Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill

electoral reform

Mark writes:

Bad things about the general election result:

  • lots of people voted UKIP
  • we are going to give ourselves the opportunity to leave the EU
  • the Greens didn’t make a great leap forward
  • none of the parties, except Caroline Lucas, looks as though they intend to take the environment or wildlife very seriously


Good things about the general election result:

  • UKIP has only one seat
  • the British people won’t vote to leave the EU
  • Caroline Lucas has an increased majority and is still an MP
  • although having a majority, the government has a tiny majority – it may be difficult to do too many bad things
  • I made several hundred quid betting on the result – the stand out offer was for Cameron to be Prime Minister after the general election at slight odds against – I should have piled on! And a 25% return on investment was ‘Conservatives to have the largest number of seats’ – considerably better than my ISA.




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22 Replies to “Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill”

  1. Yes, let's all promote the voting reform petition:

  2. I am not sure about this one . Stats are stats and to apply them like this can be a bit odd. To gat PR that works requires compulsorily voting and I am not sure I would feel represented. It might make it more obvious if we fenced off 34% of the Commons with a no entry sign. That might bring it home.

  3. I understand your concern regarding UKIP but we must respect every one's democratic rights. I think many that vote that way feel disenfranchised from the main parties who lack the integrity once perceived of older statesman, though in reality probably little has changed.l truly believe nobody in their right minds would wish to leave Europe and personally believe many E U directives protect society.

  4. So THAT's what happened - we're the victims of a Chinese betting syndicate. The dodgy character at the polling station with a wad of tenners, the polls being so wrong ... it all becomes clear.

    I shall follow your lead for the EU referendum - it might just dull the pain a little if that goes pear-shaped too.

  5. Good things - there's more. No more Ed Dopey. No more Ed Bouncer. We don't have to endure being talked down to in Mockney with faux glo''al stops by a chump with a fake tan who's never had a proper job. Kipperphobia will fade as a driver of populism. There was no swing to Independent Druidism.

    1. Politicians should be judged on their policies and integrity - not their appearance or mannerisms however irritating they may be.
      With regard to Ed Milliband there is plenty of ammunition on the policy front, but I don't think for one minute that his integrity can be called into question. Better to be a misguided 'chump' that tries to do something, than a naysayer that just sneers from the sidelines I think.

      1. You said it, Ernest - I didn't mention Miliband by name. If someone who aspires to be Prime Minister affects a fake accent, dumbs down his diction and wears fake tan what is the motive? His integrity is certainly called into question. The best that could be said is that he was badly advised - in which case his judgement is poor.

        1. I presume his motivation was to appear 'a man of the people', like many politicians past and present and no worse than pretending to smoke a pipe, or boasting that you used to drink 14 pints a day or that you support Aston Villa (or should that be West Ham) and that you're not called Gideon.

          1. Osborne also does the Mockney schtick and yes they're all at it faking flipping fiddling expenses tax-avoiding perjuring perverting the course of justice driving away from accidents wearing hi-viz pantomime costumes and more egregious crimes and as soon as one disappears another one pops up just like Whack-a-Mole

  6. PR went down like a lead balloon last time, which was one heck of a shame. Wrong system I think people said.
    I think the concern is that a large percentage did not vote. Were they all Tories?
    No, obviously not, and that is the biggest concern - so many people know the system fails them, know that no one shares their views, and do not believe it will make any difference!
    Now look what we have, rag, tag, and poo covered gideon- and they have 5 years to convert the country into their horrendous ideal!

  7. Yes lets all promote change in voting system.
    Only conservationists to vote.

    1. I don't think its a problem for conservationists in particular, Dennis. Scotland gives quite a graphic illustration of the problem. The SNP won 50% of the vote there but gained 95% of the seats. So the other 50% of the voters have to make do with just 5% of the seats. Its hard to see how that is fair whether you want to see an independent Scotland or not. The same problem is manifest across the whole country albeit less graphically. I don't agree with anything UKIP stands for but I can't honestly see why their voters should be nearly unrepresented in Parliament when they gained 12.6% of the vote.

  8. Good News
    Many tens of thousands of voters will be thoroughly pissed off that there vote didn't make one iota of difference and will demand a more equable system for elections. There will be an increase in members of the Electoral Reform Society.

    Bad News
    The main parties won't even look at introducing such a radical change. Business as usual.

    1. Quite, but should that stop grass roots community campaigning for change?

      The next bunch that aren't really interested is the main stream allied media, where are the independent and investigative journalists these days?

