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The Brexit Thread

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11 minutes ago, Bill said:

It removes the opportunity to elect a certain person as your MP. You just get whoever the party decides.

Newsflash. You get whoever the party decides now.

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19 minutes ago, canarydan23 said:

I don't understand this, "Well, if you are having PR then you have to have all or nothing". Why?

PR, it should do what it says on the tin - it should be proportional, not "sort of" proportional,  only as far as you get more representation but we won't give represenation to people whose views you don't like.

As for the constituency link it is the biggest red herring out there. It is only important because we don't have meaningful local democracy. If decision making is devolved to its lowest possible level it is no longer required. That is one Brexit argument that was always kind of persuasive.

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6 minutes ago, canarydan23 said:

Newsflash. You get whoever the party decides now.

at the moment you get a chance as a member to decide who will stand - and when you vote you know who you are voting for (or not)

PR removes that transparancy

you vote for a party then are told who your MP is

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8 minutes ago, BigFish said:

PR, it should do what it says on the tin - it should be proportional, not "sort of" proportional,  only as far as you get more representation but we won't give represenation to people whose views you don't like.

As for the constituency link it is the biggest red herring out there. It is only important because we don't have meaningful local democracy. If decision making is devolved to its lowest possible level it is no longer required. That is one Brexit argument that was always kind of persuasive.

it already is

hence Parish, District, County and Regional councils

 

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17 minutes ago, BigFish said:

PR, it should do what it says on the tin - it should be proportional, not "sort of" proportional,  only as far as you get more representation but we won't give represenation to people whose views you don't like.

Why? Like most things in politics, the far ends of the spectrum are rarely the sensible outcome. It "should" be all out PR? Why? It "should" do what it says on the tin? Why? We "should" have the best and fairest system of election possible. That's neither all out PR or FPTP.

 

10 minutes ago, Bill said:

at the moment you get a chance as a member to decide who will stand - and when you vote you know who you are voting for (or not)

PR removes that transparancy

you vote for a party then are told who your MP is

In the EU elections, party members get to vote on who they want at the top of the list, at least with the Labour Party, I'm not sure how it works elsewhere. That's why I'm advocating a form of PR, not all out PR. But for some reason I'm yet to be told, that's not allowed.

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I prefer to call it a General Election

General. I wonder if it will be as General as the Referendum? How many will actually turn out because I am positive it will not reach the 80 percent we used to get last century.

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I don't quite know what the penalties might be for not voting but I believe ALL elections should be compulsory. 1828 was when it became possible for non land owners to vote and exactly another century before all women could vote.

When I think that went on before and the lengths that some went to to achieve universal suffrage makes we want to punish those who can't be bothered. 

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23 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

I don't quite know what the penalties might be for not voting but I believe ALL elections should be compulsory. 1828 was when it became possible for non land owners to vote and exactly another century before all women could vote.

When I think that went on before and the lengths that some went to to achieve universal suffrage makes we want to punish those who can't be bothered. 

I agree with the sentiment, but also think that maybe freedom should also allow you to just say "Meh", if that's how you feel?

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3 minutes ago, Daz Sparks said:

I agree with the sentiment, but also think that maybe freedom should also allow you to just say "Meh", if that's how you feel?

You could say Meh on your ballot paper whilst fulfilling your civic duty?

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1 minute ago, canarydan23 said:

You could say Meh on your ballot paper whilst fulfilling your civic duty?

I think that if "Meh" is how you feel, you are unlikely to want to take the trouble.

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Compulsory to vote, but with a none of the above option. Sounds reasonable?!

Edited by Herman

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4 hours ago, BigFish said:

In principle, that sounds fine but it needs to be more robust than that. Regional lists tend not to be proportional, some kind of top-up is required to fix that. Greater develolution is also needed, particularly in England. London needs equivalent powers to Scotland. Regional government is required in the English regions. The House of Lords should be fully appointed, with those appointments time limited & made by the devolved instituitions in a proportional manner.

I am not au fait with the various types of PR, so I don't know which one is the answer, or even if PR generally is the answer. But UK politics at a national level is currently as near to broken as makes no difference.

