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Richard Clegg

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Bet with andrewducker [May. 4th, 2013|04:54 pm]
Richard Clegg
I am making the following bet with andrewducker related to voting systems

"I bet Andrew Ducker that before May 4th 2033 the UK (or that part of the UK which stays with London after any devolution) will retain First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) for general elections. Further, no English county council/unitrary authority elections (of the type described in [1]) will switch system away from FPTP.

The person who loses will buy the winner a drink of their choice (within reason -- pints of champagne or bottles of aged whiskey are out) in a bar in the winner's home city... presence over video accepted if distance precludes attendance in person.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_2013"

Reasoning: Unrelated to bet but this is why I think the above.

I believe that, for the forseeable future the majority UK (or at least the England part of the UK) has no particular desire for voting schemes other than the simplest. I believe that there are plenty of systems better than first part the post but I think my belief is a minority one. Some political parties who currently support FPTP will in the short term have an advantage in switching to a different system (the Tories are probably in this position right now). However, they would appear cynical to switch to such a system in the near future. For at least ten years we will have important people in their cabinets who have recently publicly spoken out in favour of AV (as a result of the referendum debates) -- more so for the Tories than for Labour (who had more people in favour of AV).

For ten years a referendum is pretty unthinkable (as we "just had one"). After that it will take a few years for a party to gain consensus for a referendum to occur. I don't believe traditional media owners (newspapers and TV) will switch their preferences on which voting system they like as FPTP seems to provide easier to report on clear victories and such media owners have a strong preference for simple stories. Without the support of major political parties or traditional media, it will be hard to generate any momentum to change the voting system.

I do believe that any new electoral systems in the UK are likely to use more sophisticated forms of voting and FPTP will be the minority in new elections (for example if we get more mayoral elections). New systems are easier to change.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: surliminal
2013-05-04 10:12 pm (UTC)
Do you really think you're both going to be using LJ in 2033 to settle this bet?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: steer
2013-05-04 10:46 pm (UTC)
Heh... no. I think when LJ is about to shut down it will give notice so I can move data elsewhere. andrewducker made a similar remark when I said his google calendar entry probably would not be relevant in 20 years.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zenithed
2013-05-07 10:21 am (UTC)
As if The Tripods are going to give us any say over our voting mechanism.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2013-05-08 10:23 am (UTC)
Heh... we had our chance last year (or was it the year before).
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[User Picture]From: nisaba
2013-05-08 01:52 am (UTC)
I would have thought that the media would prefer complicated stories, as the closer the race, the more viewers there'll be, and for longer.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: steer
2013-05-08 10:23 am (UTC)
A long story that is complex is the worst type of story... hence the half-hearted coverage of the coalition discussion. These guys win, those guys lose is a story. These guys negotiate with those guys and we don't know what's going on and this will last for weeks... that's not really a story our media wants to cover.
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[User Picture]From: danieldwilliam
2015-02-02 11:35 am (UTC)
How does your bet deal with the situation where e.g. a devolved Scotland gets to set the franchise and electoral system for Scottish seats in the UK general election?
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-02-02 03:38 pm (UTC)
Covered by "the UK (or that part of the UK which stays with London after any devolution)" no?

I guess if you have some system where Scotland remains in the UK but devolves sufficiently to have a separate voting system which remaining within we might remain sort of "honours equal" and call it a tie?
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[User Picture]From: danieldwilliam
2015-02-02 03:41 pm (UTC)
In which case I'll buy both of you a drink.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-02-02 03:42 pm (UTC)
Heh... I'm sure andrewducker would be fairly happy with:

a) A situation where Scotland gets a new voting system
b) A situation where Scotland gets more independence
c) A free drink

The venue would be uncertain then of course. Berwick?

Edited at 2015-02-02 03:43 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2015-02-02 03:48 pm (UTC)
We can meet on either side of the border posts that Ed Miliband was wibbling about and pass drinks through the barbed wire.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-02-02 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hah.... I missed that particular lunacy. What a checkpoint Charlie!

Also "Scotland’s ageing population", say what you like about the Scots, at least they die sooner than rUK. If there's one problem Scotland is avoiding it's an ageing population.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12898723

Actually the UK demographic stack looks a bit odd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom#mediaviewer/File:Population_pyramid_for_the_United_Kingdom_using_2011_census_data.png

What happens to people at 65? Retire abroad, killed off by the gummit? Disappear from census?

Personally, I advocate building a giant magical icewall on the border to keep out wildling raiders.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2015-02-02 04:46 pm (UTC)
You'll need more than a wall to keep us out!

But yeah, that does look odd. I wonder what's going on.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-02-02 05:18 pm (UTC)
OK -- so looking again, actually what needs to be explained is an upsurge in people who here just before they are 65 and then go again. The curve is going downwards then ramps up from 60-65 and then comes back down.

I thought initially of 2006 pension changes and people doing something crafty. But actually, I think it's the post war baby boom. The top of the "shelf" would I think be 1946. So I *think* it represents the end of WWII.

According to WP there was a baby boom briefly in 1946 and there were also baby booms in the 1960s (centred on 64) and 1990 which would be peaks on that graph at age 46 and 20-21. Which you can see actually.
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[User Picture]From: danieldwilliam
2015-02-04 05:22 pm (UTC)
I can only think he'd be delighted.

Berwick sounds like the perfect location. We can toast each other across the border.
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