A Political View - No Government Really Has a Mandate.

 

I do not think there has been a government elected in the USA or UK with a majority of the people voting for them. A government is usually elected with well under 50% of all the people that voted. When one takes in the non-voters they actually have the backing of about a third of the electorate. Yet that does not stop them suggesting that they have a mandate to put their policies into practice.

 

A political party puts a series of policies into their election manifesto. When they get elected they claim that they have a mandate to implement them all. This is rubbish. I have never yet looked at any parties manifesto and agreed with everything in it. I usually have to settle for the lesser of two evils. I have to vote for the party with the least number of objectionable policies. That is not to say that I support all the things they put into their manifesto - far from it.

 

A government is not elected to purely represent its own followers. It is supposed to represent the whole country. To me this implies compromise and taking into account the people that did not vote for them (which is always most of the country).

 

So in Britain the Tory Party should presently be trying to find a way of taking into account the majority of the country (those who voted remain plus those who did not vote) who did not vote for Brexit.

 

In the States Trump should be taking into account the majority of the people (Clinton voters and those who did not vote) when putting into place his policies.

 

Clearly this is very difficult to do and many policies are not open to compromise but consensus is always better than imposition. Things are never black and white.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2018 - 6:46pm
Wouldn't it be nice if governments built bridges and tried to gain universal support to solve problems? The Party system is simply not working. It is tribal and divides.
Tubularsock Added Jan 9, 2018 - 7:21pm
Tubularsock does agree with you opher. And that is why Tubularsock practices reverse political egalitarianism.
 
Tubularsock, hates ALL of them equally.
 
Seems like the only sane approach available.
 
 
George N Romey Added Jan 9, 2018 - 7:21pm
The issue in the US is that candidates have to attract extremes in the primaries but then can’t tact back to the middle. Add in big money interest and we no longer have workable government. I agree the parties need to go but realistically it will never happen without a collapse of society and economy.
Tubularsock Added Jan 9, 2018 - 7:33pm
Well George, we can hope for the best ....... invest in pitchforks and whiskey would be Tubularsock's advice. Vice always seem to win!
Mike Haluska Added Jan 9, 2018 - 9:11pm
opher - in the US we don't elect "governments" like the rest of the world.  We have a Constitution that clearly defines the proper role of government and LIMITS the power of the government over the people.  The Democratic Party has virtually ignored and urinated on this precious document and with the election of President Trump the Constitution is being put back in its proper place.
 
When our government is functioning properly, the Constitution ensures that no matter which party is the majority our basic laws remain the same. 
Lynn Johnson Added Jan 9, 2018 - 9:16pm
I've always assumed that those who do not vote are morons, and would thus logically, think the opposite of me. :)  Using that same assumption, I would just as soon leaders ignore them.
 
I would like to see multiple parties replace the two-party system in the U.S.; and would like to see more working together and compromise. (so some common ground)
 
We've reached a point however where that is not possible an I don't see things getting any better any time soon.  As things are now, I'm ready (for the U.S.) to move forward with an amicable separation/session.  California has a session movement.  Where do I send my donation to that cause?
 
As long as we have the system we do.  I want the parties and candidates to state precisely what they intend to do... then do it if/when they win.
 
