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| | |-+  Let the great boundary rejig commence
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Author Topic: Let the great boundary rejig commence  (Read 65938 times)
stepney
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« Reply #1000 on: January 14, 2013, 03:54:20 pm »
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he pointed out, there are many biases to Labour in the current set-up; not only unequal constituency sizes but also differential turnout and the differing size of majorities (that is to say, 'efficiency'). Which was all very true, but no distraction from the fact that if any of those biases could be ironed out by legislation, they should be ironed out.

Actually, much of it could be ironed out with PR. But your party only wishes to remove the biases that don't work in your favour.

Per contra. My party wishes to iron out biases against us, but not actually allow the Great 'Progressive' Middle-Class Leftist Coalition Masturbatathon to impose "lock out the Tories out forever" as a supposedly noble aim of the whole bloody electoral system. Put at its bluntest, if the Tories win more votes than anyone else, the Tories should form the Government.

PR doesn't allow that. In this country, with our electoral system (and let's not pretend all our century-old established parties would just split up at PR), it means hung Parliaments forever with Liberals commanding the central kingmaker position. (And just look how marvellously well that's working out). In this country, PR would not be fair. It may mean seats are allocated in proportion with electoral results - a superficial degree of 'fairness' that might fool a moron - but power would be locked in with the left. Fair? Give over. It's a bloody entrenchment of bias.
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afleitch
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« Reply #1001 on: January 14, 2013, 04:17:32 pm »
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To be fair anyway you cut the cake will result in a disproportionate bias towards Labour. One of the main problems is that the electoral geography of Britain has remained generally unaltered since the war. The administrative boundaries have however. The Mets are a major problem, you have areas of Tory support on the fringes but backed up against the boundaries with the county councils which are never crossed. Worse still, within the Mets you have continuing traditions which are never broken. Look at the proposed Otley constituency. That would never be suggested under the current method of doing things, yet it makes a fair degree of sense.
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Gary J
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« Reply #1002 on: January 14, 2013, 04:30:26 pm »
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Labour had a number of arguments against equalising the electorates of constituencies. Most were nonsense, being concerned with preserving unfair partisan advantage.

On the other hand the Conservatives were also creating a system which they hoped (perhaps wrongly) would enable them to gain a partisan advantage, against both Labour and Liberal Democrat opponents.

The Liberal Democrats were prepared to put up with a potential loss of seats through the boundary review, if it was offset by the Alternative Vote system (which they thought, perhaps wrongly, would help them to win more seats). With the AV idea dead, the Liberal Democrats self interest was to kill the boundary review. Petulance was not involved, just political calculation.

All parties were pursuing partisan self interest, cloaked with appeals to principle. That is what tends to happen in such debates. 

It would be better to equalise each constituency, using the census population rather than the registered electorate. This does seem to be the approach most countries follow.

The real problems are the single member constituency and first past the post elections. Unfortunately we seem further than ever from addressing those issues.
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« Reply #1003 on: January 14, 2013, 04:33:53 pm »
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he pointed out, there are many biases to Labour in the current set-up; not only unequal constituency sizes but also differential turnout and the differing size of majorities (that is to say, 'efficiency'). Which was all very true, but no distraction from the fact that if any of those biases could be ironed out by legislation, they should be ironed out.

Actually, much of it could be ironed out with PR. But your party only wishes to remove the biases that don't work in your favour.

Per contra. My party wishes to iron out biases against us, but not actually allow the Great 'Progressive' Middle-Class Leftist Coalition Masturbatathon to impose "lock out the Tories out forever" as a supposedly noble aim of the whole bloody electoral system. Put at its bluntest, if the Tories win more votes than anyone else, the Tories should form the Government.

PR doesn't allow that. In this country, with our electoral system (and let's not pretend all our century-old established parties would just split up at PR), it means hung Parliaments forever with Liberals commanding the central kingmaker position. (And just look how marvellously well that's working out). In this country, PR would not be fair. It may mean seats are allocated in proportion with electoral results - a superficial degree of 'fairness' that might fool a moron - but power would be locked in with the left. Fair? Give over. It's a bloody entrenchment of bias.

