Saturday, March 12, 2011

The nation must support David Cameron on AV, not Nick Clegg

There was a letter in yesterday's Times from the great and the good of our historians. You know the names - Niall Fergusson, David Starkey, Anthony Beevor, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Andrew Roberts, etc., etc. They, more than most, understand how our democracy emerged, what sustains it and how fragile an entity it is. They were unanimous in their view that if we ditch FPTP and adopt AV, we undermine centuries of reform by breaking with the historic one-man-one-vote principle.

The full text of the letter:
Dear Sir,

Our nation’s history is deeply rooted in our parliamentary democracy, a democracy in which, over centuries, men and women have fought for the right to vote.

That long fight for suffrage established the principle of one man or woman, one vote. The principle that each person’s vote is equal, regardless of wealth, gender, race, or creed, is a principle to which generations of reformers have dedicated their lives. It is a principle upon which reform of our parliamentary democracy still stands.

The referendum on 5th May which threatens to introduce a system of ‘Alternative Voting’ – a voting system which will allow MPs to be elected to Parliament even if they do not win the majority of constituents’ first preference votes – also threatens to break this principle.

For the first time since 1928 and the granting of universal suffrage, we face the possibility that one person’s casting ballot will be given greater weight than another. For the first time in centuries, we face the unfair idea that one citizen’s vote might be worth six times that of another. It will be a tragic consequence if those votes belong to supporters of extremist and non-serious parties.

Twice in our past, the nation has rejected any threat to the principle of one citizen, one vote. The last time, in 1931, Winston Churchill stood against the introduction of an Alternative Vote system. As he argued, AV would mean that elections would be determined by “the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates”. He understood that it was simply too great a risk to take.

The cause of reform, so long fought for, cannot afford to have the fundamentally fair and historic principle of majority voting cast aside; nor should we sacrifice the principle which generations of men and women have sought: that each being equal, every member of our society should cast an equal vote.

For these reasons, we urge the British people to vote “No” on May 5th.

Yours faithfully,

Professor David Abulafia
Dr. John Adamson
Professor Antony Beevor
Professor Jeremy Black
Professor Michael Burleigh
Professor John Charmley
Professor Jonathan Clark
Dr Robert Crowcroft
Professor Richard J Evans
David Faber
Professor Niall Ferguson
Orlando Figes
Dr. Amanda Foreman
Dr. John Guy
Robert Lacey
Dr. Sheila Lawlor
Lord Lexden
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Professor Lord Norton of Louth
Dr. Richard Rex
Dr. Andrew Roberts
Professor Richard Shannon
Chris Skidmore MP
Dr David Starkey
Professor Norman Stone
D.R. Thorpe
Alison Weir
Philip Ziegler
Of course, if this reform passes, it is unlikely that the Conservative Party will ever again form a government: we will have perpetual coalition, with the Liberal Democrats forever cast as king-makers. Jonathan Isaby referred to this development as the 'Europeanisation' of British politics. He noted:
The fact is that AV would mean that most general elections would result in hung parliaments, which take power away from voters and deliver it into the hands of politicians, who then proceed to negotiate deals behind closed doors, resulting in a government and a programme for which not a single person voted.
According to LibDem Chris Huhne, this is great, because it makes us so much more European in our politics:
"We are becoming more like every other European democracy. In every other European democracy it is absolutely normal that you have a period after an election result where there is no clear overall majority: you have a period where people attempt to see whether they can reach a common understanding on a programme for government, they come together, the programme for government is signed and sealed... and at the end of the parliament, which is often a fixed term parliament, they part again, they park the achievements which they've made during the period of coalition government and they argue for different visions about the future in the next parliament. And I think that's exactly what's going to happen here."
There is now no greater task before us than to oppose AV at every turn and contend against the 'new style of politics' and perpetual hung parliaments. An eternal Labour-LibDem coalition would be a purgatory beyond imagination.

91 Comments:

Anonymous philip walling said...

As if the earthquake in Japan wasn't bad enough this Saturday morning, you then hit us with this depressing prospect - a perpetual liberal hegemony.

If that happened you would then see trouble from the English. Violent discontent is pretty close to the surface now, but if we thought there was no hope of reprieve what would we have to lose?

12 March 2011 at 09:45  
Blogger Josh VB said...

The problem as I see it is that this "Conservative" led government is no better than the last. Spending is up from this time last year. Cameron supports banning Christians with christian ethics from fostering. Tax rates are going up.

As things stands Britain will be bankrupt whoever is in charge. The AV referendum is simply a vote on how we're going to chose the people who will rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Until politicians recognise the God given limitations to their powers, we will continue to have meddlesome politicians who will ruin this country.

12 March 2011 at 09:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apathy and ignorance will win the day. There will be a ‘yes’ vote for AV. Since the turn out will be so low I wonder if Cameron will ignore the result and call an election based on FPTP? Of course not. His ‘no’ campaign is a pathetic sham. The man is a liberal.

All that will happen is that our rulers will see just how easily the electoral system can be further manipulated. What comes after AV? The one party state? But, wait a minute, that’s what we have now -- the EU puppet Lib/Lab/Con party.

12 March 2011 at 10:02  
Anonymous stedmancinques said...

Purgatory is a place where one can repent, reflect, and, with grace purge oneself of one's past sin. The current coalition.

A permanent Lab-Libdem coalition would not be purgatory.

It would be Hell.

12 March 2011 at 10:04  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

I an see that 1 man 1 vote is a fine principle and as you say centuries of struggle have brought this about, BUT I must say, the UK sure doesn't feel very democratic to me.
Take the reneged upon promises by all for a referendum on Europe, take the unwanted mass immigration and its effects on the lower working classes. Take the disproportionate influence minorities have on political decision making. Take the fact that in every election, local or national, I don't vote for any of the big three but get them anyway. In my constituency Labour is a closed shop and it's pretty pointless voting.

Maybe if fraud in the voting system was stamped out( we all know what community is involved in that and what party encourages it) and voting was compulsory, thing might improve but quite frankly I am past apathy and I am amazed that I still actually vote.

12 March 2011 at 10:08  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Again, the blogmaster here has brought into serious consideration a topic that deserves it.

By the time the repro. from yesterday's Times had appeared onscreen with his commentary, today's print edition had been delivered (and could have been seen online subject to paywall dues) in which there are six letters under the editor's heading "Historians ignore evidence of 'worthless' vote", including a short one from "Ken Binmore, Professor of Economice, University College London" (that is taken to be his real name and him a real person).

While the reasoning in yesterday's letter against AV may not be wholly persuasive, even combined with that of Cranmer's this morning, the style and content of today's six in the Times should be enough to confirm waverers in the feeling that supporting AV is the more dubious of the two alternative propositions upon which the electorate will be invited to cast a single vote one way or the other in May.