Leading by sticking your finger in the air is not leading.
Shane Laing Added Jan 10, 2018 - 2:08am
Opher So in Britain the Tory Party should presently be trying to find a way of taking into account the majority of the country (those who voted remain plus those who did not vote) who did not vote for Brexit. I would add that those who didn't vote didn't vote remain either. Of those who did vote most voted out.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:35am
Tub - this is where we differ - I hate some more than others.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:36am
George - so we are lumbered with a dinosaur.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:38am
Mike - but Congress and the Senate have to govern the country even if the constitution is set in stone (for good or evil). That surely means effectively that the majority party governs?
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:40am
Lynn - I would like to see multiple parties replace the two-party system in the U.S.; and would like to see more working together and compromise. (so some common ground)
That makes sense to me too.
Leading by sticking your finger in the air is not leading.
I agree with that too - though the caveat is that it is preferable to take everyone along with you.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:46am
Shane - with something as complex as Brexit it isn't binary. A slim majority of those who voted supported leaving. The great majority of the country did not support leaving. The outcomes of Brexit can be a large range of possibilities. I think it is important that everyone feels they have had a finger in how this proceeds and what the outcome is. I also feel strongly that democracy is an ongoing thing and not a one-off event and if it becomes clear that the majority of the country think the deal, as is now apparent, stinks, then there should be a revote.
At least I think that the feelings of the remainers should be taken into account - through the language used.
It is the same with political parties. A political party is elected by its supporters but does not govern the country just for its supporters. It governs the country for everybody.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 10, 2018 - 3:57am
It's an argument I got into with someone when Obama was elected, and they claimed he had a mandate. It's been a long, long time since a politician in America had anything that could be considered a mandate, except in those Congressional districts where gerrymandering has put one side or another into complete control.
Shane Laing Added Jan 10, 2018 - 4:08am
Opher. How do you know the great majority as you put it did not support leaving? They didn't support remaining either. If they had, the result would have been different. The negotiations were a complete cock up from spineless politicians.  Instead of saying to the EU we are out and we will pay what we are legally obliged to pay up to the date of leaving May has agreed in principle to pay up to 2021 with no guarantee of a trade deal in place. The UK's trump card was the cash. The EU set the tone of the game instead of the UK remaining firm and saying we will decide what we are going to do.
What the UK government should have done was to state they were going to make a clean break from the EU in 2019 and then started negotiations. This government has been on the back foot from the start. As soon as the referendum result was known the UK government should have sent trade teams to every country to get free trade deals. Of course this is against EU policy but what could they do, throw us out? There is no free trade deal with the EU we have to pay for the privilege through our contributions. There has been no collapse in UK trade. The pound has not gone through the floor as predicted by Osborne.  We have the 5th biggest economy in the world. We can stand on our own two feet.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 4:20am
Shane - I don't know how the people who didn't vote might have voted. My point was that a minority voted for out. The majority did not.
Yes the government has made a complete cock-up and were out of their depth. The EU has set the agenda and called the shots. We've been all bravado and all bluster but no clear strategy. David Davis is not up to the job.
The pound HAS gone through the floor. The British economy has declined and predictions are even worse. There are multitudes of firms leaving the UK completely or partially, or making plans to do so. We have agreed to pay £40-50 billion to the EU. We are presently spending £3 Billion on extra bureaucrats and solicitors (the money should be on teachers, doctors and nurses), we are still in austerity and wage restraint. When we go we will have to spend a fortune on duplicating bureaucracies, setting up offices, employing yet more bureaucrats and unravelling all the stuff we were collaboratively working on. You can bet that workers rights, human rights and environmental standards will all be eroded.
But that is what you get when you put the right-wing in charge of the country. The one thing you can guarantee is that the wealthy will come out of it smelling of roses and we'll be down in the manure.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 4:22am
Mark - no government has a mandate do they? They should always govern for all the people. To be aware of what minority views are and take them into account - even if only through words and acknowledgement, is the best way forward.
Shane Laing Added Jan 10, 2018 - 4:36am
Sorry Opher I have to disagree about the economy it is on the rise. As to the multitude of firms leaving the UK I again have to disagree. Some have indeed set up other offices in the EU to hedge their bets but there has been no mass leavings. As to the £3 billion on bureaucrats and solicitors my question is why? Not needed as far as I can see. The UK has agreed to put EU law into UK law as is and we can unpick it at our leisure. We are definitely still in austerity and wage restraint but what would you rather have wage restraint and austerity or massive borrowing and spending and the country getting deeper in debt? I should add that HS1 and 2 are a total waste of money those billions of pounds going into them could be put into schools, hospitals, housing the homeless, decent homes for veterans etc.  I totally agree its the rich who always win.  
Neil Lock Added Jan 10, 2018 - 5:44am
Opher: I do not think there has been a government elected in the USA or UK with a majority of the people voting for them. Not sure about the USA, but this is certainly true for the UK. See here: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7529.
 