That may be permanent or it may be temporary - a combination of having a referendum (the nonsensus of the people as a wit once called such a process) that produced in effect a self-contradictory answer, the upsurge in nativism, the lowest-common-denominator approach to voters (politicians have always spun and manipulated facts but we now have outright and provable lies being shamelessly paraded), the easily manipulated and potentially malign influence of cyberspace, and the unappealing prospect of two main-party leaders and front benches that seem pretty much devoid of real talent.

Perhaps we will look back in five or six years' time and smile at the current laughing-stock farce, appreciating the whip-smart girly swots by then leading our political life, and be able again to make fun of the oh so comical goings-on of banana republics. Or perhaps not.

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1 hour ago, canarydan23 said:

Why? Like most things in politics, the far ends of the spectrum are rarely the sensible outcome. It "should" be all out PR? Why? It "should" do what it says on the tin? Why? We "should" have the best and fairest system of election possible. That's neither all out PR or FPTP.

 

In the EU elections, party members get to vote on who they want at the top of the list, at least with the Labour Party, I'm not sure how it works elsewhere. That's why I'm advocating a form of PR, not all out PR. But for some reason I'm yet to be told, that's not allowed.

Everyone can have an opinion, doesn't mean that opinion makes sense though.

What exactly are you trying to achieve with your regional list system? At the moment it seems that the only argument you have is that you don't like the results from FPTP and would rather have a new system that enabled your views to have greater weight. That doesn't sound like a democratic objective?

 

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Compulsory to vote, but with a none of the above option. Sounds reasonable?!

There must be somebody or some party that even the most undecided or pedantic person would consider worthy?

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21 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

I am not au fait with the various types of PR, so I don't know which one is the answer, or even if PR generally is the answer. But UK politics at a national level is currently as near to broken as makes no difference.

That may be permanent or it may be temporary - a combination of having a referendum (the nonsensus of the people as a wit once called such a process) that produced in effect a self-contradictory answer, the upsurge in nativism, the lowest-common-denominator approach to voters (politicians have always spun and manipulated facts but we now have outright and provable lies being shamelessly paraded), the easily manipulated and potentially malign influence of cyberspace, and the unappealing prospect of two main-party leaders and front benches that seem pretty much devoid of real talent.

Perhaps we will look back in five or six years' time and smile at the current laughing-stock farce, appreciating the whip-smart girly swots by then leading our political life, and be able again to make fun of the oh so comical goings-on of banana republics. Or perhaps not.

All very true @PurpleCanary. The problem with democracy in the modern world is that most people arn't qualified/informed/intelligent enough to make complex political decisions. Added to this most people, quite rightly, are not really interested in the main, they have lives to live and would really like to be left in peace to live them. So unless pushed to extremis there is a very small cohort who are both interested and clever enough to address the complex problems the country faces. Our problem is there are not many of these standing in the upcoming election.

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All very true my piscatorial friend.

If we have an election every year, which we don't but apart from General, there is Local, Parish, Police Commisioner and maybe still MEP, it  can be done postal, proxy, attendance. And if we cannot get more than 73% for the apparent important Brexit referendum twhen we used to get 80% or more, then I suppose it is silly to expect these drongos to turn out.

I just suspect that many of them are the biggest moaners as well.

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27 minutes ago, BigFish said:

Everyone can have an opinion, doesn't mean that opinion makes sense though.

What exactly are you trying to achieve with your regional list system? At the moment it seems that the only argument you have is that you don't like the results from FPTP and would rather have a new system that enabled your views to have greater weight. That doesn't sound like a democratic objective?

 

Of course I don't like the results from FPTP. A system of election that gives a party almost two thirds of seats with vary more than a third of votes is inherently unlikeable for anyone who really supports democracy. 

You only need to look at the EU elections to see that a list system generally delivers seats to votes within a single digit percentile margin of error. And in doing so it maintains and in some ways enhances the link between. 

What it would achieve would be legion.

