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UK General Election

1harderthanyouthink
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4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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4/18/2015 4:53:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

Who's running? Lmfao.
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TN05
Posts: 4,492
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4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
*It's absurd UKIP might get 15% of the vote and win two seats, while SNP might get 50 with half that.
*SNP's rise is very much unfortunate.
*A Conservative/UKIP/DUP alliance would be well to the right of the UK, but a Labour/SNP one would be even further left. Lib Dems are stuck in the middle with no good options - be the second largest in a right-wing alliance, or third-largest in a left-wing one.

My personal hope is a Conservative/Lib Dem/UKIP/DUP alliance. Labour/SNP would be a disaster.
orangemayhem
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4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.
I'm back (ish).
TN05
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4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?
orangemayhem
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4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Moreover Sturgeon wouldn't dare bring a Miliband government down for fear of letting the Conservatives back in, which would be a disaster for the SNP. So if the SNP enter government, Sturgeon will be nowhere near as powerful as the media would have us believe. Labour won't grant her another independence referendum, and since there won't be a referendum on the EU (which would probably lead to a vote to leave the EU with Scotland, Wales and NI all voting to stay), she loses the only real "mandate" to hold another one. If Quebec is any example, support for independence will slowly subside from that point on. (And if the present government is any example, the junior partner in the government will be punished by the electorate after five years, as we're about to see with the Liberal Democrats).

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.
I'm back (ish).
PetersSmith
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4/22/2015 12:09:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

British National Party, enough said.
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TN05
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4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

Moreover Sturgeon wouldn't dare bring a Miliband government down for fear of letting the Conservatives back in, which would be a disaster for the SNP. So if the SNP enter government, Sturgeon will be nowhere near as powerful as the media would have us believe. Labour won't grant her another independence referendum, and since there won't be a referendum on the EU (which would probably lead to a vote to leave the EU with Scotland, Wales and NI all voting to stay), she loses the only real "mandate" to hold another one. If Quebec is any example, support for independence will slowly subside from that point on. (And if the present government is any example, the junior partner in the government will be punished by the electorate after five years, as we're about to see with the Liberal Democrats).

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.
orangemayhem
Posts: 333
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4/22/2015 1:44:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).
This point was more about why the Murdoch media is (in my view hypocritically) up in arms about the situation.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.
I'm back (ish).
orangemayhem
Posts: 333
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4/22/2015 1:48:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 12:09:14 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

British National Party, enough said.

As far as I'm aware they don't even have a leader any more, their membership is down eightfold, and they're standing in just 8 constituencies having stood in over 300 in 2010. You might want to consider UKIP?
I'm back (ish).
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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4/22/2015 1:58:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 1:44:03 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

But that's the case in the United States as well. In Maryland, for instance, the majority of counties are rural and Republican, but the state is controlled mostly by urban and suburban Democrats, who make up the vast majority of the population.

IMO the UK would be better off adopting a system of federalism, akin to the UK, giving each region more power. But that won't happen.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).

But Labour supported No. Of course the Yes voters would go SNP!

This point was more about why the Murdoch media is (in my view hypocritically) up in arms about the situation.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

It's not like the citizens are up in arms for change in power, though. The alternative vote failed and I don't think a federalist vote would succeed.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.

So what's the alternative? If a majority of UK residents don't want to be in the EU, what's wrong with leaving?
orangemayhem
Posts: 333
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4/22/2015 2:18:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 1:58:46 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:44:03 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

But that's the case in the United States as well. In Maryland, for instance, the majority of counties are rural and Republican, but the state is controlled mostly by urban and suburban Democrats, who make up the vast majority of the population.

IMO the UK would be better off adopting a system of federalism, akin to the US, giving each region more power. But that won't happen.

It could potentially happen if a referendum were held on creating an English Parliament. Since there's no written constitution you don't need a vote on rewriting it as a federal one - you just complete the last piece of the puzzle. The way England is governed, plus the need for major voting reform at Westminster, are the last remnants of a piecemeal federalisation process.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).