That is one of the most absurd arguments I've ever seen. You seem to freely admit you're a minority in this country, and yet expect to be rewarded with a majority of the seats? Well that's the beauty of PR - you get what you deserve, and not unimpeded power even when you can barely muster a third of the vote. If you don't represent the majority of voters, then you don't get a majority of seats. Winning seats proportional to your votes is not in anyway "superficial", it's the very definition of fairness and the ultimate reflection of voters wishes. It is the FPTP system unduly rewarding first placers that is the entrenched bias, not the system that reflects what the country voted for in seats (you're basically calling the country biased against the Tories, and that is true - for good reason).

This bastardised coalition is a FPTP coalition - the idea that the UK would differ from the rest of the world (established, old parties don't see splits in PR?) in not seeing a splintering of voters to their preferred strands under PR (which in turn would make for more natural coalitions), but would carry on voting determinedly for the main two and a half is pure fantasy. You're already seeing it now, with the Tory Right migrating to UKIP, and that's with FPTP!

Funnily enough, the Right could easily coalesce their collective seats, whereas if current voting patterns prevail in their split state, they'll both be punished by FPTP - like the Left suffered in the eighties. Your pessimism for the Right is not credible anyway, a) the Liberals would never wed themselves to Labour in that way - you'd have the Doktorbs as reliably at your side as any leftist Liberal would be to Labour and the voters would be happy voting for the same government for eternity? b) you're still seeing this through your FPTP lenses - this wouldn't be FPTP two-and-a half with Liberals the kingmakers, I'd be astonished if they didn't split between the leftist and rightist Liberals, and the latter would likely be joining a coalition of the Tories and UKIP - AKA bourgeois Rightist toffery.   

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Gary J
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« Reply #1004 on: January 14, 2013, 05:23:42 pm »
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I should extend the argument from my last post, slightly.

The reason, or at least the ostensible reason, why the Liberal Democrats withdrew support from the boundary review was the failure of House of Lords reform. A House of Lords, largely elected by a system of proportional representation, would have also provided some compensation to the Lib Dems for the Commons seats thought likely to be lost as the result of the boundary review.

Having failed to get compensation, either through AV for the Commons or PR in the Lords, there was no longer any advantage in the Liberal Democrats supporting a boundary review which was contrary to their party interest.
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stepney
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« Reply #1005 on: January 14, 2013, 05:25:33 pm »
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he pointed out, there are many biases to Labour in the current set-up; not only unequal constituency sizes but also differential turnout and the differing size of majorities (that is to say, 'efficiency'). Which was all very true, but no distraction from the fact that if any of those biases could be ironed out by legislation, they should be ironed out.

Actually, much of it could be ironed out with PR. But your party only wishes to remove the biases that don't work in your favour.

Per contra. My party wishes to iron out biases against us, but not actually allow the Great 'Progressive' Middle-Class Leftist Coalition Masturbatathon to impose "lock out the Tories out forever" as a supposedly noble aim of the whole bloody electoral system. Put at its bluntest, if the Tories win more votes than anyone else, the Tories should form the Government.

PR doesn't allow that. In this country, with our electoral system (and let's not pretend all our century-old established parties would just split up at PR), it means hung Parliaments forever with Liberals commanding the central kingmaker position. (And just look how marvellously well that's working out). In this country, PR would not be fair. It may mean seats are allocated in proportion with electoral results - a superficial degree of 'fairness' that might fool a moron - but power would be locked in with the left. Fair? Give over. It's a bloody entrenchment of bias.

