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There’s more than 2 parties...

(51 Posts)
WW010 Tue 16-Feb-21 10:01:41

I’m always a bit niggled when people assume if you didn’t vote Labour you must have voted conservative. Now I know the Lib Dem’s collapsed at the last election but, what do we all think about alternatives? Proportional representation for example. Voting Green?? Just wondering what the team think 😁. No drama plz.

Pantglas2 Tue 16-Feb-21 10:05:17

Here in Wales we’ve always had a strong Liberal tradition and Plaid Cymru since the sixties so I’ve been blessed with a choice at every election and have voted for each one at different times!

WishIwasyounger Tue 16-Feb-21 10:05:23

PR is essential to break the stranglehold of the two main parties. I'd like to vote Green, but what's the point.

NellG Tue 16-Feb-21 10:15:40

There's every point in voting for the party that represents your views. That they might not win that seat at that time isn't the point really, over time the support will grow if people vote with their convictions.

I think the media has contributed to creating this 'myth' that your vote doesn't count if it's not for Tory or Labour. It's an insidious manipulation of voting rights and behaviour. Every vote, for whichever party floats your boat, counts. Even votes for monster raving looneys and bucket heads demonstrate a political mood and inform the other parties they might need to up their game.

Votes aren't always about winning, they are about expressing political conviction and intent. Voting with your conviction can only ever improve the political landscape IMO.

Ilovecheese Tue 16-Feb-21 10:26:55

Yes, I keep meaning to find out more about the Green Party's policies, apart from the environment. I need to take a wider view.
Caroline Lucas seems to try and hold the Government to account quite often.

Galaxy Tue 16-Feb-21 10:30:07

The green party failed to manage a very serious incident of safeguarding within their own party recently. I have doubts about their competence.

WW010 Tue 16-Feb-21 10:42:42

Thanks all. I meant to put with apologies to those in Wales, NI and Scotland who do have strong alternatives. We need a new ‘face’ I think (I know, it’s not about personality). Someone to inspire us to something different. With tin helmet on I’m thinking like when Nick Clegg suddenly caught our imagination back in the day. The follow up wasn’t great of course 😬 but that kind of buzz would be great. It worries me that post brexit people will lose interest and we’ll be left at the mercy of the activists.

Cs783 Tue 16-Feb-21 10:49:21

Yes ‘make votes matter’ is a campaign with clear explainers on proportional representation. I’m no fan of N Farage (oh those initials) but for a group to get 4 million votes and no representation was bizarre. You know the saying about better to have people inside the tent...?

varian Tue 16-Feb-21 10:51:29

If we want the UK to become a democracy the first and most important change needed it to reform our voting system so that every vote has equal value. The way we elect our MPs is bad for voters, bad for governance and bad for democracy.

We also need to look at party funding. The two largest, and by far the best funded, parties are funded to promote the interests of their funders, not the population at large, whether that means extremely wealthy donors, big business or trade unions. In recent years colossal sums have been donated to the Conservative Party by Putin's friends who made fortunes when the Soviet Union collapsed and now have homes in London.

The other factor which distorts democracy is media ownership and control by a small number of the super-rich who have their own agenda. Many of these proprietors are foreign billionaires or tax dodgers and they control both print and broadcast media.

Margaret Thatcher waived the monoploy rules and allowed Rupert Murdoch to acquire control of The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun and The News of the World in exchange for his political support and since then not one British Prime Minister has won a general election without the backing of Rupert Murdoch who is not a UK national and does not live in the UK.

Alegrias1 Tue 16-Feb-21 10:56:28

I'm in Scotland, and no apologies needed WW010 smile.

I am always grateful that we have a wider choice of parties and policies to vote for. We have a form of PR in the Scottish Parliament and I think that does influence people to vote for minority parties where they might otherwise think their vote was wasted. The Green party does quite well up here, possibly for that reason.

Regarding it not being worth voting for any of the minor parties, up until a few years ago the Labour Party dominated politics in Scotland and the SNP had a tiny number of seats in the HoC. Labour now have one MP and the SNP have 47. So its always worth voting for the candidate who represents your views best.

WW010 Tue 16-Feb-21 11:03:36
Signed. We’ve got to start somewhere. Agree with NellG. If we continue to shrug our shoulders nothing will change.

muse Tue 16-Feb-21 11:13:13

NellG Wholeheartedly agree.

The green party have had my vote previously. I was aware of the safe guarding incident two years ago. They've since reviewed and updated their safeguarding policy. I'm sure that there is/are black marks against other parties too.

