Democracy under threat.

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QuakerPete
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:12 pm

Darlogramps wrote:QuakerPete, you've made a hell of a lot of detailed points and it would be impossible to follow my post if I quoted and replied to every single one, so I'll write all my counter points below.

On the issue of the Electoral Commission, it is inherently pro-remain. Four out of 10 of its commissioners, including its chair, have made some form of public pro-remain comment since the referendum (with three coming while they were in post with the EC). Sir John Holmes, the chair, in a public speech said he regretted the referendum result, while Sir David Howarth has publicly criticised pro-Brexit figures and arguments (Howarth is no longer an EC Commissioner).

While I'm sure everyone would agree they are entitled to their view, if you work for a supposedly impartial EC, you're obliged not to do or say anything in public that undermines the integrity of the body. These commission members haven't done so, which suggests to me they cannot be impartial on Brexit, and should no longer be in position. Therefore, any judgements they make are tarnished by their anti-Brexit stance.

On the issue of campaign spending laws, you claim several pro-leave groups flouted said laws and therefore this makes the referendum illegitimate. Curiously, you've ignored that pro-Remain groups, including the Lib Dems, have been fined for overspending too (although interestingly the punishments issued are much less severe from the EC - leaving the EC open to accusations of leniency on the part of pro-remain groups). All sides cheated in the referendum, so your decision to focus only on the Leave side demonstrates you have no interest in fairness.
You’ve jumped from the commissioners have said something to just short of accusing them of operating fraudulently. Let’s see what both the Metropolitan Police and National Crime Agency investigations come up with.
Re: The Lib Dems – You’re wrong! They didn’t overspend, they were fined £19,000 (nearly the maximum available to the Commission) for Reporting (ie, administration) errors and omissions. In other words, back office errors, just as have other groups from both Leave and Remain. These errors are not in the same league as overspends, where these can be considered criminal and illegal actions, hence the Metropolitan Police investigation.
But in the meantime, you might want to read about the actions (or lack of) by Darren Grimes (BeLeave) and Vote Leave. Here’s the Commission’s report:
https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ ... ritain.pdf
And here’s an article setting out the report:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... vote-leave
And here are some quotes from the Electoral Commission's Bob Posner about how Vote Leave obstructed their enquiries into their spending:

Bob Posner, Electoral Commission Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel, said:
“The Electoral Commission has followed the evidence and conducted a thorough investigation into spending and campaigning carried out by Vote Leave and BeLeave. We found substantial evidence that the two groups worked to a common plan, did not declare their joint working and did not adhere to the legal spending limits. These are serious breaches of the laws put in place by Parliament to ensure fairness and transparency at elections and referendums. Our findings relate primarily to the organisation which put itself forward as fit to be the designated campaigner for the ‘leave’ outcome.”
Commenting on the investigation itself, Bob Posner continued:
“Vote Leave has resisted our investigation from the start, including contesting our right as the statutory regulator to open the investigation. It has refused to cooperate, refused our requests to put forward a representative for interview, and forced us to use our legal powers to compel it to provide evidence. Nevertheless, the evidence we have found is clear and substantial, and can now be seen in our report.”
Darlogramps wrote:To me, the election spending laws are completely archaic and not fit for purpose. They do not for instance track social media spending, which is where much campaigning is done these days. And what of the £9m pro-EU propaganda drop, carried out by Government (which was actively campaigning to remain)? It doesn't appear in EC spending limits because it happened a couple of days before the regulated period kicked in.
But for context, Vote Leave, the officially designated body of Leave, had a spending limit of £7m. If the Government can issue a £9m leaflet drop, which is £2m more than Vote Leave was allowed to spend, it shows the disparity in resources between the two sides. It's also why your complaint about overspending potentially affecting the result cannot possibly ring true. Were people unduly influenced by a £500,000 overspend, when the Government in just one leaflet drop spent 18 times that amount? And that ignores the other pro-EU material and campaigning issued by the Government before the regulated period. The whole system is archaic.
You may or may not have a point about election spending laws, but until someone changes them all parties have to abide by them to make elections free, fair and transparent.
Darlogramps wrote:You've asked how the EU is unaccountable. You're an intelligent man QuakerPete who is fully versed with pro and anti-EU arguments. You know fine well the arguments about a lack of accountability within the EU, so I'm not going to repeat them. There are obvious problems with your domestic comparisons as well, because neither the Monarch, the UK civil service or the House of Lords proposes legislation or policies that directly affect UK citizens (well the House of Lords does to an extent, but not as much as the Commons. And I think the Lords should be elected anyway). The EU Commission does propose legislation which affects hundreds of millions of lives, but doesn't face any form of direct democracy.
If you can’t or won’t specify how you believe the EU is unaccountable, you can hardly ask me to do it for you. If you don’t understand how the EU Commission, EU Parliament and EU Council work together it would be much easier just to say you don’t want anything to do with the EU. I just wanted to hear what your thoughts were, that’s all
Darlogramps wrote:You've said that denying another referendum is "suppressing democracy". No it is not - if anything, holding another referendum would be the undemocratic move, because there's no evidence a majority of people want it. There's a great article from Matt Singh, who's an exceptional polling analyst, where he in essence says there's not been any shift in attitudes towards Brexit: Link removed due to exceeding maximum number.
And this from John Curtice again shows a lack of support for any additional referendum: Link removed due to exceeding maximum number.

