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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: UK Election 2015
Albertus
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Ah, that makes your position much clearer, thank you. Your concern is with due process and proper scrutiny of arguments. I agree with you that that is absolutely essential.
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Book me into the Hartington wing then, because most Green policies seem pretty sensible and in tune with my values to me.

What's Hartington got to do with this? And is this Hartington, the place the cheese comes from, Harrington, some member of the Cavendish or Harrington, some part of Calow Hospital?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
luvanddaisies

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I would be voting Green but the local party has decided, against my advice, not to put up a candidate. Consequently I will be reluctantly voting SNP. No way I'm voting for that treacherous git Murphy, and that's generous compared with what I could say about the lib dems or tories.


Maybe that'll change, the Greens have launched a Crowdfunding campaign to put up candidates in 100% of seats. Each candidate needs a £500 deposit, and their target is £72,500. They've got £28,595 so far for the "Give everyone a change to vote Green in 2015" project, according to the Crowdfunder website. . It'll be interesting to see how much that fund grows by in the next 23 days (which is how long it says it has to run).

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by luvanddaisies:
Maybe that'll change, the Greens have launched a Crowdfunding campaign to put up candidates in 100% of seats. Each candidate needs a £500 deposit, and their target is £72,500. They've got £28,595 so far for the "Give everyone a change to vote Green in 2015" project, according to the Crowdfunder website. . It'll be interesting to see how much that fund grows by in the next 23 days (which is how long it says it has to run).

Alas, it is the wrong Green Party. Though I have just finished sharing the very same link with my local party's Facebook page in the hope that a similar scheme might run in Scotland and the decision can be reviewed.
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luvanddaisies

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Ah, of course, they're all separate. I hadn't even clocked where you lived. I've clearly been down south too long - the world ends at the M25! Silly me. [Frown]

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)

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deano
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Book me into the Hartington wing then, because most Green policies seem pretty sensible and in tune with my values to me.

What's Hartington got to do with this? And is this Hartington, the place the cheese comes from, Harrington, some member of the Cavendish or Harrington, some part of Calow Hospital?
The Hartington Wing is indeed the mental ward up at Calow hospital. Where voters for the watermelons will be put before being transferred on to Rampton.

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"The moral high ground is slowly being bombed to oblivion. " - Supermatelot

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Doublethink.
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Lovely to see you fighting the good fight against stigma there deano.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Alan Cresswell

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Not to mention how offensive it is to refer to those of us who are considering voting Green, and in my case at least have previously voted Green. Just because you personally disagree with one or more of their expressed policies does not make those policies wrong, and it certainly doesn't make us certifiably insane to vote for them.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Just because you personally disagree with one or more of their expressed policies does not make those policies wrong, and it certainly doesn't make us certifiably insane to vote for them.

I agree. And, IMO, one always has to accept a certain amount of compromise in one's beliefs whenever one casts a vote, as it is almost impossible for anyone to agree 100% with any party's policies.

So one's vote is either cast for the "best" (but not perfect) option; or, more likely, for the "least worst" option.

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Adeodatus
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I dare say most of us are sympathetic to some of the policies of all of the parties, but from where I'm standing there isn't one party that measures up sufficiently for me to endorse them with my vote.

The Tories have a strong sense of fiscal responsibility but have demonstrated that their main concern is for the rich, and the poor can go hang.

Labour have a healthy bias to the poor (though not as healthy as it used to be) but their front bench are generally clueless and ineffectual, and too much inclined to bend to whatever breeze of public opinion is blowing.

The LibDems have shown that they'll do pretty much anything to get a taste of power, and therefore you can't trust a word they say.

Ukip show every sign of being what I believe is termed "bat-shit crazy".

The Greens are admirable in many ways, but unless they change their energy policy to embrace fracking and nuclear, we'll all be reading by candlelight by 2030. Sooner if the Russians have a hissy fit and turn off the gas.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Baptist Trainfan
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But don't you think that you should still cast a vote, if for no other reason than to prevent the party you most abhor from getting in? Even if that means "voting tactically", which I would normally abjure?