1) A much, much closer correlation between votes and seats/influence 

2) A freer electorate, whereby voters feel less need to vote tactically and can select a party that aligns with their views, rather than feeling compelled to pick from one of two or three whom they don't actually like

3) Less influence from lobbyists. Big business in the Tories and trade union s in Labour will see their influence diminished as their puppets can no longer bank on getting majority governments

4) An end to safe seats which sees only a minority of seats affect the national result, thereby rendering millions of votes worthless

5) Less tribalism in politics as parties would be forced to learn to collaborate and compromise

6) Westminster would be less able to ignore factors that give rise to extremist elements as extreme parties would get a voice in Parliament if they reached the sorts of levels the BNP have in the past

7) As 35% of voters can no longer grant a majority, parties that only appeal to one or two demographics won't have great prospects, they'll be forced into more universally beneficial manifestos rather than ones that sweep to power on the back of people aged 60+

What's FPTP got going for it? It used to have the delivers strong governments argument, but try saying that with a straight face. 

Coalitions don't work? Politically I despised the Cameron/Clegg government but it functioned perfectly well. 

Constituency link? See above. 

What else has it got going for it? 

So no, there's just a smidge more to it than not liking the results, which is a perfectly legitimate opinion for any fan of democracy, as opposed to the facade we currently have. 

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47 minutes ago, BigFish said:

All very true @PurpleCanary. The problem with democracy in the modern world is that most people arn't qualified/informed/intelligent enough to make complex political decisions. Added to this most people, quite rightly, are not really interested in the main, they have lives to live and would really like to be left in peace to live them. So unless pushed to extremis there is a very small cohort who are both interested and clever enough to address the complex problems the country faces. Our problem is there are not many of these standing in the upcoming election.

I'm often in China - and by and large that's the view of most of population - providing the government lets them get on with their lives making money they aren't too bothered (despite what you see on our TV). That's not to say their system is good - just that most people don't care. 'A little better everyday'.

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Simply obliging the disinterested to turn up does not address the real problem.

What brexit has shown is how clueless the overwhelming majority are about the political, and judicial, system hence them being easy prey to a very bias media. Where else would you have judges referred to as 'the enemies of the people' ? One regular on here even thought that the government made the law !

Ask what VAR is and you will find an awful lot more have a very good working knowledge of that than ever they do FTP.

Fine if you are no really interested in how your country is run, but in millions of cases we have seen voters huffing and puffing about the 'sovereignty of parliament' then get even more animated when that very sovereignty is enacted.

What should be compulsory is the above being taught in schools to a level where voters at least know what their vote is about.

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" 2) A freer electorate, whereby voters feel less need to vote tactically and can select a party that aligns with their views, rather than feeling compelled to pick from one of two or three whom they don't actually like "

so would every party be on every ballot paper ?

every single issue candidate on every ballot paper ?

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4 hours ago, keelansgrandad said:

Compulsory to vote, but with a none of the above option. Sounds reasonable?!

There must be somebody or some party that even the most undecided or pedantic person would consider worthy?

Have a look at Belgium, or for euro-phobes at Australia. Both have compulsory voting laws. In Belgium you have to attend the voting station but you do not have to cast a vote. If you do not attend you can be fined, and may lose your right to vote for 10 years you fail to attend for four successive votes. So it can be done and works. 

Edited by Surfer

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Just now, Surfer said:

Have a look at Belgium, or for euro-phones at Australia. Both have compulsory voting laws. In Belgium you have to attend the voting station but you do not have to cast a vote. If you do not attend you can be fined, and may lose your right to vote for 10 years you fail to attend for four successive votes. So it can be done and works. 

What works ?

Obliging someone to turn up to make a meaningless gesture ?

" those who fail to present themselves (without proper justification, or having appointed a proxy) at their polling station on election Sunday can face prosecution and a moderate fine.  "

" In practice fines are no longer issued for non-voters (7.4% of all voters did not vote at the 2018 local elections) "

 

 

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Obliging someone to turn up to make a meaningless gesture ?

But that very problem occurs in many of our constituencies which have been a single party strongholds forever Bill. For instance Labour have the ten safest seats and one is at least a 30K+ majority.