No evidence people want another referendum. No evidence people have changed their mind on Brexit. And as I've said before, why is it the only people who want another referendum are the people who lost in June 2016?
This poll from Survation was discussed on a C4 programme last night, with John Curtice (you mentioned him above) in attendance explaining the results. Over 20,000 sample size, which is 4 times the requirement for a national survey but was done to include a full survey of all constituencies. 105 of which have now switched to remain, giving overall 54%-46% in favour of Remain.
https://www.channel4.com/news/major-new ... rds-remain
This is further evidence of Poll of Polls since the June 2016 referendum where, for the last year, Remain has been consistently ahead.
/www.whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/e ... -of-polls/
(just add https:/ to the front of the above url)
This poll by YouGov is from a few days ago which shows every Labour constituency has a majority for Remain - 26,000 sample. Backed up on a Sky TV interview with the top pollster Peter Kellner, who said the polling method was the same which so accurately predicted the 2017 election:
/www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/0 ... study-says
(just add http:/ to the front of the above url)

People have changed their minds and it’s happening more and more.

“Countries that cannot change their minds cease to be democracies” – David Davis (the 4-hour Brexit ex-Brexit Secretary).
Darlogramps wrote:On your points about overbearing laws, I don't need to point out specific laws, because the general principle is that EU law takes precedence over domestic law. That is a fact. So when you say "The UK isn’t ruled by the EU" - it's nonsense because in a lot of instances it is. And this is why so many people voted Leave - because they want Britain to have complete control over its laws.
Again, you’re short on evidence (which is strange because it has become a mantra for you on Uncovered when discussing subjects) so you’ve reverted to the “all EU laws” route.
As I’ve previously pointed out, the UK has been a willing and a dominant partner in framing EU legislation under a succession of governments, winning 95% of votes and losing only 2% (other 3% abstentions – 1999 to 2016). Therefore, these laws are not somehow imposed on us. When a vote is concluded, it is woven into national law in various ways, sometimes requiring legislation or amendment to existing legislation. Why is there always a “them and us” scenario for Leavers?
Darlogramps wrote:Let's take the issue of immigration, which was a key part of the referendum. When it comes to migration from the EU, sovereign nations cannot possibly have any control because of the Freedom of Movement principle. You say the UK can remove EU migrants who are without a job or means of supporting themselves which comes from this directive: Link removed due to exceeding maximum number.

There are problems with this. A) The Government would have to prove the citizen doesn't have a job, or a prospect of getting a job. B) The process is more complicated if a citizen has moved with family members (they can't just be separated). C) The citizen, rightly, can appeal if they believe the expulsion isn't justified. So all of a sudden, this process becomes messy, lengthy and expensive.

However it also entirely misses the point. Rather than having unchecked EU migration and correcting it later, it much better to have total control of your borders. It largely prevents the problems of the current system. That's not to say there should be no immigration. Done properly, immigration enriches and benefits Britain. But unchecked immigration is not a sensible way of doing things.

Moreover the principle affects different countries in different ways. Britain is, geographically, a small island nation. The policy will affect Britain differently to a large nation on the continent like Germany. Same for a smaller central European country like Hungary and a large Mediterranean nation like Spain. You can't have one size fits all policies for 28 very different countries and economies.
So we’re agreed there is a mechanism for controlling Free Movement into the UK from the EU, you just don’t like it. That system works elsewhere.
Darlogramps wrote:Finally, while most of your points are well-thought through and reasonable, this one is not:
"Democracy doesn’t stop, it’s a process not an event. We’ve had a further election in 2017 and those politicians bailed out immediately after the vote. The previous election was only in 2015 – which is less time between the referendum and now.“Countries which cannot change their minds cease to be democracies” – David Davis (ex-Brexit Secretary).
You've compared the referendum to a General Election. But the difference is we as a country are obliged to have a General Election regularly. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, this is every five years, but can be earlier under the terms of the act.
You can't seriously be suggesting we hold a referendum every few years on EU membership? If you want another one, then you must accept any demands from Leavers to hold one after that, if the result doesn't go their way. Holding a referendum every couple of years is madness. We were told the Government would implement the result (so it was binding politically - claiming it was advisory is straw-clutching), and that the referendum would be once in a generation. The Government can't then go back on that, without suppressing democracy itself
I compared only the timescales of the 2015 and 2017 elections, against the 30 months since the Referendum vote. The amount of information gleaned in that time on the prospects of staying and leaving is huge, compared to what we originally heard – everyone should have the chance to confirm they’re happy or not with final deal / no deal / or neither and remain instead.
Cameron made huge mistakes in agreeing to a referendum in the first place (in an attempt to save the Tory party from implosion - good job so far, eh!) and then saying he would abide by it - as this second part had no legal basis. And good luck on the time scale of a generation before the EU is considered again (if we leave) - no political party or our governmental system can be tied by that otherwise we'd be having laws set by one party which couldn't be unpicked by another due to some arbitrary timescale of a long-dead former prime minister.
I’m sure, after all this s***-show is finalised that there won’t be another referendum in a long time, though it's your democratic right to seek one within the laws of our country.

