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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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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