12 March 2011 at 10:09  
Anonymous graham wood said...

"According to LibDem Chris Huhne, this is great, because it makes us so much more European in our politics"

Is this the same Chris Huhne who fostered the bright idea of British taxpayers' being compelled to underwrite his AGW and silly windmill theories to the tune of about BILLION £20 over the next few years, all in accordance with EU diktats?
If this is one of his perceived achievements then he should "park" it permanently in the WPB.

12 March 2011 at 10:10  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

There we go again ... don't change the system because it would produce results we don't like (i.e. my party might nor have the power they once had)

Nothing to do with fairness or justice or merit.

You work backwards form the result you want - "strong" (a.k.a dictatorial) majority government - then decide which system gives you desired result.

This ignores the fact that large majorities become less likely the more dispersed votes become - as they are increasingly becoming. 60 years ago 98% of votes went to to Labour or Conservative. This time it was 65%

FPTP works great for horse races but not for deciding what a lot of people want to eat from the menu.

12 March 2011 at 11:31  
Blogger English Viking said...

Stedmancinques -

It is not possible to purge oneself of one's sin.

That's Christ's job.

12 March 2011 at 11:32  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Incidentally, I don't believe any change to the system will make any difference what-so-ever.

The real power & decision making takes place amongst the unelected anyway. Westminster is just a distracting sideshow.

12 March 2011 at 11:37  
Blogger Joseph Takagi said...

We already decide the London Mayoral election by AV. You'd think a load of professors of history would know this, wouldn't you?

12 March 2011 at 11:54  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

Well said, your grace. At the moment our votes mean little, and none of us actually choose our "representatives", especially in safe seats. Under AV they would mean nothing.

12 March 2011 at 11:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

This is a very confusing country; it has so many different electoral systems. AV is used for Council Elections in N Ireland and Scotland and for elected hereditaries in the House of Lords,

N Ireland Assembly has STV as have Euro Elections there using Droop Quota

Scottish, Welsh and London Assemblies use Additional Member Systems

STV is used for local elections in Scotland

There are 6 different voting systems in the UK currently.

It is hard to now why we have so many different systems if one system is supposed to be so much better than the others. It is significant that local government in Scotland and N Ireland does NOT use the system we have in England

12 March 2011 at 12:23  
Blogger David said...

Cranmer warns of the consequences of AV - yet we managed exactly the outcome without it at the last election.

12 March 2011 at 12:41  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

It will be a tragic consequence if those votes belong to supporters of extremist … parties.

So twisted has British politics become that parties which favour parliamentary democracy over European dictatorship, common sense over political correctness, and a socially cohesive, single race country over a divided, multicultural shambles are now seen as extreme. A perfect result for the Frankfurt School.

12 March 2011 at 14:31  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Complete side issue here ...

Does anyone know if blogspot blog owners have access to the IP address of the source of each comment?

12 March 2011 at 15:19  
Anonymous Zach Johnstone said...

Joseph Takagi,

We already decide the London Mayoral election by AV. You'd think a load of professors of history would know this, wouldn't you?

No. Since it is not true, I would not expect them to know.

The London mayoral election is determined by the Supplementary Vote system; unlike AV, it does not guarantee the 'support' of an absolute majority, nor does it allow voters to list all preferences.

I'd recommend reading around this debate a little more before May 5th so as to enable you to cast your vote on the basis of fact.

12 March 2011 at 15:59  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

DanJ0 - Yes, and no. Having run several blogs myself in the past blog owners know that some IPs are static and some are dynamic. It's also very easy to disguise or hide IP addresses to surf anonymously.

12 March 2011 at 16:14  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Thirteen years of Labour Rule convinced me that the voting system has to change. Blair's majority and his rampant use of the executive to override Parliament and swamp us with legislation that was unnecessary and frankly badly drafted, ill-considered and designed to enshrine socialism with all power resting now in the unelected denizens of Whitehall "interpretting" Parliament's instructions.

For ours to be a true democracy there needs to be one important change as an alternative to AV - the MPs must be made directly answerable to their constituents and the Whips abolished. As long as there are Whips, we do not have a true democracy.

12 March 2011 at 16:17  
Anonymous mark polden said...

I do not agree with AV but will still vote for it anyway, why because if we do not take this shot at democratic reform we will never have another. PR is really what we need and mandatory voting

12 March 2011 at 16:24  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"DanJ0 - Yes, and no. Having run several blogs myself in the past blog owners know that some IPs are static and some are dynamic. It's also very easy to disguise or hide IP addresses to surf anonymously."

Yes. I have a dynamic IP address at home but the pool belongs to the service provider and relates to a relatively small geographic area. I only ever post as DanJ0 here and never anonymise the IP address through a proxy or whatever.

I'm not thinking about the future, but the recent past and several specific comments. One erroneously attributed to me in a round-about way posted under an Anonymous moniker, and one directed at me at a very quiet time of night.

If the IP addresses were not explicitly anonymised then I'd be interested in whether they match the IP addresses of other comments at around those times with a known moniker.

Actually, I'd be interested in whether anyone anonymises their IP addresses when they post here. That seems like a lot of effort and for what?

12 March 2011 at 16:46  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"DanJ0 - Yes, and no. Having run several blogs myself in the past blog owners know that some IPs are static and some are dynamic. It's also very easy to disguise or hide IP addresses to surf anonymously."

Yes. I have a dynamic IP address at home but the pool belongs to the service provider and relates to a relatively small geographic area. I only ever post as DanJ0 here and never anonymise the IP address through a proxy or whatever.

I'm not thinking about the future, but the recent past and several specific comments. One erroneously attributed to me in a round-about way posted under an Anonymous moniker, and one directed at me at a very quiet time of night.

If the IP addresses were not explicitly anonymised then I'd be interested in whether they match the IP addresses of other comments at around those times with a known moniker.

Actually, I'd be interested in whether anyone anonymises their IP addresses when they post here. That seems like a lot of effort and for what?

12 March 2011 at 17:02  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I'll be voting No for AV.

12 March 2011 at 17:03  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The comments here so far are fairly representative of the various degrees among the voting public of information, intuitive feeling, and rationalisation, about AV Etc. (i.e., with regard to the outcomes in connection with the future for the politics and constitutional health of this country).

Before finally deciding about voting one way or the other, or abstaining, it would be well to take into account The Gray Monk's remark about "power resting now in the unelected denizens of Whitehall 'interpretting' Parliament's instructions", which may not be the whole story but is a large part of it.

12 March 2011 at 17:04  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

There was an interesting programme on TV a few months back that tried to explain why we got a Coalition this time. It was all to do with marginals and how the last few decades have lead to a reduction of marginals if I recall correctly. Again, if I recall correctly, it also talked about the vote split of Labour in the North, and Conservative in the South. I meant to check it all out but I didn't have time.