But Labour supported No. Of course the Yes voters would go SNP!

But bear in mind that a lot of those people would have initially agreed with Labour - support for independence went up ~20% during the campaign. Supporting independence isn't necessarily a reason to break with Labour because Scots know that as a national party Labour had little choice but to oppose independence. This election campaign shows how hard it becomes for Labour to gain a majority when you essentially take Scotland out of the picture. Also, the SNP currently have around 4 seats in Westminster, which shows that it wasn't the number of seats in Westminster which mattered - it's having a majority in Holyrood. Arguably attaining a second, preferably increased, SNP majority administration in the Scottish Parliament come 2016 is, by historical precedent, the better way to give a mandate for another referendum.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

It's not like the citizens are up in arms for change in power, though. The alternative vote failed and I don't think a federalist vote would succeed.

AV failed because it replaced a warped system with a system which can be even more warped (it would have increased Tony Blair's majority in 1997). A majority of people favour proportional representation; it's those in power who don't.
The English would probably vote in favour of having their own Parliament (after all, the other regions did), at which point you basically have federalism.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.

So what's the alternative? If a majority of UK residents don't want to be in the EU, what's wrong with leaving?

The problem is that with the rise of devolution the UK is decreasingly homogeneous. People in the regions feel disconnected from Westminster politics and are identifying far more with their local assemblies - hence the rise in Scottish nationalism. If we didn't have a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly, a London Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly it would be easier to make the argument that the UK is one country whose citizens have collectively decided to leave the EU - but we have to remember that the UK is at heart four countries sharing one increasingly tense and shaky union.
I'm back (ish).
TN05
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4/22/2015 3:55:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 2:18:00 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:58:46 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:44:03 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

But that's the case in the United States as well. In Maryland, for instance, the majority of counties are rural and Republican, but the state is controlled mostly by urban and suburban Democrats, who make up the vast majority of the population.

IMO the UK would be better off adopting a system of federalism, akin to the US, giving each region more power. But that won't happen.

It could potentially happen if a referendum were held on creating an English Parliament. Since there's no written constitution you don't need a vote on rewriting it as a federal one - you just complete the last piece of the puzzle. The way England is governed, plus the need for major voting reform at Westminster, are the last remnants of a piecemeal federalisation process.

You'd still have the federal Parliament with the most power, though. I assume that would require a rewrite.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).

But Labour supported No. Of course the Yes voters would go SNP!

But bear in mind that a lot of those people would have initially agreed with Labour - support for independence went up ~20% during the campaign. Supporting independence isn't necessarily a reason to break with Labour because Scots know that as a national party Labour had little choice but to oppose independence. This election campaign shows how hard it becomes for Labour to gain a majority when you essentially take Scotland out of the picture. Also, the SNP currently have around 4 seats in Westminster, which shows that it wasn't the number of seats in Westminster which mattered - it's having a majority in Holyrood. Arguably attaining a second, preferably increased, SNP majority administration in the Scottish Parliament come 2016 is, by historical precedent, the better way to give a mandate for another referendum.

Having multiple referendums in a row seems a bit desperate.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

It's not like the citizens are up in arms for change in power, though. The alternative vote failed and I don't think a federalist vote would succeed.

AV failed because it replaced a warped system with a system which can be even more warped (it would have increased Tony Blair's majority in 1997). A majority of people favour proportional representation; it's those in power who don't.

Is there a poll for this? Personally I think proportional representation is unfortunate as it makes politicians not accountable to their constituency, but to their party. There are no representatives to advance local issues, and as far as I can tell there isn't extensive local government to pick up the slack.

The English would probably vote in favour of having their own Parliament (after all, the other regions did), at which point you basically have federalism.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.

So what's the alternative? If a majority of UK residents don't want to be in the EU, what's wrong with leaving?

The problem is that with the rise of devolution the UK is decreasingly homogeneous. People in the regions feel disconnected from Westminster politics and are identifying far more with their local assemblies - hence the rise in Scottish nationalism. If we didn't have a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly, a London Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly it would be easier to make the argument that the UK is one country whose citizens have collectively decided to leave the EU - but we have to remember that the UK is at heart four countries sharing one increasingly tense and shaky union.

