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horsefly

Norfolk and the General Election

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Clearly the political agenda is being determined by the forthcoming general election. So it seems apposite to start a thread on how that will play out in Norfolk. The region could provide one of the more interesting areas given that the traditional Tory domination in Norfolk is genuinely now under serious threat. It could prove a particularly good test of the growing evidence that voters are prepared to vote tactically (witness the LibDem vote in last week's by-elections being lent to Labour). 

So, to kick things off, here's a reminder of the credentials of the Tory who will be standing to be MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis. Mr Lewis currently has 6 other jobs, one of which pays him £250,000 a-year for a 1-day a week commitment. A job for the company LetterOne, a company owned by two sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

 https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/23929341.yarmouth-mp-brandon-lewis-earn-250-000-letterone/?ref=twtrec

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The choice is stark, do you vote for a principled representative or someone who will follow Biden's dangerous course of wars forever?

All main parties have form with regards to the post office scandal still brewing, with bits of information being wrenched out of their 'secrecy' drawers. I hope that Waveney will get their first Green MP and I'm sure that ballot boxes have to be watched like Hawks. at all times of day and night. I would advise to watch the verification of postal votes, in my view its not impossible to cheat as postal votes are allowed to reach the ballot box at the last minute, just before the count starts.

Apart from that I would ask candidates some real questions.

1) do you believe that the ICJ decisions should be adhered to by the Governments that have signed up to its aims and objectives, including ours and its political parties.

2) Are you opposed or in agreeance with supplying bombs and military equipment to wars we are not involved in but support with our intelligence, bases in foreign countries and our own localities here?

3) Do you agree with the station and storage of nuclear weapons on East Anglia or UK soil?

4) how do you envisage we achieve a sustainable agriculture and environmental equilibrium.?

5) Are you for or against local communities generating their own energy by alternative means and supplying their experience and know how to other communities?

 

I let you add whatever you like to ask them, although I could easily add some supplementary questions about policing, the Judiciary and or immigration.

 

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The biggest threat over here in Gt Yarmouth is voter apathy. Very low turnouts last few general and local elections.

Tories in by the back door again, but let's hope not 

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South Norfolk should be a safe Tory seat. If Richard Bacon had been reselected Labour may have had an outside chance but it would have taken a huge swing and tactical voting from Lib Dems. 

Strangely, the new Tory candidate is married to the Tory candidate for Norwich South. He will obviously lose Norwich South but I have no idea what either is like. South Norfolk may be affected by a change of borders. We lose Diss and Harleston but gain Wymondham which should close the gap a bit. The local Lib Dems are very much open to telling their voters to switch to Labour. That's a local thing not a national thing and is partly driven by effectively not having an MP for the last 4 years. 

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23 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

South Norfolk should be a safe Tory seat. If Richard Bacon had been reselected Labour may have had an outside chance but it would have taken a huge swing and tactical voting from Lib Dems. 

Strangely, the new Tory candidate is married to the Tory candidate for Norwich South. He will obviously lose Norwich South but I have no idea what either is like. South Norfolk may be affected by a change of borders. We lose Diss and Harleston but gain Wymondham which should close the gap a bit. The local Lib Dems are very much open to telling their voters to switch to Labour. That's a local thing not a national thing and is partly driven by effectively not having an MP for the last 4 years. 

That's my constituency too. Had the lazy lump fatty Bacon remained as candidate it would have been a much easier job for Labour. It will be a very uphill task but it is not without hope. As you say it would require the vast majority of LibDems voting tactically, but I do get the feeling the general public have woken up to the value of doing precisely that. Also there is now a much more organised campaign promoting tactical voting. Fingers crossed.

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1 hour ago, horsefly said:

That's my constituency too. Had the lazy lump fatty Bacon remained as candidate it would have been a much easier job for Labour. It will be a very uphill task but it is not without hope. As you say it would require the vast majority of LibDems voting tactically, but I do get the feeling the general public have woken up to the value of doing precisely that. Also there is now a much more organised campaign promoting tactical voting. Fingers crossed.

Tactical voting is a very negative tactic.  Essentially you’re voting to stop someone you don’t like from being elected rather than supporting the candidate you actually favour.  

