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REPLAY: Election 2015 panel chat

7th May 2015
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Join us and fellow panellists at 12.45pm for a chat on the party's respective policies, and again at 9.30pm to keep tabs on the count as results come in through the night. 

To participate in the chat and interact with the panellists, simply type your comments into the text box below.

Let us know if you have news on any accountancy candidates - or if you are one yourself!

Live Blog General election 2015
 
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By johnjenkins
07th May 2015 10:40

Interesting to see

where the televised stuff has come from since the swingometer.

I shall skip through SKY, BBC and ITV till about 2, then fall asleep and miss the good stuff.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
07th May 2015 11:45

Last night's programme

johnjenkins wrote:

where the televised stuff has come from since the swingometer.

I shall skip through SKY, BBC and ITV till about 2, then fall asleep and miss the good stuff.

Last night's programme on previous elections was slightly amusing, if a certain age watching how dated the then state of the art kit now is does make one feel old. I had wanted to see Peter Snow playing with toys buses crossing a river but the programme did not seem to cover BBC past input (it was on ITV)

Quite enjoyed the, I think, 1964 cartoons; looks like that is where HMRC got their inspiration for Hector. And some of the put down lines under H for Hecklers were good to see . (Especially Harold Wilson's)

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By johnjenkins
07th May 2015 12:00

@DJKL

When Dimblebees reigned supreme.

The spitting image stuff was funny. I forgot how funny they really were.

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
07th May 2015 16:51

Channel 4 alternative election adverts have been intriguing

Featuring David Mitchell, Jeremy Paxman and various other stalwarts from the alt comedy/satire scene. I think I'll listen in to begin with - and maybe switch when the results proper start coming in.

Sometimes the things the serious pundits and candidates say can be more amusing than political comedy.

Good luck whichever way you vote or bet - if nothing else I think we're in for a few electoral thrills and spills before the dull wrestling match to form a government begins.

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
08th May 2015 09:42

Nightmares!

Went to sleep having nightmares that the Tories got 316 seats.  Hoping very much that the truth is I am still asleep - my nightmares are getting worse & worse.  Ashamed to be English.  The politics of self-centredness, greed & fear have prevailed.

RM

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By mrme89
08th May 2015 09:50

Could have been worse, you could have woke up to a Labour / SNP coalition. 

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By BKD
08th May 2015 10:10

RM

You're ashamed to be English. There are many that are ashamed to be Scottish.

Though I do have an element of sympathy for SNP voters as they were in a lose/lose situation. Many have said that they switched from Labour to SNP in the hope that they'd end up with a Lab/SNP coalition  apparently oblivious to the fact that every seat lost by Labour would only increase the chances of a Tory majority. But if they'd stuck with their red vote, they'd risk weakening the Scottish voice in Westminster. Decisions, decisions ...

In truth, talking to those around me a major factor in SNP's success was not a positive vote for SNP but an inability to bring oneself to vote for a party led (in the loosest sense of the word) by the two Eds.

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By johnjenkins
08th May 2015 10:26

Really bizzare

results in some places. Who would have thought Ed Balls would have lost his seat. Perhaps his little joke note caught up with him.

The things we have to be pleased about as a country are a stable government, a referendum on EU and the SNP roaring lion will be securely locked in a cage.

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
08th May 2015 10:43

Fantastic result

:o)

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By BKD
08th May 2015 10:59

KA

Overall. Or just Thanet South?  :)

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By JC
08th May 2015 11:05

Something drastically wrong …

@runningmate – how can this be right

SNP – 7% of the vote – 56 seats

UKIP – 13% of the vote – 2 seats

So taking this to its ultimate conclusion - the majority could have ended up being Governed by the minority!

The whole thing is very skewed

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By johnjenkins
08th May 2015 11:11

So looks like we are back to two parties

with UKIP and Lib/Dems out on their ears. Perhaps the greens will now take over as the minority party. So 5 years time Boris v David?????????