In the worst case (2005) Labour got in with the support of only about 22% of eligible voters! And they used the power of the 22% to stomp on the other 78% of us, because that’s what Labour do.
 
Government is supposed to be for the benefit of the governed; and that means that (real criminals excepted, of course) it must be a nett benefit to every single individual among the governed. Including me. That doesn’t happen; and it’s been getting steadily worse since the 1970s. So, I haven’t voted for any politician since 1987. And since all politicians are dishonest, and all the parties want to ruin my career, tax me out of existence and violate my human rights, I have no intention of ever voting for any politician again.
 
Oh, and with regard to Brexit, here’s a simple solution for you, Opher. If you like the EU so much, why don’t you simply emigrate to it? The Remainers can leave, and the Leavers can remain. Problem solved!
Dino Manalis Added Jan 10, 2018 - 8:44am
That's why it's important to vote and express your opinion!
Lynn Johnson Added Jan 10, 2018 - 9:18am
>>  though the caveat is that it is preferable to take everyone along with you.
 
I'm learning more and more that you have a penchant toward things humanly impossible. :)  Socialism, now inclusion of everyone?  What's next?  World peace? :)  It all sounds good.  It gives a warm fuzzy superior feeling deep inside.  But under the facade, it's just appearance over substance.
 
Brexit may be the perfect inquiry.  What would you have done to achieve the goal of taking everyone along?
 
You say, revote?  That's not taking everyone along.  That's screwing those who voted for Brexit in the first place for an outcome you prefer.  Will there be revotes on issues that pass that you support?
 
You say "At least ... the feelings of the remainers should be taken into account - through the language used."  So, if they use nice words... that is inclusion?  Why do I think few (who opposed Brexit) will be satisfied?
 
This just sounds like sour grapes to me.  It's good to see things are the same (for the left) on both sides of the pond.  "I don't like the results... let's revote until I do.  That's the only way to ensure inclusion of everyone." :)
Dave Volek Added Jan 10, 2018 - 9:53am
The most important demographic, in my opinion, is the citizens who do not vote. Political parties are unconsciously crafting their messages to keep this group on their couch on election day for if they do find the incentive to vote, they are usually driven to vote for the other party.
 
Negative advertising in election campaigns is a manifestation of the above paragraph. Developers of these ad campaigns have no illusions that they can sway stronger supporters of the other party to their cause. Rather these ads play on the minds of the weaker supporters. If done well, the ads will convince those supporters that their preference really doesn't deserve the effort to make the effort to the voting booth. A vote not cast for a political opponent is a little victory for the party employing the ad developer. Enough of those little victories means a bigger victory in the end.
 
But in the end, we still need a process to decide which of the overly ambitious citizens have the right to govern. If people don't vote, that is their choice.
 
And not voting might be a wise vote.  It might be saying that the voter sees little difference in the ballot--and is leaving the decision to those who think they can see a difference.  
 
On another side issue is that the parties themselves weed out the competition for power for those overly ambitious people. One analyst I saw on TV had some interesting stats: only 3% of American actually voted for Ms. Clinton in the primaries and only 3% o Americans actually voted for Mr. Trump in the primaries. This means 94% of Americans would have liked to have seen other names on the ballot for the general election, but were not given much opportunity to express that desire.
 
 
 
Leroy Added Jan 10, 2018 - 10:02am
You make a good point, Opher.  The obvious solution is to give more power to the individual to control his own life and keep government out of it as much as possible.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:43am
Shane - the info I have is that the pound was knocked badly which has hit the prices of everything.
 

