Friday, February 26, 2016

In case you missed it : the debate on the voting system between myself and Tommy Sheridan

If you didn't catch the live debate about the Holyrood voting system between myself and Tommy Sheridan earlier, it's available to watch at your leisure HERE.

The rest of my evening has been dominated by Eurovision and rugby.  I am absolutely dumbfounded by the public's choice for the UK's Eurovision entry.  Just for once, I had been totally relaxed about the outcome - there was no John Barrowman on the "experts' panel" steering the public towards the wrong decision, and yet somehow they managed to screw it up all by themselves.  I can only assume it was a young female audience voting for good-looking guys, regardless of the song.

I don't think Bianca's song (which was so obviously the best of the six, it was almost painful) was quite a Eurovision winner, but with good staging it might have had an outside chance.  Ah well.  At least nobody will have to worry about success at Eurovision influencing the EU referendum one way or the other!

26 comments:

  1. I'm glad you watch all this Eurovision stuff for us James.
    It meant I could spend the night listening to Alice Cooper instead.
    Love all the polling stuff tho.

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  2. Excellent discussion, James! You debunked Tommy's position fairly comprehensively, IMO. You probably didn't notice during the discussion, but Tommy couldn't bring himself to mention RISE by name. Only one criticism - and that is that Tommy never gets asked about electoral pacts. You touched on the "honesty" of going after Unionist votes, rather than trying to pinch SNP votes, but he never gets challenged about the idea of RISE and Solidarity forming an electoral pact to increase their chances. It will never happen, of course, but he never gets asked about it.

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    1. If you watch a Lvestream live you can post your question to anybody or all on panel and it will be asked for you.

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    2. I read James' blog every day and saw the link for the programme. This was the first "Independence Live" programme I've watched, but couldn't view it live. I was impressed, and will be logging in more often from now on... :)

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  3. Re the Eurovision I preferred the lad who looked like he had just came off duty from being a steward on a Virgin Atlantic flight. No voting figures given at the end seemed a bit strange.

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    1. From memory, the last time they gave exact voting figures was 2002. For a while after that they used a regional points system instead of raw votes, but then it started to become influenced by reality TV, ie. "in fourth place, and leaving the competition, is..."

      I think it's disrespectful to people who have voted not to give the exact number of votes (or at least percentages), but that principle seems to have gone out of fashion across the whole TV industry.

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    2. That just reinforces my opinion that Labour and the BBC are inextricably entwined. Not releasing voting figures because they're probably embarrassingly bad is a well-worn Labour approach to democracy.

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  4. Meant to do this earlier today,I watched and listened,and James won easily,point proven,I did write it up on Facebook straight away though.When somebody raises their voice and tries to drown out the other speaker they know they lost.Well done James your work is appreciated and enjoyed,thank you for explaining although I am still going the same way SNP one for the person and SNP two for the party,you just said it so well.Good man.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 27, 2016 at 9:26 PM

      Did not realise it was about winning or losing. Sheridan got another platform so maybe he won.
      However Sheridan by stating he would vote for the nat sis clearly shows his lot have an agenda. Why would a leftie vote for a right wing party that it imposing austerity on Scotland and refusing to tax the rich. Clearly Sheridan has given up on the British working class and thinks supporting the Nat sis and independence will bring some sort of leftie revolution. He should realise he is just a usefull pawn in the Nat si game.

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    2. Hey you looking for a platform then contact Indy live and we will do a Skype livestream with you. Maybe you could expand on your comments and we could get somebody to debate it? Go on you will get the chance to give your unionist perspective.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2016 at 1:09 AM

      The perspective is to stay in the Union perhaps we could have 2 million NAW voters bumping their gums on skype. Och Aye. Big Tam wis a Marxist I believe but I could be wrong! Marxism is not about petty nationalism.

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    4. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2016 at 6:43 PM

      You get it so you are not just as thick as some other Nat sis.

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    5. Yoon are a bag carrier for Kippers n Tories. Tank Commander wants aw thae leaflets delivered before ye start oan Boris's.