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
08th May 2015 11:15

Ha ha!

@BKD - overall, I wanted Nige to win Thanet South would have made politics more interesting for the next 5 years.

As it is this election will shake things up a bit. The rise of SNP should see Labour head back towards centre left which will make the distinction between Labour and Conservative harder to see.

I've never been a Labour supporter and breathed a sigh of relief when;

firstly Gordon Brown replaced Blair,

secondly when Ed did the dirty on his brother and was elected leader of the Labour Party.

I'me sure Ed is a good politician but he isn't a party leader he just doesn't have it - Cameron does, Farage does, Blair did, Brown didn't and I'm sure David Miliband does.

So, looking forward to another five year of economic improvement and with a bit of luck leaving the EU. 

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By cheekychappy
08th May 2015 11:22

Not a chance

Kent accountant wrote:
 with a bit of luck leaving the EU. 

 

I can't see us getting a referendum on EU membership. I can only envisage Cameron making some deal, that is worth nothing to us, but claiming it as a success for the British public. 

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By johnjenkins
08th May 2015 11:16

@JC

The SNP percentage would be calculated as a whole of the UK, although they didn't contest any seats outside Scotland. Yes you're right the minority could rule. Should Lib/Dems have had more say in running the country in the last 5 years than Labour. No of course not.

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By JC
08th May 2015 11:35

13% of electorate out on their ear ...

@johnjenkins - excellent!

Interesting approach - arbitrarily dismiss the equivalent 1 person in 8 because they have selected UKIP and their wishes don’t count – clearly a constructive way forward for the future

‘..The SNP percentage would be calculated as a whole of the UK ..’

EH! How else would one expect it to be calculated – or should it be calculated on the basis of Scotland only – so they get 100%; now that would make it simple & no need for any other parties to accounted for!

Alternative, just pro-rate the result in Scotland over rUK and simplify the whole process - giving SNP 98% - easy

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By BKD
08th May 2015 11:41

Maggie would be so proud

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By JC
08th May 2015 12:26

UKIP polled 3rd highest votes …

@johnjenkins – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2015/may/07/live-uk-election-results-in-full

Party

Seats

Gain

Loss

Net

Votes

Vote share (%)

Swing (points)

Conservative

325

36

10

26

11,175,298

36.8%

0.4

Labour

230

23

48

-25

9,258,534

30.5%

1.5

Scottish National Party

56

50

50

1,454,436

4.8%

3.1

Liberal Democrat

8

47

-47

2,362,525

7.8%

-15.2

Democratic Unionist Party

8

1

1

184,260

0.6%

0.0

Sinn Fein

4

1

-1

176,232

0.6%

-0.0

Plaid Cymru

3

181,704

0.6%

0.0

Social Democratic and Labour Party

3

99,809

0.3%

-0.1

Ulster Unionist Party

2

2

2

114,935

0.4%

N/A

UK Independence Party

1

1

-1

3,835,093

12.6%

9.6

Green

1

1,139,682

3.8%

2.8

Others

1

3

-3

287,130

0.9%

N/A

Alliance

1

-1

61,556

0.2%

0.1

Independents for Bristol

-

-

-

-

204

0.0%

N/A

So they should be dismissed as irrelevant !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By mwngiol
08th May 2015 13:13

JC

The UK had a referendum on changing the voting system and voted to keep it as it is. Maybe you want another referendum on it?

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By ShirleyM
08th May 2015 15:34

Alternative voting

mwngiol wrote:

The UK had a referendum on changing the voting system and voted to keep it as it is. Maybe you want another referendum on it?

The referendum only gave one alternative, ie. alternative voting which is pretty much the same as FPTP. It didn't give anyone the option of voting for proportional representation, which would make the voting much fairer, and also do away with the arguments that some constituents have more voting power than others. Every vote would have equal value under PR.