That's a bit alien as an American. We have lots of state and ethnic identities, but we are all American at the end of the day. On the other hand the UK is four different countries with different identities, one of which is far larger than the rest.
unitedandy
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4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.



The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

Moreover Sturgeon wouldn't dare bring a Miliband government down for fear of letting the Conservatives back in, which would be a disaster for the SNP. So if the SNP enter government, Sturgeon will be nowhere near as powerful as the media would have us believe. Labour won't grant her another independence referendum, and since there won't be a referendum on the EU (which would probably lead to a vote to leave the EU with Scotland, Wales and NI all voting to stay), she loses the only real "mandate" to hold another one. If Quebec is any example, support for independence will slowly subside from that point on. (And if the present government is any example, the junior partner in the government will be punished by the electorate after five years, as we're about to see with the Liberal Democrats).

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.
TN05
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4/23/2015 3:08:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

With 650 Parliamentary seats and current population breakdown (84.9% England, 8.4% Scotland, 4.9% Wales, 2.9% Northern Ireland), England should have around 552 seats, Scotland should have around 55 seats, Wales should have around 32 seats, and Northern Ireland should have around 19 seats. In actuality, England has 533 seats, Scotland has 59 seats, Wales has 40 seats and Northern Ireland has 18 seats.

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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4/24/2015 11:40:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/23/2015 3:08:38 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

With 650 Parliamentary seats and current population breakdown (84.9% England, 8.4% Scotland, 4.9% Wales, 2.9% Northern Ireland), England should have around 552 seats, Scotland should have around 55 seats, Wales should have around 32 seats, and Northern Ireland should have around 19 seats. In actuality, England has 533 seats, Scotland has 59 seats, Wales has 40 seats and Northern Ireland has 18 seats.

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

4 seats extra is pretty much nothing, especially given the geographical context (the landscape in Scotland would make it virtually impossible to cut back MPs in rural areas and so forth.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Scotland (and Wales and parts of northern England) consistently (as in, without exception, for decades) vote against the Tories, yet they get they a Tory government. That was pretty much the whole point of the Yes campaign and it's hard to argue with, especially when one views that nations (not states or regions) are getting govts they didn't vote for.

But even if you were right, and we should just accept the UK vote as a whole, there are still incredible problems with democratic legitimacy, caused by previous Tory govts. To take the Thatcher years as an example

a) Scotland was effectively treated like a guinea-pig, with things like the introduction of the poll tax up here a year before England

b) Thatcher basically undermined local govts in various ways, so local elections and parties were effectively brushed aside (including the Scottish Conservative party, ironically enough.

I can't be having you talk up UKIP either. This is a party dogged by scandal. Every few days you hear about UKIP members making homophobic, xenophobic, sometimes even outright racist remarks. Their positions are just downright silly as well - secretly privatising the NHS, denying climate change and so on. The fact is they're dangerous.
TN05
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4/24/2015 3:21:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:40:59 AM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/23/2015 3:08:38 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

With 650 Parliamentary seats and current population breakdown (84.9% England, 8.4% Scotland, 4.9% Wales, 2.9% Northern Ireland), England should have around 552 seats, Scotland should have around 55 seats, Wales should have around 32 seats, and Northern Ireland should have around 19 seats. In actuality, England has 533 seats, Scotland has 59 seats, Wales has 40 seats and Northern Ireland has 18 seats.

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

4 seats extra is pretty much nothing, especially given the geographical context (the landscape in Scotland would make it virtually impossible to cut back MPs in rural areas and so forth.

So you concede Scotland is technically overrepresented?

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Scotland (and Wales and parts of northern England) consistently (as in, without exception, for decades) vote against the Tories, yet they get they a Tory government. That was pretty much the whole point of the Yes campaign and it's hard to argue with, especially when one views that nations (not states or regions) are getting govts they didn't vote for.

