Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 23 Aug 2014 03:37:12 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Big Sister 20: No searching involved or needed, my friend. That was the first line that came into my mind when I read your previous post. It made me laugh, and would (I suspect) also make the Dalai Lama laugh. Not sure whether Obama would appreciate it or not - he strikes me as somewhat humourless. Wed 03 Feb 2010 08:49:04 GMT+1 Redheylin 17 - Not quite, keep searching. I may add that, in the unfortunate eventuality of a contretemps between the two, you'd have an Obama-lama-ding-dong.While on such serious matters, I note that Radio 4 News last night decided that the extremely non-specific declaration of Conservative economic policy today trumped, for headline position, the first proposed electoral reform by a sitting premier for a century.I am sure several members will concur with this non-aligned listener in concluding that the BBC News has an agenda of its own. Bad luck - I get the impression that the horse is fading rather. Wed 03 Feb 2010 03:39:46 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna While not perfect, the system adopted for the Scottish Parliament has much to recommend it. A mixture of FPTP and proportional, it provides good representation for 'minority' parties and makes the chance of a dictatorial majority very remote.A Wiki viewSlainte! Wed 03 Feb 2010 00:02:12 GMT+1 jiffle 16My cynical view of politicians is that as long as one vote is cast, the winner will claim to have a mandate, so not voting is not an option - they will read into the inaction what they want to believe.I do believe that the current frantic clustering of parties around the same middle ground (which thus denies us any meaningful choice) is caused by the first-past-the-post system.So yes, the current voting system does render most voting pointless. In many constituencies, the choices are of only two realistic candidates (and only one donkey-with-a-rosette in the rest!), which was bad at the best of times, but now there isn't even a difference between the two!But then, as I have said, all non-voting is completely pointless, so the best plan as I see it is to get the voting system changed and then start rebuilding British politics from the ground up. Tue 02 Feb 2010 23:48:44 GMT+1 Big Sister 14: Would that be 'A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo', by any chance? ;o) Tue 02 Feb 2010 23:37:57 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd 15Thanks for your very interesting comments on my post.In my example, x are at one extreme, y at the other, the a's in the middle.So xPaPy, yPaPy and (aPx, aPy) are the voting patterns.('P' means 'is prefered to') How do you feel about the iPM question as to whether we should vote in elections when it's a foregone conclusion? Tue 02 Feb 2010 23:29:14 GMT+1 jiffle @ExpectingTheEnd (12)If I read your scenario correctly, the extreme parties command 80% of the first-choice vote between them (I'm assuming that they're not on opposite extremes, otherwise the voters would not include them third place). Sounds to me that AV correctly represented the will of the people in this case (even if the result isn't what you would choose!). I also note that your example contains the unlikely scenario that all parties are acceptable to at least 80% of the electorate!Note that Germany was using a full PR system when Hitler was elected (indeed, I wonder if the list system helped him achieve such complete control over his party).Tactical voting is an enemy of democracy: For democracy to work, everyone must express what they truly wish to happen. If everybody is busy second-guessing the other voters in order to 'fix' the system, then nobody ends up expressing what they actually want, and everybody gets surprised when a candidate that nobody wanted gets elected.Yes, candidates that don't get put first by enough people get eliminated. Good. While AV requires that the winning candidate is acceptable to at least 50% of the voters, they still should have enough core support that a good number will put them first. What would be really bad is a voting system that returned a party with a massive majority that no-one actually had a strong affinity for, but were so centre-ground inoffensive that everyone gave them a second or third selection as a sympathy vote.... Tue 02 Feb 2010 23:10:55 GMT+1 Redheylin I greatly welcome the forthcoming meeting of Obama and the Dalai Lama.I was moved to celebrate the occasion by composing a song but, no matter how I manage the lyrics, I find Little Richard has beaten me to it. Tue 02 Feb 2010 22:37:51 GMT+1 Redheylin (11) Product placement. Tue 02 Feb 2010 20:52:34 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd Oh, dear!Three parties, x, a and y.a are middle ground and get 20 per cent of first preferences.x and y are the more extreme parties and get about 40 per cent of the vote each.All those voters put a second and the other extreme party third.AV divis up the a preferences between the x and y candidates, one of whom gets the seat.BUT PARTY a HAS A MAJORITY AGAINST BOTH x AND y.Pairwise comparison is the way to count votes.Both first past the post and AV need tactical voting.Tactical or strategic voting is necessary for democracy. (If you had complete proportional representation in the Assembly for the above example, (20 seats for a, around 40 each for x and y), you'd still need strategic voting in the Assembly in favour of a's policies. For both x and y Members would prefer their own policies and so should vote against a's proposals. Unless they voted strategically. ('I'll vote for a even though I prefer x, otherwise every proposal gets defeated and we are stuck with the status quo which we all find worst of all')So who would you rather did the strategic voting, we, the people, or the band of self seekers we call our present House of Commons?