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Old 09-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #26
Lonely Cubone
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Originally Posted by Muyotwo View Post
This.... sounds awesome.
Sadly, sounds is the key word.

The Lords as a "Council of Elders" type house appeals to me greatly. Unfortunately, the Political Parties in charge of appointments for the most part and therefore it becomes a nice pension booster for retired MPs and major party donors (Blair got in a lot of trouble for this). As it is, I think it works quite well, but it certainly could be better.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:20 AM   #27
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Elsie is right, unfortunately there are too many political peers for it to truly work as it's supposed to. Never understood myself why all appointments aren't done by the commission, rather than allowing the PM to to nominate a bunch.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:26 AM   #28
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The House of Elders idea is fine, but never going to be incorruptible. So you end up wondering. Do you want an imperfect house that's full of experts or do you want one full of electeds.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
The House of Elders idea is fine, but never going to be incorruptible. So you end up wondering. Do you want an imperfect house that's full of experts or do you want one full of electeds.
The former. We already have a house full of electeds and it's about as popular as Syphillis.

It should be noted that I'm generally left wing and agree with almost all left wing policies, but the elected House of Lords thing passes me by. That said, I'm no expert and I'm sure a coherent argument could be made for both points of view.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #30
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In which case, how are they picked? Independent commission? No such thing. Party appointees? Same problems. Nominated by the field? As political, in a horrible manner.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:49 AM   #31
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That... actually sounds like a really good system to run on. I kind of wish that would catch on in the States, but I don't think we could really handle it. You know, lacking the overall maturity of a nation and all. Also, of course, the three-party system really, really, desperately needs to catch on in the States.

Overall, I quite like the sound of Parliament over this pseudo-republic we have here.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #32
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In which case, how are they picked? Independent commission? No such thing. Party appointees? Same problems. Nominated by the field? As political, in a horrible manner.
Nominated by the field and vetted by some commission is probably the best you're going to get. We could shoot holes in any of these ideas all day, but really you just have to pick the least shitty option and run with it. Hold out for a perfect solution and nothing ever gets done.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:05 AM   #33
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That... actually sounds like a really good system to run on. I kind of wish that would catch on in the States, but I don't think we could really handle it. You know, lacking the overall maturity of a nation and all. Also, of course, the three-party system really, really, desperately needs to catch on in the States.

Overall, I quite like the sound of Parliament over this pseudo-republic we have here.
There'd be little point in the States. Your lobbying culture is so vast and special interests are so tightly ingrained in the fabric of your institutions, you've basically got that. The difference would be that there'd be less filtration but likely a little more public awareness. It would also probably fuck up your federation.

Depending on how one classifies party systems (there are like four ways, because political scientists are as petty as everyone else), you already have that. The American party system at national level (I don't have the expertise to comment on state level) is hard to classify in terms of numbers, though. Your parties are weakly held together and could quite happily operate as a four party system if they wanted to.

I don't really know what you mean by pseudo republic.
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Nominated by the field and vetted by some commission is probably the best you're going to get. We could shoot holes in any of these ideas all day, but really you just have to pick the least shitty option and run with it. Hold out for a perfect solution and nothing ever gets done.
Well absolutely. Though don't say this to me, I'm about to go spend a year studying how to do it lol.

Man I need a life, this lounging on the internet is bad for the soul.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #34
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It's very much the sort of thing which sounds awesome when corruption is nil but sounds all sorts of when corruption is high. The really awesome-sounding part is the bit about shutting up and politely sitting there quietly if you're not an appointed expert on the topic of the day. You'd never get that in our circus of a legislature today.

One small clarification: while you compare the House of Commons with the American House of Representatives, one important difference is that in American politics it is the Senate which typically holds more power, the Senate people care more about, etc. Most people I know couldn't identify who their own representative is but most everyone knows who their state's two senators are. Most people can only identify a small handful of famous members of the House (currently that would be members like Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner) but the number of senators they can name, past or present, is significantly larger. More former senators have become president or vice president than representatives (recent examples include Obama, Biden, and Gore). So on and so forth. Ostensibly the two chambers matter equally but a bill passed first in the Senate usually has less chance of being killed than a bill passed first in the House; this has the effect of the Senate being more of the de facto policymaker than the House. It sounds like the situation is dead opposite in the UK so I thought it important to point this out.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #35
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Yes, I should have mentioned that Talon, you're right.

It's funny. As a rule, the British education system doesn't offer dedicated politics classes until you get to the last two years of high school ('sixth form'). When you get there, ne of the things they make you learn is the comparisons between the British and American systems. Once you get about five minutes out of sixth form and pay attention to the two, you realise there's no comparison.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:06 AM   #36
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Question: if hereditary peerage is being phased out, does that mean that many non-royal peerage titles (e.g. the Duke of Manchester or the Duke of Wellington) will be up for grabs once their current title-holders die? Many of these peerage titles have been passed along for generations (e.g. the current Duke of Wellington is the eighth in the line). But does what you've said before mean that we could see famous peerage titles being reassigned to modern heroes of Britain?