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  6. I really enjoyed the debate.
    I thought it was a great to hear such an adult conversation as oppose to tweedledee tweedledum garbage we get on the BBC.
    Well done to all concerned.

    It is clear that given current polls James is correct.
    Despite that Tommy also makes valid points, if there were significant changes of opinion a greater consensus would result in a larger number of pro-independence representation.
    James is absolutely right, there is a risk that would let unionist parties in.
    If this vote took place in an independent Scotland my heart would lie with the Greens.

    So the question remains. Do I risk chancing a vote for not SNP in the basis that others believe similarly?

    By my nature I am a risk taker, an optimist and usually wrong.
    As much as I would like the rest of my fellow Scots to vote with their hearts, I do not think they will do so.

    I think the SNP are treading a safe path towards independence, bringing the (small 'c') conservative with them. Fighting TTIP and Tory plans for a BREXIT and 'Bill of Rights' (aka screw workers rights EVEN MORE) are within there remit as are possibilities for improving Scotland's green energy are good.

    I am disappointed with the land reform and organ donation progress, but perhaps renewed electoral confidence will allow encourage these endevours.

    I want Tommy and Patrick to have their time, but it's time to keep that powder dry and vote SNP x2.

    Come Independence all bets are off.

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  7. Labor party in Ireland just went from ruling coalition to near obliteration....maybe only one seat. They were pro austerity partners. Lesson to learn?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2016 at 10:21 PM

      The Irish labour party are not against capitalism just like all the other Irish parties. There are no socialist parties in ROI or Britain just reformists that want to keep capitalism.
      So when austerity is needed you can guarantee the pretend lefties will screw the poor and working class just like the Greek leftie hypocrites as are the Scottish Nat sis doing now.

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    2. Ireland tae Greece tae SNPBad. Yoon are as confused oan this subject as yoon are oan maist ithers ye slaver aboot. Yoon better git back oot wi thae leaflets - Galloway needs the attention.

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  8. I thought the question about the probability of the SNP not having a majority was incredibly unfair. The circumstances surrounding any given election are unique. To give a frequentist probability of a given election result, you'd need to run the election under largely similar circumstances multiple times—so that's out. You could try using a Bayesian framework to run some sort of simulation analysis and spitting out some probability off the back of —let's say a 99.9% chance of an SNP majority—but if you're wrong, then is it because your model is wrong, or is it because you're in that 0.1% universe? You simply can't tell because, again, you only have the one actual election result on which to test your model.

    In general, good job, James. Tommy Sheridan is a difficult opponent and vastly more accustomed to using rhetorical devices to win debates than using straight facts.

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  9. Probability of an overall SNP majority can be found on the likes of Oddschecker.

    http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/british-politics/scottish-parliamentary-election/overall-majority

    So it looks like Tommy Sheridan is correct that the SNP are a nail on cert for an overall majority.
    But his position regarding list votes is rather dubious.

    Is Tommy Sheridan really advocating vote 1 for the party you want then vote 2 for the opposition?
    Because voting for the government AND the opposition just doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

    SNPx2

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    1. Two points : 1) You're looking at the wrong thing. I was asked about the probability of the SNP winning at least 65 out of 73 constituency seats, not about the probability of them winning a majority on constituency and list seats combined.

      2) The day I agree that betting odds are a useful way of measuring real-world probabilities is the day I give up on life. See, for example, what the betting odds were saying about the chances of a Conservative overall majority just hours before that majority was won. The bookies really aren't that hot on politics - they get it wrong constantly.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 28, 2016 at 6:50 PM

      If Herr Comrade Sheridan is stating he will vote for a right wing capitalist party like the Nat sis then he has either given up the class struggle or has other motivations. No self respecting socialist would vote for the Nat sis or their capitalist agenda.

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    3. Git back oot there n deliver the Tank Commander's leaflets, seen as yer on Boris n Nigel's side noo.

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  10. Totally agree on Bianca's being the best song, James (though none of them sounded like a Eurovision winner). Would've liked to have seen it properly staged. Of course, having said all that, I didn't bother to actually vote.

    My mum did. She voted for Jake and Joe.

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  11. The debate is now available on our podcast and YouTube channel.

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