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Democracy in the United Kingdom

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  • 09-07-2018 6:52am
    #1
    Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,281 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    If the UK do not follow through with a hard brexit then democracy is dead.

    Clearly you don't understand what democracy is and how it works in the UK!

    They have a sovereign parliament as confirmed by their Supreme Court, not a sovereign people. That is why their referenda can only ever be advisory. Do you understand it????

    In this particular case the people expressed a wish to exit the EU. This was followed by a General Election in which the people were asked to give the government a mandate to carry out that wish and they failed to do so. They also failed to give Labour a mandate to carry out their flavour of BREXIT. So while they may favour exiting the EU, they did not give a democratic mandate to carry out that opinion.

    If fact one could easily argue that by buying the support of the DUP and continuing to force through BREXIT at all in the light of the fact that they do not have a mandate to do so is undemocratic.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    First Up wrote:
    The real abuse of democracy was entrusting such an important decision to people who didn't understand what it meant.


    Does democracy truly exist?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,380 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    If the UK do not follow through with a hard brexit then democracy is dead.

    When was that vote held?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,309 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Does democracy truly exist?
    The Swiss come pretty close with their mandatory votes if you get enough people interested in the issue. It's driven from the bottom rather than the top and it ensures a relatively low minimum threshold but high enough to stop a lot of chaff required to be voted on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Nody wrote:
    The Swiss come pretty close with their mandatory votes if you get enough people interested in the issue. It's driven from the bottom rather than the top and it ensures a relatively low minimum threshold but high enough to stop a lot of chaff required to be voted on.


    That's interesting, is that similar to the Australian system of mandatory voting? There was clearly obvious lies being said by many British politicians during the campaign for Brexit, what a mess.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,309 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    That's interesting, is that similar to the Australian system of mandatory voting? There was clearly obvious lies being said by many British politicians during the campaign for Brexit, what a mess.
    Voting is optional but if you get enough signatures you can force a vote on a proposal for the government to implement. The definition of the implementation is still open to the Government which is why we had the fudge on for example Swiss has to be employed first that was voted through (when EU told Switzerland what would happen if implemented as originally worded as per the vote).
    Inquitus wrote: »
    It looks like the whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down on May, given 5 of the 6 favourites for next Tory leader are Brexiteers, not sure where that would leave us? I assume they can replace the PM without having to go to the country.
    Only if they can get enough people behind one candidate though; there's a high risk they may end up splitting the brexiteer votes on two or more candidates and hence not get enough. May could also call a GE as an way to "put the vote to the public" which would throw a big wrench into it for Brexiteers as well (do you support the PM and party or not?) as a way to force her party to support her (they tend to be party above all else at the end of the day after all).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 36,344 ✭✭✭✭LuckyLloyd


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Does democracy truly exist?

    It does, but it has been manipulated and abused over a long period of time in the UK. To leave the EU, a necessarily super complex rules based Union of 27 democracies, would have required a far more lengthy process to facilitate a democratic process. Have a referendum to establish an *intention* to leave the EU; allow for a five year negotiation period to work out a deal with the finer points established and THEN have a referendum on that negotiated draft with strict media rules around spin and lieing to the electorate. If the people still wanted to leave, trigger Article 50 and enact it over two years.

    An eight year process, but one we could get behind as representative and thorough. Instead, “Brexit” is a rushed less than three year process on the basis of no defined end point following a savage 25 year media campaign of lies and disinformation. It just serves to underline the poor state of British society - a once great nation broken and divided.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Nody wrote:
    Voting is optional but if you get


    This looks really interesting, thank you


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    LuckyLloyd wrote:
    It does, but it has been manipulated and abused over a long period of time in the UK. To leave the EU, a necessarily super complex rules based Union of 27 democracies, would have required a far more lengthy process to facilitate a democratic process. Have a referendum to establish an *intention* to leave the EU; allow for a five year negotiation period to work out a deal with the finer points established and THEN have a referendum on that negotiated draft with strict media rules around spin and lieing to the electorate. If the people still wanted to leave, trigger Article 50 and enact it over two years.


    I'd actually some what disagree, I'm not sure true democracy has ever really existed, as whatever governace systems that have been implemented, have been subject to manipulation since there existance, and I do suspect, we re slowly moving away from true democracy, whatever that actually means.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,822 ✭✭✭✭First Up


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    I'd actually some what disagree, I'm not sure true democracy has ever really existed, as whatever governace systems that have been implemented, have been subject to manipulation since there existance, and I do suspect, we re slowly moving away from true democracy, whatever that actually means.

    If you don't know what it "actually" means, what is your basis for saying we are moving away from it?