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By mwngiol
08th May 2015 19:43

AV

ShirleyM wrote:

mwngiol wrote:

The UK had a referendum on changing the voting system and voted to keep it as it is. Maybe you want another referendum on it?

The referendum only gave one alternative, ie. alternative voting which is pretty much the same as FPTP. It didn't give anyone the option of voting for proportional representation, which would make the voting much fairer, and also do away with the arguments that some constituents have more voting power than others. Every vote would have equal value under PR.

Fair enough, but my understanding of AV is that the main parties would have got less seats in the last election (had it been in use, obviously wouldn't have been as the referendum was after the election!) and the others would have got more, so it would have been a step in the right direction. But of course a lot of that is guesswork as nobody can be sure who people would have chosen as their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th...(?) choices.

Agreed about PR though. Much fairer system and guaranteed to lose lots of seats for the big boys. Which is why it wasn't an option.

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By BKD
08th May 2015 13:39

The worst impact of the result?

Katie Hopkins is staying in the UK :(

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By johnjenkins
08th May 2015 13:51

@JC

My way forward would be for the House of Lords to be abolished and replaced with a House of representatives, based on proportional representation. That would answer your question as to if they should be dismissed as irrelevant. With our voting system at the moment, yes they are irrelevant. The good thing, though is the SNP, even with their 56 seats are irrelevant. So Alex's lion won't even get out of the cage.

@BKD cool

@cheekychappy I'm going to write it in stone and deliver it to number 10.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
08th May 2015 14:40

.

I personally was quite happy to see Mr Farage slink off back where he came from.  Hang on, back to Europe to pick up the salary as an MEP that he so despises. 

Friend of mine's parents live in Thanet and he reckons its been a torrid few months with both the facsits and ant-facsits shouting at each other down the front and the odd scuffle too. Not a good atmosphere. 

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By johnjenkins
08th May 2015 14:53

@ireallyshouldkn

Sometimes the truth hurts.

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
08th May 2015 22:18

In 2015, it's Nicola wot won it

Back in 1992 it was apparently "The Sun wot won it".

This time, I think it was Nicola Sturgeon and her sidekick Alex Salmond wot won it.

Every time that pair gave a TV interview to say they would have influence in a Labour government, another 5 Tory seats were added.

Cheers Nicola.  Fantastic result.  Now the Tory government need to enact the proposed boundary changes (which the Liberal Democrats previously vetoed) to make constituency sizes more equal, which should benefit the Tories by another 20 seats or so.

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By JC
09th May 2015 07:53

Possible sting in tail for SNP …

Could be full fiscal autonomy – which the canny Salmond/Sturgeon certainly don’t want at the moment because despite the rhetoric,their economy is in a parlous state and they still want to be underwritten by rUK – otherwise they are far to exposed and their posturing would be shown up for what it really is

Just supposing Mr Cameron gave Scotland full fiscal autonomy – i.e. the ability to raise all their own taxes & pay their own way over everything from income tax, through welfare & down to NHS (cross-charge for using any rUK facilities – no nipping across the border for treatment) etc.

And finally no recourse to Westminster if things go wrong for a bailout & no underwriting their financial institutions by the BOE

In other words no safety net & total autonomy with Hadrians Wall and full independence being the only missing ingredient – then see what happens

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
09th May 2015 16:31

Agree with JC

JC wrote:

Could be full fiscal autonomy – which the canny Salmond/Sturgeon certainly don’t want at the moment because despite the rhetoric,their economy is in a parlous state and they still want to be underwritten by rUK – otherwise they are far to exposed and their posturing would be shown up for what it really is

Just supposing Mr Cameron gave Scotland full fiscal autonomy – i.e. the ability to raise all their own taxes & pay their own way over everything from income tax, through welfare & down to NHS (cross-charge for using any rUK facilities – no nipping across the border for treatment) etc.

