “ideological” about it.

    You could look at Der Sturmer shit show because of FPTP, French chaos because of PR (or whatever they have).

    But in these two specific cases, what aspects of – for want of a better expression – “national character” enhance or impede the “theoretical” advantages/disadvantages of each system?

    This is what makes such discussions so problematic.

    We’re arguing metaphysics as if it was actual physics is one way of looking at it.

    It’s a damned sight easier to make it worse than better alas!

    • I’m similar. I’d like to see a change that more accurately reflects vote share, but I don’t want to lose the constituency link, nor do I want to see weeks or months of horse trading following each election. The problem with the buffoon I was arguing with here, is that he clearly doesn’t understand what he is either arguing for or against. As an addendum, he came back with a more conciliatory tone so there were a couple more exchanges and it became crystal clear that he doesn’t understand what representative democracy is. Unfortunately, Google has removed all trace of the discussion, so that’s that, unfortunately, because that last bit was interesting, but presumably we broke their ‘community guidelines’ or something. Fuckwits.

  4. Even before the last exchange reading it I guessed he was a Corbynite! They were not happy with someone they saw as a messiah being removed by their local party. I think there are PR systems that are better than others and am aware of the FPTP flaws but this guy seems to dismiss the counter argument by denying it ever existed. You had more patience than I would have!

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