12 March 2011 at 17:10  
Anonymous not a machine said...

No to AV is important , whilst most people have identified its increased ability to produce coalitions , or dare I say coalitions that produce the winning vote configuration . The missing element has been the manifesto , one can only imagine the sort of manifesto that a party seeking a win in a marginal would have to produce. Indeed we may assume that political discourse will dissapear and be replaced by mills and boon stylised pamphlets only with non UK romantic settings.

The one person one vote is important , as the anonimity of your vote by hand on a piece of paper placed into a sealed box and delivered by police supervison to the place of supervised counting preferably to be counted on the same night.We already know that postal voting has enabled fraud , and voting machines are perhaps the next step in potential fraud , the machine will know how you voted despite what they say.

I think a pro AV kevin maguire , who had an edgy any questions on R4 when he said , in amongst insulting the Australians and few others , in thinking you could get votes for your heart instead of just your head . It was in that instance that the game was up , for the pro AV seeks to win elections by a deluge of syrupy wooley , warm , positive spin , whilst the money is delt with by the pros , as you were never told how your money was being absorbed by the spin machine , reducing your ability to query if the mini fund of help for the sychelles (which they all attended first class) was little more than supposed deserved junket.

In reality the only free and fair elctions are the ones that are fought on transparent facts and robust arguments . The other fact is that inevitably you will be told how to vote on your second preference , which will only increase the smear potential for the second choice , so the personality and not the policy will play more, and the rise of the untraceable smear , before a rebuttle can be done .
AV in my final analysis is nearer to coralling sheep than asking the public to rationally think what issues they believe should be governed by use of there vote .An unaccountable manifesto would be one political ride we should avoid , we do not need the pros sorting out democracy before they have put the situations and arguments to us robustly and with some accountability.

12 March 2011 at 17:40  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld : The Final Solution said...

Your Grace

You have delivered a post of Monumental Proportions, detailing the consequences unless the nation wakes up and commensense prevails.

Graham Woods said "According to LibDem Chris Huhne, this is great, because it makes us so much more European in our politics"

Exactly. Who in our nation has asked for this..They presume too much, as usual.

Johnny said 12 March 2011 14:31

You make a very valid point, as always..Very intriguing, is it not?

My mate Not a Machine stated 12 March 2011 17:40

Excellently put, Mr Blonde.

Must not miss that excellent documentary By Melvyn Bragg at 8 pm tonight on History of KJ Bible and how it transformed our Blessed Isles and all english speaking nations.

E S Blofeld

12 March 2011 at 18:58  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Is it the case, as I understand it to be, that with one exception, all Trade Unions are recommending a 'NO' vote for AV?

12 March 2011 at 19:09  
Anonymous Happenz said...

Under FPTP good old Tony and his labour mates managed to follow George into war without even having to genuinely consult canbinet (according to those who were there).

Under AV unilateral acts like that tend to lead to the collapse of coalitions and therefore govt.

Maybe there's a place for AV.

12 March 2011 at 19:47  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

mark polden said..."PR is really what we need and mandatory voting"

Politicians who many want arresting for treason telling us we have to vote for them or else.

I can see the monster raving loony party becoming very popular and it would just about sum up British politics.

12 March 2011 at 21:51  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

DanJ0 said..."Does anyone know if blogspot blog owners have access to the IP address of the source of each comment?"

I used to frequent a blog once where the blogger seemed obsessed with tracking those who commented and giving them grief, I have no idea how its done though, its all a bit venturing into the realms of paranoia for me.

I am much too old fashioned and set in my ways for that game.

12 March 2011 at 22:07  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mark Poulden @ 16.24 said '...we need mandatory voting.' This communicant begs to differ. The benefit of voluntary voting is that it tends to restrict the franchise to the committed, not that this has provided any obvious benefits in the UK.

Taking a cynical and entirely Darwinian view, if eligible voters chose to ignore their democratic rights they deserve whatever they get. It follows that the better educated and more motivated should dominate, and that's life.

Australia practices mandatory voting because the voting system is discouragingly complex, being single transferable vote. This produces voting slips the size of a small table-cloth in the upper-house where there tends to be numerous fringe parties. Lower house voting slips are rarely more than A4 size because even with STV it is hard for minor parties to prevail. So they don't try.

It is axiomatic that complex voting systems are extremely hard to manage in practice. Under STV, this means determination of the voter's intention is not easy due to simple clerical errors by the voter. In addition, the scope for tally room errors is equally large in a paper based system of STV. If the scope for error is large the scope for tally room fraud is large too.

In voting systems as in most things, Occam's razor, or KISS, applies. FPTP is very simple and therefore very good.

12 March 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

It does have its uses Bred in the Bone. I first learnt of it years ago when anonymous trolling was all the rage amongst recalcitrant bored teenagers, and one poor guy who was blogging about the loss of his baby daughter received anonymous comments saying "we're glad the b*censored*h is dead". However he was an IT guy and traced them via their IPs to their home addresses. Result!

Back on topic, I am for FPTP.

12 March 2011 at 23:26  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

Forgot to mention, the culprits were two fourteen year old girls.

12 March 2011 at 23:30  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Looking at the comments under Iserby's article on the "Europeanisation" link (and in other places) there seems to be a lack of political nous (scepticism about any proposition from a majority or minority party) and excess of wishful expectation which, if left to determine AV Etc, will have unhappy consequences for all except a few (such as too many in the present cabinet) who would find themselves better able to advance narrower interests of their own than those of the country as a whole.

The discontented need the caution, such as Iserby's and Cranmer's, about being herded into an elephant trap. Example: one of the comments under Iserby ..."it [is] likely that many will think 'let`s have a change and see how it works, we might even get better governments than we have had in the past' ". Those with UKIP sympathies or leanings may need to be particularly wary.

Another comment under Iserby's article mentions "rightwing" parties in Europe having been hollowed out and taken over by centrist leaders with few principles, and a drift to "more government powers,more quangos, more political correctness, more welfare and more socialism" as now to be seen at Westminster. But if that is so, will there not be worse behind?

13 March 2011 at 00:29  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Our problem is not which voting system we have, our problem is the system itself.

What we need, and are increasingly further from every second, is a written constitution which protects property rights in all of its senses.

If the people were in possession of such a valuable commodity, election results, indeed politics in general, would be of only superficial importance.

We have all witnessed during our own life times the greatest sustainable peace time attack on individual freedom since the Norman Invasion.

Some may mistakingly believe this is all the fault of our last government. If you are one of them, then please try to think a bit harder.

I for one have lost all possible confidence in the future of common humanity; IMO, it quite simply does not have one.

