EU membership referendum debate thread

What can we do to change the minds of decision makers and people in general to actually do something about preparing for the forthcoming economic/energy crises (the ones after this one!)?

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woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Believe as much as you like, many people at cabinet level don't put environmental protection very high up the list, unless tjey are going to make money from it.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

No, I am asking what you believe Woodburner.

Do you believe in democracy?
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

You might.be asking a question now, but in your previous post you made a statement and did not ask a question.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

I think a representative democracy is the best way of running a country, but I still think Trump is dangerous and Varoufakis an Idiot and that the UK would be best off not leaving the EU.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:You might.be asking a question now, but in your previous post you made a statement and did not ask a question.
The question was overtly implied Woodburner as you well know. I have now asked it explicitly and you are obfuscating in order to not answer it. Answer it please. It is a simple enough question. Do you believe in representation as the payback for taxation. In short, do you believe in nation state democracy? Yes or no.
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

So according to your reply it can be inferred it's ok for an elected government to trash the environment as they have a mandate. That's a rubbish claim given that most governments are elected by a minority.

As for overt implication, that should illustrate the need to be clear in your writing, as you cannot assume a reader will interpret your writing as you intended.

The question you claim to have asked, and later clarified, is one of those "head in noose" questions which you use on the unwary. The answer, what ever it is, gives you an excuse for more argument and probably develop into some more pointless abuse.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

I take it, from the obfuscatory nature of your reply, that your answer is actually no. In which case, there is a word for people who do not believe in democracy to the extent that they would be quite prepared to see the democratic will of their fellow countrymen and women ignored and denied Woodburner. That word is fascist. Are you a fascist woodburner?
Little John
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Post by Little John »

johnhemming2 wrote:I think a representative democracy is the best way of running a country, but I still think Trump is dangerous and Varoufakis an Idiot and that the UK would be best off not leaving the EU.
As you are entitled to think and to publicly argue for, just so long as, if you are a political representative in a democracy, of representing the democratic will of the people following a given vote irrespective of your own views or, if you are not, for reasons of conscience, then the only legitimate course of action would be to resign.

Of course, the above does not deal with what we mean by "representative democracy". But, notwithstanding that...
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Little John wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:I think a representative democracy is the best way of running a country, but I still think Trump is dangerous and Varoufakis an Idiot and that the UK would be best off not leaving the EU.
As you are entitled to think and to publicly argue for, just so long as, if you are a political representative in a democracy, of representing the democratic will of the people following a given vote irrespective of your own views or, if you are not, for reasons of conscience, then the only legitimate course of action would be to resign.

Of course, the above does not deal with what we mean by "representative democracy". But, notwithstanding that...

How do you define "the democratic will of the people" The result of the UK parlimentary democracy? Where a government is elected despite being disliked by most voters. Perhaps the US presidential election where the president is elected despite gaining fewer votes than the next in the counting scheme, and definite fewer than a majority of the total votes?

Elections would be democratic if they were based on proportional representation or perhaps preferences could be expressed as to where the votes would go for the less popularly approved candidates.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Little John wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:I think a representative democracy is the best way of running a country, but I still think Trump is dangerous and Varoufakis an Idiot and that the UK would be best off not leaving the EU.
As you are entitled to think and to publicly argue for, just so long as, if you are a political representative in a democracy, of representing the democratic will of the people following a given vote irrespective of your own views or, if you are not, for reasons of conscience, then the only legitimate course of action would be to resign.

Of course, the above does not deal with what we mean by "representative democracy". But, notwithstanding that...
Personally I think politicians should honestly say what they think. It may be that they may go with the popular view from time to time. However, simply disagreeing with the majority is no cause to resign. After all Sarah Olney was elected recently because she publicly disagreed with the majority in the UK (but not in her constituency)

I would suggest it is worth you taking a view which is consistent. There is no sense arguing for politicians to support the majority view when you agree with it and oppose it when you don't. That has no consistency.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

I didn't say disagreeing with the majority view was a reason to resign. I said not being able to carry out the democratic will of the people irrespective of your own view was reason to do so. Stop pretending you didn't understand the content of the post.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:
Little John wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:I think a representative democracy is the best way of running a country, but I still think Trump is dangerous and Varoufakis an Idiot and that the UK would be best off not leaving the EU.
As you are entitled to think and to publicly argue for, just so long as, if you are a political representative in a democracy, of representing the democratic will of the people following a given vote irrespective of your own views or, if you are not, for reasons of conscience, then the only legitimate course of action would be to resign.

