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Democracy needs no artificial defence, except in the UK

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posted on May, 13 2010 @ 02:36 PM
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Here it comes. Fascism couched in a velvet glove. The 1st thing this new govt does is make it more difficult to dissolve parliament. Oh, hey lets all believe that this is to protect the LibDems against the Tories calling an early election. That'll be the spin.
In reality, it closes the door to any effectuality that LibDem MPs would have by resigning the whip or crossing over to Labour.
The touted legislation takes it from a simple majority of 1 to about 32.5 votes necessary to bring this desperate crew back to the electorate before 2015. Yeah, 55% of MPs sounds insignificant enough, but in reality it flies directly in the face of the advertised, & lets have it right, fondly supported, policy of the majority of the Tory govt.
Yes, the Tories will campaign against anything but a simple majority in elections we can take part in, but will require an increase from 50.154%, ie a simple majority of 326 votes, to 55%, or just enough of the right leaning &/or power hungry LibDems that can prop them up when it all goes wrong.
Well, nevermind, no matter what disasters are fomented between now & then, you can guarantee that the bulk of the media (owned by Tories) will have some irrelevant issue to concentrate on from 2014 onwards. My bet is something to do with immigration, but by that stage, we'll be in such a mess that I wouldn't be surprised if they have to reach back in time to blame single mothers, travellers, er... medieval brigands (remember that?), ie anyone but those who have the money that has been made by the ongoing rip off since the early 70s.




posted on May, 13 2010 @ 02:52 PM
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One could argue it is to ensure stability, so that the whole thing won't collapse if (when?) Clegg and Cameron have a tiff.

Another thing is if they actually bring in a form of PR and have fixed term parliaments, this really becomes a moot point. With a PR system there will be a much more fractured parliament and this little rule could lend a stabalising hand to any future Government, without the fear a collection of small parties could ruin the whole thing.

Britian likes stable Government. I doubt we would tolerate the constant elections and new PM's every few months that some EU countries have. This helps that stability while not making it impossible to dispose of the Government, just harder.

Don't forget, Tory and LD MP's could rebel and go against the Whip, which would make the possibility of a vote of no confidence more likely to succeed anyhow.

It is a bit dramatic to make claims such as "fascist" and the like.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 
Thing is Stu, we're not getting a referendum on PR, it'll be on AV. The number crunchers I've heard say that this last election run by AV would have produced no difference in Scotland, the North or SE England & little overall at Westminster. Still, I can foresee a few scenarios, none of which we'll enjoy living through &, all too sadly, very possible, whereby the next parliament could be even more hung, but more evenly distributed between Labour & Tory, making any subsequent coalition even more unstable than this. What do we do? Raise the no confidence threshold to 60%, for stability's sake? What if ongoing public spending cuts & unemployment cause a surge of support for the various nationalist parties in the election after that, producing an even more difficult situation? Raise it to 2/3?
How about we stick with a simple majority & derive stability from the government having to deal with local MPs in order to maintain their support? What other bargaining chip does an MP have when trying to deal with a problem affecting their constituency?
Basically, this measure further entrenches the oligarchical nature of those with the power, something many of us have been complaining about for a long time, which is why "fascism" is a suitable word to describe where this kind of chipping away at democracy leads.
It is a flawed principal that stability is more important than representation. We might just as well move to a single party state if stability through rigging the vote is the plan.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:59 AM
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Scotland and wales have 66% threshhold,we cant blame the bad old etonians on that can we? lol

I can see your point,it doenst look that good to be honest but when you reflect our friends in wales and scotland have fixed terms and 66% it shows this is slightly better!



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by Bunken Drum
Here it comes. Fascism couched in a velvet glove.

Can you explain what you think fascism is. I don't think you really know what it is except as a general term to cover anything you don't agree with.


Originally posted by Bunken Drum
Oh, hey lets all believe that this is to protect the LibDems against the Tories calling an early election. That'll be the spin.


Actually, I believe the 55% majority vote to dissolve Parliament was a stipulation of the Liberal Democrats (according to Liberal Democrats' Simon Hughes MP on BBC Question Time) which would force stability and prevent the Conservatives forcing a new election.


Originally posted by Bunken Drum
Well, nevermind, no matter what disasters are fomented between now & then, you can guarantee that the bulk of the media (owned by Tories) ...


The "bulk of the media" is not owned by the Tories. In the dying days of the last (Labour) Government some national papers aligned themselves from Labour to Conservative and from Labour to Liberal. Care to enlighten what parts of the media are actually "owned" by the Tories.

Regards



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:09 PM
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Bunken Drum


It is a flawed principal that stability is more important than representation. We might just as well move to a single party state if stability through rigging the vote is the plan


I agree brother. I think its disgraceful how everything, from Europe, to the number of places (for our MP's) at Westminister is being reduced without a referendum.