      'corrupt' could be mis-interpreted (then again, parliamentary expenses left to politicians to sort out, mmmh) but I know what you mean, antiqiuated and in dire need of reform and as for UKIP whining, maybe but frankly the SNP with 56 on 1.5m votes vs UKIP 4m and 1 MP, something simply does not add up if we are to be 'fair'?

  9. There is only one word that describes the present system and that is 'corrupt'. There may have been a slightly more equitable outcome had the right wing press not presented partisan editorial comment, (and a good sprinkling of falsehood), as fact and had more of the electorate bothered to really think about what was being said instead of blindly following where they were led.

  10. The SNP result seems to have been be the cue for this sudden concern about the electoral system, as evidenced particularly by UKIP's whining. The SNP did not get 4.7% of the votes and 9% of seats. It got 50% of the votes and 95% of seats in its own constituency of Scotland - another country effectively. That's still no argument for 'First Past The Post' (from which the SNP suffered most for decades) but if England finally wakes up to the fact that its 'Mother of Parliaments' is an unreconstructed 17th Century shambles then maybe the whining about the SNP will produce something worthwhile and the UK will get itself a sensible constitution instead of lecturing the rest of the world about democracy.

    1. 'Sudden concern'

      The Liberal Party / Lib Dem's have been advocating PR or more particularly the 'Single Transferable Vote' for decades.

      I note that 5 of 6 SNP MP's supported the Lib Dem amendment for a referendum on SVT instead of AV back in 2010. Would they do the same now?

    2. I don't think it is true to describe it as a sudden concern. Many people have been arguing for change in the electoral system for years. Five years ago it was the Lib-Dems principal demand, going into the coalition that there should be a referendum on electoral change. Unfortunately they played their cards badly (not least in allowing the referendum to take place hot on the heels of the tuition fee debacle so that many voters probably used their vote as a means to punish the Lib-Dems for an entirely unrelated issue) and the result was 'stay as we are'.
      I think the SNP result this time is a good demonstration of the unfairness of the first past the post system but - as you say - in past elections they have been the victim of it and that was just as unfair.

  11. In 40 years of voting, I've voted twice in general elections when it made a difference. Both times involved a boundary change and no - one knew what the result would be. Every other time, in a safe Tory seat, you could put a blue rosette on a baboon and it would get in. (As my MR was once Boris Johnson you can see that it worked.

    1. How about, turn out in any given 'seat' must be 50% and the winner must receive 50% of votes cast? No, that still wouldn't be fair because an MP would be elected on 25% of constituents, with 75% ignored? No, if an areas candidates cannot persuade the voters to turn out and engage in politics then the area does not deserve to be represented in Westminster? Radical and drastic, but something needs to change?

      80% turn out & 50% of that? No, then propose and discuss alternatives ....

      When the boundary changes are brought in, we might see 50 retiring MPs with handsome redundancy payments. When will we see 50% of the unelected house culled? Prime Ministers patronage etc. has no place in todays politics, if they need to raise funds from auctioning peerages then let's have a open transparent system?

      Provocative? The nature of politics, will the dust will settle and everyone go back to their day job observing whilst 'Rome' burns? Rome in this situation being the environment as well as the voice of people over that of the fickle multinational corporates.

  12. Mark you betting on a Conservative victory is like me betting on Everton to lose - just something I could never do on principle...even though I would stand to make a fair bit of money if I did.
    As for PR I was never a fan as FPTP helped to give a decisive result when we had two heavyweights slugging it out (OK with the Liberal party squeezed in the middle...or squeezed out to its Celtic fringe) and decisive results in my view are good for Government. It also supported the sound credence that we weren't voting for a Prime Minister so much as a local person who we chose to be our servant as a Member of Parliament up at Westminster: a status we are losing as the media focus more and more on the presidential style party leaders. I don't have a clue who my PR elected regional MEP is but I sure know who won (Yes, he/she WON because they received more votes than anyone else in their constituency so whether it was a 66% mandate or 33% mandate is academic) locally.

    However the political scenery has changed, perhaps permanently, and it is no longer that heavyweight bout and there is some justifiable grievance out there from not so minority parties who would be even less minority if their supporters and those Undecideds knew that it would be a vote that counts. While I suspect a lot of feeling on here stems from an anti-Tory feeling think on this...a nightmare for the Lib Dems? 8 seats with less than 8% of the vote is nothing to weep about really when the party with 12.6% of the vote only as one MP. Yes a real imbalance needs addressing but FAIRLY - not just motivated in the pain of an unexpected heavy defeat for some.


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