That is one of the most absurd arguments I've ever seen. You seem to freely admit you're a minority in this country, and yet expect to be rewarded with a majority of the seats? Well that's the beauty of PR - you get what you deserve, and not unimpeded power even when you can barely muster a third of the vote.
Well done on spectacularly missing the point. I'm not arguing in favour of unimpeded Tory power. The Labour and Liberal parties have, collectively, won a majority of the votes in every election in the UK since at least 1964. Ditto, however, the Tory and Liberal parties. There has not been a majority, not necessarily even a plurality, however, in favour of a Lab-Lib or Con-Lib coalition at any of those elections with the possible exceptions of 1997 and 2001, though I'd wager there was a plurality in favour of a Labour majority Government at both of those elections.

If you don't represent the majority of voters, then you don't get a majority of seats. Winning seats proportional to your votes is not in anyway "superficial", it's the very definition of fairness and the ultimate reflection of voters wishes.

No it bloody isn't. Hung Parliaments every single time, in which the perpetually third-placed party chooses what Government is formed, is not fair. It's power that should be fairly distributed, not the number of seats.

It is the FPTP system unduly rewarding first placers that is the entrenched bias, not the system that reflects what the country voted for in seats (you're basically calling the country biased against the Tories, and that is true - for good reason).
Insofar as the country is biased against the Tories, it is for very bad reasons, viz. Labour Governments have perpetually sought to bribe people with their own money. Like Pandora's box, they have entrenched so many people, even the middle-class, in dependency, that there is an intrinsic anti-Tory bias in the whole rotten system.

This is not necessarily relevant to this thread. How difficult is "Tory-leaning seats having an average 8000 more electors per seat than Labour-leaning seats" to understand as an indicator of malapportionment?

This bastardised coalition is a FPTP coalition - the idea that the UK would differ from the rest of the world (established, old parties don't see splits in PR?) in not seeing a splintering of voters to their preferred strands under PR (which in turn would make for more natural coalitions), but would carry on voting determinedly for the main two and a half is pure fantasy. You're already seeing it now, with the Tory Right migrating to UKIP, and that's with FPTP!

Funnily enough, the Right could easily coalesce their collective seats, whereas if current voting patterns prevail in their split state, they'll both be punished by FPTP - like the Left suffered in the eighties. Your pessimism for the Right is not credible anyway, a) the Liberals would never wed themselves to Labour in that way - you'd have the Doktorbs as reliably at your side as any leftist Liberal would be to Labour and the voters would be happy voting for the same government for eternity? b) you're still seeing this through your FPTP lenses - this wouldn't be FPTP two-and-a half with Liberals the kingmakers, I'd be astonished if they didn't split between the leftist and rightist Liberals, and the latter would likely be joining a coalition of the Tories and UKIP - AKA bourgeois Rightist toffery.   
I've read this over three times, and it's still drivel. Are you perhaps not British? Do you have no idea what you're on about? Looks like it. I've no idea what you're trying to say, but my point is that in a democracy the pendulum swings, left and right each get a taste of power, not some stitch-up to keep the right out forever. UKIP are a nuisance, but an irrelevant nuisance to this.
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« Reply #1006 on: January 15, 2013, 12:43:40 am »
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I've had time to calm down.

I think all which could be said has been by others, from both sides, so maybe now this thread can become a repository for "zombie maps" and other academic exercises Smiley
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« Reply #1007 on: January 15, 2013, 07:17:21 am »
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Specific constituencies has nothing to do with it. At all. Blame the formation of the island thousands of years ago for the shape of the Wirral peninsula.

Labour MPs were set upon the House of Lords Bill, to ensure that the Lords remains unelected and unaccountable. Labour MPs were set upon the AV referendum to ensure that the Commons is unrepresentative. And now Labour Lords have ensured that a vote in the middle of Glasgow is a different value to a vote in the middle of Manchester.

I've been wary of Labour supporters and their elected (by and large appointed) MPs. This Parliament has been a showcase of shame from the so-called 'party of the people'

Dok, much though I hate to concur with our Labour posters, the only reason this boundary review is not going through is because of the childish petulance of Nick Clegg. Labourites, unhappy a bias towards them in the electoral system would be removed, are I suppose at liberty to vote against this review. The Lib Dems - a member of the governing party who voted to pass the PVSCA 2011 - are not, really.