Once again, no different than any other country. Given the fact conservatives have only been in power five of the last 18 years, it's not any more valid a complaint than the huge portions of England that voted Tory and got a Labour government.

But even if you were right, and we should just accept the UK vote as a whole, there are still incredible problems with democratic legitimacy, caused by previous Tory govts. To take the Thatcher years as an example

a) Scotland was effectively treated like a guinea-pig, with things like the introduction of the poll tax up here a year before England

b) Thatcher basically undermined local govts in various ways, so local elections and parties were effectively brushed aside (including the Scottish Conservative party, ironically enough.

Those are valid complaints. They aren't reasons to reject the national vote.

I can't be having you talk up UKIP either. This is a party dogged by scandal. Every few days you hear about UKIP members making homophobic, xenophobic, sometimes even outright racist remarks. Their positions are just downright silly as well - secretly privatising the NHS, denying climate change and so on. The fact is they're dangerous.

No more dangerous than SNP. Unlike SNP, though, they might get 15% of the vote and 5 seats, while SNP could get 5% and get 50 seats. That is actual underrepresentation.
Wocambs
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4/25/2015 11:17:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

Everyone knows its a joke. We're probably five years from a revolution.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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4/26/2015 9:45:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 3:21:02 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:40:59 AM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/23/2015 3:08:38 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, an it's disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

With 650 Parliamentary seats and current population breakdown (84.9% England, 8.4% Scotland, 4.9% Wales, 2.9% Northern Ireland), England should have around 552 seats, Scotland should have around 55 seats, Wales should have around 32 seats, and Northern Ireland should have around 19 seats. In actuality, England has 533 seats, Scotland has 59 seats, Wales has 40 seats and Northern Ireland has 18 seats.

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

4 seats extra is pretty much nothing, especially given the geographical context (the landscape in Scotland would make it virtually impossible to cut back MPs in rural areas and so forth.

So you concede Scotland is technically overrepresented?

Not really. Like I said, the geographical situation in Scotland makes this a necessity. You simply need extra MPs to cover the highlands and islands and so forth.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Scotland (and Wales and parts of northern England) consistently (as in, without exception, for decades) vote against the Tories, yet they get they a Tory government. That was pretty much the whole point of the Yes campaign and it's hard to argue with, especially when one views that nations (not states or regions) are getting govts they didn't vote for.

Once again, no different than any other country. Given the fact conservatives have only been in power five of the last 18 years, it's not any more valid a complaint than the huge portions of England that voted Tory and got a Labour government.

Well, Scotland voted against (in huge numbers) a Tory govt for 18 years in the Thatcher era, and suffered a Conservative govt every single time. As for regions in England that vote for Tories and get Labour, I think it's a little different, given that I doubt they have a decades long record of voting in a certain way. Also, you're talking about millions of people, indeed a nation, not a region.

But even forgetting that, your point would only go to show that the regions/nations of Britain has different political priorities and should be reflected as such, which is what the nationalists would argue.

But even if you were right, and we should just accept the UK vote as a whole, there are still incredible problems with democratic legitimacy, caused by previous Tory govts. To take the Thatcher years as an example

a) Scotland was effectively treated like a guinea-pig, with things like the introduction of the poll tax up here a year before England

b) Thatcher basically undermined local govts in various ways, so local elections and parties were effectively brushed aside (including the Scottish Conservative party, ironically enough.

Those are valid complaints. They aren't reasons to reject the national vote.

I can't be having you talk up UKIP either. This is a party dogged by scandal. Every few days you hear about UKIP members making homophobic, xenophobic, sometimes even outright racist remarks. Their positions are just downright silly as well - secretly privatising the NHS, denying climate change and so on. The fact is they're dangerous.

No more dangerous than SNP.

The SNP don't believe any of those things.

UKIP have members who joke about shooting homosexuals, insinuate rival politicians are terrorists because they are Muslim, or have a leader who sits in a European parliament group with parties who praise Anders Brevik. I could go on and on. New stories like this come out pretty much every week or so from UKIP. Like I said, they are a dangerous party.