It's becoming a everyday fact, of political reality that at some point in the last 30 years, the (overall) political character; of the majority of people, we send to Westminister; just assumed that we are in a democracy (whilst forgetting all about, what one acturally looks like!!!)



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:58 PM
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reply to post by Liberal1984
 


Errm are we the only people concerned by this fixed term term of parlaiment?
The level of debate seems to be very muted.

The divine irony is that the left were suppose to move the country to totalitarianism and restricting representation.

Maybe we deserve this...

[edit on 16-5-2010 by Tiger5]



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 05:46 AM
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reply to post by noangels
 
Well mate, I know that the devolved administrations have a high threshold to dissolve them & I dont agree with that either. Still, it is a different situation. Neither the Scots nor Welsh can directly raise tax, take their country to war or other fundamentals of government. In a way, they are more like another tier of local council than government, so perhaps the need for representation to trump all other concerns isn't quite as important.
Consider tho, if the Scottish Parliament did have the right to independently tax the Scots, how long would the Scots put up with a situation where a minority govt could force through unpopular legislation simply because there was insufficient resolve to dissolve the parliament & fear of market reaction to intense dispute inhibited SMPs from creating an impasse by voting down a budget without being able to force an election? I suspect the Scots would want a parliament that was more beholden to the force of democracy than stability.
Edit to add: I'm totally in favour of fixed term parliaments. Just not making it more difficult to get rid of the govt in the meantime.

[edit on 18/5/10 by Bunken Drum]



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by paraphi
 

Can you explain what you think fascism is. I don't think you really know what it is except as a general term to cover anything you don't agree with.
I can only guess that you've not read much of my input to ATS. To be clear, I use the word fascism to refer to the ideology that takes as a symbol the bundle of rods & an axe that represented the right of the Roman state to beat & ultimately kill its people to force them to accept rule. Clearly, this is in direct opposition to the democratic impulse, but this political move is not physical coercion, which is why I wrote "in a velvet glove", because it is the same idea: that the state has a right to power because it has the power to define what the right to power is.

I believe the 55% majority vote to dissolve Parliament was a stipulation of the Liberal Democrats
I dont care who proposed it, its wrong. It would have been entirely possible to protect the LibDems from a snap election by a fixed term parliament alone. All that would be necessary would be to prevent the govt from calling an election in the meantime, so that only dissatisfaction in the House could trigger an early election.

The "bulk of the media" is not owned by the Tories.
Are you serious? Sky News. The Sun. The Times. The Telegraph... & then consider how much extra coverage these get on the BBC!



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by Bunken Drum

I believe the 55% majority vote to dissolve Parliament was a stipulation of the Liberal Democrats
I dont care who proposed it, its wrong. It would have been entirely possible to protect the LibDems from a snap election by a fixed term parliament alone. All that would be necessary would be to prevent the govt from calling an election in the meantime, so that only dissatisfaction in the House could trigger an early election.

I agree with you that a change to the majority figure is totally wrong.
It's a basic principle of the constitution that the government needs to be able to get important measures through the Commons- including, crucially, the Budget, without which no government can operate.

Is the idea supposed to be that the government could be defeated on a Budget vote by a 51% vote- and then try to stay in power? That would be absurd. It would be unworkable. The straight majority has got to stay.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:46 AM
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reply to post by Liberal1984
 

at some point in the last 30 years, the (overall) political character; of the majority of people, we send to Westminister; just assumed that we are in a democracy
You know, I think there's a very definite culture amongst our political reps that has burgeoned over the last 30yrs. They seem to assume that only those who have come up through the various party structures can become MPs. Worse though is that they are all singing from the same hymn sheet on economics & this leaves any govt the hostage of the biggest market players.
In reality, govt has the power the simply stop money from being moved out of the UK without punitive levels of tax that would make shifting investment unattractive. They can also nationalise proactively, rather than in response to disaster & allow the pound to devalue.
Oh sh!t, govt actually governing! We cant have that! No, lets listen to Murdoch's mouthpieces. He's really got the UK's interests at heart...
Obviously there are problems with any of these options, as there have been before, but there are also problems as we are, so the credible threat of simply circumventing the markets completely has to be in a govt's arsenal when it comes to negotiating our finances. Where is it then? Not even the supposed "left-wing" of labour are promoting hard line reigning in of financiers.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:09 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

