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Topic: "Proportional" reprentation (Read 1571 times)

  • OakdaleFTL
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"Proportional" reprentation
Recently -in the Good News thread- a conversation ensued. (It happens, sometimes... :) )
Shall we here discuss the issues involved?

The idea of proportional representation requires, at least, a metaphor that is problematical: Is the mixture of urine and water best described as "urine diluted with water" or "water adulterated with urine"? :)
Psychologists have "examined" the disgust factor... (It's fascinating reading!) But no hard-and-fast conclusions have emerged.

Of course, this metaphor requires the belief that there are better and worse political philosophies... And better and worse government, based upon something... If you don't believe that, you might as well stop reading now; and refrain from commenting: Your tribe will either win or lose, and that's all you care about anyway!

It's that "something" mentioned above that I'd like to talk about.

Any takers? :)
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The election of smaller parties gives rise to the principal objection to PR systems, that they almost always result in coalition governments.

Supporters of PR see coalitions as an advantage, forcing compromise between parties to form a coalition at the centre of the political spectrum, and so leading to continuity and stability. Opponents counter that with many policies compromise is not possible (for example funding a new stealth bomber, or leaving the EU). Neither can many policies be easily positioned on the left-right spectrum (for example, the environment). So policies are horse-traded during coalition formation, with the consequence that voters have no way of knowing which policies will be pursued by the government they elect; voters have less influence on governments. Also, coalitions do not necessarily form at the centre, and small parties can have excessive influence, supplying a coalition with a majority only on condition that a policy or policies favoured by few voters is adopted. Most importantly, the ability of voters to vote a party in disfavour out of power is curtailed.

All these disadvantages, the PR opponents contend, are avoided by two-party plurality systems. Coalitions are rare; the two dominant parties necessarily compete at the centre for votes, so that governments are more reliably moderate; the strong opposition necessary for proper scrutiny of government is assured; and governments remain sensitive to public sentiment because they can be, and are, regularly voted out of power. However, the US experience shows that this is not necessarily so, and that a two-party system can result in a "drift to extremes", hollowing out the centre, or, at least, in one party drifting to an extreme.

Nevertheless, on average, compared to countries using plurality systems, governments elected with PR accord more closely with the median voter and the citizens are more content with democracy.
(source)
  • Last Edit: 2017-04-13, 04:40:52 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #75
. But the main point is undeniable: We are different, in our preconceptions and in our aspirations...
It's undeniable that you think you are oh-so different. The ideology of American Exceptionalism, particularly the messianic version of it, makes its adherents completely ridiculous.

  • rjhowie
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #76
In Scotland, Wales, Ulster we have proportional voting for those parliaments but not nationally at Westminster. Some on the liberal democrat tiny corner moan about that which is stupid because we did have a UK referendum and PR was ignored and we stayed as we are.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #77
Quote from: page 7
"'All of the people in his district--including those who voted against
him?" Yes, of course. And suddenly enlightenment dawns--the realization

[...]
Everywhere else, elected representatives represent mainly their parties and the ideology their parties, which is identified with the "public interest." Only in America is it taken for granted that they ought to represent, first of all, the economic interests of all of their constituents.
This sounds like some first-class ignorance at best. Aside from that, it looks like it's attempting to make some point about the word economic which is just plain illogical. First of all, what proof is there that in Europe we don't think primarily about economic interests as well? And secondly, to say that focusing on economic interests isn't promoting "any particular ideology" is so laughable it shouldn't even need addressing.

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But the main point is undeniable: We are different, in our preconceptions and in our aspirations...
Insofar as there is indeed a difference worthy of the name, it would be that belief. :)

  • krake
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #78
This sounds like some first-class ignorance at best.
Ignorance or deliberate lie...

And secondly, to say that focusing on economic interests isn't promoting "any particular ideology" is so laughable it shouldn't even need addressing.
Hail turbo-capitalism aka casino-capitalism!...

Insofar as there is indeed a difference worthy of the name, ...
It depends on how efficient brainwashing works. ;)

Not related but somehow in context:

  • rjhowie
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #79
Wonder if they had PR in Texas how many would vote "out."?  :D
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #80
Wonder if they had PR in Texas how many would vote "out."?
Ever been to Texas? They are pretty convinced they are on their own already. "The Lone Star State" is an attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #81
I haven't been to Texas since '70... And except for them all calling me "Yankee" I had no problems with them. They were good people -- despite their opinion of me... :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #82
I lived there. Then spent weeks out of every summer there after that, tagging along with the old man on business trips. It was a good chance to get away and enjoy some freedom in my teens. I was unaware I was being disparaging. It's a fine place. I like it. I just don't think they need any convincing they could go it alone.

  • rjhowie
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #83
Only been in two of your States ensbb3 but I was kind of passingly curious about Texas and it was stirred by a programme shown on television here in GB just about three or so years ago on Texans who wanted out of the Union. No doubt they would be a minority whilst at the same time there seemed a bit of a presumptuous Texas attitude.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #84
Texans who wanted out of the Union.
I mean, the last time it was an option they left.
No doubt they would be a minority whilst at the same time there seemed a bit of a presumptuous Texas attitude.
Well they are aware of the benefits of being one of the wealthiest States in such a Union too. But you wouldn't have to talk to many of them before learning that and every other thing great about Texas. Friendly tho... Oh, and cowboy garb is not a costume there.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #85
Please understand, poor Scotsman, that Texas has been constrained by rules set by Congress, a long time ago. Once upon a time, Texas could become 6 states -- but that option went away a long time ago.
We're not like your lot: We decided on union, and made it a prerequisite. It stays as it is.

You silly geese can keep voting, over and over... :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • rjhowie
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #86
must say that ensbb3's answer is more sensible than constant hiccup OakdaleFTL. Yakking on about "us" on voting. Can I say if you are not sozzled that at5 least voting has a point here! Was interesting to know that going on wearing Stetsons is not typical any more  than us wearing kilts everywhere. 
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Barulheira
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Kilts?
Reply #87
Though everybody here wears like this:


  • rjhowie
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #88
Well I prefer looking like a man.......
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • krake
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Re: "Proportional" reprentation
Reply #89
:)

  • Barulheira
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A man
Reply #90
Looks like a man... :left:

  • ersi
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Re: A man
Reply #91
Looks like a man... :left:
...in skirt.