There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government. His main opponent is IMO pretty useless, but I would be happier to see him elected if that boosts his party's numbers in Westminster. Do others face the same dilemma?

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
But don't you think that you should still cast a vote, if for no other reason than to prevent the party you most abhor from getting in? Even if that means "voting tactically", which I would normally abjure?

I think that's the kind of thinking the politicians count on. I think it's evident from the video that Curiosity Killed... linked to (back on page 1 of this thread) that they think they're entitled to our votes. The sheer arrogance that came across to me in that video - that the voters somehow had a duty to keep the Westminster gravy train running, no matter how currupt it might be - surprised even me.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government.

It's a dilemma caused by the nature of our electoral system. We use one cross on a paper to indicate our preference for at least three different things:
1) Our choice for the particular individual to be our representative in Parliament
2) Our choice of policy package from a party manifesto
3) Our choice of party leader to form the next government

Unfortunately, our preference on all three of those may be different. It's quite conceivable to (say) favour the policies of Labour, not want Milliband to form the next government and prefer the Conservative candidate as the best person to represent your constituency.

As a form of electoral reform that would probably be even more radical than AV/PR/STV how about two votes - one for your local MP, a second for the party/leader you would want to form the government? It would be a more presidential system (though the way we're heading towards an emphasis on leaders debates etc that is more presidential anyway) and runs the possibility of a party without a majority of MPs forming the government. But, would solve one voting dilemma - and also mean at least one vote would count even in the least marginal of seats.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
But don't you think that you should still cast a vote, if for no other reason than to prevent the party you most abhor from getting in? Even if that means "voting tactically", which I would normally abjure?

There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government. His main opponent is IMO pretty useless, but I would be happier to see him elected if that boosts his party's numbers in Westminster. Do others face the same dilemma?

On the first point, my local MP has a majority of five figures. How on earth do I vote tactically against her? I don't know whether to abstain in disgust, spoil the ballot paper, or get drunk.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
On the first point, my local MP has a majority of five figures. How on earth do I vote tactically against her? I don't know whether to abstain in disgust, spoil the ballot paper, or get drunk.

"Safe seats" are the modern rotten boroughs, which is why party manifestos are now rigged to appeal to a few voters in marginal constituencies.

It's rare for a safe seat to change in a general election. You usually have to wait for a by-election to shake things up a bit.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
But don't you think that you should still cast a vote, if for no other reason than to prevent the party you most abhor from getting in? Even if that means "voting tactically", which I would normally abjure?

There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government. His main opponent is IMO pretty useless, but I would be happier to see him elected if that boosts his party's numbers in Westminster. Do others face the same dilemma?

On the first point, my local MP has a majority of five figures. How on earth do I vote tactically against her? I don't know whether to abstain in disgust, spoil the ballot paper, or get drunk.
In frontier USA, the two major political parties each provided funds for their supporters to move to newly colonised areas so that they would have the majority.

Hence the bloody conflicts round Kansas in the civil war. OK - maybe that's not such a good an idea after all.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
On the first point, my local MP has a majority of five figures. How on earth do I vote tactically against her? I don't know whether to abstain in disgust, spoil the ballot paper, or get drunk.

"Safe seats" are the modern rotten boroughs, which is why party manifestos are now rigged to appeal to a few voters in marginal constituencies.

It's rare for a safe seat to change in a general election. You usually have to wait for a by-election to shake things up a bit.

Yes, and there are about 400 of them, some of them in the same hands since the Victorian age. These exhortations to vote strike me as very hollow. I would vote if it had any meaning.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Erik
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government. His main opponent is IMO pretty useless, but I would be happier to see him elected if that boosts his party's numbers in Westminster. Do others face the same dilemma?

Yes, I find myself in the same position. I rather like or local MP but would not want her party in goverment. Add to that the fact that ours is a pretty-well safe seat and I have very little enthusiasm for voting. The only thing that makes me go is that I think the principle of voting is important, even if there is no one I want to vote for. I am seriously considering spoiling my ballot.