None of that apply to the SNP, who are pretty much a centrist party, with pretty mainstream views, however much I disagree with them.


Unlike SNP, though, they might get 15% of the vote and 5 seats, while SNP could get 5% and get 50 seats. That is actual underrepresentation.


Well, I'd be for changing the voting system, but the way you frame the issue is misleading. The SNP (as the name suggests) only stand in Scotland, where they are currently polling around 50% of the vote, give or take (a huge number). UKIP (in the same demographic) will probably get 5-6%. Nationally, sure UKIP will pick up a larger percentage of the UK vote overall (although given they are available to around 90% more of the electorate, this is hardly surprising). Any PR system would probably have to be regional (to reflect the fact that certain parties like the SNP, Plaid, and so on do only stand in certain places). As such, UKIP would probably still struggle.
TN05
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4/26/2015 10:09:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 9:45:08 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/24/2015 3:21:02 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:40:59 AM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/23/2015 3:08:38 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/23/2015 1:45:07 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
Lol. How are Scots overrepresented? We make up less than 10% of the seats with pretty much the same proportion of population.

With 650 Parliamentary seats and current population breakdown (84.9% England, 8.4% Scotland, 4.9% Wales, 2.9% Northern Ireland), England should have around 552 seats, Scotland should have around 55 seats, Wales should have around 32 seats, and Northern Ireland should have around 19 seats. In actuality, England has 533 seats, Scotland has 59 seats, Wales has 40 seats and Northern Ireland has 18 seats.

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

4 seats extra is pretty much nothing, especially given the geographical context (the landscape in Scotland would make it virtually impossible to cut back MPs in rural areas and so forth.

So you concede Scotland is technically overrepresented?

Not really. Like I said, the geographical situation in Scotland makes this a necessity. You simply need extra MPs to cover the highlands and islands and so forth.

But England also has areas that are different geographically. The Isle of Wright, for instance, should be split into two seats, but all 110,000 residents are crushed into one, while the smallest Scottish districts have 20,000 residents. For one-person, one-vote, that is absurd.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Scotland (and Wales and parts of northern England) consistently (as in, without exception, for decades) vote against the Tories, yet they get they a Tory government. That was pretty much the whole point of the Yes campaign and it's hard to argue with, especially when one views that nations (not states or regions) are getting govts they didn't vote for.

Once again, no different than any other country. Given the fact conservatives have only been in power five of the last 18 years, it's not any more valid a complaint than the huge portions of England that voted Tory and got a Labour government.

Well, Scotland voted against (in huge numbers) a Tory govt for 18 years in the Thatcher era, and suffered a Conservative govt every single time. As for regions in England that vote for Tories and get Labour, I think it's a little different, given that I doubt they have a decades long record of voting in a certain way. Also, you're talking about millions of people, indeed a nation, not a region.

Most of rural England has indeed voted Conservative for decades - longer than Scotland, really.

But even forgetting that, your point would only go to show that the regions/nations of Britain has different political priorities and should be reflected as such, which is what the nationalists would argue.

Which is why the British model of top-down government is dumb. As an American, federalism seems like the way to go. Scotland can be it's happy socialist "utopia" while England can do what it wants.

But even if you were right, and we should just accept the UK vote as a whole, there are still incredible problems with democratic legitimacy, caused by previous Tory govts. To take the Thatcher years as an example

a) Scotland was effectively treated like a guinea-pig, with things like the introduction of the poll tax up here a year before England

b) Thatcher basically undermined local govts in various ways, so local elections and parties were effectively brushed aside (including the Scottish Conservative party, ironically enough.

Those are valid complaints. They aren't reasons to reject the national vote.

I can't be having you talk up UKIP either. This is a party dogged by scandal. Every few days you hear about UKIP members making homophobic, xenophobic, sometimes even outright racist remarks. Their positions are just downright silly as well - secretly privatising the NHS, denying climate change and so on. The fact is they're dangerous.

No more dangerous than SNP.