And finally no recourse to Westminster if things go wrong for a bailout & no underwriting their financial institutions by the BOE

In other words no safety net & total autonomy with Hadrians Wall and full independence being the only missing ingredient – then see what happens

It is the democratic right of the Scots to want higher public spending in Scotland, but they've got to learn there is no magic money tree and that additional spending has to be paid for from additional taxes. I think it makes sense for Scotland and rUK to become more fiscally independent, because at the moment, were there to be full independence, it would be a nightmare trying to unpick everything.

I think the Scots should be given a vote on whether to replace the Barnet Formula with a sort of Devo Max federalist structure between Scotland and rUK. Even though this would bring greater independence, I suspect the SNP would be secretly terrified of this. The SNP would face the backlash of having to raise taxes and (as the oil runs out) cut public spending.

I think we just have to accept that the old union between our countries is dying.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th May 2015 11:24

Balance the books

JC wrote:

Could be full fiscal autonomy – which the canny Salmond/Sturgeon certainly don’t want at the moment because despite the rhetoric,their economy is in a parlous state and they still want to be underwritten by rUK – otherwise they are far to exposed and their posturing would be shown up for what it really is

Just supposing Mr Cameron gave Scotland full fiscal autonomy – i.e. the ability to raise all their own taxes & pay their own way over everything from income tax, through welfare & down to NHS (cross-charge for using any rUK facilities – no nipping across the border for treatment) etc.

And finally no recourse to Westminster if things go wrong for a bailout & no underwriting their financial institutions by the BOE

In other words no safety net & total autonomy with Hadrians Wall and full independence being the only missing ingredient – then see what happens

To balance the books there is always the ability of the SNP to raise the parking charges. Lets face it if Boris has his in London ,Nicky could have hers at Faslane.

If not parking charges per sub (they do spend a lot of time away) with full fiscal autonomy comes the right to also vary the rating system. The RV for a nuclear base with submarine parking rights could be a tad on the high side, say £8-10 billion per sub per annum at say 44p in the £1

 

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By JC
09th May 2015 08:26

Apart from political ideology …

@johnjenkins

How would this help with electing MP’s and ensuring every persons vote had equal weight?

‘.. My way forward would be for the House of Lords to be abolished and replaced with a House of representatives, based on proportional representation ..’

Not really a way of solving the issue of 50+ seats won by 5% (1.4m) of the electorate & 2 seats won by 13% (12m)

And never really understood why is Scottish nationalism deemed good progressive etc....  whereas English nationalism is frowned upon as being destructive etc.?

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By mwngiol
09th May 2015 18:17

PR

JC wrote:

@johnjenkins

How would this help with electing MP’s and ensuring every persons vote had equal weight?

‘.. My way forward would be for the House of Lords to be abolished and replaced with a House of representatives, based on proportional representation ..’

Not really a way of solving the issue of 50+ seats won by 5% (1.4m) of the electorate & 2 seats won by 13% (12m)

And never really understood why is Scottish nationalism deemed good progressive etc....  whereas English nationalism is frowned upon as being destructive etc.?

The problem with PR, which as far as I know is the only voting system which gives every vote equal weight, is that it doesn't lend itself to a system of constituencies directly electing an MP to represent it. So adopting PR would mean changing more than just a vote-counting method. That's the only problem I see with it, how would it work?

Also of course it would have to have some kind of regionality (if that's a word), in that the MP's representing Scotland and Wales should reflect the votes cast in Scottish and Welsh constituencies. To have Scotland and Wales have more MP's from any party than they voted for, because of how the other nations voted, would be a different kind of unfairness. Or for England to have MP's from the SNP or Plaid Cymru etc. First Past The Post and AV, while less fair than PR, do at least lend themselves to the system of electing MP's to constituencies.

As for the why Scottish nationalism is good and English is bad, that just depends which side of the fence you're on.

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By ShirleyM
09th May 2015 18:31

Look at other European countries

mwngiol wrote:

The problem with PR, which as far as I know is the only voting system which gives every vote equal weight, is that it doesn't lend itself to a system of constituencies directly electing an MP to represent it. So adopting PR would mean changing more than just a vote-counting method. That's the only problem I see with it, how would it work?