Up thread someone referred to liking a lot of what the Greens say but, as they have very little chance of getting elected, instead voting for another, larger left-leaning party. The problem is I am not sure who this would be.

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One day I will think of something worth saying here.

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
But don't you think that you should still cast a vote, if for no other reason than to prevent the party you most abhor from getting in? Even if that means "voting tactically", which I would normally abjure?

There is another issue, too. Our local MP is excellent but I do not support his party's values and do not wish them to form the next Government. His main opponent is IMO pretty useless, but I would be happier to see him elected if that boosts his party's numbers in Westminster. Do others face the same dilemma?

On the first point, my local MP has a majority of five figures. How on earth do I vote tactically against her? I don't know whether to abstain in disgust, spoil the ballot paper, or get drunk.
Et tu Brute? My MP had a majority of over 15,000, is not a great constituency MP, both from personal experience and local repute, was tarred and feathered by the expenses scandal* to the extent the constituency party tried to deselect and was still returned with an increased majority last time. The attempt to deselect just brought down the party heavies in support. The only time we've ever seen them locally.

Checking, there is still no candidate for the party that came second last time around for 2015; that's no-one for one of the main three parties. Last time around the options included the BNP, UKIP and the English Democrats as fringe parties, which really aren't where I want to go for a protest vote. So far only UKIP has declared. Why else would I have the information on the "None of the Above" campaign quite so near my fingertips if my voting options weren't quite so bad? I have spoilt my ballot paper with "none of the above" scrawled across it, although not in the last election.

Last time I attempted to vote tactically for the party that came second in the hope that there would be enough of a swing from expenses to make something change. I did investigate the options, met many of the candidates, attended the local hustings and realised that even for the parties that I quite liked some of the policies the candidates being fielded in this safe constituency are weak and/or inexperienced and learning the ropes for a better chance somewhere else the net time around.

* the MP to make the most money in capital gains tax through home switching between their constituency home and Westminster flat, so profited the most in the expenses scandal. Even though the majority of the constituency commute into London to work, including me, and London can be seen from all the vantage points around in the constituency - I have photos to prove it.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Adeodatus
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News just in from 38 Degrees on their campaign for "None Of The Above" (NOTA) on ballot papers -

Parliament's Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has said today that the demand for NOTA is such that the next government must hold a public consultation on the issue.

(That's a precis of an email I've just had from them.)

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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deano
princess
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Living in a LibDem/Labour marginal, it must be UKIP, to put an MP in who will vote with the Conservatives in any case.

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"The moral high ground is slowly being bombed to oblivion. " - Supermatelot

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
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Surely we don't need a none of the above option when one can simply spoil their ballot paper?

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Imaginary Friend:
Surely we don't need a none of the above option when one can simply spoil their ballot paper?

A couple of problems:
a) there is no distinction between the incompetent and the angry
b) there is no practical effect even if the spoiled ballots outnumber the valid ones.

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Curiosity killed ...

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To add to that list:

If/when we get electronic voting, experience of being part of a pilot is that the options are either vote for one of the candidates or not vote.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Makepiece
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Traditionally I've always voted Labour but I'm extremely reluctant to this time. I actually preferred Labour under Gordon Brown and campaigned for Labour in 2010. Unfortunately, I do not really believe that the current Labour administration would be capable of leading the country. The only person in the shadow cabinet I really rate is Andrew Burnham (and possibly Douglas Alexander), I'd probably vote Labour if he were the leader. I consider Ed Miliband's greatest strength to be that he is at least not Tristram Hunt. I really don't think I could help inflict the current Labour leadership on the nation. I know a lot of people say that if Dave Miliband had been elected as leader instead of Ed Labour would be in a stronger position but I disagree I don't really believe that DM would have been a good leader either. I don't think that its because they're from Manchester and I'm from Liverpool but can't rule out the possibility that powerful, subjective tribalism is playing a part in my thinking. At any rate Slobodan Milosevic once told the Kosovan Albanians, in the early 90s, that they were 'paranoid' so who is to say that any subjective bias on my part is irrational?