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Tactical voting is the perfect example of showing how our political model is not fit for purpose as you vote against your worst candidate rather than for your best. The fact it even has to be considered shows how bad things are in terms of politicians representing local interests effectively.

Makes perfect sense in FPTP systems, there's very little need for it in PR.

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6 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Tactical voting is the perfect example of showing how our political model is not fit for purpose as you vote against your worst candidate rather than for your best. The fact it even has to be considered shows how bad things are in terms of politicians representing local interests effectively.

Makes perfect sense in FPTP systems, there's very little need for it in PR.

It's even worse than that - 'tactical' voting is only necessary when you have a strong 'party' system in a FPTP system. If the candidates were truly first and foremost representing their constituents (party second) then the best 'person' from any party everyone could happily vote for. But no - we have to take into account party allegiances - hence it is essential as in this election to vote tactically!  

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52 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Tactical voting is the perfect example of showing how our political model is not fit for purpose as you vote against your worst candidate rather than for your best. The fact it even has to be considered shows how bad things are in terms of politicians representing local interests effectively.

Makes perfect sense in FPTP systems, there's very little need for it in PR.

I'm in favour of PR, but we must also recognise it has drawbacks too. For example, you still don't necessarily get the particular person that you actually voted for. 

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32 minutes ago, horsefly said:

I'm in favour of PR, but we must also recognise it has drawbacks too. For example, you still don't necessarily get the particular person that you actually voted for. 

Agreed, no-one's said it was a panacea, but that's a relatively minor weakness compared to the troubles with tactical voting described here. The list system in PR models does tend to be a decent way of seeing which potential MPs are particularly faithful to party lines.

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Rishi (no longer dishi) made a video for Farmers Weekly. I suspect it's going to alarm a lot of village dwellers in the traditional Tory shires of Norfolk. Point two in his list is a promise to rid farmers of the red tape that prevents them building on their "old farmland". Does anyone know what the criteria are for designating the difference between "OLD" farmland and farmland per se? Is this just another example of Rishi throwing in a meaningless and disingenuous adjective in order to disguise the fact he wants to break the Tory manifesto promise to protect the green belt?  

https://twitter.com/i/status/1760008004181864545

 

Edited by horsefly

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Many African states and Brazil have apparently banned the export of donkeys (for their skins and Chinese medicine).

I think they may have found a new source  

  • Haha 2

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On 20/02/2024 at 05:44, horsefly said:

I'm in favour of PR, but we must also recognise it has drawbacks too. For example, you still don't necessarily get the particular person that you actually voted for. 

There’s a few downsides to it.

As the larger parties are often reliant on the smaller ones to form a government, you often end up with the tail wagging the dog so to speak, and a party that only gets around 6% can have undue influence on the direction of policy.

You also end up with lost MPs who aren’t directly elected, and so aren’t answerable to the public in the same way as they are in FPTP. This can create career politicians that are almost impossible to get rid of, even worse than we have currently.

However despite that I’d still have it over FPTP, a system whereby large numbers of votes are essentially wasted 

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10 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

The calls for PR will cease once Labour is in office.

This is the funny part of PR.

 

Everybody want's it until they get into power then they don't

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1 hour ago, Fen Canary said:

There’s a few downsides to it.

As the larger parties are often reliant on the smaller ones to form a government, you often end up with the tail wagging the dog so to speak, and a party that only gets around 6% can have undue influence on the direction of policy.

You also end up with lost MPs who aren’t directly elected, and so aren’t answerable to the public in the same way as they are in FPTP. This can create career politicians that are almost impossible to get rid of, even worse than we have currently.

However despite that I’d still have it over FPTP, a system whereby large numbers of votes are essentially wasted 

That's remedied by the German and indeed the New Zealand version where you basically have two votes, one for a local representative and one at national level. So you still get a direct representative at local level, but at the same time if you think another party has a good manifesto worth your vote, you can give them the national one.

As for smaller parties having undue influence, I'm not convinced. It means politicians actually have to do their job properly, work out acceptable compromises and start taking other manifestos into account to see if similar enough ground is shared. That is still far more preferable for me than one party getting all the gig, and especially when many of the votes are not given due to liking the manifesto, but simply finding it less bad than the other major party.