The majority of them use PR. One of them should have something that would work in the UK. It's the UK's voting system that is the oddball.

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By mwngiol
09th May 2015 18:45

PR

ShirleyM wrote:

mwngiol wrote:

The problem with PR, which as far as I know is the only voting system which gives every vote equal weight, is that it doesn't lend itself to a system of constituencies directly electing an MP to represent it. So adopting PR would mean changing more than just a vote-counting method. That's the only problem I see with it, how would it work?

The majority of them use PR. One of them should have something that would work in the UK. It's the UK's voting system that is the oddball.

Do they have directly elected MP's for specific constituencies? Or are you saying the UK should move away from voting for a specific MP?

And which of the countries which do have PR are made up of different nations in the same way as the UK?

Like I say, I believe that PR in theory is a far fairer system, I just don't understand how it would work in a UK context.

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By ShirleyM
09th May 2015 08:40

Once again .....

The SNP are in a win-win situation. You gotta admire their political strategy, but it's the death knell of the UK as we know it.

Dave will fall over himself giving the SNP whatever they want (as with the indi. ref.). If he doesn't, the SNP will say 'we told you so!', which will result in dividing the nation further, and hasten a new referendum.

Naturally, when Scotland eventually get independence and become worse off, it will be because the UK gave them a lousy deal over currency, etc., and certainly not the fault of the SNP.

How can they lose?

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
09th May 2015 13:27

UKIP

The prospects for UKIP over the next 5 years look very good.

Firstly there will be an EU referendum at which they will look attractive to anyone who dislikes the EU.  They will be the only party campaigning for EU exit.

Then at the next general election the governing Tory party will be unpopular & the only right of centre alternative will be UKIP.

So I would expect them to do very well.  (I would never vote for them myself.)

RM

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By JC
10th May 2015 11:19

Are voters tribal …

@mwngiol

As you say – what actually happens in reality, do they vote for political parties or individuals as their MP

If it is the former (i.e. political parties) then it doesn’t really matter who the candidate is - after all the candidateis selected by the party concerned

Therefore it follows that the because candidate is not really the electorate choice as candidate (designated by the party) - in theory, who cares about the candidate

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By mwngiol
11th May 2015 00:54

JC

JC wrote:

@mwngiol

As you say – what actually happens in reality, do they vote for political parties or individuals as their MP

If it is the former (i.e. political parties) then it doesn’t really matter who the candidate is - after all the candidate is selected by the party concerned

Therefore it follows that the because candidate is not really the electorate choice as candidate (designated by the party) - in theory, who cares about the candidate

Even if people do vote for parties and not individuals then my point still stands. For example, under PR it's perfectly possible for, say, 20 constituencies to give the majority of their votes to Party A. But when the vote % is all worked out, Party A only has enough votes for 15 MP's. So 5 constituencies which voted for Party A has an MP from a different party.

My basic question I suppose is how does PR work at a constituency level?

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
10th May 2015 12:56

I hope I am wrong but I expect the likelihood of any change from First Past The Post in Westminster elections before the next general election to be zero.  The appetite for it amongst Conservative MPs would be equivalent to Paddy Ashdown's appetite for actually eating his hat.

It may be well justified but it ain't gonna happen!

Interesting that there have already been anti-austerity protests, almost before the ink has dried on the election ballot papers.  Who can say whether we are likely to return to the days of 'street politics' of the 1980s?

Added to that, whither the SNP?  They have less than 10% of the MPs in Westminster whereas the Conservatives have over 50%.  Will they achieve anything at all & if not, what then?

Interesting times.

RM

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By ShirleyM
11th May 2015 09:43

Possible solution ...

Create new constituencies of broadly the same size, but fewer in number (take the current biggest constituency, and make all constituencies a similar size).