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Don't ask for whom the bell tolls...

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
Living in a LibDem/Labour marginal, it must be UKIP, to put an MP in who will vote with the Conservatives in any case.

You might have a problem there. If UKIP does take over the Euro-sceptic wing of the Conservative party, they would find themselves at odds with Conservative economic policy which, without the Euro-sceptics, would be as pro-European as Ted Heath ever was.

UKIP might however find solace in the Greens; last time I looked they were distinctly cool on the EU.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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The Greens are not pro-EU for the sake of being pro-EU, but are more friendly to the EU than UKIP. The Greeens would seek to reform the EU substantially. In line with their general policy of sustainable economy and subsidiarity, they would seek to empower local government and decentralise powers from Europe and national government to local authority as appropriate, and the emphasis on free-trade within the EU changed to support trade justice and reduce transport distance of consumer goods. The Green Party are very positive about roles for the EU in regard to global challenges - pollution, climate change and trade justice.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
UKIP might however find solace in the Greens; last time I looked they were distinctly cool on the EU.

My understanding is that the Green Party also want to abolish the monarchy and legalize all drugs. That's probably not a UKIP vote-winner.
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
UKIP might however find solace in the Greens; last time I looked they were distinctly cool on the EU.

My understanding is that the Green Party also want to abolish the monarchy and legalize all drugs. That's probably not a UKIP vote-winner.
With that divergence from the Greens, it looks like UKIP will be well out on their own.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
UKIP might however find solace in the Greens; last time I looked they were distinctly cool on the EU.

My understanding is that the Green Party also want to abolish the monarchy and legalize all drugs. That's probably not a UKIP vote-winner.
To be precise, the Greens would consider hereditary positions to have no basis in government - which would include hereditary peers in the Lords and the monarchy. But, nothing wrong with a good dose of republicanism.

On drugs their position is quite nuanced. They would decriminalise cannabis (along the lines of the Netherlands), and position of small quantities of drugs for personal use. On the other hand, they would concentrate resources freed from investigating and prosecuting cannabis supply and drugs possession to enforce laws on drug production, importation and supply. They would also increase restrictions on supply and consumption of tobacco and alcohol, and spend more on education of health effects of all drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and provision of assistance for people to quit.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Arethosemyfeet
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It's almost like they've looked at the evidence and decided to try a policy that might work better than the last 50 years of total failure as regards drug policy.
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Ariel
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You can't just legalize something because so many people break the law. You might as well scrap the speed limit, because in decades nobody's managed to stop people breaking it. They just need to make penalties harder and more intimidating. IMO.

If you had a republic, you'd have President Cameron and First Lady Samantha. If you're happy with that, fine.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
If you had a republic, you'd have President Cameron and First Lady Samantha. If you're happy with that, fine.

You mean like President Merkel?

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Forward the New Republic

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
You can't just legalize something because so many people break the law. You might as well scrap the speed limit, because in decades nobody's managed to stop people breaking it. They just need to make penalties harder and more intimidating. IMO.

To what end? What good does it do? It doesn't actually stop people taking drugs. You certainly can legalise something if the law is an ass and no good purpose is served by continuing to enforce it. Maybe we should try your approach with speeding. Confiscate the vehicle of anyone caught speeding and ban them from driving for 5 years. Soon sort out the problem. Or maybe you think that would be too draconian? Prohibition is not an effective means of lowering drug use. The evidence from Portugal and other places that have tried decriminalisation is that it helps to lower drug dependency.
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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Maybe we should try your approach with speeding. Confiscate the vehicle of anyone caught speeding and ban them from driving for 5 years. Soon sort out the problem. Or maybe you think that would be too draconian?

No, though I'd favour a sliding scale of banning them for 6 months in the first instance then working up to taking their licence off them for repeated offences. If you make it clear you habitually can't stick to the speed limit you can't be trusted to handle a vehicle safely.

quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
The evidence from Portugal and other places that have tried decriminalisation is that it helps to lower drug dependency.