It would appear that many deluded middle class fools seem to mistakingly believe that the phrase common humanity, does not somehow include themselves. It does, indeed it is the middle classes that have most to fear, as well as to lose.

The lower classes are used to being ignored, marginalized, patronized, de-educated, en-slaved, starved, and deliberately impoverished.

The middle classes are used to an ever more comfortable existence, foreign holidays, new cars, and there political representatives pandering to their every whim.

If the establishment ever really was interested in the middle classes pathetically mind controlled opinions in the past, they sure as hell are not now. The establishment has got the middle-classes by their over borrowed Balls, and is not about to stop squeezing them, at any time in the future.

This is the inevitable consequence of allowing a profoundly evil corporate mafia to take over your system of finance, and government using something so infinitely corruptible as fractional reserve banking and democracy.

Only don't feel over responsible for it, this was finally achieved many years before any of us were born.

13 March 2011 at 00:49  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Ernst : I enjoyed Melvin Braggs program , I hadnt realised that Tyndale fled and was strangled for translation from latin into English .I dont quite understand why it was considered to create heresy if the ordinary man/woman read the scriptures, I suspect it was to do with sanctified to administer it and learned interpretation to avoid corruptions.

I cant help but think the socialists somehow imagine that if you replace god with somthing else it computes in there favour. I sometimes ponder if we are not at schism that no one can answer , the more certainty we are immersed in . I am working on the idea that the memory and the story of our lives is far more intimate and verbal than mass media technologies , but as yet cannot get my thoughts into a workable idea . I think the descriptions of love in the bible are non selfish for a reason , and that the way we are trying to live is a sort of spiritual desert with mere mirages of life , and no personal satisfaction. I suspect the est £42bn cost due to family breakdown ,is £42bn on someone elses balance sheet. I appreciate the attempt to show the problem , but will it not arrive at fractured lives influenced by external enviroments , and the self and the idea of us being keeper of the good , being cut adrfit.
I mean are to we ask the question , that a system run by people for people under christian principals , was/is better than techno socialism . This is very difficult , and would need a lot of thought . I miss those more contemplative times , where we were less instant and more thoughtful . I suspect the incidences of being on a short fuse are also related.

that will be one of the more interesting aspects of Blair/campbell , that a sexualised , short fused and uncaring society , that destroyed innocence by calling it the enemy of equality ,was what the spin left in its passage through time , as it sent us into the terror years.

I can see that the accusation of sentimentality looms , and the tiger may seem way too far out of the bottle , but we are clearly living very differently mentally to what we did 20yrs ago , are we turning into graphics packages ourselves ? just reflecting the inputs perhaps this is what socialism has not seen about its self and error.
But it is an extremely difficult question which I keep having a go at working in the dark.

13 March 2011 at 02:20  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"I used to frequent a blog once where the blogger seemed obsessed with tracking those who commented and giving them grief, I have no idea how its done though, its all a bit venturing into the realms of paranoia for me."

I don't mind the Anonymous abuse towards me in itself but it's quite interesting to expose someone who is nominally nice in moniker posting very aggressively as someone else. Before the Times became pay-walled, a few of us had a set of long discussions with ex-pat Mancunian in America about god. We had someone writing quite nasty stuff in parellel until it became clear who it was when he forgot which persona he was in one day. :)

No, it's mostly when someone thinks I am doing it that I want to get to the bottom of it. An IP address check by His Grace would address that if it is possible here, which I am happy for, though I doubt an apology would be forthcoming. I am only DanJ0 here and I don't lie.

As for lying in what I write about myself, which has also been claimed, I have an informal means of validating that. Someone talked about Zulus in another thread and in the past I have said I spent time in South Africa.

In KwaZulu-Natal, they have Woolworths which is like M&S Foodhall, Spar (like here) which is a very expensive supermarket relative to local wages, CUM Books which is a Christain bookshop (much to my amusement), and NEDBank which is definitely not a bank for Neds. Some local firsthand knowledge there not likely to be in tourist guides, which I can provide on request each time.

13 March 2011 at 08:16  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

DanJ0, who has directly accused you of writing anonymously? And telling the truth, being honest, is part of Christian morality which you clearly stated previously you do not follow. So why does it bother you? You can't pick and choose from one day to the next which moral standards you wish to follow and expect everyone to keep up with you. Let's not forget you were quite happy to be economical with the truth just to try and pull me into a trap and win an argument against me.

I am sure that, as is your want, you will write a long comment refuting everything I have said here, but the fact is that we all have to take other commenter's on trust, to a certain extent. Like it or not.

13 March 2011 at 08:57  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Oh well if you are thinking its me Danjo, you are on the wrong track.

I am far too busy with a youtube account, family life and work to be chasing you around like a stalker.

Chill out mate, you need to get back to nature don't let the micro ship world take over your life.

Whether you believe in God or not the way back to our true nature is through Christ.

Only your person gets a vote, the person is a mask the mask is a cloak and jesus said to give the cloak back.

Render unto caeser what is caesers stop masking your true nature.

13 March 2011 at 09:12  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"So why does it bother you?"

Just setting out a stall for next time.

13 March 2011 at 09:17  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"And telling the truth, being honest, is part of Christian morality which you clearly stated previously you do not follow."

Why do you do this to yourself? Is it masochism?

Look, telling the truth, being honest, doing acts of kindness ... they're ethics. Most people share those as I have said time and again. Time and again! It's the reasons for them that differ. I don't have a Christian morality, as I don't believe in your god, but we share ethics. Of course we do.

13 March 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

"mor·al (môrl, mr-)
adj.
1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
n.
1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim.
3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong,"


"ethics [ˈɛθɪks]
n
1. (Philosophy) (functioning as singular) the philosophical study of the moral value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that ought to govern it; moral philosophy."


Why do you do this to yourself DanJ0. You play with words and can never ever admit to ever being wrong about anything can you?

And so it goes on.

13 March 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

When explaining race and nationality Danjo I always use zulus as my reference point, because I know a blackman singing men of harlech at rourkes drift would be ridiculous, as the zulus wearing kilts.

I had no idea where you have lived.

13 March 2011 at 09:44  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Why do you do this to yourself DanJ0. You play with words and can never ever admit to ever being wrong about anything can you?"

It's you getting the dictionary out. :)

Even your dictionary captures some of it: the rules. Look up "an ethic" with an open mind. In fact, just think about the difference between moral reasoning and the rules we live by based on them. The rules are not the reasoning or the principles in the argument. They're the result. They're the ethics derived from a moral code. And two different arguments can reach the same result, which is why we share some ethics. How can you think that because I say I am not Christian then honesty and stuff can go out of the window? It's bizarre.

It's no wonder you get so angry and humiliated.

