EU Referendum: The result and aftermath...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ainsworth74, 23 Jun 2016.

  1. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    It's more elected and accountable than the Westminster Government. With Westminster 51% of the party with 51% of the seats (and 37% of the votes) agrees who will be the PM.

    The president of the commission is nominated by the heads of government of the member states (who are elected as above), then 51% of the parliament must approve it. This means that neither the heads of government or the democratically elected parliament can dictate who they want, they have to agree.

    The rest of the commissioners are chosen from a pool of nominations from the heads of government, just like the Westminster system. Again in this case the president doesn't have the power, the heads of government do, the president just chooses where to put the commissioners. Compare with the Westminster system, where the PM can appoint anyone they want to any ministerial job they want.

    The commission has far less power to destroy our lives than Theresa May (who wasn't even elected by her own party!), so the role is less important.
     
  2. burneside

    burneside Member

    Messages:
    212
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2011
    Location:
    Isle of Dogs, London
    We were taken into the Common Market in 1973 without a referendum.
     
  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,182
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    An integrated Europe ≠a Federal European Government.
     
  4. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    I make it a rule never to answer open ended questions. Prove WW1 was going to happen from a series of treaties. I mean, it might not have, right?

    If you're pro federal Europe you occupy a logically defensible if misguided position. Insisting there is no such tendency within the machinery of Brussels, and it'll never happen, is crushing naivety. Furthermore I'd suggest the UK's exit vote will push EU members into further political integration to stave off populist movements. A holding pattern, your position, is the least likely scenario - it's widespread referenda, or staged federalism within the old Western nations. We'll see who's right.
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,182
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    The 1970 General Election served as a proxy for a referendum and the public were given an opportunity to leave in 1975.
     
  6. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31528981
    But sure, what business does the EU have to intervene in Latvia? What business does a man on the street have to intervene when a 15 stone man is beating a small child to a pulp?
     
  7. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    You sound like a WW1 recruiting poster, babies on bayonets. I don't believe Britain has ever stood back and seen smaller European nations overrun by more powerful ones. Whatever its shortcomings, that wasn't one of them.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTBZC_KyZso
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28 Feb 2017
  8. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    Indeed. Britain is a European nation, and Russia overran the Ukraine.

    So I fail to see your question
     
  9. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    The link I provided sums up the position succinctly.
     
  10. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,366
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Location:
    The home of the concrete cow
    And here is part of what follows from what you've quoted:
     
  11. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,366
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Location:
    The home of the concrete cow
    I stand corrected.
     
  12. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,366
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Location:
    The home of the concrete cow
    I've never said that I am.
    Even though there is no evidence to back this up.
    Even if it does come to pass, we will have no influence on it, no opportunity to put forward our views or alternatives, because we will have left.
    You can't reform something that you're not in. So if you're proved right, it may well be that it's only because the UK were not there to block it.
     
  13. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    The May government and the Brown government are two that spring to mind, but they were 21st century. I guess you have to go as far back as the Blair 1997 government to find a national UK government that was indirectly voted for in the 20th century.
     
  14. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    Are you suggesting all PMs stepping down should be automatically followed by a general election? I don't believe such a move would substantially change the democratic process in the UK.
     
  15. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    A 30 minute youtube video is not an argument.

    Which of these scenarios do you dislike?

    • Russian military occupation of Ukraine. UK gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Ukraine. France gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Latvia. UK gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Latvia. France gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Czech Republic. UK gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Czech Republic. France gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Poland. UK gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Poland. France gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Germany. UK gets involved.
    • Russian military occupation of Germany. France gets involved.

    Is is just the Ukraine you'd abandon? Latvia (after all it used to be part of the Soviet Union)? Czechia (we ignored it when Germany invaded in 1938). Poland? Germany?
     
  16. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    No, I'm suggesting that the UK population does not vote for a PM or a government at all. We vote for parliament. Parliament then votes for a PM, and the PM then appoints ministers.