I'm not getting into an argument about this. I don't agree with that, and I'm not taking this tangent any further. Illegal drugs are illegal for a good reason, and as far as I'm concerned they should stay that way, and there's no way I'd ever vote for any party that wanted to decriminalize them.

Which I hope returns us to the subject of the thread.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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"Decriminalise" is an imprecise word. The Green Party policy is to tighten laws in relation to alcohol, tobacco and also some prescription drugs that can be abused (eg: ban on all advertising), loosen the laws on cannabis so that they're similar to the tightened laws on alcohol and tobacco. Which would include licensing of farms and facilities producing cannabis to ensure product safety and that the concentration of active ingredients is low (recognising that some strains of cannabis produce very much stronger product than the weed smoked in earlier generations).

For all other illegal drugs, they would stay illegal. Dealing in these drugs and import or manufacture would still be illegal and prosecuted, with continued confiscation of profits from illegal activities. The only change is that simple possession of very small quantities for personal use will not be something the police and courts would prosecute.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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deano
princess
# 12063

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
On drugs their position is quite nuanced. They would decriminalise cannabis (along the lines of the Netherlands), and position of small quantities of drugs for personal use. On the other hand, they would concentrate resources freed from investigating and prosecuting cannabis supply and drugs possession to enforce laws on drug production, importation and supply. They would also increase restrictions on supply and consumption of tobacco and alcohol, and spend more on education of health effects of all drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and provision of assistance for people to quit.

Which makes it easy for headline writers... "Greens Soft On Drugs"

Sorry, but nuance is exploitable. Naiveté isn't charming or admirable in politicians. I prefer my country's leaders to be sharks not herring.

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"The moral high ground is slowly being bombed to oblivion. " - Supermatelot

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Yeah, that's the problem with politics. Dominated by sharks. Powerful predators preying on the weak and vulnerable.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Teufelchen
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# 10158

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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
The Hartington Wing is indeed the mental ward up at Calow hospital. Where voters for the watermelons will be put before being transferred on to Rampton.

Oh look, someone who is going to vote for the furthest-right party currently in parliament, making threatening noises about treating dissenters from the capitalist consensus as mentally ill.

Deano, how can you look yourself in the eye? ('With a mirror', says someone at the back.)

t

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Little devil

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by deano:


Sorry, but nuance is exploitable. Naiveté isn't charming or admirable in politicians. I prefer my country's leaders to be sharks not herring.

Really? I prefer my leaders to be sane and reasonable. Evidence based policy is not naiveté, it's the only sane way of governing a country. The fact that the media doesn't want it tells you everything you need to know about the media barons.
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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by deano:

Sorry, but nuance is exploitable. Naiveté isn't charming or admirable in politicians. I prefer my country's leaders to be sharks not herring.

It's quite bad enough for the country to be owned by sharks let alone run by them. Then again, that's what we have right now - can't you tell by the feeding frenzy that's going on?

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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stonespring
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# 15530

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As an outsider, I wonder whether the rates of voter registration and voter turnout have a large effect on election outcomes in the UK, especially in recent elections. Here in the US, where the rates of eligible voters who register to vote and the rates of registered voters who actually vote are depressingly low, especially among the most marginalized classes, races, ethnicities, etc., most of the money and volunteer hours spent on campaigning are not really spent to persuade people to change their mind on who to vote for, but rather to energize or anger people who already know who they are likely to vote for enough that they actually vote.

In the UK, how high is the percentage of eligible voters who are registered? I have heard reports about voter turnout going up and down from election to election among registered voters in the UK, but are there efforts to try to increase voter turnout among all sections of society regardless of the election? How much do you think the rates of voter registration and voter turnout have on the outcome of elections (ie, in terms of what parties win seats, what kinds of policies parties support, what kinds of candidates parties nominate, etc) in the UK?