The SNP don't believe any of those things.

They do want to leave NATO, scrap nuclear missile defense. SNP has quite literally called for an army of just 20,000. What, do they expect the rest of Britain to protect them? That's far more crazy than racism or not believing climate change. That's not even scratching the surface of their having to replace the pound and rely entirely on oil.

UKIP have members who joke about shooting homosexuals, insinuate rival politicians are terrorists because they are Muslim, or have a leader who sits in a European parliament group with parties who praise Anders Brevik. I could go on and on. New stories like this come out pretty much every week or so from UKIP. Like I said, they are a dangerous party.

And SNP has loonies too. So do the Northern Irish parties for that matter.

None of that apply to the SNP, who are pretty much a centrist party, with pretty mainstream views, however much I disagree with them.

No, they are not. They are, by their own admission, socialist. Socialist is not centrist.


Unlike SNP, though, they might get 15% of the vote and 5 seats, while SNP could get 5% and get 50 seats. That is actual underrepresentation.


Well, I'd be for changing the voting system, but the way you frame the issue is misleading. The SNP (as the name suggests) only stand in Scotland, where they are currently polling around 50% of the vote, give or take (a huge number). UKIP (in the same demographic) will probably get 5-6%. Nationally, sure UKIP will pick up a larger percentage of the UK vote overall (although given they are available to around 90% more of the electorate, this is hardly surprising). Any PR system would probably have to be regional (to reflect the fact that certain parties like the SNP, Plaid, and so on do only stand in certain places). As such, UKIP would probably still struggle.

But that's my point - all SNP has to do to win seats is go to Scotland. 50 seats with 5% of the vote is absurd when another party, with three times as much support, gets a tenth of the seats. The (primarily English) UKIP voters are shut out, while the (exclusively Scottish) SNP voters get undue influence.
unitedandy
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4/26/2015 11:24:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago

So yes, Scotland is overrepresented. The general point is England is very much underrepresented.

4 seats extra is pretty much nothing, especially given the geographical context (the landscape in Scotland would make it virtually impossible to cut back MPs in rural areas and so forth.

So you concede Scotland is technically overrepresented?

Not really. Like I said, the geographical situation in Scotland makes this a necessity. You simply need extra MPs to cover the highlands and islands and so forth.

But England also has areas that are different geographically. The Isle of Wright, for instance, should be split into two seats, but all 110,000 residents are crushed into one, while the smallest Scottish districts have 20,000 residents. For one-person, one-vote, that is absurd.

Again, the geographical landscape is what's important, not the number of people.

As the former First Minister Alex Salmond put it, there's more pandas in Edinbrugh zoo than there are Tory MPs in Scotland. And there's only 2 pandas. The problem is Scotland hasn't voted Conservative for decades, yet in the 1980s, for example, Scottish industry was destroyed by a Tory govt, local democracy was overridden, much of the nations assets were sold and so forth. All without any democratic legitimacy.

I ain't a nationalist or an SNP voter (I voted against independence incidentally), but it ain't exactly a silly complaint.

There was democratic legitimacy - the Tory government was duly elected in legal, fair and free elections. Scotland can no more veto legislation they dislike than England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Scotland (and Wales and parts of northern England) consistently (as in, without exception, for decades) vote against the Tories, yet they get they a Tory government. That was pretty much the whole point of the Yes campaign and it's hard to argue with, especially when one views that nations (not states or regions) are getting govts they didn't vote for.

Once again, no different than any other country. Given the fact conservatives have only been in power five of the last 18 years, it's not any more valid a complaint than the huge portions of England that voted Tory and got a Labour government.

Well, Scotland voted against (in huge numbers) a Tory govt for 18 years in the Thatcher era, and suffered a Conservative govt every single time. As for regions in England that vote for Tories and get Labour, I think it's a little different, given that I doubt they have a decades long record of voting in a certain way. Also, you're talking about millions of people, indeed a nation, not a region.

Most of rural England has indeed voted Conservative for decades - longer than Scotland, really.