(Other examples show that even with pairwise comparisons, you still need strategic voting. (Ie when there are ties (which representational bodies are much more likely to have than the electorate that sends them there) and when there are voting cycles. (For three parties, a, b and c, about one third of the electorate prefer a to b to c, another third (approx), prefer b to c to a, the last third (approx), prefer c to a to b. Pairwise, there's a cycle, a beats b, b beats c, but c beats a)) Tue 02 Feb 2010 20:23:24 GMT+1 jiffle Evening Sid,I was expecting an intervention from you about STV! And I think we can both agree that either AV or STV would be massively better than the current system.BTW: Why has someone sealed the markers into a paperweight? Tue 02 Feb 2010 19:43:11 GMT+1 janie My highlighter has to be yellow - sometimes I even have to hide it from my colleagues Tue 02 Feb 2010 19:25:17 GMT+1 Sindy Fabulous picture, by the way. Tue 02 Feb 2010 19:05:21 GMT+1 Sindy Jiffle - STV does everything that AV does - AND MORE!!!More info here. Tue 02 Feb 2010 19:04:21 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea "The shocking extent of unexploded cluster bombs dropped by American and British planes, which litter Iraq eight weeks after the conflict, is revealed in detail for the first time today. The first map based on military intelligence to show the exact location of unexploded anti-personnel mines, cluster bombs and anti-tank mines, obtained by The Observer, shows the vast area of the country which is at danger from live munitions." Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:51:26 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea I loathe them, because it's not just us that are being attacked,I've seen it with my own eyes - Afghan kids, women and children injured when these IEDs [improvised explosive devices] function. I loathe the bomb-makers totally and utterly." Does the loathing extend to US/UK cluster-bomb makers and those arms manufacturers using depleted uranium? Iraqi kids, women and children are still being injured and killed as a result of 'western' weapons used in 2003. Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:50:21 GMT+1 jiffle Was baffled how the lady thought that voting against things would work. What did she think an election is - I'm a Celebrity? Anyway, there is a way in AV to vote against a candidate - don't put any number against their name. Then the vote will go to anyone but them.Besides, those complaining that more significant changes are needed are missing that an apparently small change like the voting system can radically change politicians' behaviour. Adopting AV should:End tactical voting - the voting system does that for youRemove lost votes - As long as the voter wants it, their vote will always countEncourage diversity in candidates - As people no longer have to compromise their choice of vote, they can put a local issue candidate first and a national candidate second, knowing that if the local candidate fails they can still make their point.Reduce negative campaigning - with a wider variety of candidates, slanging matches will just push voters to the other choicesI have become convinced that the current voting system is at the core of many of our political problems, and that AV is the best way of fixing it. Please, please support it and make your support known... Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:37:50 GMT+1 Sindy I don't think he went quite that far, Janie - he said it wasn't the best voting system, but it was a step in the right direction. I think. Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:29:39 GMT+1 janie The guy who was discussing voting reform tonight - interesting how he managed to make equate change to improvement. I work in the NHS and no matter how many times we change management we are still waiting for improvement... Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:14:05 GMT+1 Alice constancia I love the programme - especially when lovely Eddie presents however I don't think that the section that dealt with the comments from the Nigerian writer was at all well researched. The commentator was not really very knowlegable and didn't seem to be able to grasp the important social issues raised by Wole's comments - maybe a social commentator or even laurie Taylor might have been able to contribute more effectively to this... Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:05:03 GMT+1 Big Sister Everything comes to he (or she) who waits.Good show, Eddie! Tue 02 Feb 2010 18:00:43 GMT+1