    The EU population does not vote for a president or a government at all. We vote for a parliament. Parliament then votes for a President, and the President then appoints ministers.
     
  17. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    Not looking at the evidence does not mean it doesn't exist. It's a rhetorical tactic to stave off the inevitable.
     
  18. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    The difference is EU commissioners are not subject to removal from office by democratic vote. Brown was and in due course May will be.
     
  19. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    In 2014 we elected a parliament, the plurarity of votes went for the EPP, who had declared Juncker their candidate for president, just as in 2015 the pluarity of seats (but not votes -- 29% of the votes, where Cameron got 37%) went to EPP candidates.

    Personally I voted for the the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (who had declared Guy Verhofstadt), but you win some you lose some.

    In 2019 we elect a new parliament. If Juncker doesn't maintain support of parliament he won't be reelected when his term ends in 2019.

    If May doesn't maintain the support of the UK parliament she'll be out in 2020 too.

    If Juncker loses support of parliament during his term, they can remove him from office by a vote of censure, or he can resign.

    Is your argument that the people of Maidenhead can remove Theresa May from PM by voting her out individually, while the rest of parliament stays in conservative hands? I find that situation very unlikely to be honest, and certainly didn't occur with Brown, or with Major.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2017
  20. me123

    me123 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,520
    Joined:
    9 Jul 2007
    EU Commissioners are selected by member states (including us, for now) and the appointment is approved by the European Parliament. The commission is dissolved through a vote of no confidence, or individual members can be compelled to resign. This is essentially very similar to what happens with the UK government in Westminster (and indeed most other countries around the world). In the UK, we vote for a constituency candidate who, as one of their policies, will back a government (i.e. in the last election, a vote for a Conservative candidate was not a vote for Cameron, but the candidate if successful would have proceeded to back a Cameron premiership on behalf of his constituents). This isn't exactly the same as the EU, but it's not that different and the issues of democratic accountability that you claim with the EU commissioners also exist for members of the UK parliament - I doubt any of us have ever had a vote on "That Useless Hunt" becoming Health secretary, for example (unless there are MPs lurking around).
     
  21. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    You're promoting a logical fallacy, one that insists a transnational commission is the direct equivalent to a sovereign parliament. The British government can be overthrown every four years in its entirety, sometimes sooner. There is no opportunity for an EU equivalent. With very few exception EU representatives are pro EU, they perpetuate the union they serve. There is no party structure offering differing opinions on its role.
     
  22. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

    Messages:
    3,102
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2010
    To be fair, I think you are hugely understating the influence the UK has had in the EU there. Maybe not in the last few years (because the last few years have been dominated by the will we leave or won't we), but certainly in years past we have had huge influence in EU policies and a large amount of power when it came to things like opt outs etc.
     
  23. Barn

    Barn Established Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    3 Sep 2008
    Quite right. It also insists that a European demos is the equivalent of a British demos. Although we are pleased to call our European neighbours our friends and allies and trading partners, the British people have chosen not to share legislative sovereignty with them.

    Forcing populations to share legislative sovereignty with each other against their will is tyrannical. That is why Cameron had to give the Scots a chance to vote on their position within the British demos, even though he (and I) prayed that they would wish to stay with us.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2017
  24. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    I look forward to the current British government being removed from power in 2019 then (although technically 5 years for this government would be 2021). I believe you meant '5 years'.

    I'm very confused as to how the EU commission president can't be removed from power every 5 years. If the S&D grouping gets 51% of the seats, or forms a coalition with 51% of the seats, then I don't see Juncker surviving, do you?

    I'm still trying to work out where this 'undemocratic' part comes in? Is your complaint that the EU president can only select from a pool of people that have been nominated by national parliaments? How does that tie in with your statement

    "The difference is EU commissioners are not subject to removal from office by democratic vote. Brown was and in due course May will be."