However, as I said previously to “theoriginalfatcat”, there is something more fundamental to consider and I make no apology in repeating it here:
But all of this pales into insignificance due to the number of investigations underway into referendum overspends, money sources, etc. These investigations are being carried out by the Metropolitan Police, National Crime Agency, Financial Conduct Authority and the Serious Fraud Office. How any true democrat, Leave or Remain, can consider Brexit proceeding without these being concluded first baffles me.
Last edited by QuakerPete on Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:48 pm

Pete, you’re bigging up this legal thing too much! You’re doing it because you want another vote.

If laws and rules have been broken then fines and punishments will need to take place but there’s no need for another vote, in any case, I doubt very much a bit of overspending will have made a lot of difference if any to the result. Darlogramps points this out in one of his posts.

Farrage didn’t get voted in as an MP. The Conservatives were deemed to have fiddled their expenses here when they narrowly beat him but nothing was rerun. There would have to be a major fraud or similar for that to happen.

Please note I am not a Farrage fan!

I don’t wish to discuss the good and bad points of EU membership, that would be never ending and not what this thread is really about, however I suspect we both agree the pre vote campaign was a mess. It was simplistic and patronising in equal measures from both sides.

My view on the EU In one sentence is that it’s good for countries to get on and trade successfully (Common Market) but since about 20 years ago things have moved on way too far.

You’re views re the EU differ to mine. That doesn’t bother me at all as neither of us know what the future will bring, but moving back to the democracy thing — you ask “which specific ways you think the EU should change how they work in order for the UK to remain. Though judging from your "EU Superstate" remark further down I'm guessing it would be significant.”

- Well briefly (and it’s hard to be brief) I think if the EU had a major change in their freedom of movement rules then this could tip the balance, it might warrant another referendum, which might go in the remain direction - but you’re right, it wouldn’t be enough for me. To me we just don’t fit together anymore, however I can’t see the EU radically changing any of their policies in a backing off type way, they are full steam ahead with their never ending integration project, and it seems we, as a nation aren’t happy about that.
I mean, freedom of movement, why is it so absolutely fundamental to everything else? It’s just an ideology surely? Yet it’s caused numerous problems in our country and with other countries too, with the voters (us) voiceless. This issue I feel was probably the biggest reason the vote went to leave, but this paragraph is too simplistic, there’s a lot more to this than just one issue, as I’m sure you’ll know.

You ask “How does the financial straightjacket idea work?”
- I suggest you get the book, it’s a good read and Yanis is a clever man. It’s complicated - but take a look at the troubles we’re facing now trying to leave. It’s not designed for people to leave! No one’s done it before, we’re on an uncharted path and judging by the way we’ve been treated in the leaving negotiations, the phrase “with friends like these, who needs enemies” springs to mind!

And finally you say “People “feeling bad” is not a reason to stop a vote or to remain. On the contrary, if we were to stay in the EU it would solve a huge amount of self-made problems and prevent new ones appearing.”

This is where I have to strongly disagree with you. “Feeling bad” is not what I’m on about here!!! If the referendum vote is discounted and another one takes place which has a different outcome (or possibly even the same) then millions and millions of people in our country will feel cheated, disenfranchised, ignored and ripped off and there could well be civil disobedience and riots and stuff like we’ve never seen before. Which will make other issues ”pale into insignificance”

In short, my opinion is another vote should only take place if the EU have a major rethink - but that isn’t going to happen.
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:07 pm

