The 2019 General Election - Campaign Debate and Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KashmireHawker, 29 Oct 2019.

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  1. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    In the main we will likely continue as before. Far better off than outwith the European Union, not so well off as if we had all moved forward together, led by a responsible government willing to reform society to make it less unequal, happier, healthier, more tolerant, more representative in its politics and served by the best and most efficient public services in the world. Effort and positivity are required to achieve this, sure, but none of this is unachievable for one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
     
  2. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Not even a new idea, sadly. In 1947, the British partitioned India along religious lines, causing the upheaval of many millions and the deaths of hundreds of thousands. We live with the consequences today along the India-Pakistan border.
     
  3. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I think this analysis is divorced from the reality that a very large number of people in this country simply don't think they've ever been listened to for a long time. The government was wrong to ask them in the way that it did, but it did ask, and got an answer it didn't like. We are now seeing what happens when parliament delays or frustrates the winning side, and it is not good; it will damage this country for a very, very long time - the residual effects will be felt for centuries.
     
  4. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Well. It got an answer that nearly half of us didn't like, and all of the evidence suggests that almost all of us haven't changed our minds.
    People in Parliament who voted against the Withdrawal Agreements have represented the people who elected them, and stood up for what they thought was right. It's pretty awful of you to deny them that.
    How? You've repeated this again and again, but been unable to go into detail. Why will it damage our country if we don't leave? Just because you don't like the idea, that hardly means it will be damaging.
     
  5. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Parliamentary arithmetic. Will you accept that in the eventuality that Boris gets an overall majority, that it represents the will of the people to leave with his deal? Will you consider that a just result?

    Democracy and the principle of governance by consent have taken several blows in this country in the last decade or two, not only because of the rise of technocracy, but also because the Tories and Lib Dems did so much to radically alter our constitution during the 2010s, and because of devolution even earlier than that. I cannot for the life of me imagine how people can think that governments ignoring a clear referendum answer is not going to be further damaging to the country.

    I don't like the idea of leaving - and the referendum as it happened wasn't a good idea either - but it must happen or the consequences for electoral trust and the integrity of our political system will be dire. It is interesting to note how much of the Conservatives' support is in England, with no devolved parliament, and lies outside the realm of a directly elected mayor.
     
  6. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Indeed, and were nothing to do with the EU except that it provided a convenient scapegoat. So we should get on with solving those problems rather than doing something that damages Britain and therefore makes them more difficult to solve.

    Evidence actually suggests that more than half of us don't like it now.

    I, and I suspect many others, don't believe the referendum result was obtained by fair means. Both because of the lies told during the campaign and because what we are likely to get is so different from what we were told at the time. This is both on a practical level and on a moral level, that we shouldn't let liars and bullies get what they want - by trotting out the "will of the people" line you are playing their game.

    On that basis there is no democratic mandate to leave and there would only be if another referendum, honestly fought, chose to leave (specifically on whatever deal was eventually proposed) over remaining.
     
  7. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    The quickest way for us to do that now is to leave and free up parliamentary time and headspace. Our governments have done nothing over the last few years precisely because of the fallout from the referendum.

    Given that all political parties tell lies or bend the truth, do you feel that any government in the modern era has had a mandate to govern the country?
     
  8. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    It won't though will it? As we're then faced with probably years of negotiations on things like the free trade agreement! If we leave on January 31st that's end of the beginning of Brexit not the end or even the beginning of the end!
     
  9. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

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    Political traffic jams in Westminster are going to be the new normal for several years. 'Get Brexit Done' is one hell of a misleading phrase - even if the real and underlying intent is to end the transition period without a trade deal a year from now.
     
  10. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Yes. If the law is broken, one should correct it.

    +/- 2% is really not much. For a narrow majority, these differences may well have had an effect.


    Trust is part of a democracy it isn't the only aspect of it. The problem with your definitions of both trust and democracy is that they don't take into account problems such as tyrannies of majorities and the like. That's a general problem with phrases such as 'will of the people' and other fatuous pro-Brexit slogans.

    Remember, politicians on both sides have voted against 'getting Brexit done'. See my first post in this series for elaboration on this point (#784).

    Suppressing the report does look bad, and does undermine trust. Especially to wait until after the election to do so. I'm not as confident as you about leaks.
     
  11. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Very true. Perhaps they wouldn't want to do it so close to home.
     
  12. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Aside from the issue of honesty, I'd say there's a pretty good argument that having a mandate should require having obtained more than half the votes in the general election. On that argument, the only Government in recent times that possibly did have a mandate would have been the 2010-15 coalition Government - whose participants did between them get well over half the votes.
     
  13. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I agree with the last part, but as well as the fact that it's not anywhere near "done" there's the damage it will do to the economy (already is, but much more to come). That gives us less headroom to spend on things that need spending.
    Historically there has been "spin" (putting the best interpretation on the facts) and broken promises. Since 2016 the Trumpists and Leavers have resorted to outright lies (things that are clearly untrue at the time they are said), and when challenged the perpetrators laugh it off or repeat the falsehood.
    Northern Ireland is the obvious example. That went really well didn't it... (to be fair it was a problem for several centuries before).
     
  14. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I wonder if leaving Europe will be a problem form several centuries!
     