Far from being a strong alternative, Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall has a very small number of elected representatives but may get more next time.

Galaxy Tue 16-Feb-21 11:20:06

Yes the Liberal Democrats record on safeguarding over years is also awful.

varian Tue 16-Feb-21 11:24:39


Yes the Liberal Democrats record on safeguarding over years is also awful.

How can you substantiate this claim?

Dinahmo Tue 16-Feb-21 11:29:48

Varian Thanks for the link. I've signed the petition.
Many people seem to think that chaos would ensue if we had PR in the UK but out of the 43 countries that comprise Europe, only 3 have FPTP. These are the UK, France and Belarus. Surely 40 countries can't all be wrong?

muse Tue 16-Feb-21 11:30:20

Thanks for the link WW010. Signed.

Casdon Tue 16-Feb-21 13:49:43

It’s an interesting question I think. In Wales we currently have a mixed system for the Senedd, some MS are elected through first past the post, and some through the Regional PR system.

I think the ‘issue’ parties can get seats through the PR system which become irrelevant during the life of a parliament, and we have the misfortune in the area I live for one of the regional representatives to be the leader of UKIP for Wales, representing what exactly now, who knows. I find that embarrassing - and the regional representative MS don’t seem to have quite the status of the directly elected MS (which maybe as well in this case...).

grannysyb Tue 16-Feb-21 13:54:25

I didn't vote in the last election, (I live in a traditionally Lib dem seat,) won't vote Tory and don't like the way women are being marginalised by the other two parties, now going to hide behind the settee!

M0nica Tue 16-Feb-21 14:19:44

I have been a Lib/Lib Dem member since 1962, but for about the last 20 years that vote has been based on the 'Could never vote for the two main parties, who else can I vote for?' basis only

I have investigated a number of other parties including the Greens, with whom I do share many policies, but all had major policies that I personally thought lived in cloud cuckoo land.

I cannot see it matters a toss whether we have first pass the post or some form of PR, at the end of the day the government will be formed from people already in the political arena and i do not have any confidence in any of them from any party and as for the possibility of them ever establishing a stable coalition. We will become like Israel and Italy, with a new government for every day of the week.

varian Tue 16-Feb-21 14:44:11

Those who try to defend the undemocratoic FPTP always try to poopoo coalitions by pointing to Israel and Italy "with a new government every day of the week". It is a tired old cliche.

There are many many countries in the world which have had stable and successful coalitions such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand.

I have never heard of any democracy which uses a proportional representation voting system opting to change to First Past The Post.

Once a country tries democracy, it wants to keep democracy. We should give it a try.

MiniMoon Tue 16-Feb-21 14:57:50

I've signed the electoral reform petition, thanks for the link.
I generally vote LibDem, but there is no chance of them ever being elected to parliament in this constituency. Big farming community, Conservatives to a man.

kittylester Tue 16-Feb-21 15:49:36

DH and I joined the SDP at it's inception but, certainly locally, it was eventually taken over by the disillusioned left and not the place for us. I think Nick Clegg did catch the imagination (as did Tony Blair!) but was not up to the job really. The Lib/Dems are not brilliant at picking leaders are they?

I would love there to be a really centrist party - Stephen Dorrell has muted the idea and, I think that could capture a large percentage of people who are sick of the extremes.

M0nica Tue 16-Feb-21 20:32:18

varian I am well aware of successful coalitions all round the world, but I spoke of Israel and Italy advisedly. I just do not believe a stable coalition is possible when it will be based on our current system of 2 main parties and handful of small ones.

After 10 years I think it is possible that the system will have settled down, either to continue as a 2 party system with one dominant or a couple of the smaller parties will have got real, with realistic polcies and will have enough seats to form credible coalition members.

But that will only follow about a decade of unstable quarrelling coalitions, and long periods with a non functioning governments (Belgian style) which will be seriously damaging to the economy and our place in the world.

varian Tue 16-Feb-21 21:32:47

It is because of FPTP that the two big parties continue to dominate.If we were to move to a democratic system of giving each voter an equal say it would allow other parties to flourish and grow.

winterwhite Tue 16-Feb-21 21:47:53

The Greens still have a hill to climb to escape from being thought a single issue party. The Lib Dem’s have not been able to find a good leader since Paddy Ashdown and it suits the two larger parties to keep with FPTP. The media seem incapable of thinking of more than two parties at once which helps them to promote controversy and reduces everything to a contest between two people. What hope for the future.