Question: according to Wiki's explanation about the House of Lords, you can't sit if you are the Sovereign, so that means no Queen Elizabeth. However, I am curious to know if her husband and son(s) occupy seats in the House of Lords.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #37
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Dukes aren't part of the Lords, no. Nowadays Dukedoms are reserved the royal family much of the time.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Question: if hereditary peerage is being phased out, does that mean that many non-royal peerage titles (e.g. the Duke of Manchester or the Duke of Wellington) will be up for grabs once their current title-holders die? Many of these peerage titles have been passed along for generations (e.g. the current Duke of Wellington is the eighth in the line). But does what you've said before mean that we could see famous peerage titles being reassigned to modern heroes of Britain?

Question: according to Wiki's explanation about the House of Lords, you can't sit if you are the Sovereign, so that means no Queen Elizabeth. However, I am curious to know if her husband and son(s) occupy seats in the House of Lords.
Sorry I was a little unclear on the phasing out hereditary thing. The titles themselves will still be passed on, but the right to sit in the House of Lords won't. A number of existing heriditary peers can't sit in the House (somewhere around 1 in 7 or 1 in 8 remain in the House at the moment). The fancy title still gets inherited but that's it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:05 PM   #39
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Oh, I see. So only a very few hereditary seats remain ... but many heridtary titles -- all (?) of them -- remain. Got it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:08 PM   #40
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Pretty much. Once the remaining ninety or so die, hereditary titles will be totally meaningless beyond putting a fancy bit in front of your name. Which is a definite improvement.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #41
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Oh sorry I misunderstood you.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #42
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I feel like the Ringo of the Britpack when it comes to politics.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #43
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Since we've got a "woo British politics!" thread, I thought I'd seek a Kushty opinion (and others, but Kush tends to sound somewhat informed where the rest of us sound like gibbering idiots half the time). Do you reckon the Lib Dems will recover enough popularity to still poll decently at the next election, and if not where do you reckon those votes will go? I think it's fairly safe to say they won't go to the Tories (given the votes they're losing are the ones that resent the coalition with the Tories), so I suppose the question is whether they go to Labour or some other minor party (Greens?) Might be interesting to see how Labour do if the Lib Dems slump, one imagines they suffer from British politics having two major parties on the left and one on the right.

I can't imagine Ed Milliband being too good at capturing former Lib Dem voters, given he has all the charisma of a grape.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:15 AM   #44
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> Well informed

Yes, but I've never thought anyone in this thread is a gibbering idiot :p And the fact that I'm well informed is supplemented by the fact that I'm a cocky twat

> Lib Dems

With all the usual caveats of predicting politics being for idiots, and assuming you mean the general election... I think they're probably not going to be wiped out. Depending on how the next three years go, I would have said that they will lose many of their marginal seats in Scotland and the North, while in the south of England they should be ok. In Scotland, disillusioned voters will flock to Labour, especially since Scotland hates the Tories for the most part. In the south, I think that they may be able to retain enough credibility to hold some seats. Wales, they'll probably survive as well.

Key to remember is that the right wing press and elements of the Conservative party are really hammering the Lib Dems. I suspect that many Tory voters who went Lib Dem in '10 will flock back in '15. Should that happen, it would be interesting to see how the Tories look if many of their right move over to UKIP (something many think will happen but I don't). Additionally, the Greens having just elected a new leader, it will be interesting to see if they can pull anything out of the bag.

This is all just speculation of course, many things affect it. Clegg is one thing. A few people I know in the party are suggesting that he may be removed as an MP and put somewhere else before the election because he's (somewhat unfairly) become associated with the toxic part of the coalition. Destinations could include the Lords, an internal party role, Europe (my bet), some other international political institution or outside of politics all together. If the economy continues to flatline, statistics indicate that voters will flock to Labour and the Conservatives. If it heads back up again, we may see smaller parties gain. Like I say, at this point I'll say that they won't die. Perhaps 20 seats is what they'll end up with, maybe more. But they could be wiped out entirely and they could experience a resurgence.

> Miliband

He's improving, but he's got the same problem Hague had when he was leader of the Tories. He's good in the dispatch box and quite a good match for Cameron at parliamentary stuff, but his party is weakened and being altered and he's not particularly well regarded outside of Westminster. Additionally, he's got Ed Balls blocking everything he tries to do. I'd not be totally surprised if we didn't see a Labour minority government next time.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #45
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Labor, Tories, Libs, Conservatives...