OK, probably my last intervention on this discussion thread:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:Pete, you’re bigging up this legal thing too much! You’re doing it because you want another vote.
If laws and rules have been broken then fines and punishments will need to take place but there’s no need for another vote, in any case, I doubt very much a bit of overspending will have made a lot of difference if any to the result. Darlogramps points this out in one of his posts.
Farrage didn’t get voted in as an MP. The Conservatives were deemed to have fiddled their expenses here when they narrowly beat him but nothing was rerun. There would have to be a major fraud or similar for that to happen.
Please note I am not a Farrage fan!
It’s not me “bigging-up” the illegalities, it’s the Electoral Commission who referred a number of these to the Metropolitan Police AND, more importantly, the National Crime Agency. I have no idea what their findings will be but to proceed on an action (Brexit) without the conclusion of those substantial and significant investigations seems to me to be the epitome of undemocratic.
If ANY party or group had obtained a vote through illegal means, then surely as democrats that is against the law and then void? Incidentally, the example you’re talking about is currently in the courts at the moment, lasting until December. The wheels of justice grind slowly.
Question: Would it concern you enough to have the referendum deemed void if the Leave side had been funded by a foreign government?
Imagine (post-Brexit) if this were proved to be true?
theoriginalfatcat wrote:I don’t wish to discuss the good and bad points of EU membership, that would be never ending and not what this thread is really about, however I suspect we both agree the pre vote campaign was a mess. It was simplistic and patronising in equal measures from both sides.
My view on the EU In one sentence is that it’s good for countries to get on and trade successfully (Common Market) but since about 20 years ago things have moved on way too far.
You’re views re the EU differ to mine. That doesn’t bother me at all as neither of us know what the future will bring, but moving back to the democracy thing — you ask “which specific ways you think the EU should change how they work in order for the UK to remain. Though judging from your "EU Superstate" remark further down I'm guessing it would be significant.”
- Well briefly (and it’s hard to be brief) I think if the EU had a major change in their freedom of movement rules then this could tip the balance, it might warrant another referendum, which might go in the remain direction - but you’re right, it wouldn’t be enough for me. To me we just don’t fit together anymore, however I can’t see the EU radically changing any of their policies in a backing off type way, they are full steam ahead with their never ending integration project, and it seems we, as a nation aren’t happy about that.
I mean, freedom of movement, why is it so absolutely fundamental to everything else? It’s just an ideology surely? Yet it’s caused numerous problems in our country and with other countries too, with the voters (us) voiceless. This issue I feel was probably the biggest reason the vote went to leave, but this paragraph is too simplistic, there’s a lot more to this than just one issue, as I’m sure you’ll know.
Interesting that you picked Freedom of Movement as your primary example. I’m not sure it has had the controversy in the European countries as it has in the UK – it’s more over non-EU migration.
Not even sure what “numerous problems” EU migration has caused. A recent report states that EU migrants to the UK contribute on average around £2,300 per year more to the economy than UK residents:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 42506.html
So it’s not costing us to have these EU citizens here. Indeed, if all 3 million of them were asked to leave, our income tax revenue would collapse along with many organisations, particularly the NHS who have over 100 different nationalities working for it.
theoriginalfatcat wrote:You ask “How does the financial straightjacket idea work?” - I suggest you get the book, it’s a good read and Yanis is a clever man. It’s complicated - but take a look at the troubles we’re facing now trying to leave. It’s not designed for people to leave! No one’s done it before, we’re on an uncharted path and judging by the way we’ve been treated in the leaving negotiations, the phrase “with friends like these, who needs enemies” springs to mind!
Both the UK and EU are definitely on an uncharted path by this country voting to leave. But the UK decided to leave the club, a club with its rules, regulations, conventions and procedures all designed to suit and advantage its members both politically and economically.
What was the UK expecting, a gentlemanly shake of hands and continuing unfettered access to the world’s biggest market on the same terms as before with no responsibilities? They’ve stuck by their own club’s rules, they’ve spent huge amounts (as has the UK) on a scenario not of their making and which is going to make us all poorer, but especially the UK by a long way.
theoriginalfatcat wrote:And finally you say “People “feeling bad” is not a reason to stop a vote or to remain. On the contrary, if we were to stay in the EU it would solve a huge amount of self-made problems and prevent new ones appearing.”
This is where I have to strongly disagree with you. “Feeling bad” is not what I’m on about here!!! If the referendum vote is discounted and another one takes place which has a different outcome (or possibly even the same) then millions and millions of people in our country will feel cheated, disenfranchised, ignored and ripped off and there could well be civil disobedience and riots and stuff like we’ve never seen before. Which will make other issues ”pale into insignificance”

In short, my opinion is another vote should only take place if the EU have a major rethink - but that isn’t going to happen.
I keep wondering why those millions of people – many of whom have now changed their mind (and why not?) as I’ve already referenced in the reply to Darlogramps – don’t feel cheated by illegal actions and further potential illegal actions yet to be confirmed within the vote itself? It just keeps leading me to the conclusion that the end justifies the means and that free, fair and transparent democracy isn’t that important as long as the result is what they want.

And just as aside, for anyone who thinks advertising doesn’t work, here’s a link to a Twitter thread which shows how Leave thought they could influence voters. Remember the £50million football competition in 2016 to predict the exact scores of the Euros? Anyone entering had their personal data harvested and were then targeted for specific advertising. Leave spent most of their money in the last days of the campaign on stuff like this:
https://twitter.com/nealb2010/status/10 ... 43104?s=11
As someone said recently: “Data is King”

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo_Pete » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:07 am

Well how do you think this will all end in March? Obviously Theresa May will lose the vote today, but what next? Chaos I presume.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by joejaques » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:30 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:Well how do you think this will all end in March? Obviously Theresa May will lose the vote today, but what next? Chaos I presume.
It's been chaos ever since the referendum, why should anything change tomorrow? :roll:
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:31 am

Well the vote yesterday, just goes to show that there is no consensus in which direction to go now. I think a no deal brexit has moved a step closer.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by joejaques » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:56 am

Darlo_Pete wrote:Well the vote yesterday, just goes to show that there is no consensus in which direction to go now. I think a no deal brexit has moved a step closer.
Hope you're right Pete, but a lot of people seem to think that a reversal of the referendum result is also closer. :roll:
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by al_quaker » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:56 am

I was long against a second referendum (and don't get me started on the hideous naming of 'People's vote') - it screamed of people being unwilling to accept the result of the 2016 vote. However, in the last few months I've begun to change my mind and now view it as a viable option (although an option with many huge difficulties, as with all other options from this point forwards). The reasons I have changed my mind are that a) I can't see a majority in parliament forming for any negoitatied deal, yet I can see parliament doing all it can to block no deal, and so what else is 'on the table'? and b) I believe the reality of leaving the EU seems to be very different from what was promised - both by the Leave campaign and by May's initial statements after the vote.

We either leave the EU with a negotiated deal or without a deal. I'm not one of these people who think that no deal would result in planes not being able to fly/severe medicine shortages etc. I think if it came to it a solution would be found for key issues. But it would dramatically alter our trading relationship with our biggest market, overnight, which would cause a huge economic shock, at least in the short to medium term. Which would be painful to millions up and down the country.

