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  1. #1
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Default A Hung Parliament?

    So this election could be very interesting.

    British parties too close to call in election week | Reuters

    I'm interested in hearing some thoughts from the brits on the board. Is a hung parliament all that bad? It just seems to me that things would become more like they are here in the states and the parties would be forced to work together.

    I sat in some committee meetings last summer where they were supposed to be scrutinizing the bill before them. Labour members weren't there half the time and when they were there they were on their blackberry... and why should they be involved when they know they're going to be able to just ram their bill through.

    But, what do I know. I'm a yank.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  2. #2
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I was thinking this thread would be interesting, and then I clicked on it, and I turned out to be very disappointed.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  3. #3
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I was thinking this thread would be interesting, and then I clicked on it, and I turned out to be very disappointed.
    I wondered how long it was going to take someone to make a joke.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I'm interested in hearing some thoughts from the brits on the board. Is a hung parliament all that bad? It just seems to me that things would become more like they are here in the states and the parties would be forced to work together.
    I'm young and also not a brit, so my analysis could be wrong, but it seems as though bipartisanship/cooperation tend to work better when there is no strong majority. For example, the U.S. Congress with it's current super-majority of Democrats has accomplished next to nothing. The way I see it, it's precisely because the large majority gives Democrats the idea that concessions and working with Republicans to shape legislation is unnecessary. Having said that, I don't know that Congresses where the make-up is more evenly distributed are necessarily any more effective in crafting legislation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I wondered how long it was going to take someone to make a joke.
    In that case:
    I hear the ladies love a well hung parliament, though in my case I don't need a hung parliament to compensate for anything.
    “My generation's apathy. I'm disgusted with it. I'm disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whinning about for years.” -Kurt Cobain

  5. #5
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Ok the hung parliment option is pretty much considered to be the worst possible outcome to an election, it means that two parties are in power.

    So basically there is no clear direction when any bill is being made or policy written, or even policy identified as an area to focus on. Ultimately it's a "Cats Game" there has to be more compromises, so a vague ground is reached.

    From a practical perspective it means that if a hung parliment is reached on Thursday, between that and the next election which will typically happen sooner than later (expect that in the autumn), then everything done in the interveening period is typically scrapped, which is a huge waiste to the public purse.

    In addition, the City doesn't like instability, and if Westminster is not on a solid footing, it could jepordise the ecconomic recovery, which would be dissasterous for the public.

    Right now the latest polls show a liberal majority (although that was online - so pretty bogus), the problem is they haven't been in power for the longest time, so it would be a massively interesting outcome.

    I don't know if it will be a hung parliment or not, the last one we had was in the 70's and it was a bleeding dissaster... I wouldn't hold out any hope, if this week brings us back to that state, then it will also be a mess, hopefully rectified by the calling of a second election later in the year.

    As for having a view on British politics, being a yank means you don't live our politics, it doesn't mean you can't understand them or be interested.

    I am British, more correctly Scottish, but I live in London

  6. #6
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Canada's got a similar election system, so I've seen whot happens on both a major majority (well over 50%) and a hung one (2+ parties evenly matched).

    Both suck, but hung ones suck more.

    In a strong majority, the lead party can pretty much do as they choose, which's kinda bad, since they can just pass any vote they want. Jean Chrétien pretty much had absolute power in the country for about 12 years straight where he'd fire anyone in his party who didn't vote on bills the way he wanted, but he had a mass majority vote so always got whot he wanted more or less.

    In one way, this's good, since it means that legislation will be passed, and although it's one sided, at least there's a strong direction things are going in. On the downside, that direction generally favoured the areas with the strongest votes... IE: quebec got crap all for anything because they always vote bloc quebecois so there's no reason to give them anything because they won't vote for yeu anyway, and providing anything for the maritimes is pointless because all 3 maritime provinces combined have a lower vote total than toronto so there's no reason to waste money on trying to give them anything either. It's a game to get reelected, do whot yeu can to get the votes yeu need to stay in power; yeu can only spread money so thin, and certain areas aren't going to be able to be bought or won't have a good enough return for the monies spent, so why waste the effort? This leads to certain sections of the country doing very well, and others going to hell.

    The alternative, however, can suck even more. A hung government "supposedly" means parties will have to compromise and work togeather. Whot happens in reality, is the one that had a majority before gets bitter about things, but has a strong enough vote to screw stuff over if they spend their time working on rallying the other parties to go against whotever the new minority government is trying to do. So the whole time it just turns into any votes that try to go through fall flat, nothing gets done but arguing, and things just kinda get stuck at a standstill.

    The government doesn't work at the top level like yeu'd like to think. They aren't there to better the country, nor are they there to appease the people. They are there to get voted back into power again so they can abuse the power as much as possible; appeasing the people is a secondary goal; as long as yeu get voted in, all yeu have to do is appease enough people who will vote for yeu.

    In the states, this's less obviously clear because it swaps between democrats/republicans every 8 years. The 4 year inbetween election is a joke; only one president has ever gotten voted out before their second term. Even bush, who screwed things up pretty royally and had the lowest public opinion polls in history still got his second term without even trying. Yeu'll notice that at the 8 year mark EVERYONE jumped on the "let's vy for presidency!" while at the 4 year mark they sent... noone.

