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Brexit (the EU Referendum debate)

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Stefan Linnemann
1263160.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:00 am Reply with quote

With district system I mean the FPTP system like the UK and USA have, which in effect ignores the losing votes per district in the overall result. In the USA this has lead to widespread gerrymandering to marginalise certain groups' voting powers even further. In the UK it's lead to alternating thirds of the electorate holding absolute power. The current situation, where this is no longer a certainty, has led to the near demise of the Liberal party, again, as they've not the political strength (seats) to make their presence felt and influence policy.

As to Germany, this is only a small hiccup, that I'm sure will be resolved one way or the other. Democracy is inherently flawed, as particularly stupid people get to vote, too, but we've no better system, yet.

 
GuyBarry
1263167.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:25 am Reply with quote

Stefan Linnemann wrote:
The current situation, where this is no longer a certainty, has led to the near demise of the Liberal party, again, as they've not the political strength (seats) to make their presence felt and influence policy.


The reason why Lib Dem support collapsed was that the 2010 election produced no overall majority and they went into a coalition with the Conservatives. As is often the case with coalition governments, they ended up taking the blame for many of the failings of the coalition (unfairly, in my view). So it seems a bit perverse to blame the FPTP system for the collapse of the Lib Dems.

Incidentally the Lib Dems gained seats at the last election, including this one (Bath), which they won from the Tories on a 9.8% swing. No national breakthrough yet, but they're certainly picking up support in some areas.

 
Stefan Linnemann
1263317.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:12 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Stefan Linnemann wrote:
The current situation, where this is no longer a certainty, has led to the near demise of the Liberal party, again, as they've not the political strength (seats) to make their presence felt and influence policy.


The reason why Lib Dem support collapsed was that the 2010 election produced no overall majority and they went into a coalition with the Conservatives. As is often the case with coalition governments, they ended up taking the blame for many of the failings of the coalition (unfairly, in my view). So it seems a bit perverse to blame the FPTP system for the collapse of the Lib Dems.

Incidentally the Lib Dems gained seats at the last election, including this one (Bath), which they won from the Tories on a 9.8% swing. No national breakthrough yet, but they're certainly picking up support in some areas.

What can I say... I am a bit if a pervert...

As is usual, the "junior" party in a coalition gets double the blame and nary a credit. That is not in itself debit to the FPTP system, the Lib-Dem relegation to third largest party in almost unbreakable perpetuity is.

 
GuyBarry
1263329.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:42 am Reply with quote

I think they'd be pleased to become the third largest party once again! They were pushed convincingly into fourth place by the SNP in 2015, and are still there.

The Lib Dems have never gained a higher share of the vote than either of the two main parties, so they would still have been in third place until 2015 under PR, albeit with a greater number of MPs. However their predecessors, the SDP/Liberal Alliance, got almost as many votes as Labour in the 1983 election, but around 10% of the number of seats. If we'd had PR at the time it's conceivable that they could have overtaken Labour to become the main opposition party.

 
suze
1263354.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:43 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I think they'd be pleased to become the third largest party once again! They were pushed convincingly into fourth place by the SNP in 2015, and are still there.


If we're talking number of seats, then the LibDems only tied for fourth with the delightful DUP.

If we're talking number of votes, then the LibDems did indeed place fourth in the 2015 election - but behind UKIP rather than the SNP.


Meanwhile in other news, the European Commission has today announced that the whole leaving the EU thing makes Britain ineligible to provide the European Capital of Culture. It was supposed to be Britain's turn in 2023, but the European Commission will now look to Hungary for that year.

But here's the bit that I don't know. The "rules" for which countries get to provide a European Capital of Culture were set in 2014, and made it plain that if Britain were to leave the EU then it would cease to be eligible. So why has this only been announced today? And why is the government acting all surprised about it and demanding to be made a special case? An unnammed spokesperson has told the the BBC that it is seeking "urgent discussions" - but the European Commission's response will surely be that there is nothing to discuss.

 
Stefan Linnemann
1263368.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:09 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
And why is the government acting all surprised about it and demanding to be made a special case?


I know a special case that can be made for them. A headcase.

 
GuyBarry
1263377.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:19 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

But here's the bit that I don't know. The "rules" for which countries get to provide a European Capital of Culture were set in 2014, and made it plain that if Britain were to leave the EU then it would cease to be eligible.