13 March 2011 at 10:04  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

Again accusing me of being angry. Basically calling me a liar by refusing to accept the statement by me that I am not, and cannot accept the fact that , yet again, you are wrong about something.

Honesty does not apply in all cultures and belief systems. Taqqiya just for one, off the top of my head. So no, it is not Universal, so stop trying to make out that it applies to everyone.

*sigh*

I have better things to do than argue with someone like you who is just a stirrer.

13 March 2011 at 10:19  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"When explaining race and nationality Danjo I always use zulus as my reference point, because I know a blackman singing men of harlech at rourkes drift would be ridiculous, as the zulus wearing kilts. I had no idea where you have lived."

I spent some time in South Africa, I didn't reside there. It's not a problem either way really. Your examples are good ones, in that they capture something essential about nationality. That is, the two aspects of belonging: feeling that you belong, and other people feeling that you belong.

That's why I mentioned Xhosa and Zulu. They're both black and to my eyes look the same (I mean more than simply being black here). If I took a Xhosa baby and placed it with a Zulu family then would he intuitively realise he was Xhosa when he grew up? Would other people? That is, is it just skin colour i.e. fairly minor differences in genes that seem to matter?

Of course, our individual personalities are shaped quite heavily by our genetic legacy but as far as I know the variations between races is fairly small compared to the variation within a race itself.

Actually, I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but I think there are visible differences, aside from hair colour, between areas of the country. For example, people from Tyneside as a group look a bit different to people from Kent even if individually it is hard to spot. If that is the case then does that matter for population mobility within the UK?

13 March 2011 at 10:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Taqqiya just for one, off the top of my head. So no, it is not Universal, so stop trying to make out that it applies to everyone."

I am not saying it is universal though I expect it has evolutionary advantage tending that way. You're just not getting it, are you? I'm not saying that they are universal at all, just that we (you and I, and lots of people in the UK) share ethics. Lots of ethics, actually. But we don't have the same moral code.

13 March 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Yes the local differences are essential Danjo to preserve, as much as the national.

But its more than feeling a belonging, its the knowledge of the fact of your true ancestry.

Knowing that which you belong to is your roots, would there be any harm in telling the Xhosa baby his or her true roots and letting them discover something of its own heritage.

But for me its not just a matter of skin colour, I feel the wider Indo European family group is more important than the semitic branch judeo-christians look to.

Because that would root me into more of a true heritage and that is worth preserving, that is worth bonding with other groups in order to preserve.

13 March 2011 at 10:48  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

It's not that I don't appreciate heritage or history, far from it actually. I love old churches, and buildings, and records. I just sort of see it as independent in some way to the people who essentially adopt it by being born into the society which hosts it.

It sounds a bit silly I suppose but I love touching old stone and trees in culturally important places and thinking what the stone or tree has seen. For me, it's connecting to the past to do that. I also very much value the artefacts, including to some extent the cultural ones. But I'm not afraid of change either.

That my mix of genes has some historic links is not that important to me as far as privilege is concerned. They're just genes propagating through people. If someone was born here whose set of genes contains some which have travelled through time from a different place and has adopted some of the culture then all power to them. If they're black not white then so what? If they're white and their recent genes were copied through French hosts then so what?

13 March 2011 at 11:52  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

There is something primal in us all Danjo which draws you back to animistic nature, that sounds like what you are experiencing.

For me political ideology is more foreign to my nature than anything else man could have dreamt up, that is why I see the showdown between Man and God will be between our commercial microchiped enslavement and our true spiritual nature.

Now fill out your barcoded census like a good bondservant ;o)

13 March 2011 at 12:11  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Do we think a generation is about 25 years? If so then there have been about 18 generations between the time of Henry 8th and now. That seems like such a short time. There are people now who have 4 living generations in a family.

When I think of the way people probably thought back then and how society was organised, and the way people think now and the technology we have and the experiences available, the sheer extent of cultural change is obvious. The rate is increasing too.

13 March 2011 at 12:25  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Universal adult suffrage has only existed since 1928 in the UK.
It is something which is modern.

13 March 2011 at 13:08  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

The problem with "strong" governments elected under the FPTP system is that they then act as belevolent (or otherwise - see below) dictatorships for the next 5 years. Did Traitor Heath have a mandate for selling out the UK into the slavery of the common market (apart from the manifestly fixed referendum where the electorate were denied the facts until 30 years later when he finally admitted that he'd lied in his teeth about loss of sovereignty). Did Blair have a mandate for his open doors policy on immigration?

No.

It's been a case of "you're elected us to govern and now we will do what we d*mn well please."

That stinks.

With computer technology there's no reason why we can't have referenda on almost everything. People could vote on line. This 19th century idea of going to polling stations is mind boggling....but it's kept that way on purpose

Except that real democracy would REALLY give the power to the people...something the ruling class certainly wouldn't want that, and certainly wouldn't allow.

13 March 2011 at 16:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Why are Elected Mayors chosen by AV if the system is so flawed ?

13 March 2011 at 17:51  
Anonymous Sage said...

Kenneth Clarke explains why he's voting 'No' to AV rather well on You Tube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLkTTU7yKi8&feature=youtube_gdata

13 March 2011 at 18:46  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Old Grumpy - I agree that we need government to answer to the people, not vice versa. However, I don't see that computer technology is the answer to a secure voting system. Quite the opposite: government have far more resources for controlling technology than we do.

We need to eliminate falsification of the count, and to ensure one-voter-one vote. euros always been known for 'fixing' their voting systems anyway. I'd bet that one reason for our supposed 'apathy' is distrust of the process. That and 'nobody to vote for.'

13 March 2011 at 20:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

If the people vote Yes to AV – then they will have voted for a permanent Left-liberal political class to be in power for generations to come.

Let us sit up and take notice of our country’s eminent historians; let us take note of the wisdom of our war time leader – admired and revered around the globe – Sir Winston Churchill.

If the people vote for AV they will be locked into the European Union because that is what successive coalition governments will cement and seal.

When we vote on AV remember that we carry the hopes and fears of those who have gone before us; those who live this day and, those who are yet to be born.

Let us desist from making the same mistake our fathers made when they voted to join the Common Market (European Union).

A vote against AV is a vote against Cameron and Clegg and the poison of Left-liberalism which has brought this country to its knees.

No!

Nay!

Never to AV!

14 March 2011 at 08:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I simply can't make up my mind about AV. There are arguments for and against, and selecting one side or t'other is very very hard.
If the current coalition government is typical of coalitions then I dont want to see any more of that. On the other hand, a party that forms a large majority government which turns out to be utterly ruthless and dictatorial could be very hard to remove.
As it is, all three of our main parties do not listen to the electorate and have their own agenda, including the processes of ever-closer EU union and more cosy career opportunities when they fall out of office.
I may spoil my AV paper. Certainly in a general election I would NEVER vote for more than one candidate anyway....I fail to understand how anyone can have "second choices" especially with the bunch we have to choose from, currently.

