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Broken Politics ?


Observer II
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Seems Paxman has launched into a scathing criticism of our politicians and political system, but will it change anything ?   The system is a total anachronism, with an unelected House of Lords regularly appointed by the patronage of PMs,  now swelled to over 800, and resembling an expensive home for geriatrics. The Commons filled with Party hacks, who've largely never lived in the real world but have followed a career path from Uni into Parliament.  So what's to be done about it ?   Well what could be done imo;   is to scrap the Lords for starters and replace it with an elected Senate of just 100 seats, based on the percentage votes for Parties at a G/Election - instant PR.   The number of MPs could be halved, by merging every two constituences;  with a condition that MPs have at least 10 years work experience in the real world prior to standing, and that all political positions are limited to two terms.  Any MP that reneges on the manifesto or Party for which they were elected, should have to stand for re-election in a by-election.  Perhaps, also, the seat of Parliament should be moved out of the London bubble,  further North; to provide a better perspective of the Nation.   Alas, it won't happen - why ?   Because Turkeys simply won't vote for Christmas, with so much vested interest held by those in power they will be the last to give it up.    

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I certainly think that MPs should be held more accountable to the electorate. If the Brexit vote has done nothing else it has at at least shown the contempt with which a large number of MPs hold for the people who elected them. As for the House of Lords, it certainly needs sorting out. The long overdue constituency boundary issue also needs to be addressed, with perhaps a culling of the number of MPs undertaken at the same time.

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7 hours ago, Davy51 said:

There really is no reason why an MP should not be legally bound to respect his/her constituency vote in a referendum.

Well apart from 245 years of precedent since Edmund Burke set out the argument in 1774 for the Electors of Bristol

http://peter-moore.co.uk/blog/edmund-burke-speech-to-the-electors-of-bristol-1774

It is referendums which have no place in our constitution, they break it, whilst being incapable of replacing representative democracy in an increasingly complex society.

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Parliament agreed to accept the referendum mandate by agreeing the article 50 process into law.  So the PM is now merely seeking to carry out the will of Parliament and of the referendum to leave the EU on 31st Oct  (a deadline that was extended from March by MPs trying to block Brexit) .  The idea that MPs want to block a "no deal" Brexit is totally disingenuous,  as they have attempted to block any kind of Brexit from the beginning.  I suspect that the majority of people now want closure of this farce manufactured by MPs,  to occur on the 31st Oct; which will be reflected in any subsequent G/Election.

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3 hours ago, Davy51 said:

If a referendum is offered it's result should be respected.  All MPs are free to vote in a referendum whichever way they choose but they are ultimately engaged to represent their constituents ,not follow their own agenda.

I agree with that however my point is and was that referendums should not be offered because they are unconstitutional.

It is a well established fact that democracy depends on what is called "loser's consent". In normal elections losing voters put up with the result because they expect it can be put right next time or the time after. In the case of a referendum on the EU the losers consider that they will lose forever so loser's consent is not forthcoming. That is the reason why if a referendum has to be called is should only be passed with a large majority that is because the losers can then see that if it was run again the result would be the same. Having a minimum turnout and majority is a way of creating loser's consent. The fact that the government did not do that is why there is no loser's consent and we are faced with what amounts to attempted coup by Parliament in the Scottish courts. The sooner we get this sorted the better and we should never have a simple majority referendum about anything ever again.

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Most general elections have very low turnouts ,but the referendum was offered ,voted on & should be respected. The biggest problem we have had on this matter is because the MPs have refused to offer a united front to secure a good exit deal . It is no use some MPs bleating about stopping no deal when having no deal on the table is the best way of getting a good deal. 

A bit of commitment & this whole scenario could have been settled quickly & allowed our MPs to get on with running our country without the distractions of wrangling over Brexit.

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I agree Con, a two thirds majority with a prescribed minimum turnout would have been normal;  but this seems to have escaped Cameron and his legal advisors.   However, we are where we are, and have to deal with what we have, which is a referendum mandate to leave the EU, accepted by the two major Parties in a subsequent G/Election, then agreed with a Parliamentary majority for article 50.  

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7 hours ago, Evil Sid said:

would that be the 1975 referendum losers or the 2016 referendum losers?

Well at the time the reaction of the 1975 losers was just the same as the bunch in 2016. The answer to your question is Yes, every time. That is why another referendum without a prescribed minimum turnout and majority would get us nowhere.

Oh and while we are at it the lies in the Wilson referendum were worse that anything Boris came up with. The Foreign Office advice was clear that there would be a price to pay when the public realised that "ever closer union" was the plan from the start when they were told it was just an economic union. The Foreign Office was right and we are paying that price now. The documents were kept secret for the usual 30 years. There was also fast and loose played with the legal aspects and primacy of the EU law - shocking stuff that we all just got used to over time.

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The reason why the 2016 referendum placed a simple in/out choice on the ballot paper was because Cameron and the rest of the Establishment were confident that voter apathy and Project Fear Mk1 would ensure a clear remain vote.  It's wrong to say that the losers in the referndum have lost forever. We have a Parliamentary democracy and, should public opinion be so strong in wanting to rejoin the EU in future then a party having that as a manifesto commitment could be voted into office to bring that about. Strangely the main parties' manifesto commitments to Brexit doesn't appear to have done the trick though.

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Scotland keep harping on about how they "voted remain" in the referendum. I doesn't work that way in a NATIONAL referendum though does it? Liverpool voted remain as did London, are they going to want to stay in the EU when the rest of us leave as well?

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20 hours ago, Observer II said:

As we've seen in Scotland,  they seem to want what was billed as a "once in a generation referendum", every year. Clearly, those who keep arguing for democracy, don't respect it when it doesn't go the way they want.

Evidently they must breed like rabbits north of the border .

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Watched a prog about the history of Scotland;  which showed they are not the unified myth .created by the Victorians; being culturally split between the Gaelic Highlands and the Saxon Lowlands, and the old Viking colonies in Orkney and Shetland (now arguing for independence from Scotland !)  .    The recent sectarian violence in Glasgow, is a reminder also of historic tensions we thought were confined to Ranger and Celtic fans.

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6 hours ago, Observer II said:

Watched a prog about the history of Scotland;  which showed they are not the unified myth .created by the Victorians; being culturally split between the Gaelic Highlands and the Saxon Lowlands, and the old Viking colonies in Orkney and Shetland (now arguing for independence from Scotland !)  .    The recent sectarian violence in Glasgow, is a reminder also of historic tensions we thought were confined to Ranger and Celtic fans.

Very informative series with Neil Oliver . They have had plenty of treachery  & conspiracies in their history.

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