 
The economy has been damaged and lags behind the other EU countries. If you look at where it would have been compared to where it now is there is an enormous difference. We are much worse off already.

 
 

 
 

 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:44am
Seems like the only sane approach available.
 
For even more personal sanity get as far the fuck away from their grasp and put as many people who's expertise it is to keep them at bay between yourself and them. 
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:47am
Shane - sorry the graphs do not appear to come out but they are from the FT.
Loads of companies have already left or pulled out. Siemens in Humberside pulled its huge European Development Centre.
Earlier this year, rumours circulated that Deutsche Bank could move 4,000 jobs out of the UK, nearly half of its UK workforce, over concerns it won’t be able to conduct business throughout Europe once the UK leaves the union.
When this starts happening we will all suffer.
Bill H. Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:48am
Opher - During the last election, it was all about media exposure and control. Many of the political ads were concocted by, and paid for by special interests and big corporations. Even though there are supposed to be "paid for by" disclosures on ads, many are placed by "front groups" or "Super PACS" that have misleading names, such as "Citizens for Healthy Forests", which was formed by the lumber industry some years back. Social media was swamped by political ads that were directed at people's leanings, or those of their social media "friends". Every web page had political ad popups. People were constantly bombarded with what many knew were obvious lies and mis-statements.
We have fallen into an abyss where virtually all politics from the local level to the national level are controlled and decided by the corporations with the money. Citizens are simply the puppets who go to the voting booth after a year of mental programming and carry out the corporate wishes.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:50am
no government has a mandate do they?
 
Nor do they have legitimacy.
 
What they have is force. 
 
YOU opher abhor the use of force by so-called "cowboys" and "bullies" yet embrace supremacy of government and its use of force. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:50am
Neil - you think that the Tories aren't stompin' all over us right now? They are fucking up the NHS, giving away tax cuts to the wealthy, messing up education, cutting corporation tax, messing up social services, making a mess of Brexit, putting us through austerity, messing up the economy. How bad do you want it to get?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:51am
The obvious solution is to give more power to the individual to control his own life and keep government out of it as much as possible.
 
That government which governs least governs best.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:52am
Neil - I don't leave because I think I have as much right to my country as you do. As far as I'm concerned we've always been in Europe and always will be. The days of Britain's Empire are behind us.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 11:52am
Dino - you're right. Democracy was hard fought for.
Neil Lock Added Jan 10, 2018 - 12:07pm
Opher: Oh, the Tories are stomping all over us, for sure. And in ways beyond the ones you mention, too. That's why I don't vote in elections. None of the parties are worth voting for. Nor ever will be, until there's radical change.
 
But if you and I have the same "right to our country," then I have just as much right to take it out of the EU as you do to keep it in!
 
I agree that the days of the Brutish empire are gone - and a good thing too.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 12:08pm
Lynn - you can at least communicate and involve people in the way we go out. It is more a question of attitude and language in my eyes. We can be inclusive or exclusive. You can rile people or pacify them.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 12:13pm
Dave - you make some very good points. So many people are completely pissed off with what was on offer that they would not vote.
There were many reasons for not voting. Apathy was only one of them. I understand some people were actually prevented from voting still - through not being able to register.
How come in any election we end up voting for the lesser of two evils?
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 12:14pm
Leroy - you mean do away with government altogether.
I just saw Hostiles yesterday. It showed what life is like without any government. I think I prefer government.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 10, 2018 - 12:57pm
How come in any election we end up voting for the lesser of two evils?
 
Because government and its practitioners are inherently evil. 
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:07pm
Jeffry - well it is sad that you think that about them all.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:09pm
Bill - that seems to be the case. The corporations run everything. Soon we won't have to vote. They'll just process our algorithms and then ignore them.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:12pm
Mark - so nobody ever has a mandate. That seems to me to be a need to try something different. The two party system is failing everyone. Perhaps a coalition would be better? Perhaps a government would need to have a majority of the votes before it can govern? We need something better.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:13pm
Jeffry - as I just said to Leroy. I watched Hostiles yesterday. That's the kind of world you'd like.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:15pm
Neil - I still think you have to vote. There are differences between the mess we get served with. It does make a difference. It seems to me that we often end up with the worst choice - like right now.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 10, 2018 - 1:23pm
well it is sad that you think that about them all.
 