If we leave with a deal- well we don't really 'take back control'. May's deal doesn't deliver that control (any treaty which could lock a sovereign state into a trading relationship from which it can not leave unilaterally, by definition is not a treaty which delivers control). If it gets tweaked its only going to move in the direction of closer ties with Europe, meaning even less control. Its unpopularity - both in parliament and in opinion polling - is plain to see.

These options are very different, in my mind at least, to the picture painted around and immediately after the referendum. As such, I now see it as perfectly legitimate to ask the public again what would they prefer. If people do truly want to leave with No Deal, then fine - parliament will have its instructions. But if remain won another referendum then there's nothing undemocratic about that. It would just mean that the 'people's will' would have changed.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo Dodger » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:17 am

al_quaker wrote:I was long against a second referendum (and don't get me started on the hideous naming of 'People's vote') - it screamed of people being unwilling to accept the result of the 2016 vote. However, in the last few months I've begun to change my mind and now view it as a viable option (although an option with many huge difficulties, as with all other options from this point forwards). The reasons I have changed my mind are that a) I can't see a majority in parliament forming for any negoitatied deal, yet I can see parliament doing all it can to block no deal, and so what else is 'on the table'? and b) I believe the reality of leaving the EU seems to be very different from what was promised - both by the Leave campaign and by May's initial statements after the vote.

We either leave the EU with a negotiated deal or without a deal. I'm not one of these people who think that no deal would result in planes not being able to fly/severe medicine shortages etc. I think if it came to it a solution would be found for key issues. But it would dramatically alter our trading relationship with our biggest market, overnight, which would cause a huge economic shock, at least in the short to medium term. Which would be painful to millions up and down the country.

If we leave with a deal- well we don't really 'take back control'. May's deal doesn't deliver that control (any treaty which could lock a sovereign state into a trading relationship from which it can not leave unilaterally, by definition is not a treaty which delivers control). If it gets tweaked its only going to move in the direction of closer ties with Europe, meaning even less control. Its unpopularity - both in parliament and in opinion polling - is plain to see.

These options are very different, in my mind at least, to the picture painted around and immediately after the referendum. As such, I now see it as perfectly legitimate to ask the public again what would they prefer. If people do truly want to leave with No Deal, then fine - parliament will have its instructions. But if remain won another referendum then there's nothing undemocratic about that. It would just mean that the 'people's will' would have changed.
The way I see this Parliament is now in a state of paralysis where there is no majority for any of the options currently available to them.

That being the case I think that sooner rather than later they will be driven to one of the only two ways they might break their own deadlock.

The first is a second referendum. Quite what goes onto the ballot paper is anyone's guess but I have definitely heard some MP's suggesting that the only two options should be May's Deal or Remain. Others have suggested the only two options should be May's Deal or No Deal. Obviously others suggest all three (or more) on the ballot with some sort of transferable vote or a mirroring of the French Presidential system where the top two options in an initial ballot go to a run off vote.

The second option is a General Election.

Theresa May has repeatedly said that she will not take this option, but she has done that before, and Grant Shapps was on the BBC News Channel after the "No Confidence" vote saying that a general Election is needed to "change the arithmetic" in Parliament to break the deadlock so there are definitely some Conservative MP's who see this as a viable option.

There are obviously rather a lot of MP's (in all parties) who are rather more twitchy about the idea as indeed they are about their own individual prospects in a further election.

I suspect that we will be headed for one of these options sooner rather than later though because I don't see Parliament escaping from its current state of paralysis.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by al_quaker » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:08 am

Darlo Dodger wrote:
The way I see this Parliament is now in a state of paralysis where there is no majority for any of the options currently available to them.

That being the case I think that sooner rather than later they will be driven to one of the only two ways they might break their own deadlock.

The first is a second referendum. Quite what goes onto the ballot paper is anyone's guess but I have definitely heard some MP's suggesting that the only two options should be May's Deal or Remain. Others have suggested the only two options should be May's Deal or No Deal. Obviously others suggest all three (or more) on the ballot with some sort of transferable vote or a mirroring of the French Presidential system where the top two options in an initial ballot go to a run off vote.

The second option is a General Election.

Theresa May has repeatedly said that she will not take this option, but she has done that before, and Grant Shapps was on the BBC News Channel after the "No Confidence" vote saying that a general Election is needed to "change the arithmetic" in Parliament to break the deadlock so there are definitely some Conservative MP's who see this as a viable option.

There are obviously rather a lot of MP's (in all parties) who are rather more twitchy about the idea as indeed they are about their own individual prospects in a further election.

I suspect that we will be headed for one of these options sooner rather than later though because I don't see Parliament escaping from its current state of paralysis.
Yep pretty much agreed.

The problem is I can't see how a general election sorts it out. Either side would surely need a large majority to get through a negotiated deal to compensate for the ultra-remainers (Labour) or ultra-leavers (Conservative). And the polls suggest that no such majority would occur. So I imagine we'd still be in the same position as we are now. Although, watching Labour attempting to negotiate a customs union whereby we and the EU jointly negotiate future trade deals would be somewhat amusing to watch :lol:

As for a hypothetical reforendum question - well that's the million dollar question! I would imagine there would have to be three options -remain, no deal, negotiated deal (whatever form that ends up in). But then like you say what voting system do you do. Some form of transferable voting system seems most appropriate to me personally

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by lo36789 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:39 am

al_quaker wrote:As for a hypothetical reforendum question - well that's the million dollar question! I would imagine there would have to be three options -remain, no deal, negotiated deal (whatever form that ends up in). But then like you say what voting system do you do. Some form of transferable voting system seems most appropriate to me personally
A referendum can have three options can't it? I am sure indyref had three so can't see why this would be a problem.

