Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Green”

What about the Elephants?

This (2015 UK) General Election seems to consist of lots of minor and pretty irrelevant skirmishes. The major issues seem to be un-addressed in the election.

So what are these elephants in the room? Read more…

Ruling out partners

Will you rule out a coalition with?

Will you rule out any formal agreement with?

Will you rule out any agreement with?

These questions come from the politicians, the dimblebariat and members of the public (presumably learning from their elders if not their betters)

These questions should be banned. I know, what about “free speech”, but … Read more…

Campaigning in: Hexham

Basically, don’t bother – unless you are Conservative in which case do a bit of token campaigning to show that you are not taking the voters for granted.

Why? Read more…

Hidden Coalitions

I recently pondered the coalition permutations that might follow the forthcoming General Election in May 2015. Today I was considering the hidden coalitions in our current parties.

If these hidden coalitions could be unbundled, we might see some more appropriate permutations, which means more stable coalitions possibly with more support. Read more…

“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,”

“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” Mr Hislop told them.
BBC News Website 12 March 2015 : Hislop says private-state school gap widening (answering questions from Schoolchildren.)

I could accept this slogan if I had a vote that had any effect. But we have a problem in that most of us are in constituencies where our vote is not going to make the slightest difference. It’s a similar situation with the slogan,

People fought and died for the vote; you have an obligation to use yours.

I don’t buy this either – but mean no disrespect to those who fought for a wider suffrage. The problem is the fight is nowhere near finished.

So, what’s to be done – in general and in May 2015? Read more…

Party Permutations

No party wants to admit that it will go into coalition with any other party – because they want to maintain the fiction that they will win in May. On the other hand they are being a little coy about ruling out possible coalition partners – because pragmatically they know they may have to “do a deal”.

So what can we work out for ourselves? Read more…

Electoral Debates – One out; all out?

We know that the parties are motivated by self-interest when it comes to who they think should take part in the General Election Debates.

But what do the voters think? Read more…

Electoral Hypocrisy (part 1 of goodness knows)

Will the TV companies “empty chair” the Prime Minister? Will the Greens be subject to the pressure of the leaders’ debates? Will they even take place?

It is all about ratings and political self-interest. Quelle Surprise! Read more…

Being the 3rd or 4th Party

It is difficult when the country won’t divide into two warring tribes. But, on the other hand, if you look at politics in the United States of America, perhaps not.

Without just two warring tribes and the associated bi-polar politics we (the UK) need to seriously consider multi-party politics and its implications. The fact that we have not really done so is part of the reason for the politics of the last five years generating so much heat and venom yet so little light and progress.

For the first and second parties in a multi-party system, the basic strategy is fairly easy and unchanged. You “campaign to win”.

If successful you either:

  • with a following wind from the electoral system create a majority government (happy days), or,
  • you form a minority government or a coalition – either of which is difficult – but is probably better than losing.

If you lose, you are spared the responsibility of governing and you are free to be chief critic – as long as you do not lose so badly that you cease to be the second party.

If you are not the first or second party, the situation is more difficult. Read more…

What to do when the system fails you?

John Curtice writing today (16 July 2014) on Democratic Audit says:

Labour needs to watch the Greens because the Greens are potential alternative form of protest for Lib Democrat voters as are to some degree UKIP.
Democratic Audit 16 July 2014 : Five minutes with John Curtice: “The problem facing the Conservatives is that so far this is a voteless recovery”

I think all parties need to watch both the Greens and UKIP but not just as parties of protest but as serious potential challengers. First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral systems like ours tends to concentrate power into the hands of the least unpopular parties – usually giving the least unpopular an absolute majority on a minority vote. So the big two / three may think that the next election is a private battle between the three of them (at least in England). They could be wrong. Read more…

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