Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

May 7, 2010 -

With the emergence of no clear party winner in yesterday’s UK elections, the country effectively has a hung parliament for the first time since 1974.

The unclear election results may have contributed to yesterday’s free-falling stock market, as results showed, via the BBC, that with most of the votes counted, the Conservatives scored 301 seats, Labour 255 and the Liberal Democrats 52, with the latter figure being termed a “disaster” by the AFP.

The Conservatives had needed 326 out of the 650 total seats in order to govern alone.

The BBC also reports that current Prime Minister Gordon Brown (pictured) is willing to discuss “how to proceed in government” with his opponents. Brown said about the election “What we have seen are no ordinary election results,” adding, “We find ourselves in a position unknown to this generation of political leaders.”

Meanwhile, GamesIndustry.biz reports that reformed (perhaps) anti-game MP Keith Vaz retained his seat, as did pro-gaming MP Tom Watson, along with MP’s Ed Vaizey, Don Foster and John Whittingdale.

Ewan Lamont, a game developer from Monumental Games running for MP in Nottingham East, failed in his bid to be elected, coming in third.

Watson took to Twitter a few hours ago to write, “Hung parliament is official. Now I hope those guys sort out the framework for an era of enduring, radical and digitally-enabled reform.”


Comments

Re: Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

Yeah, the Lib Dem figure is pretty embarassing. It goes to show what's wrong with the system: If you count the votes, person for person, it's split very evenly. And yet they have less than a fifth of the seats Labour has (with Labour being at record low levels of popularity right now). And people wonder why we're going on about election reform...

Also, despite most of the country being united over one particular aim (kick Gordon Brown the hell out), there's a good chance we may not have even been able to do that (depending on who can charm the Lib Dems first).

Re: Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

The problem is the fact that PR would also put some rather unpleasant people in power, if it was done purely on percentage of vote, then we'd have to squeeze in 2 BNP MP's because that's what their percentage entitles them to (Basically, 1/325th of the UK voted BNP, so that makes 2 seats out of 650). I'm all in favour of a more proportionally based system of voting, but there has to be some attention paid to how it's implemented to represent both local and country-wide feeling.

As noted, the Lib-Dem vote is not small, it's just spread out over a large area instead of polarised in certain areas, that's it's weakness, especially when coupled with an increasing attitude of 'if it's not Labour, it's Tory' in our voting. First thing we need is an independent body to define ward boundaries, rather than Government, that'd go a long way towards fixing the problem, since I come from a ward with 30,000+ voters, but there are wards with only about 20,000 voters, and that means my single vote is 'worth' less towards electing a candidate than residents in the less populous ward, which strikes me as wrong at a very basic level.

Re: Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

PR would also mean that we get this scenario every single time, there would always be a hung parliament. And quite frankly instead of the shift of power between Labour and Conservative, it would be Labour + Lib Dem or Conservative + Lib Dem (bascially Lib Dems just tag onto one party or the other).

Yes PR would also bring in the BNP too, but we have to be careful how we go about that issue. They would be democratically elected and it would be of a greater damage to democracy to block them in some way of becoming MPs, than the damage caused by them if they were to assume any sort of minor power (as in 2 seats from 650) MPs. The BNP is a tricky situation and quite frankly it's only happened because many voters feel neglected from the main parties (even traditional Labour supporters get called bigots from their leader), not because the voters are racist. People don't want the BNP, but you're going to get them with PR.

Quite frankly I support FPTP because it alleviates the two above problems, although it is unfair (but what system is actually fair?) due to vote distribution. I wouldn't be particularly happy with PR if I voted like the rest of the constituency for one party and got a completely different party representing me thanks to PR.

Long-winded and all, but I agree with Nick, sorry, GoodRobotUs.

Re: Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

Maybe for the UK or US, PR would be bad, but in the Netherlands, we're used to it. The House of Representatives has 150 seats, spread over 10 political parties (4 or 5 big ones, rest smaller), and a government usually consists of 3 or more political parties. A lot of compromise is involved, and the "extra", smallest party, which is brought in to get a majority, is often able to make some pretty tough demands.

Re: Lack of Mandate in UK Elections Causes Confusion

Hypothetical: two ballots on polling day. One for your local MP, who wins their local seat for local governance (whatever that may be) based on their constituent's votes, and a second for a party, who gets to be PM and choose the cabinet based on the national total.

Better/Worse/Neither?

/b

 
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MechaTama31to be done, and some people really need jobs.07/11/2014 - 5:41pm
MechaTama31Info, I think you don't really understand just how crappy a lot of the jobs are that provide the "basics" that you assume will just continue to be produced under such a system. There's very little pride or prestige to be had from such jobs, but they need07/11/2014 - 5:40pm
Andrew EisenMaskedPixelante - That's probably because it's now available on the Wii U eShop for $8.07/11/2014 - 5:18pm
InfophileThat's not how human psychology works. It's all about "Keeping up with the Joneses." When everyone around you has a new fancy smartphone and is talking about that cool HBO series, do you want to be the one left out?07/11/2014 - 4:05pm
Matthew WilsonThe issue is most people would settle for the basics and not work. That is why we would need very heavy automation to make a system like that work. Almost all labor intensive tasks would have to be done by robot.07/11/2014 - 2:32pm
InfophileOf course, that's a gross oversimplification. The idea, have a basic safety net that pays for what's needed to live. If people can find a job and are willing to work, they get more money which can be spent on comfort and perks.07/11/2014 - 11:33am
InfophileIt's quite possible to get an economy to work with a basic minimum standard of living. You just need perks for the people who do work. Everyone gets food and a home. Everyone who works also gets an iPhone.07/11/2014 - 11:32am
MaskedPixelanteIn the continuing adventures of "Stuff I figured would be overpriced on eBay but isn't", 15 bucks for a copy of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.07/11/2014 - 10:04am
SleakerI didn't gather the same conclusion.. Seems like they are focusing on devices & services still, just not calling it 'devices and services'07/11/2014 - 8:57am
PHX CorpMicrosoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/10/5887143/satya-nadella-microsoft-ceo-employee-email07/11/2014 - 8:45am
MechaTama31declared that everybody should have them. Somebody still has to produce them.07/11/2014 - 7:44am
MechaTama31I do mean the developers/governmet. And money is not the only thing of value. I am including the food, housing, etc that everybody is supposed to get for free under this system. In the real world, those things don't exist merely because an authority has07/11/2014 - 7:43am
InfophileAs automation gets better and better, the number of jobs absolutely required keeps diminishing. How many people these days do you think are actually needed to keep everyone alive? Most people just make our lives more convenient and entertaining.07/11/2014 - 4:43am
Matthew Wilsonthat kind of system only works when most people (around 70 to 80 percent ) do not need to work.07/11/2014 - 1:21am
TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
TechnogeekAlso, you raise a valid question, but I'd argue that as things stand we're artificially limiting the amount of "gold/silver" that could be produced. The whole "work a job you hate to pay the bills" thing meshes poorly with the entreprenurial spirit.07/10/2014 - 11:49pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, it looks at how in-game economies work and what lessons can be applied to reality, focusing primarily on multiple currency systems. Such systems do exist in real life (food stamps, for example), although generally aren't seen as such.07/10/2014 - 11:43pm
 

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