Based purely on watching the referendum debates my issue with the current 'mandate' to leave the EU is that it's not really obvious what leaving is. Given we can leave the EU without necessarily leaving the EEA / Customs Union then what is the instruction from the referendum. How can that be proven?

Thinking back there were so many variations of Brexit mentioned. Notably none of them seemed to suggest a "no-deal" Brexit - in fact anyone saying that could be the outcome was labelled as projecting fear.. There were the discussions around Norway +, remaining within the EEA, "Brexit doesn't mean leaving the customs union" etc.

I recall H1987 being a Brexit voter but being clear that remaining in the EEA & Customs Union was almost their version of what a good brexit looked like. That is one person - but surely there are more out there - only takes 1 in 10 of Brexit voters to feel like that and "Remain" would have been the most popular outcome.

Is it that implausible to have a secondary vote of should Britain "Leave the European Union, European Economic Area and the Customs Union" / "Leave the European Union, but remain in the European Economic Area and the Customs Union" / "Remain within the European Union, European Economic Area and the Customs Union". These feel like reasonable sensible buckets to put things into.

I am sure there was some analysis done which almost asked about Brexit outcomes and the split was somewhat down the middle of Brexit voters as to what they understood to be potential outcome. Its a poll so is as unreliable as any other but can all Brexit voters hand on heart say that a no deal Brexit was what all 52% of those who voted expected and wanted the outcome to be.

FWIW I voted Remain but I also think Remain would lose votes to a Brexit which actually had a clear "this is what we'll get" because many will have voted Remain through a bit of fear of the current outcome we are heading towards.

Ultimately the public were asked "Do you want Pizza for tea?" and a majority said no. Establishing whether they want a Chinese / Indian or a kebab is the real challenge and what if actually when all said and done more people did want Pizza than anything else?

Also on this remainers are the ones challenging. Farage specifically said if the vote had finished 52/48 remain then that wouldn't be the end as it wasn't a clear outcome. We know that had the result been the other way round there would still be noise for a second opinion.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by joejaques » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:24 am

Sorry, wrong thread
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by al_quaker » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:31 am

lo36789 wrote: A referendum can have three options can't it? I am sure indyref had three so can't see why this would be a problem.
Scottish independence? I thought it was simply yes/no?

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlogramps » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:32 am

al_quaker wrote:
lo36789 wrote: A referendum can have three options can't it? I am sure indyref had three so can't see why this would be a problem.
Scottish independence? I thought it was simply yes/no?
It was. The question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" with Yes or No as the answers.

Not for the first time, lo gets something fairly basic incorrect.
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:52 pm

Pointless talking about a referendum, when we've already had one.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by al_quaker » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:22 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:Pointless talking about a referendum, when we've already had one.
Well considering it's one of a handful of options for where we go from here, I don't think it is pointless

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by lo36789 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:57 am

I thought there was something about further devolution of power from Westminster.

That is beside the point anyway - and you know it is - the bit I was questioning was whether a referendum has to be a 2 way response or can it be 3?

Take is there is only precedent for 2. In which case the referendum would need to be should the UK leave the EEA & Customs Union as part for leaving the EU - yes/no.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo_Pete » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:32 am

lo36789 wrote:I thought there was something about further devolution of power from Westminster.

That is beside the point anyway - and you know it is - the bit I was questioning was whether a referendum has to be a 2 way response or can it be 3?

Take is there is only precedent for 2. In which case the referendum would need to be should the UK leave the EEA & Customs Union as part for leaving the EU - yes/no.
Not that there will or should be a further referendum, but if you put that to one side and had a 3 way referendum, I'd be amazed if one of the options could get 50% and you certainly could base a brexit solution, when more than 50% didn't vote for that option.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by lo36789 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:43 pm

Pete you have just described exactly the problem that exists. There is no evidence what >50% of the population actually voted for beyond we are no longer in the EU.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlogramps » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:28 pm

lo36789 wrote:I thought there was something about further devolution of power from Westminster.

That is beside the point anyway - and you know it is - the bit I was questioning was whether a referendum has to be a 2 way response or can it be 3?

Take is there is only precedent for 2. In which case the referendum would need to be should the UK leave the EEA & Customs Union as part for leaving the EU - yes/no.
Further devolution was all part of the No to Independence vote. Just in the same way a Remain vote in the EU referendum would have led to us implementing the deal David Cameron negotiated in early 2016. But Scotland was definitely a two-choice vote. It kind of helps your arguments if the examples you choose actually do back up your points.

But a three-choice vote isn't an impossibility. However, to avoid Remainers using this to try and split the pro-Leave vote, any option would have to win a majority of 50%. So if this was the case, we'd need to use an Alternative Vote system, with the 2nd preferences of those choosing the lowest scoring option being redistributed.

Personally I don't see how a new vote is either necessary or would actually change anything. The vote in 2016 produced a mandate to leave the European Union. Parliament said this would be implemented, and indeed overwhelmingly voted to trigger Article 50. If they fail to agree on a deal, we should leave with no-deal. Indeed, this is the default position following the triggering of Article 50. And it would have been the vested interests and bickering from our so-called leaders which would have caused that.