What do all these parties represent as their key issues?
I can sort of guess Libs and Conservatives, but what are the others about?
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #46
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Tories is a short name for Conservatives, because they emerged from the former Tory Party. I'll try to give a short summary of the three major parties a bit later when I have some time (or Kushty might get to it). Labour and the Conservatives are the big two who actually get to govern, the Liberal Democrats are our third party who typically get ~20% of the votes (currently our government is a coalition between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, because no party got an outright majority of seats). Also remember that what America thinks Liberal means is not what the rest of the world has always agreed it means, so don't necessarily equate them with American liberals :p.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #47
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It's difficult to summarise briefly. All that 'cept says is correct, though.

The Conservative party is the one most like the Republican mainstay, though these are not comparable because American parties are so much more broad and diluted than British ones. Think Republican with less business leaders holding the leash. Generally more inclined to support individuality over coming together (though the current leaders would have you forget this), would prefer the economy to recover through spending cuts and tax breaks rather than tax increases and spending increases. There are a few Tories who sympathise with the Tea Party movement but, mostly, the Tory party refers to them publicly as idiots. Additionally, they are very strongly in favour of Britain remaining a solid state, as opposed to giving Scotland independence. Note that 'Tory' is a nickname for the Conservative party, just like the Republicans sometimes being referred to as the GOP.

The Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) are interesting. They formed some decades ago as a coming together of the old Liberal party and the Social Democrats. They aren't really 'liberal' in the British sense of the word, but since you're an American you might find it easier to identify them as such. They have several parallels with the Democrats in the US. Would prefer spending over cutting, but since they're currently in alliance with the Tories it's hard for them to achieve this. Traditionally they are big on civil liberties and try to be big on green issues. They opposed the war in Iraq, which the other two main parties did not at the time.

Labour started as a worker's party but has become a social democratic party. Thus it is inaccurate to refer to them as a socialist party. They're for spending rather than cutting. You may know the name Tony Blair, who was a Labour Prime Minister. Currently they're undergoing a period of reflection which will likely lead to a change in ideals, but basically they want welfare to help people and don't want the state to ignore people. They also have parallels with the Democrats in America.

These are extremely poor summaries, you may wish to read further. If you just want general oversight, wikipedia is fine, but if not you can see the party websites and various concise summaries on the net. A good thing to do is to look at their election manifestos (just google [party name] election manifesto 2010 UK election).
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #48
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Who typically wants Scotland to separate from England?
  • list relevant nations
  • list relevant political parties
  • list prominent individuals we may have heard of overseas (if none, then list who is most famous for this view at home)
Were Scotland separated from England, would it be an amicable separation or would it cause bitterness on one side, the other, or both?
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #49
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The parties are kind of interesting at the moment - Labour are potentially moving back to their old more left wing policies under Ed Milliband (who won the leadership election with significant Union support) after Tony Blair moved them more right/authoritarian (hence Blair and Bush's whole buddy/buddy thing). The Conservative leader (David Cameron) presents himself as a bit more socially liberal/left than a lot of his party, but obviously needs their support. Then again he also needs Lib Dem support at the moment, so he has a major balancing act on his plate.

>Scotland

The only real support for this is from the Scottish National Party (who currently hold a majority in the devolved Scottish Parliament but just six seats our of 650 in the commons), lead by Alex Salmond. The major parties are typically against the idea, but if a Scottish referendum showed support for the idea I doubt any of them would actively try to block it (although you can bet they'd try to give Scotland as bad a deal as possible :p).

A lot of the argument so far has been over how the question would be presented - the SNP want to present three options (remain as they are, independence, "devo max"), whereas the major parties want it to be a two option thing (independence or remain).
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #50
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Who typically wants Scotland to separate from England?
  • list relevant nations
  • list relevant political parties
  • list prominent individuals we may have heard of overseas (if none, then list who is most famous for this view at home)
Were Scotland separated from England, would it be an amicable separation or would it cause bitterness on one side, the other, or both?
Well, Scotland. Current polls are about 60/40 in favour of remaining part of Britain. Certain members of other British nations would probably be happy to see the back of the Scots, but in general the wish to decouple is confined to the north.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) are the main party in favour of separation. They currently govern Scotland (in a sort of similar way to the state governments in America) and are planning to hold a referendum in 2014. They steadfastly deny that Scotland doesn't actually want to leave the UK. They are almost certainly going to be the only party you've heard of. All the other main UK parties want the union to remain in place, though most accept further devolution (essentially, giving Scotland more powers to govern for itself and taking these away from the UK government) should happen. All these parties have said that if the Scottish vote to leave the union, they'll let it happen.

Individuals... er... Alex Salmond and Nichola Sturgeon are SNP leaders, then you'll want to know David Cameron the current UK PM and Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary in the UK Government*, who is a Liberal Democrat MP. Other than that it'll be non politicians. For example, Sean Connery (think James Bond) wants independence.

Thing to remember is that both sides are lying about the issue. The SNP lies the most about it (for example, saying that the majority of Scots want to leave or that Scotland would be better off economically if it left), though the UK Government does this as well.


*This may have changed by the end of the week as the government is about to do a 'reshuffle', moving about ministers from department to department. Moore may be moved.
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