Post-brexit - time for a republic?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DerekC, 29 Aug 2019.

  1. PaulHarding150

    PaulHarding150 Member

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    I can imagine certain people foaming at the mouth as the "Remainer Queen tries to block Brexiter Boris, in a snub to 17.4million ordinary working people"

    Anyway, there's a reason I try not to talk about politics on this forum.
     
  2. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Going back to the OP...

    The British "constitution" traditionally allows the leader of a party holding a Commons majority more power than the head of government or state has in most other countries. The UK hasn't had the sort of federal structure where lower-level authorities can effectively resist the will of Westminster, and the likelihood of government falling if defeated on an important measure means MPs were usually unwilling to go against their party line. Both these are a bit less so than they were 20-odd years ago, due to devolution and the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, but I contend they remain largely true. Even in America, where the electoral system is probably even more unrepresentative of public opinion, Trump has a lot more checks and balances restricting his actions than Boris Johnson does.

    It now seems that one of the few checks and balances restraining a Prime Minister (who in this case barely even has a majority) is illusory. A theoretical power that can't be exercised in practice isn't a power at all. So I would agree that this is one aspect (along with several others) of our "constitution" that needs a hard look in the wake of the Brexit crisis. I don't know whether this would go as far as becoming a republic, and I think with the amount of division in the UK currently there is no way anything like this will be changed in the foreseeable future.
     
  3. anme

    anme Established Member

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    As an aside, the population of the UK is around 65 million people. 17.4 million leave voters doesn't seem very impressive in that context. It's less than 27%.
     
  4. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    The checks and balances are the Commons and the Lords, not the Monarch. Johnson hasn't changed govt policy on Brexit since taking over from May. Nothing is happening which wouldn't have happened if there hadn't been a change of PM. The MPs voted to invoke Article 50, so a leaving date had to be set. They voted against accepting a deal three times, and failed to agree any alternative path in a farcical series of Indicative Votes. Why? They thought that somehow cancelling the whole thing would somehow magically become possible. Well, sorry MPs, that wasn't on this table you're so keen on talking about (and I hope I never hear of again) - you created the position we're now in.
     
  5. anme

    anme Established Member

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    What do you think will actually happen after a no deal exit on the 31st October? Isn't it likely that we will be back in the EU, or at least the single market, very quickly, with the brexiteers utterly discredited and defeated?

    If you want to reshape the British economy away from Europe, how would you go about that? The most important point is to do it slowly - don't drop the old trading arrangements until you have new ones in place, make sure the direction is clear and most importantly, give people and businesses time to adjust. A no deal brexit does the opposite of all these things.

    A no deal brexit will just put the Nissan workers in Sunderland on the dole for the rest of the their lives. They did vote for that, so you can say fair enough - but I don't really want to pay for it.
     
  6. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    But prorogation nullifies those checks and balances. By this precedent any prime minister can do it at any time, if they think the elected Parliament is getting in their way.

    May went to the polls in 2017 on a manifesto of a harder Brexit than most people would have expected from the 2016 campaign. And the voters responded by taking away her majority. Fast forward to 2019 and according to multiple opinion polls a majority of the public now appear to support Remaining and support for no deal is strongly outnumbered. So it's actually Parliament reflecting the will of the people against a government that has shredded democracy.

    If you're so much in favour of the will of the people, why not ask them for a more informed decision now the facts are known?
     
    Last edited: 30 Aug 2019
  7. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    There were already instances where PMs have been accused of doing this. If the MPs who're so up in arms that they won't be sitting had really planned to do something useful in that time they wouldn't have voted for the conference season recess this year. They did, though.

    Yet they're not actually brave enough to ask the public, despite all the bravado on that front they're patently not. Opinion polls? Yes, they've been marvellously accurate over the past decade...
     