Well, here they are. The relevant bit seems to be Article 3(2):

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014D0445&from=EN

Quote:
The title shall be awarded each year to a maximum of one city in each of the two Member States appearing in the calendar set out in the Annex (‘the calendar’) and, in the relevant years, to one city from a candidate country or a potential candidate, or to one city from a country that accedes to the Union in the circumstances set out in paragraph 5.


The United Kingdom, along with Hungary, is mentioned in the Annex for 2023.

I can't find anything explicitly saying that the UK would no longer be eligible if it left the EU; on the other hand, the text does refer to "Member States", so presuming that the negotiations don't drag on indefinitely and the UK has indeed left by 2023, it would seem that the rules aren't intended to cover the UK in those circumstances.

But I can't imagine that the various cities bidding for the title would have gone ahead regardless without first obtaining clarification from the Commission about whether they were still eligible. The news reports I'm hearing suggest that the Commission was telling them that they would nonetheless be eligible, but has now changed its mind. I haven't got to the bottom of it yet though.

 
brunel
1263389.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:39 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
suze wrote:

But here's the bit that I don't know. The "rules" for which countries get to provide a European Capital of Culture were set in 2014, and made it plain that if Britain were to leave the EU then it would cease to be eligible.


Well, here they are. The relevant bit seems to be Article 3(2):

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014D0445&from=EN

Quote:
The title shall be awarded each year to a maximum of one city in each of the two Member States appearing in the calendar set out in the Annex (‘the calendar’) and, in the relevant years, to one city from a candidate country or a potential candidate, or to one city from a country that accedes to the Union in the circumstances set out in paragraph 5.


The United Kingdom, along with Hungary, is mentioned in the Annex for 2023.

I can't find anything explicitly saying that the UK would no longer be eligible if it left the EU; on the other hand, the text does refer to "Member States", so presuming that the negotiations don't drag on indefinitely and the UK has indeed left by 2023, it would seem that the rules aren't intended to cover the UK in those circumstances.

But I can't imagine that the various cities bidding for the title would have gone ahead regardless without first obtaining clarification from the Commission about whether they were still eligible. The news reports I'm hearing suggest that the Commission was telling them that they would nonetheless be eligible, but has now changed its mind. I haven't got to the bottom of it yet though.

On the other hand, it seems that the UK Government had warned those cities nearly a year ago that, whilst they thought the process would proceed as normal, there was a potential risk that they could no longer be eligible. If so, then I would have to agree with suze that this announcement shouldn't be a complete surprise if they had received a formal warning from the UK Government that there was a risk, even if perceived to be low at the time, that these events could well happen.

 
Alexander Howard
1263427.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:41 pm Reply with quote

Of all the things to get fussed about, not being able to join an international vanity festival is right at the bottom.

 
crissdee
1263428.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Or somewhat lower.

 
GuyBarry
1263432.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:45 pm Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
Of all the things to get fussed about, not being able to join an international vanity festival is right at the bottom.


It did wonders for the reputation of both Glasgow and Liverpool. I can't speak about its effect on other European cities.

But we have our own UK City of Culture every four years now, from which Hull is currently benefiting, so maybe our own government will increase the frequency.

 
barbados
1263991.  Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:41 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
barbados wrote:
Another one this week has been the story about how we are all going to become cruel to animals when we leave the EU.


That one is complicated, and since it's not the subject of this thread we shan't go into detail here.

But both sides are right, both sides are wrong. Michael Gove said all along - and has reiterated in recent days - that there will be new British legislation to give effect to animal sentience. (Although getting that legislation into an already overfull parliamentary calendar may prove tricky.)

On the other hand, the government was at one point claiming that no new legislation was necessary because the matter was already covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. By announcing that he will be bringing forward new legislation, Mr Gove appears now to accept that this is not the case, so you may well ask why the government previously said that it was.

Slight misinformation on the dates........
The government have been responding to this question pretty consistently since at least July, the line has always been that any new legislation will be as a result of tightening up of regulations, not a watering down.
The reason that no new legislation is required as per the Caroline Lucas proposed amendment is because the brexit bill facilitates the migration of EU law into UK law, so it is actually the 2009 act that ensures the welfare of animals - including sentience.

 
barbados
1264418.  Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:46 pm Reply with quote

1) Jolly good, it's amazing what can happen when you grow up

2) I wonder if throwing Davies under the bus might mean a change in government policy?

 
PDR
1264422.  Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:00 pm Reply with quote

Did you miss your medication again?

PDR

 
barbados
1264423.  Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:08 pm Reply with quote

What medication are you taking about?
Being one that is on top of all things brexit, do you disagree with either of those statements?

 

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