    Democracy is about more than plebiscites. "Representative" democracy as practiced almost everywhere, involves the population electing people to manage their affairs. These representatives are tasked with understanding issues and making informed decisions. If the general population doesn't like the results, they elect someone else.

    Entrusting something as complex and far-reaching as EU membership to a plebiscite was stupid and hey presto, they got a stupid result.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,622 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    I do think we need to be careful with some of the lines that people voting no knowing or understanding.

    People are the very heart of democracy. If they are uninformed then that is the fault of the political and media, and themselves.

    But the logical conclusion to the line that it was too complex for the voter to vote on, is that only politicians should be able to vote on things that are complicated. I think that is the exact wrong approach.

    We need to relook at how we are teaching the children, are we spending enough on teaching about politics and government and the EU etc. We rush the kids into learning languages, computer coding, sports etc, but spend almost no time teaching them about the system that actually make a major impact on their lives.

    The answer is not to remove democracy, the answer is to move towards a more Swiss style system where people take ownership of their decisions. Many voters seem to think that their responsibility starts and ends in the voting booth. That the person elected needs to "get on with the job", and not be bothering them. And they turn off again until 3 weeks before the next election.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    But the logical conclusion to the line that it was too complex for the voter to vote on, is that only politicians should be able to vote on things that are complicated.

    It is not just complicated things, it is also things where we know the public are wrong.

    For example - for most of my life, the UK public would have voted to bring back the death penalty if asked in a referendum. So no-one asked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,622 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    It is not just complicated things, it is also things where we know the public are wrong.

    For example - for most of my life, the UK public would have voted to bring back the death penalty if asked in a referendum. So no-one asked.

    Its a much deeper subject and one not tied directly to BRexit (although I think we can all agree it played a significant part in it).

    Don't want to derail this thread, but it is something that I would like to get more deeper discussion on. Probably needs a separate thread though.

    Reckon this thread will be busy enough without trying to answer the true meaning of democracy!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,134 ✭✭✭flatty


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    Dr Liam Fox has been the most ineffectual person in such a vital cabinet position in Britain in my memory. He likely will go but it will be merely symbolic in terms of effect.

    Ive said on here before that a relative of mine is a constituent of the PMs and knows Philip May pretty well. From my chats with him ive always known Theresa is a trojan horse of Remain sensibilities and that everything she has done up till now has been to string the Brexiteers along this moment to bounce them into a soft brexit strategy, by leaving it late. Theresa May is no mug, she must have done the maths on the inevitable leadership contest and feel even if 70-80 MPs go full rebel, that she has enough pragmatists and modernists in the remaining 230 or so to see her through.

    BTW, such is her own pragmatism, I can see May getting the numbers from across the benches to enact a soft brexit and lay the issue to rest, even at the risk of a Labour takeover after the next election. Protecting short-sighted Brits from themselves will be more important to her than her own future or even the Tory's.

    Next few days will be fun though, stock up on popcorn.
    That is a most interesting, and slightly reassuring post, but, surely she can see that failing to have another referendum is a perversion of democracy given even the change in demographic since the original.
    Anyhow I can see why one would be dissuaded from this also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    First Up wrote: »
    If you don't know what it "actually" means, what is your basis for saying we are moving away from it?

    Democracy is about more than plebiscites. "Representative" democracy as practiced almost everywhere, involves the population electing people to manage their affairs. These representatives are tasked with understanding issues and making informed decisions. If the general population doesn't like the results, they elect someone else.

    Entrusting something as complex and far-reaching as EU membership to a plebiscite was stupid and hey presto, they got a stupid result.

    please define 'plebiscites', and how should we democratically decide what this means and does democracy mean certain types of people or groups of people should be excluded from the democratic system?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,822 ✭✭✭✭First Up


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    please define 'plebiscites', and how should we democratically decide what this means and does democracy mean certain types of people or groups of people should be excluded from the democratic system?

    A plebiscite is a direct vote by the population or electorate on a defined topic. A referendum is broadly the same, although I recall some esoteric debate about the differences in College.

    Plebiscites and referendums work best when used in conjunction with parliamentary democracy. (That includes in Switzerland by the way, whose use of referendums is widely misunderstood and overrated.)

    There is no suggestion that anyone be excluded from participation in a plebiscite or referendum.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,446 ✭✭✭McGiver


    First Up wrote: »
    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    ‘Taking back control’
    ‘Will of the people’

    Effective sound bytes that don’t stand up to the merest scrutiny.

    Nothing about Brexit stands up to scrutiny; but it never did.

    The real abuse of democracy was entrusting such an important decision to people who didn't understand what it meant.

