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 Post subject: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:16 pm 
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The People's Furniture Polish campaign are parading a victory in their private referendum in Thurrock. Nearly ninety percent (89.9 percent) of the people who were issued with ballot papers cast a vote calling for a referendum on withdrawal from the EU, with an overall turnout of 30.39 percent of the 47,995 polled (out of 77,667 on the electoral roll).

That means that, on this day, less than thirty percent of the electorate in the area said they wanted a referendum – without actually expressing their preference as to whether they want the UK to remain a member of the EU.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:31 pm 
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It shows that the majority of people do not have a strongly held feeling on leaving the EU when a narrow, direct question is presented to them.

But if this was approached in a more long-term, wider way as an issue of democracy and electoral engagement then it would be different. If people came to see that they could have more influence over what goes on around them if decisions were made more locally and it was easier to participate in them, and that the EU actually works in the opposite direction, moving decision making away and making it more difficult to engage locally, then people would probably come round eventually.


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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:10 pm 

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There is a great deal of trouble in a referendum.

The recent UK referendum on AV has shown this only too well. The overwhelming defeat of the pro-AV campaign, who actually had a very good case on the basis of improved democracy, has put back the cause for, IMHO, at least 3 years and one general election; possible significantly more. This is because the result must be accepted by any who believe in democracy, as applying at the time and in the conditions of the previous referendum. The pro-AV campaign was, in fact, politically out-manoeuvred before the campaigns had even started: not least on the timing.

There is a second thing against referendums. Many questions are too difficult and detailed to be understood by the electorate. This is not because each elector lacks the intellectual ability to understand the issues (most do, I suspect, though it may well be uphill work with some issues and quite a few people). It is for three other reasons: (i) most do not currently view the job as requiring the amount of thought that it actually requires; (ii) they are not particularly likely to ever properly hear the issues in balance against each other; (iii) they do not have time to properly find out and consider the issues.

This latter point, for a whole electorate, is actually a killing practical issue. This is why we continue with representative democracy rather than with direct democracy, even though the constraints of communication and transportation for the latter have been overcome by modern technology.

Finally on examples, and this is especially pertinent to a UK vote on membership of the EU, sensible consideration must include what is to replace the status quo. We currently have full EU membership (currently excluding Euro membership). This could be replaced by nothing, by EFTA or EEA or other free-trade block terms (and the details differ and do matter) or it could be some more intermediate position between full membership and no membership. I also think any referendum should include full EU and full Euro membership: go smoke that. [Not that I would vote for it. But the question should be put, to that full extent.]

Thus, on the EU, a simple IN/OUT question is not actually the one, though the issue might be more suitable for a referendum than many others. In fact for me, if a simple EU IN/OUT vote were put, I would be strongly tempted to abstain, either by not turning out (less likely) or spoiling my ballot paper by writing 'none of these' or 'the wrong question has been put'.

If you want more democracy, try: more frequent elections, a 100% elected House of Lords (but how?), a directly elected Head of Government (called for example Executive Prime Minister, and keeping our constitutional monarchy WRT Head of State), and more localism with better designed local democratic representation. Finally, and when we think it timely, have another go at introducing AV and/or STV.

If people want referendums on many things, but not more frequent elections, they need to consider carefully what they are thinking.

Best regards
Nigel Sedgwick


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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:11 pm 
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I just received yet another email from that outfit.
I clicked the unsubscribe link.
Invited to supply a reason, I said "I want Britain to leave the EU, and you don't".

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:31 pm 

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From Your Freedom and Ours link



Quote:
...... though there are those insidious postal votes that have set this country's electoral system back by about 150 years.



Maybe the Old Swan gathering can address that one too.


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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 pm 
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vincent wrote:
From Your Freedom and Ours link



Quote:
...... though there are those insidious postal votes that have set this country's electoral system back by about 150 years.



Maybe the Old Swan gathering can address that one too.