But *if* there were to be a new referendum, a leave vote doesn't change the numbers in Parliament. There'd still be no consensus on the manner of our departure. And a Remain vote would shatter trust in Parliament - the MPs would be seen to have frustrated and overturned a result they didn't like. Manna from heaven for the Far Right, which is now using UKIP as its vehicle to promote itself.

However, all the polling suggests people do not want a new referendum. A poll for Sky News last week suggested 56% of people didn't want another vote. Moreover, John Curtice, the doyen of pollsters, suggest there's no evidence to back claims from the People's Vote campaign that Britain has swung to being Pro-Remain, and that the leads are accounted for in the wording of the question: https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/01/1 ... ompromise/
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:46 pm

Darlogramps wrote:
lo36789 wrote:I thought there was something about further devolution of power from Westminster.

That is beside the point anyway - and you know it is - the bit I was questioning was whether a referendum has to be a 2 way response or can it be 3?

Take is there is only precedent for 2. In which case the referendum would need to be should the UK leave the EEA & Customs Union as part for leaving the EU - yes/no.
Further devolution was all part of the No to Independence vote. Just in the same way a Remain vote in the EU referendum would have led to us implementing the deal David Cameron negotiated in early 2016. But Scotland was definitely a two-choice vote. It kind of helps your arguments if the examples you choose actually do back up your points.

But a three-choice vote isn't an impossibility. However, to avoid Remainers using this to try and split the pro-Leave vote, any option would have to win a majority of 50%. So if this was the case, we'd need to use an Alternative Vote system, with the 2nd preferences of those choosing the lowest scoring option being redistributed.

Personally I don't see how a new vote is either necessary or would actually change anything. The vote in 2016 produced a mandate to leave the European Union. Parliament said this would be implemented, and indeed overwhelmingly voted to trigger Article 50. If they fail to agree on a deal, we should leave with no-deal. Indeed, this is the default position following the triggering of Article 50. And it would have been the vested interests and bickering from our so-called leaders which would have caused that.

But *if* there were to be a new referendum, a leave vote doesn't change the numbers in Parliament. There'd still be no consensus on the manner of our departure. And a Remain vote would shatter trust in Parliament - the MPs would be seen to have frustrated and overturned a result they didn't like. Manna from heaven for the Far Right, which is now using UKIP as its vehicle to promote itself.

However, all the polling suggests people do not want a new referendum. A poll for Sky News last week suggested 56% of people didn't want another vote. Moreover, John Curtice, the doyen of pollsters, suggest there's no evidence to back claims from the People's Vote campaign that Britain has swung to being Pro-Remain, and that the leads are accounted for in the wording of the question: https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/01/1 ... ompromise/
Spiked Online? That prime example of ultra right wing talking shops with the unknown financial backers


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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlogramps » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:07 pm

I mean, if you bother to click on the link, you'll see it's from a verbatim interview.

Of course, you could actually read the content and judge for yourself. Or you can behave like those Liverpool fans, who spend their time abusing The Sun journalists on Twitter. However, John Curtice's words are spread far and wide.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46735713

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/10762 ... endum-poll

http://www.cityam.com/271993/think-you- ... hink-again
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:29 pm

Darlogramps wrote:I mean, if you bother to click on the link, you'll see it's from a verbatim interview.

Of course, you could actually read the content and judge for yourself. Or you can behave like those Liverpool fans, who spend their time abusing The Sun journalists on Twitter. However, John Curtice's words are spread far and wide.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46735713

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/10762 ... endum-poll

http://www.cityam.com/271993/think-you- ... hink-again
Your links from Spiked and the first 2 others have Curtice agreeing that in a vote Remain lead Leave by anything up to 54-46. The last link doesn’t say much about anything


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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlogramps » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:00 am

QuakerPete - zeroing in on the facts he wants to see and discarding anything inconvenient. If you're not going to engage properly with what the country's leading poll analyst is saying, you might as well not bother engaging at all.

The central claim from the loonies running People's Vote is that Britain has changed its mind.

However Curtice is saying is there is no evidence for that. Read the articles properly instead of looking for what you want to see. And I should add, most of the polls indicating a remain lead have been commissioned by .....*big drum roll*..... People's Vote.

Try this one from the good professor for size too: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/20 ... polls-say/

Moreover, plenty of polls gave Remain a lead on June 23rd 2016. From memory, that didn't work out so well for Remain.
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:19 pm

Darlogramps wrote:QuakerPete - zeroing in on the facts he wants to see and discarding anything inconvenient. If you're not going to engage properly with what the country's leading poll analyst is saying, you might as well not bother engaging at all.

The central claim from the loonies running People's Vote is that Britain has changed its mind.

However Curtice is saying is there is no evidence for that. Read the articles properly instead of looking for what you want to see. And I should add, most of the polls indicating a remain lead have been commissioned by .....*big drum roll*..... People's Vote.

Try this one from the good professor for size too: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/20 ... polls-say/

Moreover, plenty of polls gave Remain a lead on June 23rd 2016. From memory, that didn't work out so well for Remain.