Even if this were true, like I said, this is exactly what the SNP would argue - different political priorities.


But even if you were right, and we should just accept the UK vote as a whole, there are still incredible problems with democratic legitimacy, caused by previous Tory govts. To take the Thatcher years as an example

a) Scotland was effectively treated like a guinea-pig, with things like the introduction of the poll tax up here a year before England

b) Thatcher basically undermined local govts in various ways, so local elections and parties were effectively brushed aside (including the Scottish Conservative party, ironically enough.

Those are valid complaints. They aren't reasons to reject the national vote.

I can't be having you talk up UKIP either. This is a party dogged by scandal. Every few days you hear about UKIP members making homophobic, xenophobic, sometimes even outright racist remarks. Their positions are just downright silly as well - secretly privatising the NHS, denying climate change and so on. The fact is they're dangerous.

No more dangerous than SNP.

The SNP don't believe any of those things.

They do want to leave NATO, scrap nuclear missile defense. SNP has quite literally called for an army of just 20,000. What, do they expect the rest of Britain to protect them? That's far more crazy than racism or not believing climate change. That's not even scratching the surface of their having to replace the pound and rely entirely on oil.

They don't want to leave NATO and they want use the money scrapping Trident to increase the army.

The pound and the oil comments are complete red herrings, given they were issues in the referendum IF Scotland voted in favour of independence. And for clarification, the SNP didn't want to replace the pound and oil revenues only makes up around 15% of the Scottish economy.

As for opposing Trident being more dangerous than having a racist party in govt, is that some kind of bad joke? Reasonable people can disagree about Trident. As it happens, I'm totally against scrapping it. There's no such grey lines when it comes to racism and bigotry. Period.

UKIP have members who joke about shooting homosexuals, insinuate rival politicians are terrorists because they are Muslim, or have a leader who sits in a European parliament group with parties who praise Anders Brevik. I could go on and on. New stories like this come out pretty much every week or so from UKIP. Like I said, they are a dangerous party.

And SNP has loonies too. So do the Northern Irish parties for that matter.

First off, we're not talking about a few bad eggs. There are countless examples of UKIP members who pull this kind of crap all the time. The leader of UKIP in Scotland, for example, likened an MSP to a terrorist because he was a Muslim. Nigel Farage used HIV as a political football in the TV debate. And like I said, UKIP THE PARTY, sits in a European group which has the most far-right views, including defending Anders Brevik as some sort of hero. So, come off it. The whole party is hostage to dangerous and horrific views.

And who are these SNP equivalents? Seriously?

None of that apply to the SNP, who are pretty much a centrist party, with pretty mainstream views, however much I disagree with them.

No, they are not. They are, by their own admission, socialist. Socialist is not centrist.

Lol, where are you getting that from? They may have some left leaning members, but they relied primarily on the Scottish Conservatives to pass a budget when they ran a minority govt. Hardly socialism.

The first thing an independent Scotland would have done was to be cutting corporation tax. Hardly policies of some socialist utopia. They don't plan to nationalise anything pretty much, voted against a living wage, etc. Again, hardly socialism.

They are miles away from Keynesianism, never mind socialism. Trust me, if I thought they were socialist, I'd probably vote for them. They aren't. The Greens are the only mainstream party who are even close to socialism.




But that's my point - all SNP has to do to win seats is go to Scotland. 50 seats with 5% of the vote is absurd when another party, with three times as much support, gets a tenth of the seats. The (primarily English) UKIP voters are shut out, while the (exclusively Scottish) SNP voters get undue influence.

Lol. You're blatantly misrepresenting. The SNP gets around half of the vote in the seats it contests, which considering Scottish electoral history is remarkable. But like I said, even if you went to a PR system, you'd have to regionalise it. If not, the SNP would still get around 30 seats (Scottish Labour would pick up most of the rest, so Scotland would still get an anti-Tory contingent). It would be the Northern Irish parties basically disenfranchised because those various parties only contest NI seats. How much does Sinn Fein, or the DUP get of the national vote, for e