Of course, the above does not deal with what we mean by "representative democracy". But, notwithstanding that...

How do you define "the democratic will of the people" The result of the UK parlimentary democracy? Where a government is elected despite being disliked by most voters. Perhaps the US presidential election where the president is elected despite gaining fewer votes than the next in the counting scheme, and definite fewer than a majority of the total votes?

Elections would be democratic if they were based on proportional representation or perhaps preferences could be expressed as to where the votes would go for the less popularly approved candidates.
Off the top of my head, it would be national PR for national issues and local PR based on wards within constituencies for everything else. So, the first order of the day when designing such a system is deciding what business should fall under what remit. This would probably require two bodies, one for each business. The body elected via PR to deal with national issues would be the one that set the national economic and political agenda. Thus, it would have primacy in defining the broader parameters of action of the constituencies. Nevertheless, such constituencies would have significant leeway, within those systemic parameters to make local policy that reflected the will of the local people. In other words, to a much greater extent than current local councils.

An example of the above might be:

The upper body has decided that a new nuclear power station is required. It makes the decision it needs to be located in region X. If the upper body does not consider it imperative that it should be located in region X, then region X votes on whether to allow it to be located there. If the vote goes against its location, then the locating of it is offered to another of the constituencies that the upper house considers may be appropriate. And the process is repeated. If, however, no suitable constituency can be found that wishes to located the power station, or the original decision by the upper body to locate it in region X has been deemed to be imperative by them, then the decision on whether to allow the upper body to have primacy in the decision is put to a national single issue vote.

Finally, the upper, national body would also have the power to intervene in local constituency business if there was a deadlock between local constituency ward representatives on a local matter.

All funding for all parts of the political system would be via taxation with the one exception of campaigning funding, which would be a mixture of taxpayer funding based on number of representatives, plus private funding by individuals up to a prescribed limit of individual donations. In other words, the private campaign funds available to a given party would be based, more or less, on the number of donors they had, as opposed to the wealth of any individual donor they had.

In terms of remuneration for the representatives in both bodies - the upper body representatives would be paid less than current MPs and the lower body representatives would be paid more than current local councilors.

In terms of numerical representation, the upper body would probably be smaller and the lower body would possibly be bigger.
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Little John wrote:I didn't say disagreeing with the majority view was a reason to resign. I said not being able to carry out the democratic will of the people irrespective of your own view was reason to do so. Stop pretending you didn't understand the content of the post.
So considering Sarah Olney who was elected on the basis of her opposition to leaving the EU. Which way should she vote on Article 50 - to give notice or to stay?
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

In the case of the referendum, where it was clear before the vote, the result would be decided by a simple majority. In that case the MP's should vote to ratify the referendum result. It may not be the best, but it's all you've got.

Lest anyone should think the negotiations will be sorted in detail in two years, they should remember it took 40 years to get to where we are. It will take a long time to undo it.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

johnhemming2 wrote:
Little John wrote:I didn't say disagreeing with the majority view was a reason to resign. I said not being able to carry out the democratic will of the people irrespective of your own view was reason to do so. Stop pretending you didn't understand the content of the post.
So considering Sarah Olney who was elected on the basis of her opposition to leaving the EU. Which way should she vote on Article 50 - to give notice or to stay?
Given that Parliament voted by 6 to 1 to hand that decision over to the British people on a one person one vote referendum and given that the British people, in a simple majority, voted to leave then (a) parliament should not be secondarily voting on it and so (b) your question is moot in principle. In practice, however, she should vote to ratify the referendum result irrespective of her own personal views on the matter. Or, if she feels unable to do that, then abstain. Or, if she feels unable to abstain, resign her position for her to have any moral or democratic integrity.
Last edited by Little John on Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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