The idea is to empower people in such a way as they can address these issues and force changes. I would thus hope that we well be able to look at the dynamics of power rather than the detail of its application.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Regrettably, an event of serious magnitude, albeit probably triggered by something fairly innocuous, is necessary to stir us from our lethargy of quiescent & obedient acceptance of an imposed status quo which we fail to understand. We do not want to know.
If & when the catharsis happens it will be a surprise to me.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:48 pm 
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permanentexpat wrote:
... an event of serious magnitude....
e.g Iranian nuclear missiles start landing.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:04 pm 

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Super-power bitch-slaps are the equivalent of a murder or a baby on Corrie, distractions from SNAFU.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Aurelian wrote:
permanentexpat wrote:
... an event of serious magnitude....
e.g Iranian nuclear missiles start landing.


Given the technological inadequacies of the Iranian regime, I suspect it would be an event of serious magnitude if the missiles managed to take off - without photoshopping.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:20 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:25 pm
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RAENORTH wrote:
vincent wrote:
From Your Freedom and Ours link



Quote:
...... though there are those insidious postal votes that have set this country's electoral system back by about 150 years.



Maybe the Old Swan gathering can address that one too.



The idea is to empower people in such a way as they can address these issues and force changes. I would thus hope that we well be able to look at the dynamics of power rather than the detail of its application.



If you look at the Chartists' demands the "secret ballot" demand was included in that,we need to go back to basics,postal votes are far too open to manipulation,never mind email and text PDT_Armataz_02_28.Maybe we could copy the Iraqi method.......dying thumbs purple.


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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:27 am 
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vincent wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
vincent wrote:
From Your Freedom and Ours link



Quote:
...... though there are those insidious postal votes that have set this country's electoral system back by about 150 years.



Maybe the Old Swan gathering can address that one too.



The idea is to empower people in such a way as they can address these issues and force changes. I would thus hope that we well be able to look at the dynamics of power rather than the detail of its application.



If you look at the Chartists' demands the "secret ballot" demand was included in that,we need to go back to basics,postal votes are far too open to manipulation,never mind email and text PDT_Armataz_02_28.Maybe we could copy the Iraqi method.......dying thumbs purple.



I think it was the Chartists' obsession with the mechanics of selection, rather than the dynamics of power, which have contributed to the current decay. In that sense, the Chartists provide no model for us. Where they are helpful is in establishing the role of the political "movement" as opposed to the political party as a means of achieving change.

As to the elections, I think we need to refocus. It matters little as to who is elected ... what matters is their accountability, and the degree of control we have over them while they are in office.

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:01 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:11 am
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So I come back again to blogging MPs being paid by how relevant people find them.
This side-steps expensive G/Es and makes politics open to anyone who can get online while hopefully educating the 'electorate' politically.
Smart MPs will issue 'Requests For Comments' ad often get invaluable research done for free by knowledgeable commenters.
Whether the NI number system is robust enough to account for 3 'likes' per person per month I don't know.

The internet will overturn politics so let's ride the wave. PDT_Armataz_01_22 PDT_Armataz_01_22

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:21 pm
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Location: Durham
Aurelian wrote:
I just received yet another email from that outfit.
I clicked the unsubscribe link.
Invited to supply a reason, I said "I want Britain to leave the EU, and you don't".


Funny - I've done exactly the same - have you had a reply, because I haven't... PDT_Armataz_01_27

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 Post subject: Re: This tells us precisely what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:31 pm 
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ChiefyinDurham wrote:
Aurelian wrote:
I just received yet another email from that outfit.
I clicked the unsubscribe link.
Invited to supply a reason, I said "I want Britain to leave the EU, and you don't".
Funny - I've done exactly the same - have you had a reply, because I haven't... PDT_Armataz_01_27
Just the standard automated "We're sorry you're leaving us. Perhaps you clicked the unsubscribe link in error" email.
And no, I clicked it deliberately.
PDT_Armataz_01_25

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