Serves them right, but why does any Tory in Liverpool think he is exercising anything than a meaningless gesture.

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28 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

Obliging someone to turn up to make a meaningless gesture ?

......but why does any Tory in Liverpool think he is exercising anything than a meaningless gesture.

that will always be the case to an extend - but there is not the requirement to make that gesture, as has been argued here

and PR is not a paint mix whereby the eventual colour is determind by the allocated colour added

however it is portrayed MPs and parties simply coalesce around two or three major parties, who themselves have a very wide definition

hence extreme right prospective MPs know that they have a better chance of being elected by being in the Tory party than the BNP - and similarly Trotskyites will adhere to the belief that it is better to try to gain control of a mass movement than ever it is to stand on their own platform, as they hold that the workers need leaders to lead them....unsurprisingly, them

the real question is, do such as the Mail/Express/Sun etc set people's views, or merely reflect them ?

Edited by Bill

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Meanwhile, what about this storm in a teacup issue where Farage is accusing the Tories of strongarm tactics to intimidate the Brexit Party candidates to stand down, and Tice is accusing the Tories of dangling rewards and positions to Brexit Party candidates if they will stand down...  

What is going on? Should the election campaign be suspended while the appropriate policing authority investigate this intimidation / bribery? 

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20 minutes ago, Surfer said:

Meanwhile, what about this storm in a teacup issue where Farage is accusing the Tories of strongarm tactics to intimidate the Brexit Party candidates to stand down, and Tice is accusing the Tories of dangling rewards and positions to Brexit Party candidates if they will stand down...  

What is going on? Should the election campaign be suspended while the appropriate policing authority investigate this intimidation / bribery? 

If Farage has evidence of that then he should come forward with that. ie phone records of when he and the other eight were called, and where possible by who, as cynics might suggest that is merely something blown out o proportion to distract from the anger being directed at him by the numpties who coughed up money thinking they were going to stand for Parliament.

Farage is also the 'little boy who cried wolf' so should not be surprised if these claims are taken with a pinch of salt. More so when he tacked on the claim that he was not for sale. The average DFS furniture wharehouse has less 'for sale' than Farage.

As to pulling the election then absolutely not. If there is good grounds for believing that there has been attempted corruption that could have affected the overal result* then that should be fully investigated and a decision made from there. But to pull the election now would open the door to future attempts to stop an election if it was not 'going your way'.

 

* result ?

surelyn an outcome Daddio, keep up with the hip jive man

Edited by Bill

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From the Guardian:

 

The coming election is momentous for every voter, but for British Jews it contains a particular anguish: the prospect of a prime minister steeped in association with antisemitism. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism against Jews. Two Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. Mr Corbyn has a long record of embracing antisemites as comrades.

We listen to our Jewish friends and see how their pain has been relegated as an issue, pushed aside by arguments about Britain’s European future. For those who insist that Labour is the only alternative to Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit, now, it seems, is not the time for Jewish anxiety.

But antisemitism is central to a wider debate about the kind of country we want to be. To ignore it because Brexit looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government. Which other community’s concerns are disposable in this way? Who would be next?

Opposition to racism cannot include surrender in the fight against antisemitism. Yet that is what it would mean to back Labour and endorse Mr Corbyn for Downing Street. The path to a more tolerant society must encompass Britain’s Jews with unwavering solidarity. We endorse no party. However, we cannot in all conscience urge others to support a political party we ourselves will not. We refuse to vote Labour on 12 December.
John le Carré (David Cornwell), Fay Weldon, Joanna Lumley, William Boyd, Simon Callow, Antony Beevor, Sathnam Sanghera, Janina Ramirez, Trevor Phillips, Jimmy Wales, Suzannah Lipscomb, Tom Holland, Frederick Forsyth, Peter Frankopan, Ghanem Nuseibeh, Dan Snow, Fiyaz Mughal, Tony Parsons, Dan Jones, Maajid Nawaz, Oz Katerji, Nick Hewer, Ed Husain, Terry Jervis

 

Since you’re here...

... we have a small favour to ask.

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