It's a basic principle of the constitution that the government needs to be able to get important measures through the Commons- including, crucially, the Budget
Totally. You know, the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking that this proposal will act against its supposed intent of stability. We all know that there's severe cuts coming. We all know that that will mean unemployment. Historically such measures have caused civil unrest, so its not unreasonable to expect something similar.
So if it happens that massively unpopular govt measures are seen to have been possible only because the govt couldn't be booted out, then the swing against the govt & its policy would be expected to be bigger, undermining confidence in the ongoing reliability of current policy.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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This country is disgusting. The law, the lawmakers, the politicians, the judges, the lords, the royals, all of them need to be eliminated so we can perhaps start again making sure we learn from all their evils, and maybe then this country can be good once again. But as long as the same twisted corrupt people who have destroyed this country run it, we are all screwed.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by Bunken Drum
 


You bring up good points there



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by paraphi
The "bulk of the media" is not owned by the Tories. In the dying days of the last (Labour) Government some national papers aligned themselves from Labour to Conservative and from Labour to Liberal. Care to enlighten what parts of the media are actually "owned" by the Tories.

Regards


Well, it's daft to say that any media is "owned" by a political party, but all the same, media organisations are owned by people in business and they tend to be driven by politics generally. Murdoch's News International covers the Times, Sunday Times and the News of the Screws as well as the Soar away Currant Bun. Arguably, beneath the populist veneer which swings from government to government, it could be said that the Sun and the News of the World have been right of centre for a very long time.

The Torygraph and the Sunday Torygraph speak for themselves. Whilst the Daily Hate (gotta love those 'sturdy young Nazis' headlines!) and it's Sunday sister have been right wing since their inceptions.

The Daily Diana Express, whilst less right wing as the Mail, Telegraph, Times et al is still self-identifies with the right wing. The Daily Star, for all it's comic-ness, is actually fairly right wing politically and is from the same stable as the Express papers.

The Independent has always been a centrist mixed bag with left wing and right wing editorials and has had, historically, a large Liberal Democrat readership. It also once said it would, if it could as a newspaper, vote Green.

The Daily Mirror is even harder to get a handle on politically as it's been all over the place since it started but whilst it had a massive working class readership in the 1960s, it's probably best described as 'populist' or at a push, left of centre than genuinely out and out left wing.

The Guardian famously switched from supporting New Labour to the Liberal Democrats this election, although, I think this had been on the cards for a while.

I think that's all the mainstream papers. I don't think I've left any out but I've done this off the top of my head, so apologies if I've missed any out.

Anyway, so out of all that lot, is there much that isn't in bed with the Tories? On top of that, throw in Murdoch's SKY bollocks and the fact that for the last few years the BBC's lead on politics used to be the leader of the Conservative Youth faction and it pretty much dismisses any ideas that the media in this country is some namby-pamby New Labour-loving, yoghurt-knitting socialism fest. Not that you're saying that of course, but it's a view that I see time and time again.



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 
Thanks for adding the clarification

I used the word "owned" as shorthand to avoid paragraphs of description of editorial policy & the views of particular journalists. Perhaps I should have said "Tory mouthpieces" or something.
Anyhoo, it clearly is the case that British media is skewed to the right. A noticeable effect is that any idea that comes from the actual left of politics, rather than just left of a skewed centre, sounds more like extremism & is often treated as such. An example is how we're hearing so much about how the markets want stability. Regardless of whether this is true, the idea encapsulates a fundamentally right wing position: that the market is the investors that capitalism requires to create a supply of goods & services. It ignores that there are other means of managing supply, but much worse totally ignores that demand is created by money in people's pockets & is a necessary part of the equation. Now, I could have just written "workers' pockets", but what would that have sounded like? Even though it is indeed those who work that create the vast bulk of demand.
 
Cheers noangels, I try!



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by Bunken Drum
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 
Thanks for adding the clarification

I used the word "owned" as shorthand to avoid paragraphs of description of editorial policy & the views of particular journalists. Perhaps I should have said "Tory mouthpieces" or something.


No problems. I realised that you didn't mean "owned" literally. 'Tory mouthpieces' is a good way of looking at it. It's makes the fact that the Tories still needed to be part of a coalition government to get into power despite having the backing from the vast bulk of the media outlets in this country and following on from a global financial nightmare that so many are so willing to pin the blame solely on Gordon Brown.


Anyhoo, it clearly is the case that British media is skewed to the right. A noticeable effect is that any idea that comes from the actual left of politics, rather than just left of a skewed centre, sounds more like extremism & is often treated as such.


Yeah, people don't appreciate how right wing the British press are or at least can be or that so many people take in news not for the sake of news but for confirmation bias.

I must have said this a couple of dozen times on here over the last few years but if people want news, and often news that won't make it into papers due to political/business interests, then I can't recommend Private Eye enough. It's the only print paper that's happy to rip the # out of all political parties - which is what people genuinely interested in what's going on needs, surely?



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