This should leave some spare seats in the Commons. All constituency winners will be given a seat in the Commons, and additional MP's created to fill out the number of each party according to PR. These 'extra' MP's will have a lot less work, so should receive reduced pay.

Overall, it could be costed so that it is no more expensive than the current system.

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By mwngiol
11th May 2015 12:43

Numbers

ShirleyM wrote:

Create new constituencies of broadly the same size, but fewer in number (take the current biggest constituency, and make all constituencies a similar size).

This should leave some spare seats in the Commons. All constituency winners will be given a seat in the Commons, and additional MP's created to fill out the number of each party according to PR. These 'extra' MP's will have a lot less work, so should receive reduced pay.

Overall, it could be costed so that it is no more expensive than the current system.

The problem with that is how much would you have to reduce the number of constituencies by in order for the 'extras' to be sufficient to enable the PR-based % to be fulfilled? The danger is that you'd end up having to increase the numbers of MP's to make it work.

I think the entire system would have to be overhauled if PR was going to work. Maybe not a bad thing.

Funny though how some have been wanting PR for years and had no support, but now that it's affected UKIP...

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By johnjenkins
11th May 2015 10:20

You can't really have

PR working on a constituency level. Just on a national level. So let's say 100 seats for ease of argument. You then split the seats into the percentage of what the parties got. However they would have to have a free vote, otherwise the government would be defeated every time. They would basically have the same powers as the House of Lords. You then see how it works and fine tune.

So. for example, Nigel Farage would perhaps be one of UKIP's PR MHR (Member of the House of Representatives). The Lib/Dems would have some of their lost MP's also. So you could create a wealth of experience in the HR which the House of Commons would listen to ad perhaps amend legislation..

You could have as many or as least seats as you want. Would there be an optimum number?

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th May 2015 11:39

There is a hybrid system in Scotland, Additional Member System

johnjenkins wrote:

PR working on a constituency level. Just on a national level. So let's say 100 seats for ease of argument. You then split the seats into the percentage of what the parties got. However they would have to have a free vote, otherwise the government would be defeated every time. They would basically have the same powers as the House of Lords. You then see how it works and fine tune.

So. for example, Nigel Farage would perhaps be one of UKIP's PR MHR (Member of the House of Representatives). The Lib/Dems would have some of their lost MP's also. So you could create a wealth of experience in the HR which the House of Commons would listen to ad perhaps amend legislation..

You could have as many or as least seats as you want. Would there be an optimum number?

We already elect to Holyrood on a hybrid constituency/ region basis.

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By johnjenkins
11th May 2015 12:02

@DJKL

Scotland are part of the UK. So they would be part of the UK system. I really don't see the point in manic devolution. They might just as well have independence. Look at the EU, what a mess because of control.

Scotland should be given independence straight away so that we can get on with the business of running the rest of the UK.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th May 2015 12:41

@johnjenkins

johnjenkins wrote:

Scotland are part of the UK. So they would be part of the UK system. I really don't see the point in manic devolution. They might just as well have independence. Look at the EU, what a mess because of control.

Scotland should be given independence straight away so that we can get on with the business of running the rest of the UK.

I was attempting to point out that Scotland runs a hybrid system that keeps a bit of connection between MSP and constituency whilst on a regional basis tries to marry percentage of vote to number of party seats via a list system. It is certainly not perfect as list MSPs  may be viewed as second class and party time servers get on to the list irrespective of their personal electoral appeal (if any) -however they already get selected on similar grounds under FPTP so not sure the difference really matters.

You say Scotland should be given independence straight away! Do we not get any say in the matter, some of us maybe are not very enamoured at the prospect of full independence and the last time the question was asked 55% of us were not keen on the idea.

Why not compare the  Scottish/UK discussion with that of the UK and the EU? A fair percentage of the UK population wants a variation in our relationship with the EU, they do not really want to sever the connection but they consider the existing relationship does not work. The Scottish electorate appears to be in a similar position vis a vis the UK, the referendum last year indicated a full split was not desired and if devo max had been a ballot option the vote and bandwagon for independence would, imho, have been greatly reduced. 