    Brown declined going for re-election in 2015. I suspect that May will retire from her seat at some point, either resigning as PM, or after losing support of government. Cameron resigned his seat in parliament. So did Blair, Major, and Thatcher. No PM or even ex-PM has been voted out of office by the general public, they simply lose support of parliament.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2017
  25. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    I think you're absolutely right, but I don't think assuming the role of the EU's conscience is an interesting long term job. Our history is in direct distinction to the EU public model, and we're not the only such member. What suits France and Germany may not fit Greece and Ireland. It's one of the reasons some EU members sustain such high rates of youth unemployment to pay blue chip public sector pensions.
     
  26. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    Ok, so your point is the EU parliament is no different form a national parliament. I would therefore suggest one of them is surplus to requirements.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,182
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    The main reason for high rates of youth unemployment can be found in the capitals of those countries, not in Brussels. Greece and Spain have both tragically mismanaged their own economies, completely independently of EU policies.
     
  28. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2013
    I'd suggest it's because the economies of say, Germany and Ireland have nothing in common, never have had, and the EU opportunistically offers them financial salvation. It will be interesting to see how the EU members respond to Scottish independence, Catalan statehood and the rest that will follow in its wake.
     
  29. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    No, it's no less democratic than a national parliament. Both have their purposes, just as the UN, the Council Council, and my local Parish council.

    • For decisions in local areas, the parish council is appropriate - should we resurface the village carpark for example.
    • For sub-regional areas, the county council does well - bus route subsidies for example.
    • For regional areas, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have regional parliaments. Areas of England don't, which is a shame. Deciding on bypasses for example.
    • For national areas, that's what we have Westminster for, they can make big decisions on major things like motorways
    • For micro-global areas, we have regional groups to decide on things. Fishing the in the North Sea for example
    • For global areas, we get a say in the UN, climate change, use of resources in space, etc

    You wouldn't have westminster deciding on the town carparking charges, nor would you have the local parish council deciding on air pollution laws. Decisions should be taken at the right level, and we should have a say in those decisions.

    Of these areas, the Parish Council and the UN seem to be the most undemocratic areas - the parish council via apathy, the UN via scale.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2017
  30. me123

    me123 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,520
    Joined:
    9 Jul 2007
    There are very few members of any parliaments that support the dissolution of said parliament - the SNP and Plaid Cymru being the obvious exceptions in Westminster (making up just 9% of the seats in the Commons). This is probably quite high by most standards - I doubt any members of the United States congress or senate support dissolution of their Union. By contrast, the European Parliament has 208* members who are signed up to Eurosceptic political groups (27% of MEPs). The European Parliament is actually, on the whole, pretty sceptical of itself, and I'd hardly say that 208 members could be considered "few exceptions".

    The fact that most members of any parliament support the existence of that parliament is no surprise. This is in no small part because most people who go into politics do so to advance their causes, and they usually do so within the parliamentary system. Those who don't want the system to exist often wouldn't want to serve in the parliament that they would dissolve. There's often also a sense of apathy amongst voters who don't want the EU to exist - they see no point in sending members to the EU so they were perhaps underrepresented in the EU elections.

    But I'm sure you're about to point out that Westminster is a national parliament whereas the EU is something different. I'd agree that the EU is not a national parliament, but I'd disagree that it functions in a different way as a result of that. The parliament is subject to democratic processes. We vote(d) every five years for our MEPs, as does everyone else in Europe. As such the parliament is dissolved every five years and we have another opportunity to vote. We can change the makeup of the parliament, who can in turn initiate a vote of no confidence in the commission. This is exactly the same as in the UK.

    You are the one who seems to be committing the logical fallacy here, in that you seem to assume that the EU is a political party. It is not. It is a system of government like any other, and as I've said there is the opportunity to "overthrow" the government, as you put it. It relies on us voting in candidates to enact that change. Sadly, most of our recent elections here in the UK have focussed on our continuing membership of the Union rather than our actions within it.

    * MEPs who are aligned to any group of parliament that describes itself as "Eurosceptic".
     

Share This Page