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Given a clear-cut issue with which people feel engaged, registration is not a problem. There was 97% registration for the Scottish Referendum, with final turnout of 84.6%.

Which suggests low turnout in any given election is a function of voter interest, rather than difficulty in getting on the Roll.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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The main factor in low turn out's is probably the "it won't make a difference" effect. Especially in safe seats where whatever way any individual votes the sitting candidate will get re-elected (or, if they retire from Parliament, whoever the party chooses to replace them with). But, also there's a definite feeling that there's so little difference between the main parties that it's not going to make any difference to our lives who gets in.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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stonespring
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# 15530

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In the US, voter registration and turnout (among eligible voters) is higher among the more affluent than among the less affluent, higher among non-Hispanic whites than among non-Hispanic African-Americans and Hispanics, higher among the elderly than among the young, higher among single men than among single women, etc. The people who "always vote" are stereotypically thought of as elderly and white. In midterm elections, local elections, and special elections (what you call by-elections), where voter turnout here is usually very low, this means that elderly whites can make up a very big part of the electorate turning out to vote and the election outcome often reflects the opinions and interests common to that demographic (long story short, this benefits Republicans in many elections here).

Are these trends also true in the UK (allowing for differences in the ethnic makeup of your population)? If similar differences in voter registration and turnout among different parts of the population exist in the UK, do you think that the effect of it is large enough to shape election outcomes?

Do the political parties there put much effort into "Get Out the Vote" operations (which in the US often involves knocking on the doors of "likely supporters" and asking if they need a ride to the polls)? So many frail elderly people living alone are called and visited relentlessly each major election by people practically (sometimes literally) willing to carry them to the polls. Sometimes I feel good for doing it, like I did when I helped people who had not voted in decades or who had never voted in their life (but had registered long ago). Other times it feels sleazy (in a documentary I watched, a campaign worker does handiwork in an old lady's yard every election as long as she goes to the polls with him). Are things like this common in elections in the UK? Do they have much influence on the results?

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Arethosemyfeet
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Most people who are unable to get to the polling station on their own (and the vast majority of people are in walking distance of theirs) will have a postal vote, which comes with its own problems of people "assisting" the postal voter. I think our voting patterns tend to follow class and age lines rather than ethnic ones, but I'm willing to be corrected on that.
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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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There was a piece on WatO yesterday, and that data is that a very great many students are now not eligible to vote now that universities can't register them in blocks. There are efforts to register them individually.

Also, the statistic was offered that young black people don't tend to register either, so are grossly under-represented in the electorate. Unlike older white people who own their houses.

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Forward the New Republic

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Also, another difference to the description of the US presented above is that in general by-elections in the UK have a higher turn-out than general elections. Which I think reflects greater media attention on the constituency (usually at a general election the media only report on a few "key marginals" as though the rest of us don't matter), the presence of leading party members in the constituency (again, in general elections these concentrate on marginals), and also the chance to express an opinion on the government performance mid-term via the ballot box.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Also, another difference to the description of the US presented above is that in general by-elections in the UK have a higher turn-out than general elections.

I'm not sure that's actually true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_by-election_records#Turnout_increased_from_general_election
The last time the turnout actually increased was in 1982, and it has increased by more than 5% on fewer than 10 occasions, all before 1970. This tends to be why by-elections produce unusual results and high % vote shares for the likes of UKIP.

[ 13. February 2015, 11:28: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Of course - as was stated on "Newsnight" yesterday - the distribution of votes is all-important, because of the "winner takes all" system we have in the UK. It was suggested that the LibDems may get more parliamentary seats with (say) 5-7% of the vote, than UKIP with (say) 15%, as their supporters are clustered in those key marginal rather than widely distributed.

Likewise, the various nationalist parties around Britain may only gain a relatively small percentage of the total vote, but score highly in their specific areas - for instance, I understand that the SNP could get 40 or 50 MPs from a fairly small percentage of the entire national vote. I'm not saying that is wrong, only that such "anomalies" are built in to the system.

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