Seems to me fairly simple, grant greater autonomy and in the process either create a more federal system within the UK or if that is not welcomed by the rest of the UK let those regions/countries that wish greater self government  exercise same. The degree of fiscal autonomy is obviously subject to negotiation.

If  the UK only gets a referendum once attempts to negotiate a variation with the EU is tried then should Scotland and other parts of the UK not get similar treatment and a forum to discuss similar issues within the UK, or do we somehow not deserve to have that discussion with rUK?  The last referendum was, imho, caused by Westminster refusing to discuss the issue, they should learn by mistakes.

A Constitutional Convention appears to be the way forward but I suspect they need to act quickly to avoid giving the SNP any more complaints to be blamed on Westminster. 

I now see the granting of far more powers to Holyrood as the only way to keep the Union and if not done quickly the opportunity may be missed; it will be too late.

 

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By JC
11th May 2015 13:02

Scotland has nothing but a say ….

@DJKL – ‘.. You say Scotland should be given independence straight away! Do we not get any say in the matter ..’

From the point of view of those south of the border – the only thing that rUK seems to have done for the past 12 months is to give Scotland a say in the matter – unfortunately the missing ingredient throughout all this process is giving rUK a say in anything

From rUK perspective the SNP will continue to make ever greater demands, whilst as the same time expecting rUK to underwrite them financially

Many in rUK are simply bored with this whole one-sided approach and the simplest way forward is either to give full fiscal autonomy or grant independence – but no half measures (what the SNP want) whereby rUk is always in the firing line to pay Scotland’s bills

Maybe harsh but frankly Scotland (SNP) have brought it upon themselves - wanting all the rights but none of the financial responsibilites

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th May 2015 14:25

Have the political discourse before the knee jerk reaction

JC wrote:

@DJKL – ‘.. You say Scotland should be given independence straight away! Do we not get any say in the matter ..’

From the point of view of those south of the border – the only thing that rUK seems to have done for the past 12 months is to give Scotland a say in the matter – unfortunately the missing ingredient throughout all this process is giving rUK a say in anything

From rUK perspective the SNP will continue to make ever greater demands, whilst as the same time expecting rUK to underwrite them financially

Many in rUK are simply bored with this whole one-sided approach and the simplest way forward is either to give full fiscal autonomy or grant independence – but no half measures (what the SNP want) whereby rUk is always in the firing line to pay Scotland’s bills

Maybe harsh but frankly Scotland (SNP) have brought it upon themselves - wanting all the rights but none of the financial responsibilites

My objection is that Scotland has NOT, as yet, voted for Independence. The "we" in my statement is those of us, the 55%, who have not voted for independence.

The landslide of seats won by the SNP is not a referendum, in fact it was explicitly stated as not a referendum by the SNP during the election. Yet there appears to be a lets throw out the baby with the bathwater approach which is really not helpful to those of us wishing to remain a part of the UK.

Quite honestly there is a somewhat undemocratic approach being taken. By saying "Scotland should be given independence straight away" this implies changing my nationality and rights without any mandate for same. I have been consulted, I said no, yet it appears you wish to kick me and the rest of the 55% out of the UK because you are fed up with the discussion, whereas there has not really been a discussion, Westminster prior to the referendum failed to have a discussion.

This is not an English/Scottish matter, I am as much one as the other by parentage, I just happen to reside north of the border.

Why not consider having a frank and open political conversation re transfers of powers, consider compromise, rather than the all or nothing approach? The people of the UK have been having a grumbling stilted conversation about the EU for a long time yet it is considered reasonable to try to negotiate further rather than just have a referendum now, why is this same approach not to be applied to Scotland before we are kicked out?