14 March 2011 at 08:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Wasting your vote is like wasting a soldier.

Vote No.

Destroy the Left-liberal coalition future.

Reject the Italianification of our country’s politics.

14 March 2011 at 09:06  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Postscript to MrJ 12 March 2011 10:09_Three letters have been selected for publication in today's Times (prop. Newscorp) under the editorial heading "Both AV campaigns make false claims".

Two make marginal points for information (one of these from "Professor Frank Sengpiel" of Cardiff).

The longest is from "Professor Vicky Randall, Chair, Political Studies Association" and four others which ends with the proposal: "The crucial issue should be decided on the basis of facts, not myths" (which, some may see, as showing a gratuitous contempt amounting to bigotry for the mythopaeic in cultural understanding, an attitude which is too prevalent, but unworthy, of the truthseeking ideals of academia).

"...should be decided on the basis of facts" ?? A view about the unknown outcome is what will be of concern to the more thoughtful voter; and that will depend among other things upon an assessment of the trustworthiness of present and future members of parliament, political parties and government ministers. Compared with which the "facts" (such as interests vested in status quo or in vote counting machines) become of secondary importance, equivalent to hearsay.

(Their letter in the Times does not disclose that any of them has any affiliation to the Electoral Reform Society, which [according to information in the public domain] has an interest in promoting vote-counting machines, and MrJ has no information to that effect.)

FYI_A self-description of the importance of the Political Studies Association can be found at its website http://www.psa.ac.uk/. This gives the address of its National Office as "Department of Politics, University of Newcastle".

14 March 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

As each of the main parties are themselves coalitions, the policies that both left, right and liberal employ are not dissimilar, privatisation, PFI etc. Except for the fringe parties it probably won’t make much difference what voting system is used since most of the tribal left/right loyalties have disappeared and remain only in places like this blog. As the “centre” is now the largest constituency the policies of future governments will continue to reflect this, radical left or right are now relics from a bygone age.

14 March 2011 at 10:00  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Graham Davis_While the cheery breeziness of those remarks may encourage some to abandon a weak position, may not others feel that attaching the epithet "tribal" detracts from the value of the reasoning and the weight to be given to it?

14 March 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger D. Singh said...

If AV is approved – then even if we get a leader of the calibre of Sir Winston Churchill – he will be effectively neutralised.

If we keep FPTP then should a politician of the calibre of Sir Winston Churchill arise – we are in with a big chance to steer our democracy towards liberation from the EU and secure liberty, security and freedom.

Think about those who are yet to be born.

14 March 2011 at 10:28  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 March 2011 at 10:59  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

D. Singh ... you normally talk such sense. I share your utter disdain for the left. However surely you hate injustice far more than you hate socialism?

1) I think your assumption that AV will produce left-leaning governments is wrong. I actually think that once people are free from the tyranny of tactical voting, the political landscape will change drastically.
2) What is wrong with coalitions? From where I am standing, the fact that I am living under a coalition government is imperceptible. All governments are coalitions. [I agree that Direct Democracy is better, only then would we be free from party politics forever]
3) You make the same mistake as Cranmer - working backwards from the result you want and then selecting an electoral system based on that. Surely you should work forwards from the principles of fairness, accountability and representation.

FPTP is the ideal system for 2 party politics i.e. in a world that no longer exists

@Graham Davis ... "tribal left/right loyalties have disappeared" ... there speaks a man who has obviously never been out doing any political canvassing! They are alive and well and thriving. My educated guess is that at least 75% of votes cast are purely along blind tribal lines. The communicants on this blog are far less tribal than your typical voter.

14 March 2011 at 11:03  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

MrJ

You are right I do use tribal as a less than flattering term. Although I lean to the conservative view I am often alarmed by the vehemence of the anti left view often shown in this blog. To me it reeks too much of “belief”, not necessarily unreasoned but leaving no room for an alternative perspective.

RebelSaint

You are right I have never been out canvassing so I bow to your first hand knowledge. However the impression that I get through the media and elsewhere is that the majority of people are politically agnostic and switch allegiance from election to election.

14 March 2011 at 11:16  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... Most are politically agnostic, but don't change allegiance! Those who engage in political and - especially religio-political - blogs are a very small niche of the population. They are far more likely to be persuaded by political arguments and policy nuances than your average voter. In my time commenting on this blog I have cast my vote in favour of 4 different political points of view (not one of them Conservative!).

The only thing that might persuade your average C2DE to change political allegiances is if there has been something that has had a catastrophic effect upon them financially or socially. That is why Liebour has managed to ruin the country for the past 13 years. As long as their faithful were kept plied with free money they were at liberty to do whatever the hell they wanted. It nearly came to bite them on the bum because immigration started to have a catastrophic effect on some of their faithful.

14 March 2011 at 11:32  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Most things considered, a waverer in a dilemma represented at one horn by D.Singh and by Rebel Saint at the other may be best advised not to take a ballot paper for the AV referendum for fear of a slip of the pencil marking the wrong box.

14 March 2011 at 12:16  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Mr J ... I'm of the considered opinion that the outcome will make very little difference. Westminster politics is but a charade - a mere sideshow to distract the populace.

However, when it comes to deciding how to re-arrange the deckchairs on the titanic, it is very obvious that AV is a much better way of doing it than FPTP. FPTP is only preferred by those who remember the days when there were only red & blue deckchairs.

14 March 2011 at 13:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Rebel Saint

The issue is clear: either William Pitt (the Younger); Churchill; Thatcher or coalition.

If AV comes in - it will not be in the political elite's interest to abandon it.

14 March 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@D. Singh ... you do disappoint me. How do you know that Thatcher or Pitt (the Younger) or Churchill would not have had an outright majority under AV?

AV wouldn't really have made much difference to the outcome then (nor would it have been appropriate) since the overwhelming number of votes were for the two main parties, and on much larger turn-outs.

Those days are gone - thank God.

AV does not guarantee a hung parliament any more than FPTP guarantees an outright majority.

14 March 2011 at 13:30  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@D Singh ... And lets not forget that FPTP also gave us 13 years of Nu Liebour, despite not having a particularly large % of the vote.

That is reason enough to get rid of FPTP isn't it.

People of the calibre you mention are just as likely to do well under AV as fptp - except they'll have even more legitimacy.

14 March 2011 at 13:42  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Rebel Saint

'you do disappoint me. How do you know that Thatcher or Pitt (the Younger) or Churchill would not have had an outright majority under AV?'

I am using the civil law standard of belief: on the balance of probabilities.


The majority of GEs have not produced coalition government.

William Pitt (the Younger); Churchill and Thatcher achieved power under FPTP.

