Category: politics


Quick Brexit update: everything is still shit and half of the government resigned today. Carry on.

What do the people really want? The Condorcet paradox and the referendum

What do the people really want? The Condorcet paradox and the referendum:

I have not encountered the Condorcet paradox before, but it is truly fascinating. Even if you are not a math geek! 

From wikipedia:

The Condorcet paradox (also known as voting paradox or the paradox of voting) in social choice theory is a situation noted by the Marquis de Condorcet in the late 18th century,[1][2][3] in which collective preferences can be cyclic, even if the preferences of individual voters are not cyclic.

Okay, lets stop here before the heavy maths starts and break this down. First thing we need to understand is that the political spectrum is not 1-Dimensional (left-right), there are many unrelated subjects that people might agree or disagree upon. 

Below one of the most common 2D graphs uses today to arranges parties on a political spectrum. (And yes, that is also an oversimplification, but it is good enough to explain the problem at hand, so I will stick with this from now on.)

It is easy to see how for example two people might agree on economic freedom, but disagree on personal one.

So looking at the very first example of the Condorcet Paradox wiki page: Where voter interests (1,2,3) do not align with what the candidates (A,B,C) stand for.

So whichever candidate gets elected here, it will only represent the majority interest on one out of three topics. So the majority is misrepresented.

(It is important to note that this is not the same as the Spoiler Effect, which is one of the majour problems with First Past The Post, but a more general problem with voting systems.)

If you overlay this to a referendum and try to compress multiple issues down to a simple yes/no answer, it gets even worse. Even a well educated population might vote an option that is not representing the wishes of the majority.

So each individual votes on what is most important to them, but the accumulative result is not representing the wishes of the collective.

Lets just say simple yes/no questions are not good solutions to complex questions asked to a populous.

There is also the Nakamura numbers, which go much further and try to highlight when a given choice for a specific type of question, is likely to result in the wrong outcome:

In cooperative game theory and social choice theory, the Nakamura number measures the degree of rationality of preference aggregation rules (collective decision rules), such as voting rules. It is an indicator of the extent to which an aggregation rule can yield well-defined choices.

… but that is for another post.

Latest batch of UK preparation notices: No-deal Brexit could hit UK-EU flights, says Whitehall

Latest batch of UK preparation notices: No-deal Brexit could hit UK-EU flights, says Whitehall:

Source: Flights to and from the UK if there’s no Brexit deal

Published 24 September 2018

To my mind, the Lib Dems are right about so mu…

To my mind, the Lib Dems are right about so much and yet it does them no good. They consistently opposed the Iraq war, for example, which is now an extremely mainstream view. Obviously the Labour party is very down on the Iraq war these days but, crucially, that wasn’t the case when it was actually happening. At that point, both Labour and the Tories were all for it.

The Lib Dems are also the only political group that’s consistently advocated proportional representation, and their failure to gain traction there may be the biggest disaster of the lot. It’s because of the first-past-the-post voting system that neither Labour nor the Conservative party can split without facing electoral annihilation. So Cameron called the Brexit referendum to keep the Tories together, and the majority of Labour MPs remain part of an organisation they believe to be ineptly or even malevolently led.

The energy required to keep the Conservative and Labour parties ostensibly united is tearing Britain and Europe apart. Meanwhile the hapless and laughable irrelevance of the only political movement properly addressing the country’s biggest problems is a fascinating manifestation of our looming national disaster.


In light of the recent news of a ‘surge’ in support for a far-right political party in Sweden… you know what I really fucking hate?

When idiots make the bullshit argument that “well they wouldn’t have so much support if they felt listened to” which in reality when such people say that basically it translates to “if you want them to not have any power, you should have given them the things they want.”

The whole point of them not having power is that they don’t get the stupid shit they’re dumb enough to think will magically solve their problems. Giving them the stupid shit they think will magically solve their problems is not the answer here. Because you still end up with the same stupid shit being foisted upon everybody to keep a gaggle of braying morons temporarily happy until they decide they want even more or different stupid shit and the cycle begins again.

It’s the dumbest argument.

Like when hacks who think they’re pundits (yes I know, glass houses and all that) say that the way for Labour to win back UKIP voters is to pander to racist small-minded xenophobes.

You don’t get rid of UKIP by caving in to their every nonsensical whim. You get rid of UKIP by convincing people of a better way of seeing the problems of the world.

It’s harder, because stupid is as stupid does, but it’s ultimately better in the long run.

Our society isn’t fucked, unequal as all hell and failing so many hardworking people to the point of working insane hours but still having to use food banks because of Romanian immigration.

It’s easy to blame the ‘other’ as we’ve tragically seen throughout history. But it’s better long-term to address the actual root causes of the problems that are so often just casually blamed on immigration.

Example: Our NHS isn’t failing because some Europeans are moving here. It’s failing because successive Tory governments have cut its funding, screwed over its nursing staff’s pay, and implemented constant chaotic inefficient reorganisation to justify it’s privatisation agenda because they’re too cowardly to openly campaign on ‘abolish the NHS’ because they know they’ll be resigned to the dustbin of history where they belong as soon as they do.


This blog and its moderators would like to offer our condolences to the bereaved families involved in the Genoa bridge collapse, and wish for the speedy recovery of those injured in both the Genoa incident, and the London terror incident.

Ex-Trump strategist Bannon targets Britain in anti-EU campaign

Ex-Trump strategist Bannon targets Britain in anti-EU campaign:

After the BuzzFeed scoop that Bannon has been in touch with Boris Johnson, it’s now been revealed he’s talking to Gove and Rees-Mogg too.


Vote Leave broke electoral law and British democracy is shaken

Vote Leave broke electoral law and British democracy is shaken

so one of our government ministers accidentall…

so one of our government ministers accidentally tweeted “I” and his mentions are FULL of different song lyrics

one of the best signs from trump’s visit today

one of the best signs from trump’s visit today