    Why? Because yeu just flat out don't get voted out in yeur 4th year, so noone seriously wanted to waste a candidate on it, it's alot of money that goes to waste. The 8th year yeu see vote buying all over the place. So whot does the president do during those 8 years? Whotever they feel like. They don't need to worry about getting voted in again. Once they're voted for once, they're in for 8 years, essentially, no matter how bad they screw things up, and after that they can't be voted for anymore, so they really flat out just don't care, they can do anything they want and not worry about being reelected. They KNOW that 8 years after they're voted in they'll be gone, and the other party will get someone in instead of their party because they screwed stuff up so bad during their stay. Yeu know very well after Obama's out that it'll be another republican, but that he FLAT OUT CAN NOT LOOSE his 4th year election. About the ONLY way he could loose it, is to be an illegal immigrant, cheat on his wife, or turn out to be gay. He could plunge the country into civil war and noone would care, so long as he maintains christian ideals.

    So yeah, in the states there isn't much vote buying except on the 8 year election run and even then it's generally going to be a party swap anyway, and the people "buying" votes don't have any real power to actually do such until they're elected, all they have are campaign promises... and once they're into power, they're more or less guaranteed the second election, to the point that noone cares to fulfill those promises as they have no motive to do so.

    In canada/england, they need to buy their votes regularly, but they do so by appeasing the majority voters. In england, it was the worker class who had the most votes... hence the labour party got into power easily because they bought the votes of the majority of people easily. In canada, since it's a larger area but lower population, they appeal to specific locations moreso, with class based vote buying as a secondary. The liberal party got votes in alberta/BC/ontario and don't care about anywheres else, but will cater to business owners and richer people who will try to sway their employees to vote for them in turn (which's technically illegal but it happens anyway).

    I'm a highly liberal individual and even I won't vote for the liberals... because they aren't whot they claim to be at all... same with a good friend in england who refuses to vote for their labour party despite he's in the class they supposedly cater to, because he does enough research to see through their crap >.>


    In any case, a split government doesn't work, it just grinds to a halt usually and results in alot of infighting and bickering, and if anything DOES get passed, it turns into a flat out mess because of all the concessions that had to be made to every party along the way.

    On the plus side, at least we don't have the retarded earmarking system the states does, where anyone can tack on extra funds for whotever they want to completely unrelated bills... "Support health care and yeu're supporting RAPISTS!" because they will actually tag on crap to it that provides funds for sex criminals released from prison so they can resume their lives, or some other thing like that, which has nothing to do with health care, or whotever bill is being looked at at the time.

    In any case, the end result is that it doesn't matter who yeu vote for; the politicians win.

  7. #7
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    There have been several U.S. presidents voted out after one term in office.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #8
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    I'm of the general opinion that both the labour and conservative are incompetent and untrustworth. I also suspect that there is a lot of pople who agree, which is why there may be a hung parliment, as people start voting for the various minor parties, resulting in no-one getting a majority.

    I recall the liberals mentioning that they might push for proportional representation as the price of supporting whoever wins. If that happens it would be very interesting... What do people tink of this?

  9. #9
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    There have been several U.S. presidents voted out after one term in office.
    That's not entirely true...

    There have been 5 presidents in total that did not receive a second term. 4 of which were not voted in as president, but were vice presidents that were promoted due to deaths/assassinations.

    As such there has been only *ONE* president that didn't receive a second term who was VOTED in as president in the first place.

    The other 4 were all handed presidency without being voted for, so I don't honestly think they count in this matter, since we're specifically considering presidents that win TWO elections, and they didn't.

    Specifically, Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the usa, did so poorly that his party didn't even allow him to run for president on his second term, because he lost the vote to even run for presidency.

    I suppose, technically, that means noone has ever really lost their second vote in office, because noone who was elected for their first term, ever lost the second election. The one president elected in first term that didn't make their second wasn't even eligible for reelection, and the 4 others who didn't win the second election were never voted for in the first place.

    As such, there has *NEVER* been a president in the USA who was eligible to be voted for by the people in both first and second terms who succeeded on the first and failed on the second. EVER.

    So yes, I was wrong. There wasn't 1. There was 0.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    There have been several U.S. presidents voted out after one term in office.
    Hmmm its not quite the same, the term of office in a hung parliment, is pretty much gauranteed to be months not years (because none of the parties want to work together). A single term president still gets a good space in years and can still govern in a normal way. Hung parliments don't work.... they spend the whole time squbblign and semi-bullying one another... weird allegencies are formed and things are up for grabs and questioned more...

    its all a bit useless.

    The real eye opener would be if the Liberals manage to get in, which hasn't happened since 1915... so quite some time past. It would be interesting.

    Socalist at no longer a working party they used to have stong allegence to the Unions but the unions in the UK have declined in power since the fiascos of the 1980's which saw the coal, and car industry in a right old state. I'm not saying that they don't have power but far less than in previous time.

    Socialist and Tories are pretty similar these days.

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