Agree that PR is not a panacea, which is why frequent referendums, or at least the power for the populace to come together and call one, is a very useful weapon in the locker, but I've been a keen advocate of how the Swiss do this for a very long time.

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Just now, TheGunnShow said:

That's remedied by the German and indeed the New Zealand version where you basically have two votes, one for a local representative and one at national level. So you still get a direct representative at local level, but at the same time if you think another party has a good manifesto worth your vote, you can give them the national one.

As for smaller parties having undue influence, I'm not convinced. It means politicians actually have to do their job properly, work out acceptable compromises and start taking other manifestos into account to see if similar enough ground is shared. That is still far more preferable for me than one party getting all the gig, and especially when many of the votes are not given due to liking the manifesto, but simply finding it less bad than the other major party.

Agree that PR is not a panacea, which is why frequent referendums, or at least the power for the populace to come together and call one, is a very useful weapon in the locker, but I've been a keen advocate of how the Swiss do this for a very long time.

I was referring to the NZ model, I lived there in the past so have experience of that system. My criticisms still stand as around 1/3 of MPs weren’t directly elected, and even those that lost their seat could still end up in Parliament via the list. It simply led to a management group in each major party that was almost impossible for the public to dislodge.

I also disagree with finding compromise. While I was there you usually had two main blocs of left and right, with a minor party sitting in the middle on around 8%. The election was usually decided by whichever party capitulated the most to this minor group and agreed to implement their manifesto, sometimes in direct contradiction to their own. The one benefit of FPTP is if fringe ideas become popular the more popular parts tend to get appropriated by the major parties and thus eventually into government but that’s on its own doesn’t make up for the numerous downsides.

As I say I would still choose PR over FPTP, but both systems do have major flaws. The perfect system doesn’t exist though so you go with the least bad option

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1 minute ago, Fen Canary said:

I was referring to the NZ model, I lived there in the past so have experience of that system. My criticisms still stand as around 1/3 of MPs weren’t directly elected, and even those that lost their seat could still end up in Parliament via the list. It simply led to a management group in each major party that was almost impossible for the public to dislodge.

I also disagree with finding compromise. While I was there you usually had two main blocs of left and right, with a minor party sitting in the middle on around 8%. The election was usually decided by whichever party capitulated the most to this minor group and agreed to implement their manifesto, sometimes in direct contradiction to their own. The one benefit of FPTP is if fringe ideas become popular the more popular parts tend to get appropriated by the major parties and thus eventually into government but that’s on its own doesn’t make up for the numerous downsides.

As I say I would still choose PR over FPTP, but both systems do have major flaws. The perfect system doesn’t exist though so you go with the least bad option

Works both ways though, but it depends on how the lists are formed, and I do agree that this can be in the shadows when done poorly. Certainly from the experiences of a German friend of mine, who is a local politician in Munich, listings generally tend to be done based on how much in step they are with the manifesto so even when you come to vote for a ruling party, you will get a representative who is somewhat on the same line (you don't get the same propensity for splinter groups within big tents to cause havoc as we're seeing in particular with the Badenoch/Braverman set with the Tories, and the Corbynite wing of the Labour party before that). Nevertheless, you still have a local representative who is directly elected or removed by the electorate come voting time. You could argue that the same capitulation to groups still takes place in FPTP, it just tends to happen within big tents, whereas in PR it's much more between separate parties.

Agree that PR's not perfect, but would say the flaws it has are nowhere near as severe as FPTP ones.

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you all like PR? great which particular kind of PR? the additional members system? Single transferable vote? Mixed MembersSystem.

what about a lottocracy? Government by randomly chosen individuals in constituencies, rather than by unfulfilled wishful aspirational ideas from politicians hooked on power?

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/helene-landemore-open-democracy/

Edited by nevermind, neoliberalism has had it

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1 hour ago, nevermind, neoliberalism has had it said:

you all like PR? great which particular kind of PR? the additional members system? Single transferable vote? Mixed MembersSystem.

what about a lottocracy? Government by randomly chosen individuals in constituencies, rather than by unfulfilled wishful aspirational ideas from politicians hooked on power?

