Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Apr 5, 2018.
Wards rarely change when there is an election every year.
I don't believe that. Though obviously for a three seater ward to change party completely when elections are by thirds it takes 3 years for all councillors to be "changed".
I studied engineering (fat lot of good that did me) but there is one piece of engineering which I think can be applied to government. That is the idea of negative feedback - which used to be the principle whereby HiFi amps gave the optimum sound. You set up a negative feedback pathway (commonly known as a ballot box in the case of an elective democracy), so that errors and distortion can be reduced or corrected for.
If the rulers step too far out of line, the electorate bring them to heel by voting them out.
I appreciate if one were a Marxist, or even maybe an Anarchist, it would be preferable to throw the toys out of the pram and have an Instant New Regime which can implement Utopia.
Speaking as a (retired) engineer I would rather have my feedback in gentle thirds - which would encourage an existing administration to behave more reasonably, flagging up issues such as libraries, regeneration etc at the ballot box EVERY YEAR.
This is my *ahem* experience of election by thirds.
I very much believe it.
Nothing ever changes...
I don't think Colchester is typical of Britain as a whole. It's more like Kingston (upon Thames).
To cite a local Lambeth example go back to 1990-1994 when Streatham Hill was a Tory ward. For some bizarre reason every year or so a Tory councillor resigned. This caused Streatham Hill to change from Con to Lib Dem over the period.
I guess you may say that is no change - but that would be to not acknowledge the PR problems Labour had at the time - such as the Vauxhall Constituency treasurer being sent to prison for transferring the party's funds into his father's bank account. Not to mention half the Labour group being "suspended" because they did not believe in paying council tax or poll tax.
I expect Labour might have picked Streatham Hill up if it was fighting fit rather than on the life support afforded by Stephen Whalley. I'm not surprised he retired from politics in 1994 - he must have had one of the most stressful jobs in British politics whilst he was Labour leader.
Meanwhile Colchester cxontinued as a Lib Dem/Consrvative contest as normal.
Can I suggest if you want a Labour/Conservative council you consider moving to Ipswich?
Not a ploy, a signal to voters that if they want to split their vote, then if they want, they could vote for the candidate the party most wants to win. Perfectly electorally-legitimate.
I dunno if that is because of election by thirds though. I mean, let's be honest, hardly any wards in Lambeth changed really. And three other London councils are effectively one party states, hardly ideal -even if you are a Labour supporter surely you need some opposition in there to put alternative views?
I'm not saying election by thirds will solve all of Lambeth's problems. Quite probably it would make very little difference. But neither is It a terrible idea.
Oh it is legitimate - but it is a ploy. Ploy isn't necessarily a negative term here.
I am not convinced it would actually work though unless the party spent some time trying to educate voters during the campaign.
Looking at Oval - Keene did get more than his fellow Greens but it wasn't a lot - and maybe his extra votes reflect more that he is well known locally due to St Mark's/Farmer's Market etc
Possibly a rolling 2-yr local election, with half of wards being elected every 2 yrs, would work better, and not give folks "election fatigue".
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