To me this is not right

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Chunky, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Without getting into the politics behind this I feel the entire principle is wrong.

    With maybe the odd exception people voted for the honourable ? gentleman as he was their Conservative candidate. Not because people liked his face.

    Now it seems he wishes to switch alleigance and the people who voted him in now have a Labour mp not a Tory one.

    I personally feel if he (or any other MP who has done so in the past or might want to in the future) wishes to change parties they should be forced to resign and a by Election held.

    To me this is not a democracy at work.
  2. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Surely if this happens he must relinquish his seat and a by election be held? The news article mentions nothing of what will happen but presumably there have been previous examples where the same thing has happened!
  3. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Nope, many MP's have crossed the floor in the past and will no doubt do so in future. I agree with chunky, time for a change in the rules. People, in general, vote for parties not for personalities.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There have been many such examples, sometimes with a bi-election, sometimes without, and those changing parties have included such notables as Winston Churchill. Where a bi-election has been held, or where the incumbent has stood at the next election, either for another party or as an independent, the outcome has been quite mixed, although I think very few have won more than one election as an independent.

    Personally, I don't see much point in going to all the expense of a bi-election, especially when the government majority is such that any move between parties is unlikely to have much effect on parliamentary votes. I also think it is wrong to assume that an MP has necessarily been elected because of party loyalties alone, as many have a big personal vote, based on their perceived integrity and good standing in the community.

    (It could be argued, of course, that he benefitted from the "party machine" in being elected etc, but then I'm personally in favour of central funding for elections anyway, to give everyone a fair crack of the whip.)
  5. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    I'm sorry Peter but I do not know of many people who have voted because of the person.

    To say because the Government has such a large majority has no bearing at all. The people of Stamford & Grantham voted for a Conservative MP and they now have a Labour MP. Whilst a percentage may have gone for Mr Davies charm, the majority of those Tory voters voted that way because they believe in that parties politics.

    What is there to stop somebody with strong Labour views claiming to be a Tory, going through the procedures to become a Tory candidate in a Tory strong hold. They get voted in as Tory MP and lo and behold 2 years later they walk across the floor? I appreciate that this scenario is perhaps far fetched and unlikely to happen. But it could happen!
  6. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Chunky, if you're waiting for a politician (of any colour) to "do the honourable thing" I fear that you will be waiting a long time.

    If we voted for a person and not a party there should be a general election now Tony has gone, if we voted for a party and not a person there should be a bi-election.
  7. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Steve, I am not waiting for a politician to do an honourable thing, me cheering for Ipswich Town is just as likely.

    I have to agree with you re Tony going. I am certain many people voted for Tonys party and not so certain they would Gordons!
  8. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I agree with Chunky - I've never liked the fact that politicians are allowed to do this.

    I also think that party politics should be banned from local elections (councils etc). Councillors should be elected based on who is going to be best at getting the bins emptied, streets cleaned, libraries stocked with books etc.

    It seems wrong to me that people vote at local level on the basis of whether or not they like the Prime Minister, agree with going to war in Iraq, or think that taxes will be reduced etc.
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    One of the biggest problems with our political system - and I confess I've no ideas about a better system :( - is that it is always a matter of compromise. We are unable to make decisions based on the individual policies we ourselves would choose, but rather on which of the packages offered by the powers that be offends us least! If only we were small enough to use the Athenian system, with an individual vote whenever any major decisions are needed.

    CAVBASSMAN New Member

    Politicians change parties and do what they like because you let it happen that way. If it was done in France the whole country would probably revolt. Since the protests of the sixties and seventies we've all sat down and let it all happen. The do-gooders have won at last.
  11. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member

    I agree:clap:

    If you vote at any election because of which of Tony/Gordon, "cuddly" Dave or Ming The Merciless you prefer unless one of them is standing you're a fool. The current system we have allows you to vote for a person, especially at local elections, speak to them and vote for the person you think will do the best job in your area. None of the above are going to make sure your bins are emptied.
  12. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    I think you are right, we have become soft in ths country. Trouble is very few people are prepared to stand up and say anything anymore.

    I don't think it needs the whole country to revolt just our election laws should be looked at.
  13. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    In fact, modern technology makes this much more possible than it used to be. However the Athenian model assumes that the electorate are adequately informed about the issue(s) in question whereas the distressing reality is that large chunks of the electorate base their decisions on the contents of the Sun, Mail, and Express.

    On the issue in question, I've always felt that there is something vaguely dishonourable about "crossing the floor"; when people vote for an MP it's usually based on the policies of the MP's party. By changing party mid-parliament the MP is effectively disenfranchising everyone who voted for him.
  14. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    Those three publications are very different, and actually one is just as likely to be uninformed if one only reads the Times or the Telegraph. It's become all too easy and fashionable to blame Daily Mail readers for everything - and yes, I am one. How is it just our fault?

    Although it's lazy journalism at any time to blame readers of one publication, there was at least a point to be made under previous governments whose politics was more acceptable to the Mail's editors. However, even a cursory glance at the last few years of Mail editorials will tell you that they don't like the current government, and assume their readers don't either. The newspaper that reflects best the last few years of Blair is in fact the Guardian...

    Back nearer topic...Crossing the Floor is a difficult situation and I don't know how we really solve it. One has to wonder if it really makes any difference at the moment because the parties are all so close together as to be practically indistinguishable most of the time. Nevertheless, I can see why voters would be disgruntled and I think a forced by-election would probably be fair.
  15. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I've always thought that crossing the floor was wrong without a by-election. I guess it comes down to what are we actually voting for in a general election - the candidate, the leader of the party, or the policies themselves? Seems to me that the most important of those three - the policies - tend to be the least newsworthy and the most difficult to present in the current instant media style, which is why we've had 10 years of "Tony Blair went here today and Cherie wore this", rather than why he went there in the first place.

    Anyway, scrabbling back to what I was trying to say, unless the majority genuinely vote for the candidate, then any form of change to party allegiance should result in a by-election.

    Ditto with new leaders in power....anyone else feel its wrong that we now have effectively an un-elected Prime Minister?
  16. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    The mere fact that anyone could consider crossing from Tory to Labour, or vice versa, just goes to show how little difference there is now between the two parties. Not so long ago, switching from (socialist) labour to capitalist Tory (or the other way round) would have been damn close to heresy! Jeremy Clarkson wasn't far wrong when he said that the labour party had moved so far to the right it had left the lib dems feeling distinctly left wing!

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