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By ShirleyM
11th May 2015 13:16

Yes, JC

It may sound like the politics of envy, but lots of UK citizens would like free prescriptions, free care for the elderly, free hospital parking, free Universities, etc.

Is it fair for Scotland to charge UK citizens for university places, and make those fees HIGHER than rUK university fees?

How would the Scots feel if the circumstances were reversed?

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th May 2015 15:10

Not free, maybe a bit cheaper?

ShirleyM wrote:

It may sound like the politics of envy, but lots of UK citizens would like free prescriptions, free care for the elderly, free hospital parking, free Universities, etc.

Is it fair for Scotland to charge UK citizens for university places, and make those fees HIGHER than rUK university fees?

How would the Scots feel if the circumstances were reversed?

Fees charged to rUK students attending in Scotland are I believe identical to the fee chargeable if the student went to university in rUK, £9,000 p.a., but usually only charged for three years rather than the 4 years the course normally takes.

I will make no comment on the differential except to say that I believe rUK is out of step with what ought to be the position, I believe education is a public good and ought to be as free as is it possible to make it- in the long term, for the good of the UK, we need an educated workforce.

Now it may be that Scotland's education system carries a stronger ethos of inclusiveness, not a bad thing imho.  I appreciate the arguments as to why A/B/C should not pay for the offspring of X/Z however  I could make the same argument re housing benefit/ JSA etc; I have never made use of these yet I pay for them, however the whole point of joint public services is that some will make greater use than others.

And they are not that free, rents in St Andrews are higher than the maximum student loan of £4,750, so far from being "free" I currently pay £5,880 for a room in a shared flat (bills/food everything else extra), last year I was paying for two rooms in flats at St Andrews, that added circa another £4,800 to that bill.

The student loan is now only £4,750 and a few years ago it was, means tested £965. So when my daughter finishes next year the parental contribution over the piece for two children attending university will have been just over £50,000, not really free- maybe our student loan system should have a "London" weighting for St Andrews and Aberdeen, but it does not, parents generally make up the difference if they can or children just cannot afford to go away from home-and they certainly cannot always get in to their home city university.

I am ashamed of Edinburgh University re the percentage of places taken by students from rUk /rest of the world and still wonder why my daughter could get 4 unconditional offers from Glasgow/ St Andrews(2) and Aberdeen yet not get an offer from her home city- as pointed out to them when they phone begging for donations from their graduates. So, if you live in Edinburgh and have aspirations for your children to attend a strong university you either need to cross fingers and hope they are accepted or start ripping through the savings/borrow to make up the shortfall- education up here in reality is not free.

 

 

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By johnjenkins
11th May 2015 14:04

Thank you JC

Spot on. @ DJKL did you not hear Alex say he was going to change the face of politics at Westminster. So what are we supposed to do? As for the EU. We did not sign up for federalism in any way shape or form. So again we either have to go in with them completely or come out. Half measures have not, do not and never will work.

If you go down the PR route you have to start with a blank sheet of paper but make it as simple as possible. To me PR should be based on the percentage of voters for a particular party and nothing else, and yes the percentage of the whole UK vote.

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
11th May 2015 14:29

I prefer the existing First-Past-The-Post system

As has been explained, with First-Past-The-Post, there is a very clear link between the MP you voted for (or indeed against) and their constituency.  If you don't like sometime he or she voted for in the Commons then you can make him or her accountable.

Also, the problem with PR is that you get perpetual coalitions / pacts, where smaller parties call the shots.  This is exactly what rUK feared would happen if Labour and the SNP got together albeit unofficially.  The SNP, in spite of only getting 4.7% of the total vote, would have wielded disproportionate influence, across the whole of the UK.

That said, within the existing system, smaller parties within the Union are still able to exert some influence on the larger ones.  Look at how the SNP has forced the debate in Scotland and the wider UK.  Look at how UKIP (with pressure from the Tory right-wing and the press) have effectively forced the Conservative Party to hold an EU referendum.

 

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