  15. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    But I very much doubt the Lib Dem voters got what they wanted. You only need to look at their catastrophic loss of support in 2015 to work that one out.
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. The justification for the Conservative party version of Brexit is obviously a Conservative majority vote share. Nobody else is in agreement with the Conservative party vision of Brexit, so no other votes go in support of it, as they themselves have spent weeks claiming. They're on course to fall well short of a majority of votes.
     
  17. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    The film-maker Adam Curtis described the referendum as giving people the option to jump up and down on a big red button marked "**** off". I think that's the most accurate analysis I've seen.

    Brexit is a proxy issue for long-standing resentment about the decline of proper industry- be it mining, steel, fishing, whatever- and a new service-based economy that leaves people behind. Just wait till these people realise the fishing jobs weren't killed by the EU.

    If the winning margin in the referendum was translated into parliamentary seats, it would be a majority of 10. Any government with a majority of 10 would be vulnerable to losing votes through in-fighting, which is what we've seen.

    If Leavers like Rees-Mogg and Francois had voted in favour of May's deal, we'd have left by now.

    The "delay" has been because Brexitists can't agree what Brexit they want. They had the numbers.

    The LibDems primarily lost seats to the Tories, not Labour, in 2015. So one must assume those voters thought the LibDems weren't right-wing enough, rather than the usual narrative of the LibDems being nasty for being in the coalition.

    Leaving the EU is just the start of the chaos. If you think it's bad now, wait until the reality bites.

    The effects of a divorce don't stop with the decree absolute.
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Indeed. The fact that a hideously unrelatable and terribly unpopular incumbent Prime Minister, of six years by that time, campaigned for the option that preserved our country's future probably sold many voters on standing against him and his awful government.
     
  19. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    And now that those people feel listened to, through the referendum result, that's something that's really hard to take away from them (even if leaving won't go one jot towards actually solving the underlying problems unrelated to the EU that triggered the vote in the first place)
     
  20. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    • Cameron won 12-seat majority in 2015, with just 36.9% of the popular vote.
    • Blair managed a 66-seat majority in 2005, with only 35.2% of the popular vote.
    • Thatcher achieved a landslide 144-seat majority in 1983, with 42.4% of the vote.
    • Churchill gained a 17-seat majority in 1951, even though Labour actually polled more votes (48.8% of the popular vote).
    An electoral system which can form majority governments from little more than a third of the popular vote is never going to represent 'the will of the people'.
     
  21. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    A prime minister so terribly unpopular in 2016 that just one year previously in 2015 secured an *increased* majority?

    A bit like the way young people seem to regard John Major as some kind of statesman. Remembering back to the mid 1990s and the way his government degenerated into shambles after shambles, reality was of course rather different.
     
  22. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    He didn't increase his majority, he gained their only one since 1992. And he only just managed that, with a 12 seat majority and only 36.9% of the votes cast. A large majority of voters wanted something very different to a Cameron Conservative government in 2015.
     
  23. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I don't like John Major at all, but even poor leaders like him stack up very well for their party against the current leader. This is where the comparison comes from.
     
  24. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Well Brexit "poster boy" Mr posher than posh Rees Mogg thinks 50 years before we see any benefits.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/en...tpbmmUKxslMKVTlCDYELmlXS2Viw32ogdWSexwYSE7rIj

    That's most of a whole generation that will have been shafted by this lunatic decision.
     
  25. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Indeed - but we haven't even reached Decree Nisi yet! We are still arguing ( not talking) about the distribution of marital assets.
     
  26. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Assuming the 2015 results did actually represent a direct transfer of votes from the LibDems to the Tories. I imagine it's more likely that what happened was more like, lots of LibDem voters switching to Labour over tuition fees and not liking the coalition Government, balanced by Labour voters switching to the Tories and to UKIP because of lack of confidence in Ed Milliband and Euro-scepticism.
     
  27. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    But nobody voted for a Lib-Con coalition; this was arguably the weakest mandate of any government in my lifetime.
    Thanks - this is a much better answer. The will of the people is a nefarious term of course, but given that people are happy to submit to successive governments who have all garnered minority support, it makes the opposition to a 52% majority in a referendum less defensible.
    Does Parliament represent the will of the people or not? Where does parliamentary authority come from?

    We are currently suffering from a real constitutional problem - Parliament has been around for longer than democracy has and we are finding the system coming up short.
     
  28. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    Ah, and you're right, but I certainly wanted the outcome of the 2010 election to be a Lib-Con coalition, so I was happy with the outcome, and I feel justified because the Liberals tempered the right-wing influence in the Conservative party more than a little for the next five years.
    Now I want the outcome to be a Lib-Lab coalition, for some similar reasons, because some of the nonsense promised by Labour can be dropped in the face of reality, and the good ideas from Labour can be supported.
     
  29. JamesT

    JamesT Member

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    That's not what that says. It's 50 years time for when you could do a proper retrospective on whether it was all worth it. Benefits or otherwise will show up considerably faster.
     
  30. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Which doesn't actually make any sense at all. If the benefits show up then they can be quantified. And if it takes 50 years for a change to take effect, and the effect positive or negative is uncertain, then the balance of risk and reward is such that we shouldn't be doing it.
     
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