    Davis won't be the last to resign in protest against reality but no doubt some people will keep blaming reality.
    Brexit vote was a response to already existing abuse of democracy in the UK. The Brexit vote cannot fix this. Only moving to a PR voting system may.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,697 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    McGiver wrote: »
    Brexit vote was a response to already existing abuse of democracy in the UK. The Brexit vote cannot fix this. Only moving to a PR voting system may.

    Not since 1932 has the UK produced a single party Government that enjoyed over 50% of the popular vote.

    The STV system is considered too complex for the populace to understand. It is too difficult for the voters to put candidates in the order the voter prefers - could you believe anyone could hold such a view?

    In many constituencies, the result is a forgone conclusion because the standing MP's party is certain to win, either because they have over 50% of the vote, or because the vote is so split by the number of candidates and the MP's party hold enough of the votes to guarantee a win. This disenfranchises a lot of voters whose views are never considered.

    It is also a problem that parts of the UK have devolved governments, but England does not, and England has a lot of control over all things.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,718 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Mod: I think this deserves its own thread so I've moved a few posts over from the Brexit thread.

    The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

    Leviticus 19:34



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,678 Mod ✭✭✭✭dfx-


    First Up wrote: »
    If you don't know what it "actually" means, what is your basis for saying we are moving away from it?

    Democracy is about more than plebiscites. "Representative" democracy as practiced almost everywhere, involves the population electing people to manage their affairs. These representatives are tasked with understanding issues and making informed decisions. If the general population doesn't like the results, they elect someone else.

    Entrusting something as complex and far-reaching as EU membership to a plebiscite was stupid and hey presto, they got a stupid result.

    Democracy's key problem is when people vote for self-immolation on an uninformed split 50/50 decision.

    How does anyone dare carry that out?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,622 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    I suppose the best way to avoid it is, well to avoid it. Create systems that reduce the changes of the uniformed being in the majority.

    The peoples congress, or whatever it is called, is a good example. Being honest, I saw that as nothing short of a talking shop, designed to simply delay everything. But, IMO, it has served a purpose. It allows the different aspects to be debated in a 'safe' environment (ie away from the media, twitter etc) so that when they reach a consensus they have already considered and debated much of the arguments.

    That it itself isn't nearly enough of course. Going back to an earlier post of mine, education of children in schools, we could ditch religion of two classes of Irish a week and focus on politics. Not left/right stuff, going through the workings of the various levels of government, the EU, the WTO etc. What does your local councillor do, what about your TD?


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,697 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    I suppose the best way to avoid it is, well to avoid it. Create systems that reduce the changes of the uniformed being in the majority.

    The peoples congress, or whatever it is called, is a good example. Being honest, I saw that as nothing short of a talking shop, designed to simply delay everything. But, IMO, it has served a purpose. It allows the different aspects to be debated in a 'safe' environment (ie away from the media, twitter etc) so that when they reach a consensus they have already considered and debated much of the arguments.

    That it itself isn't nearly enough of course. Going back to an earlier post of mine, education of children in schools, we could ditch religion of two classes of Irish a week and focus on politics. Not left/right stuff, going through the workings of the various levels of government, the EU, the WTO etc. What does your local councillor do, what about your TD?

    The education topic you are describing is called Civics - and should form a significant level of commitment in the Education of 2nd level students.

    The Citizen's Assembly was an experiment that, despite its unlikely success, worked and was applauded by the participants. They said that they were presented with a question, then had presentations from experts on both sides. They then had round table discussions in a safe enviroment, and the conclusions from each table were formed into a set of questions that they voted on.

    It is surprising how well it worked, and how much the participants considered their opinions changed when they were well informed by the facts.

    It is a new tool in the democracy toolbox. People power without the protest, the lies, the manipulation, and the parish pump.

    If only they had more of it.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,281 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    Nody wrote: »
    The Swiss come pretty close with their mandatory votes if you get enough people interested in the issue. It's driven from the bottom rather than the top and it ensures a relatively low minimum threshold but high enough to stop a lot of chaff required to be voted on.

    Our Vollgeld vote recently and the previous one on universal income would suggest otherwise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Does democracy truly exist?
    No, thankfully.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,697 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Does democracy truly exist?

    Well, it exists in many forms.

    French system is the two top votes get to run agaist each other if the top one is not over 50%

    Other systems in Europe use a list system where voters vote for a candidate and a party list.

    We use STV which in simple terms gets the most favoured candidates as the winners, but strategic voters bend it a bit.

    UK version of FPTP is probably the worstest manifestation. No Single party UK Gov has had a majority of the popular vote since 1932. That says it all.

    Once in power they care not a fig for the other side.

    Switzerland is probably the most democratic country.


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