  8. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    What is the figure of the population who can actually vote though. According to the ONS the figure in December 2018 was 45,775,800

    And as the whole of the voting population never votes, the turnout of the EU Referendum of 72.21% was a pretty high percentage
     
  9. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    From radio interviews this past week, I don't think the conference recess had been voted on yet. It isn't listed in the House of Commons' recess dates page either.
     
  10. anme

    anme Established Member

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    Still not very impressive though.
     
  11. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Governments are formed with less
     
  12. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Government policy has been implacably opposed to asking the public, probably because like many Brexiters they don't want to know the answer. So when that option was put to an indicative vote, the government payroll vote of about 100 MPs was unable to vote as they wished. Had that been allowed (as Cameron allowed Tory leavers to campaign against the party's policy of remaining) then Parliament might have agreed a referendum.

    There was talk at one point of voting down the motion to go into recess, so if that had been voted on before prorogation then I think it would have been reported.

    My feeling is that a lot of people didn't vote because they saw it as an internal Tory squabble, or didn't feel able to take a view on such a complex issue. The shift to remain in the meantime is mainly down to those "don't knows" predominantly taking that side.
     
  13. anme

    anme Established Member

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    Not in democracies.
     
  14. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Another category of people (examples of whom I know personally) abstained in "protest" because of the quality of the two campaigns was so poor.

    If there's a minimum turnout threshold for a Government to be formed in a democracy, please let us know. (If the threshold is the 72.21% mentionen by Geezertronic, that would make 1992 the last time a legitimate Government was elected in the UK. John Major would be proud!)
     
  15. anme

    anme Established Member

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    I believe that government got less than 50% of the popular vote, so can hardly be called "legitimate".
     
  16. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Maybe if you look at the results from the last General Elections, you would find that the figures for turnout and the "winning" party are lower (some would say considerably) than those for the EU Referendum
     
  17. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Governments hardly ever get 50% of the popular vote in our unbalanced electoral system. If we had a more proportional system then parties would have to work together and compromise to build a majority, rather than just governing for the "base" in Trump fashion because they believe that will be enough to get them elected next time.
     
  18. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Oh dear. If we need a minimum of 50% of the popular vote as well as a high turnout, we may have to go back beyond the 1950s to find such a legitimate Government.
     
  19. anme

    anme Established Member

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    That's a very very good point.
    If 48% is enough to win an election then remain won the referendum.
     
  20. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Brexit with a deal would seem to be the 'median'
    Not all of that 65 million are eligible to vote though and unless you introduce compulsory voting, you are never going to get the votes of everyone eligible anyway.

    If the government of the time wanted to be doubly sure of no Brexit, they could've inserted a clause that a leave vote was only valid if over 40% or even 50% of the electorate voted for it rather than over 50% of those who turned out to vote.
     
  21. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Isn't 52% higher than 48%?
     
  22. anme

    anme Established Member

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    Apparently that doesn't matter!
    I'm not in favour of the first past the post voting system, but what's good the goose is good for the gander.
     
  23. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Whether you are in favour of it or not is irrelevant as it is the current system in use and until that changes, we are lumbered with it
     
  24. anme

    anme Established Member

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    That's true. And therefore remain won the referendum. Sucks to be British, right?
     
  25. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    I think you need maths lessons my friend if you believe that 48% is larger than 52%, and that the Remain vote "won" the referendum in 2016. Sucks to be you if you do believe that, but I believe you are trolling for the sake of trolling
     
  26. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    By no measure of winning a referendum.

    The larger vote share wins, the larger vote share was Leave, ergo - Leave won.
     
  27. anme

    anme Established Member

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    But 48% is enough to win a general election? I don't understand.
     
  28. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    The Brexit referendum was a two-way contest, our general elections are not.
     
  29. anme

    anme Established Member

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    But how can it be democratic for a government to be supported by only 48% (usually less) of voters?

    You can't have it both ways. Either 48% is a democratic mandate or it isn't.
     
  30. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    As you well know, when 48% is beaten by 52%, 52% is a larger democratic mandate. You knew that, you're just a wind up really :)
     

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