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/helene-landemore-open-democracy/

As I said, my personal preference would be the New Zealand version MMP. I’m not a fan of the STV or AV, that seems rather pointless to me 

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8 hours ago, nevermind, neoliberalism has had it said:

you all like PR? great which particular kind of PR? the additional members system? Single transferable vote? Mixed MembersSystem.

what about a lottocracy? Government by randomly chosen individuals in constituencies, rather than by unfulfilled wishful aspirational ideas from politicians hooked on power?

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/helene-landemore-open-democracy/

Personally, PR is a compromise position and a starting point, not a solution. I'd like the ability for the populace to call referendums on popular initiatives and also to have the ability to call a referendum on law that has been passed. Both of these are possible in Switzerland and I think it's a splendid way of ensuring that the public can consistently remind their politicians who actually works for whom.

My preference is full Swiss.

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8 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Personally, PR is a compromise position and a starting point, not a solution. I'd like the ability for the populace to call referendums on popular initiatives and also to have the ability to call a referendum on law that has been passed. Both of these are possible in Switzerland and I think it's a splendid way of ensuring that the public can consistently remind their politicians who actually works for whom.

My preference is full Swiss.

Are you sure that’s wise? A large chunk of the population still haven’t accepted the result of the last one we held 8 years back 

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4 minutes ago, Fen Canary said:

Are you sure that’s wise? A large chunk of the population still haven’t accepted the result of the last one we held 8 years back 

You'll find the Swiss are a lot happier with their government than British people are with the British government. Probably because the Swiss have had a lot more practice in holding them, and indeed also hold them on a regular basis (up to four times a year).

Edited by TheGunnShow

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2 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

You'll find the Swiss are a lot happier with their government than British people are with the British government. Probably because the Swiss have had a lot more practice in holding them, and indeed also hold them on a regular basis (up to four times a year).

What is the turnout like on them? Does having that many mean that people don’t bother to vote unless it’s a subject they’re very interested in, or do they all have a high turnout? I can see how you’d end up with some strange laws passed if everybody gets fatigued and didn’t bother voting 

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Just now, Fen Canary said:

What is the turnout like on them? Does having that many mean that people don’t bother to vote unless it’s a subject they’re very interested in, or do they all have a high turnout? I can see how you’d end up with some strange laws passed if everybody gets fatigued and didn’t bother voting 

Not overly high on the whole, which I don't see as a big worry at all. If you can vote regularly on myriad matters then you can simply leave the ones you don't think you understand well enough to make an informed decision, or don't consider personally important, and focus on the ones you do.

Should we worry about low voter turnouts in Switzerland? - SWI swissinfo.ch

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9 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Not overly high on the whole, which I don't see as a big worry at all. If you can vote regularly on myriad matters then you can simply leave the ones you don't think you understand well enough to make an informed decision, or don't consider personally important, and focus on the ones you do.

Should we worry about low voter turnouts in Switzerland? - SWI swissinfo.ch

That’s fair enough. I’d be concerned that a militant minority would be able to sneak through some strange laws due to voter apathy (much like council elections at times) but I suppose if you don’t vote then you can’t really complain 

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Dear voters of South West Norfolk. I understand that voting Tory has long been considered a sine qua non for living in this fine county, but perhaps it is time to question the validity of this subservient cap-doffing tradition. The woman who wants your vote has not only cost your family £1000s because of her lunatic 49-day stint as PM, but seems intent on confirming that she is certifiably insane:

https://x.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1760605350112153911?s=20

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7 minutes ago, horsefly said:

Dear voters of South West Norfolk. I understand that voting Tory has long been considered a sine qua non for living in this fine county, but perhaps it is time to question the validity of this subservient cap-doffing tradition. The woman who wants your vote has not only cost your family £1000s because of her lunatic 49-day stint as PM, but seems intent on confirming that she is certifiably insane:

https://x.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1760605350112153911?s=20

You can add 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/21/liz-truss-deep-state-cpac-far-right

Certifiably insane 

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