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TheGunnShow last won the day on January 30

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About TheGunnShow

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    Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth, dwi dal yma!

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  1. This notion of betrayal due to eastern expansion of NATO is flawed for a couple of reasons. Firstly, no treaty was ever signed to that effect - it was merely a verbal agreement. Secondly, said agreement was in 1990 between the then US Secretary of State, James Baker, and Mikhail Gorbachev and as we all know, a heck of a lot of water flowed under the bridge after then in that part of the world! So at this point, Germany was in the middle of reunification but the Iron Curtain essentially remained at that point. And Russia even agreed on a deal later that year for the US to station troops beyond it, but only in reunified Germany. The whole idea that expansion would even have been possible at that point is a flawed call, as the Warsaw Pact wasn't dissolved until July 1991, but there had been signs for some time that some countries were looking for the exit. Not to mention that the likes of Poland (especially Lech Walesa) was actively campaigning to get Poland in! Membership requests were largely made by the countries themselves. Hungary and Slovenia even had a referendum on it.
  2. This government's been unfit for purpose for years. Frankly, the only thing wrong with Boris Johnson on that zipline was that it wasn't hanging around his neck.
  3. Yep, two friends of mine are nurses who went into the private sector and another is a clinical psychologist who emigrated to Dubai. Even in Germany, the best ones tend to head into Switzerland for similar reasons. (Ah, Miss TGS has stories to tell there, with her being a radiologist who went locum for several months).
  4. Works both ways though, but it depends on how the lists are formed, and I do agree that this can be in the shadows when done poorly. Certainly from the experiences of a German friend of mine, who is a local politician in Munich, listings generally tend to be done based on how much in step they are with the manifesto so even when you come to vote for a ruling party, you will get a representative who is somewhat on the same line (you don't get the same propensity for splinter groups within big tents to cause havoc as we're seeing in particular with the Badenoch/Braverman set with the Tories, and the Corbynite wing of the Labour party before that). Nevertheless, you still have a local representative who is directly elected or removed by the electorate come voting time. You could argue that the same capitulation to groups still takes place in FPTP, it just tends to happen within big tents, whereas in PR it's much more between separate parties. Agree that PR's not perfect, but would say the flaws it has are nowhere near as severe as FPTP ones.
  5. That's remedied by the German and indeed the New Zealand version where you basically have two votes, one for a local representative and one at national level. So you still get a direct representative at local level, but at the same time if you think another party has a good manifesto worth your vote, you can give them the national one. As for smaller parties having undue influence, I'm not convinced. It means politicians actually have to do their job properly, work out acceptable compromises and start taking other manifestos into account to see if similar enough ground is shared. That is still far more preferable for me than one party getting all the gig, and especially when many of the votes are not given due to liking the manifesto, but simply finding it less bad than the other major party. Agree that PR is not a panacea, which is why frequent referendums, or at least the power for the populace to come together and call one, is a very useful weapon in the locker, but I've been a keen advocate of how the Swiss do this for a very long time.
  6. I knew straight off what you were aiming at - and German companies do tend to hush-hush their dealings in WW2 a fair bit!
  7. Least he's deserved to be fair. No-one would begrudge Hodgson a deserved retirement and let's hope these health issues resolve themselves soon.
  8. Agreed, no-one's said it was a panacea, but that's a relatively minor weakness compared to the troubles with tactical voting described here. The list system in PR models does tend to be a decent way of seeing which potential MPs are particularly faithful to party lines.
  9. Tactical voting is the perfect example of showing how our political model is not fit for purpose as you vote against your worst candidate rather than for your best. The fact it even has to be considered shows how bad things are in terms of politicians representing local interests effectively. Makes perfect sense in FPTP systems, there's very little need for it in PR.
  10. Completely agree with the bit in bold in essence, but this is where Birdie and I will invariably chirrup that this is how our electoral model sucks badly and how PR helps much more. I don't think the Greens in Germany (who, if you're looking for a lazy, brief analysis, are essentially an environmentally conscious and economically left-of-centre party) would have got near a coalition without their version of PR in place.
  11. It wasn't, it was founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front and they used slave labour to produce vehicles during WW2. What you mean is the post-war revival of the company after the war as Wolfsburg was in the British zone.
  12. Still exceptions to the 50+1 rule, and as @canarydan23 said, you can go through most major German companies that were back to before World War Two and see considerable dealings with them. Not to mention that Volkswagen, which brings us back to Wolfsburg again, were founded by a N/azi organisation if you're playing that card. Incidentally, guess who was called in to design the "people's car"? Ferdinand Porsche.
  13. Can say the same for VfL Wolfsburg then - they're a Volkswagen team. Also can say the same for what will become my local team, visa/work permit permitting in Carl Zeiss Jena. And both at least have reputations of being genuine works teams, unlike RB Leipzig.
  14. Wouldn't be surprised if McLean's basically the Gibson replacement.
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