My view is that under AV even if they were to come to power - their vision would be neutralised by coalition.

14 March 2011 at 13:43  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Thanks to the UK parliament's European Communities Act 1972, followed by the ever-greater submergence of self-government in this country which has been resulting from the treaties of the European Union, there has become an ever-greater nexus for constituency electors between their concerns for the loss of parliamentary sovereignty and their misgivings about the operations of organs of government (Whitehall, Westminster, Brussels and other places known or unknown).

This brings confusion among otherwise fairly clear-headed voters about the AV Etc dilemma. Little guidance can be gained from the history of the Representation of the People Acts passed from 1832up to 1969 (before the accession to the Treaty of Rome), or from the later acts.

The very words "representation of the people" seem to have lost whatever meaning they had in the titles of the acts from 1832 to 1969. In number there is more than enough for a good peal of bells, whether for alarm or rejoicing. But the tone of what may come can be expected to be sounding as dull and cracked as Big Ben.

14 March 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Mr Singh
"William Pitt (the Younger); Churchill and Thatcher achieved power under FPTP."
Pitt came to power long before universal adult suffrage.
Churchill did come to power in 1951under FPTP but his finest hour was when he was leading a coalition government.

15 March 2011 at 02:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Manfarang

You might as well ask why Churchill was allied with the Soviet Union.

'“I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

Churchill, 13 May 1940


I can understand why some posters desire AV: it will give the smaller parties a chance to influence government and possibly impel negotiations over the EU.

Let there be no mistake and mark this well: a coalition government means compromise, compromise and compromise for a future Churchill.

If AV comes in we will have a coalition government on Monday, division on Wednesday and a General Election each Friday.

Don't bring this country to its knees.

15 March 2011 at 07:58  
Anonymous MrJ said...

PPS to MrJ 12 March 2011 10:09 and 14 March 2011 09:48_In the print edition of the Times this morning, there are five letters under the editor's heading "A first step towards 'turning the UK into a democracy' ". Four are remarkable only for making points which are little else than marginal and peripheral, with reasoning that is circular or tangential, of a kind which can be expected to show up sooner or later whenever this topic is under discussion.

The fifth is in a class of its own, from "Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC, Michael Mansfield QC, Lord Lester of Herne Hill Plus 17 lawyers, whose names can be read at thetimes.co.uk" (subject to paywall).

Their letter amounts to nothing more than a lawyerly quibble about the assertion in the historians' letter (11 March) "that reform of the voting system would undermine the principle of one person one vote".

This, so say the learned Baroness and Baron (and co-signatories), "is entirely misconceived". In support of their contention they write on about "more and more cities in the United States" and "creating a more level playing field"; and they inform us that "the allegation was legally tested in the United States" where Judge James Fleming (who he?) "ruled emphatically that AV was in full compliance with the US constitution".

The learned signatories blithely say less than nothing about devising an acceptable method for the representation of the people for the years ahead in the sovereign parliament of this country's constitutional monarchy. If their letter is meant to be taken in praise of AV for that purpose, is it not faint indeed?

15 March 2011 at 09:06  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Minor correction: should read six/sixth for five/fifth, and five for four.

15 March 2011 at 09:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr J

I am not prepared to mislead or worse lie to my brother Judaeo-Christians.

I have read the case. The historians are wrong on that point and the lawyers are correct.

15 March 2011 at 09:48  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Thank you, D.Singh, for your remark, and in all truthfulness, Yes, hence those remarks: "lawyerly quibble..." and "acceptable method for the representation of the people...in the sovereign parliament of this country's constitutional monarchy", which to the extent that it is not mentioned may be seen as implicit in the historian's letter and opposed by the learned appointees to life "baronies" and their co-signatories.

After seeing your comments above and elsewhere, if MrJ is not mistaken, they too show concern for the sovereign parliament of this country's constitutional monarchy. But please correct if otherwise.

15 March 2011 at 10:55  
Anonymous MrJ said...

And now, in this morning's print edition of the Times (Newscorp prop.) one of the six letters (under editor's heading "Equal votes, preferences and a challenge to the Establishment"), after mentioning that the US judge was right that in the round of counting that actually elects someone "each voter has his or her ballot counted once", then comments that this is just what is wrong with AV and (so he says) all current transferable-vote systems: one voter's sixth preference equals another's first: what, he exclaims, is democratic about that? (The letter was from Stephen Hugh-Jones of London NW8)

17 March 2011 at 12:04  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The Government have done the exact opposite. In purely party and political manoeuvres, in a deal for a further tenure of office, they have swept away the second vote for business premises and they have tried, vainly even in this Parliament to destroy university representation. It would have been much better, on the contrary, to add enormously to the plural vote so as to increase the strength and vigour of the franchise. Suppose, for instance, a second vote had been given to every householder or breadwinner at the head of a family, the man or woman who pays the rent or the rates, 7,000,000 or 8,000,000 additional votes would have been given. That, in my opinion, which have restored something of the quality of the old electorate. It would have drawn the true distinction which should be drawn between those wage earners who are really bearing the burden and their grown-up children or dependants who live in the same dwelling. It would have called back into being that specially responsible political democracy to whose exertions and keen discussions the health and the fame of our pre-War Parliamentary institutions were largely due. The additional 7,000,000 or 8,000,000 of extra votes would have removed all need of legislating against the handful of plural votes which still survives. It would have swamped them in a much larger mass of responsible citizenship, and would have reduced their privilege to virtual nullity. Such a plan would not have drawn any distinction between one citizen and another on the ground of age, sex, wealth, class, education, or even intelligence. It would discriminate solely on the ground of responsibility and burden borne. It would take no existing right from anyone, but it would confer a new authority upon many millions of men and women, wage-earners and salary-earners, upon those who are, as it were, in harness, drawing the family waggon, and all together drawing the coach of State…

… There is always a certain amount of bargaining and huckstering in human and political affairs. The same bargaining and huckstering will go on about the Alternative Vote, but then it will all be done individually, in holes and corners, whereas the declarations by leaders of parties after the first ballot, as well as the declarations of Members presenting themselves in each of the constituencies for the second ballots, would all be done on the public platform...

The plan that they have adopted is the worst of all possible plans. It is the stupidest, the least scientific and the most unreal that the Government have embodied in their Bill. The decision of 100 or more constituencies, perhaps 200, is to be determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates. That is what the Home Secretary told us to-day was "establishing democracy on a broader and surer basis." Imagine making the representation of great constituencies dependent on the second preferences of the hindmost candidates. The hindmost candidate would become a personage of considerable importance, and the old phrase, "Devil take the hindmost," will acquire a new significance. I do not believe it will be beyond the resources of astute wire-pullers to secure the right kind of hindmost candidates to be broken up in their party interests. There may well be a multiplicity of weak and fictitious candidates in order to make sure that the differences between No. 1 and No. 2 shall be settled, not by the second votes of No. 3, but by the second votes of No. 4 or No. 5, who may, presumably give a more favourable turn to the party concerned. This method is surely the child of folly, and will become the parent of fraud. Neither the voters nor the candidates will be dealing with realities. An element of blind chance and accident will enter far more largely into our electoral decisions than even before, and respect for Parliament and Parliamentary processes will decline lower than it is at present.