Rennard's amendment has not been passed in the Lords through independent minded peers sagely considering that amendment and voting for it. The whole thing was orchestrated out of Nick Clegg's office. The man has proved himself a petulant idiot who has stamped his foot and got this through on a whipped vote.

Your party has decided to vote against fair votes solely to screw the Tories over for having the temerity to vote down Lords reform. Much as I might curse the w--kers on our benches for voting down Lords reform, that's the way it's worked, and Nick Clegg has had his petulant tit-for-tat with Nadine Dorries, Jesse Norman, et al by having this amendment put down and passed.
And of course that wouldn't have happened if the boundary rejig and the 2011 law itself hadn't been such a royal screwup* - if Clegg hadn't had good reason to feel (and was presumably getting peergroup feedback) that this review is simply not up to scratch and not an improvement. Besides, there's the whole AV referendum stuff as well - the bottomline is that this bill was part of a package of constitutional reform, it was both the least necessary part and the only part favoring the Tories, and if they scuttle the rest there's really no reason why they should have this.

*And by that I don't mean the general ideas of a somewhat lesser tolerance, faster reviews and an end to the overrepresentation of Wales - these are sound proposals (now that the greater powers for the Assembly have been passed). The devil was in the details, some of them created for naked partisan reasons. Like the amendments to protect Tory backbench constituencies even when they don't make sense. Or of course the Commission's ward policy (in which it was encouraged by Labour as well Roll Eyes )
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« Reply #1008 on: January 16, 2013, 01:02:26 pm »
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Joy be praised, I'm setting up a USElection style forum for people to discuss the 'zombie review' constituencies, much in the same way that Vote2012 or UKPolling works.

There'll also be a general and international forum.

I won't spam links here, obvz, but will let you know when it's done so you can all hop over there to have a peruse.

I've got 600 threads to start, though, so it will take time!
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« Reply #1009 on: January 29, 2013, 11:28:16 am »
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Parliament postpones boundary review until 2018.

334-292, majority of 42.
At least 4 Tory rebels. The usual suspects: Davis, Davies, Shepherd, Baron.
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« Reply #1010 on: January 29, 2013, 03:59:35 pm »
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Parliament postpones boundary review until 2018.

334-292, majority of 42.
At least 4 Tory rebels. The usual suspects: Davis, Davies, Shepherd, Baron.

Given the potential confusion about Davises and Davieses, it should be clarified that Philip Davies (Shipley) and David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden) voted with Labour and the Lib Dems, while Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire) abstained.  David Davies (Monmouth) voted with the other Tories.  The Cornish Tories all voted for Devonwall.

Naomi Long (Alliance, East Belfast) voted with the Tories; she would have very much been a benificiary of the proposals.  The Plaid, SNP and SDLP MPs, and most of the DUP MPs voted with Labour and the Lib Dems; so did George Galloway, Caroline Lucas, Sylvia Hermon and Eric Joyce.

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« Reply #1011 on: January 29, 2013, 06:42:31 pm »
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[says Nowt]
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« Reply #1012 on: January 30, 2013, 02:51:51 pm »
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As I am the person who started this thread, it only seems reasonable that I end it with my own thoughts and that is, the idea was I think quite sound. The UK has 650 seats for a population of about 60 million. If that is the standard number then India (with a population of 1.2 billion) would have a Parliament of some 13,000 MP's (it only has 500) and the US House and Senate (535 members) should have 2,665 members. And I myself would have been quite happy to see a Ceredigion seat delve into Northern Pembrokeshire (I was never that happy about the Carmarthenshire bits to be honest) but hey, ho, them's the breaks. Therefore, this seems as good a moment as any to lock the topic so that we can look back on it in five years time and say "I wonder if that Wakefield and the Calder Valey constituency is a goer now?"
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