Gramps in “different questions get different answers” shocker! But at least we agree that I zeroed in on the *fact* that many polls show Remain would win a People’s Vote. And a Poll of Polls shows this consistently for over a year. And really, I was just following your lead on zeroing in on the facts you wanted to discuss.
Your link to the Telegraph is behind a pay-wall and I won’t contribute to the Barclay Brothers’ multi-billion fortunes whilst they avoid paying much needed tax revenues for this country - Paradise Papers et al

And as for the “loonies” on the People’s Vote, could you enlighten me on the last time they:
Held a gun to the head of the British people with the threat of No Deal even though its disastrous consequences are acknowledged
Threatened the British public with troops on the streets
Stockpiling food and medicines due to shortages
Hired ferry companies who don’t have any ferries
Towns on the Channel Coast suspending blood donations for two months either side of Brexit day
or
The Tory Party triggering a referendum to resolve their own internal dispute over the EU with no plan (and still no plan)
Losing the Four EU Freedoms of Goods, Services, Capital and Labour, which affects trade through tariffs, extra regulation and delays with our biggest export market (some car parts cross the English Channel six times in various states of assembly - good luck anyone working that one out), our huge financial services sector and the right of individuals to live, travel and work in the EU if they so wish
Any kind of deal with EU (apart from Remain) will have consequences, but particularly No Deal which seems to be flavour of the month at the moment
All very normal, everyday occurrences. So, remind me again about those “loonies”!

You’re right, Remain did have a poll lead until just before the referendum date - coincidentally the same time Leave was using its illegally acquired personal data on millions of people to illegally overspend £500,000 on targeted contact on social media. Wonder how those 10 criminal investigations into Leave are going?


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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by joejaques » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:06 pm

And there was no dodgy data on the remain side?

Emergency Budget the week after a Leave vote as the prime example.

If you are going to quote dodgy data, at least quote both sides.

Also, I've still never heard remainer saying what will happen when those nations around the fringes start dropping out? Note I didn't say "get thrown out", as the EU would be terrified of pulling their own finger out of the hole in the crumbling dam. :roll:
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:48 pm

joejaques wrote:And there was no dodgy data on the remain side?

Emergency Budget the week after a Leave vote as the prime example.

If you are going to quote dodgy data, at least quote both sides.

Also, I've still never heard remainer saying what will happen when those nations around the fringes start dropping out? Note I didn't say "get thrown out", as the EU would be terrified of pulling their own finger out of the hole in the crumbling dam. :roll:
You have to understand the difference between the illegal collection and illegal use of personal data collected from hundreds of thousands of people versus someone (Osborne) claiming something that didn’t actually happen.

Coincidentally, today Leave have been fined a further £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for just such a data breach involving insurance customers targeted over Brexit and vice versa.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-47087440

Arron Banks is a central figure in misuse of data, source of donations, etc - criminal investigations against Leave still ongoing across a number of areas. None for Remain!
Your last paragraph is along the same lines as your second paragraph. What makes you think that will happen? Any evidence? Why would any Remainer say that is going to happen if there’s no proof? Perhaps these countries all feel that in spite of the EU’s imperfections they prefer to be part of it?

PS - EU’s biggest ever trade deal starts today with Japan, we’ll benefit by only 2 months if we leave. EU hoping to conclude Mercosur Deal (South America) this year, too - another huge deal.
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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by Darlo_Pete » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:26 pm

joejaques wrote:And there was no dodgy data on the remain side?

Emergency Budget the week after a Leave vote as the prime example.

If you are going to quote dodgy data, at least quote both sides.

Also, I've still never heard remainer saying what will happen when those nations around the fringes start dropping out? Note I didn't say "get thrown out", as the EU would be terrified of pulling their own finger out of the hole in the crumbling dam. :roll:
Quite right they were both up to dodgy claims and each side was as bad as the other.

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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by QuakerPete » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:01 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:
joejaques wrote:And there was no dodgy data on the remain side?

Emergency Budget the week after a Leave vote as the prime example.

If you are going to quote dodgy data, at least quote both sides.

Also, I've still never heard remainer saying what will happen when those nations around the fringes start dropping out? Note I didn't say "get thrown out", as the EU would be terrified of pulling their own finger out of the hole in the crumbling dam. :roll:
Quite right they were both up to dodgy claims and each side was as bad as the other.
There’s a world of difference between dodgy claims on either side against the illegal activities of Leave.


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Re: Democracy under threat.

Post by joejaques » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:38 am

QuakerPete wrote:
joejaques wrote:And there was no dodgy data on the remain side?

Emergency Budget the week after a Leave vote as the prime example.

If you are going to quote dodgy data, at least quote both sides.

Also, I've still never heard remainer saying what will happen when those nations around the fringes start dropping out? Note I didn't say "get thrown out", as the EU would be terrified of pulling their own finger out of the hole in the crumbling dam. :roll:
You have to understand the difference between the illegal collection and illegal use of personal data collected from hundreds of thousands of people versus someone (Osborne) claiming something that didn’t actually happen.

Coincidentally, today Leave have been fined a further £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for just such a data breach involving insurance customers targeted over Brexit and vice versa.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-47087440

What makes you think that will happen? Any evidence? Why would any Remainer say that is going to happen if there’s no proof? Perhaps these countries all feel that in spite of the EU’s imperfections they prefer to be part of it?
Refusals to accept quotas of refugees, building their own fences in defiance of the EU
And you still believe all is sweetness & harmony?. Personally, when the roof falls in, I don't want to be round the table. I'd rather be at the end of the road & calling the emergency services. :roll:
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