House of Commons, 2 June 1931

17 March 2011 at 12:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Sir Winston Churchill

17 March 2011 at 12:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr J the lawyers are right in that the case of Stephenson v Ann Arbor Board of Canvassers November 1975 STATE OF MICHIGAN IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF JACKSON the voting system was not unconstitutional. I am afraid that I was wrong in a previous post. It does destroy the principle of one man one vote. I can see now why Churchill preferred proportional representation.

It seems to me that the judge contradicts himself. So judge for yourselves.

Judge Fleming:

The crux of Plaintiff Stephenson's claim of unconstitutionality is that preferential voting under this Charter amendment creates a classification that restricts the franchise of certain voters and thus treats them unequally.
This claimed classification results from certain voters having their second choice ballots counted while the second choice of other voters whose candidate remains in the race, are not so counted. This creates separate classes of voters and affords the vote of some, more weight than others, Plaintiff asserts.

Plaintiff claims there is no "compelling state reason or interest" for creating such classifications, that would render this preferential voting system constitutional.

An examination of these cases reveals classifications of voting rights based on ownership versus nonownership of real property and apportionment of voting districts. Nothing in the Charter Amendment itself speaks to classifications of voters as in the aforecited cases. The Charter Amendment does not discriminate patently or latently against some segment of voters.
All voters for the office of Mayor possessed the same rights that is, the right to, or right not to, select and list their preferences in numerical order.
All voters possessed the right at the same time (election day) to decide who their second choice etc., candidate would be if their first choice were eliminated from the race.

No voter was restricted in his right. Each voted with this same understanding that his second and third choice preferences could be counted if his or her first choice was the candidate with the least number of votes.
No classification was established by the Charter Amendment or City of Ann Arbor to discriminate against any voter or group of voters--all voters possessed the same rights.

Whatever classification that could be said to have existed, created itself, when a voter had his or her first choice candidate eliminated from the race for having the lowest number of votes after it was ascertained that no candidate possessed a majority of the total vote.

In that context, the second preference vote of a voter became viable as his first preference was eliminated from consideration.

That voter in substance still has only one vote that is counted, his or her first choice having been eliminated. His second preference vote is counted the same as the votes for the first two candidates. Such a voter does not have his vote counted twice--it counts only once and if that first preference no longer remains and is eliminated from consideration, his or her second preference is the "counted" vote. Voters for the top two candidates still have their vote counted for their first choice.

17 March 2011 at 13:59  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ begs leave to commend D.Singh for these his latest comments and information; to mention that he has noted D.Singh at 17 March 2011 11:03 commenting on "David Cameron doesn't..."; and to invite his own comment there at 12.47 to be read also as his sunbstantive response here:

with the rider that it be not forgotten that the learned and distinguished Baroness and Baron and co-signatories were citing a case which they must have known was practically irrelevant, as mentioned above (15 March 2011 09:06).

It was about cities in the United States; the Judge's ruling was (in their words) that AV was in full compliance with the US constitution; and it was in no way about devising an acceptable method for the representation of the people for the years ahead in the sovereign parliament of this country's constitutional monarchy.

17 March 2011 at 14:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

So I hope we are now all clear?

The AV system does not disenfranchise voters up to the moment they deposit their ballot paper in the ballot box.

Once that act is completed: the system's 'built-in' unfairness is triggered.

In the words of Judge Fleming: ‘Whatever classification that could be said to have existed, created itself, when a voter had his or her first choice candidate eliminated from the race…’

One class of voter has his vote counted once.

Another class of voter has his vote counted twice.

Churchill’s analysis remains unchallengeable.

17 March 2011 at 15:29  
Anonymous MrJ said...

D Singh_With the greatest respect to the late Sir Winston Churchill, while reading his speech is much more interesting and edifying than the judgment of the US judge in the case cited, for the current situation his remarks are little more to the present point than the judge's.

Whatever the problems troubling the country, AV Etc is at best a sideshow, and if put into effect is at least as likely to make recovery more difficult than otherwise. This seems to accord with your view?

As we know, Mr Winston Churchill was addressing the House of Commons at the time, approximately in the middle of his parliamentary career, which included the period both before and after women were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections; and in the course of his career he changed political parties, published works of history, was noted as an orator, served as a cabinet minister, served in military uniform at the front in wartime during the first of the great European and worldwide conflicts in the last century, and later as prime minister and as such leader of the War Cabinet in the time of the second.

His speech should be considered in the course of his part in the flow of those events. Whether or not they may be helpful to anyone seeking to resolve the present dilemma is another question. Either way, he may be seen as a paragon of political and personal courage.

The interests of people in politics are not the same as of most of the people for whose votes they are trawling. The former have certain personal ambitions for....?..... whatever they may be. Most of the voting public have other ambitions or none, perhaps simply to have an honest livelihood, to care for their family if they have one, to enjoy life as best they can.

A warning to all those of the latter sort when offered a proposal from the former could be Lenin whose party notoriously came to be known as the "Bolsheviks".

The convolutions of the variations of voting systems, beyond the simple yes or no, or blackball, are proposed by some who see an advantage for a party, and by others who believe themselves to have an expertise or insight into what they regard as good in the abstract, or as a means to a further end.

17 March 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr J

'Whatever the problems troubling the country, AV Etc is at best a sideshow, and if put into effect is at least as likely to make recovery more difficult than otherwise. This seems to accord with your view?'

I am convinced that God will raise a man of the calibre of Churchill to bring this country to its senses.

I long for the day when this once great nation will become a God-fearing country.

AV may neutralise such a man's freedom to do what is required.

I think my goal is to prepare the way for him.

18 March 2011 at 10:52  
Anonymous MrJ said...

D. Singh_You have touched here on weighty matters. Is it not more than doubtful that in the event of the AV Etc of next 5 May becoming operative it would be decisive against a man such as you mention? Or that divine purpose can be so easily thwarted?

18 March 2011 at 14:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr J

I don't think it would be decisive. And I don’t think God’s purposes (whatever they may be) can be thwarted.

I think we have a duty to work for those conditions which our wisdom suggests are right. In my experience where a man, knowing God’s will, refuses to carry out His revealed will – God brings another man to do the job – and says to the man who refused: ‘Thy will be done.’

18 March 2011 at 15:12  

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