Reality is often sadder than teaching the world to live in perfect harmony. Like when the idea is used to sell coka-cola
 
 I watched Hostiles yesterday. That's the kind of world you'd like.
 
Haven't watched it. Likely never will. Coming from you I'm sure its meant as a slag. I'm not the Whisperer. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Jan 10, 2018 - 2:09pm
Oph
 
Government....
 
is supposed to represent the whole country.
 
But it doesn't. How could it ? Mentality doesn't change, genetics still work for feudal structures LOL
Joe Chiang Added Jan 10, 2018 - 2:10pm
There seems to be two issues here.  One is voter/citizen apathy and the other is the political philosophies in play across all the parties.
 
I believe the first, voter apathy, stems from the second, so I will address the philosophies first.  I am involved in US politics.  I believe the political parties here are being manipulated from an international/world viewpoint.  One philosophy is for government to be limited and small with as little intrusion into individual lives as possible.  The other primary philosophy is that the individual is too stupid to let be responsible, make decisions for themselves.  They must be directed by those smarter and better than they are.  This can only be done through a big government that dictates what individuals can and cannot do.  ObamaCare is just one example of government telling citizens what doctor they can see and what that doctor can do for their patients.  The ideal of this big government is to tell everyone in the entire world what to do and how to do it through a world government.  In the USA BOTH the Democratic and Republican Parties have been favoring big government moving the national government toward a one world government over the last half century.  We often refer to this philosophy as "liberal" or "progressive".  One example is "Climate Change", first Ice Age is coming, the Global Warming, now just Climate Change.  The entire "Climate Change" topic is about growing government and getting it to have oversight over carbon/energy production/usage.  "Give me control over all energy and I will save the world" from some imagined disaster.
 
Because the red and blue parties are BOTH doing the same thing, many citizens have become apathetic.  It does not seem to matter if they vote red or blue, the same liberal progressive big intrusive government is grown even bigger.  For example, the blue party brought us ObamaCare and the red party made sure it was funded.  Many citizens do not believe their vote matters any more and indeed if you vote red or blue, you are wasting your vote. 
 
I have been advocating for the Constitution Party, a moral Conservative Constitutional direction.  I believe our only hope is to stop re-interpreting the Constitution as our courts have been doing and following the US Constitution as it was written.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Jan 10, 2018 - 2:13pm
BTW: You show me a politician with good intentions when he's at the top. That alone would be exceptional. Mujica or Morales might be examples (maybe....). And when such a rare example makes it he won't stay long up there but will be killed or ousted by the ones who don't like a honest guy up there who doesn't follow their wicked games.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 10, 2018 - 2:48pm
Well said Stone-Eater
George N Romey Added Jan 10, 2018 - 5:20pm
I see no reason to stand in line for 90 minutes to vote for someone that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about people like me.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 10, 2018 - 5:55pm
I see no reason to stand in line for 90 minutes to vote for someone that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about people like me-I'd vote for anyone who doesn't give a rat's ass for YOU, Geo...
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 6:24pm
Lynn - not a slag - an observation.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 6:26pm
Stone - I think it requires empathy - a quality that most politicians seem to lack. Being cognisant of how other people feel and taking steps to take them into account is not impossible. It is a question of balance with a bit of compromise.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 6:28pm
Joe - the constitution was written hundreds of years ago when the world was different. Things change. That's like following the Bible or Koran.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 6:30pm
Stone - that tends to be true. But as you say - there are exceptions. I'd add Mandela and Ghandi.
opher goodwin Added Jan 10, 2018 - 6:30pm
George - that is the problem - people are disillusioned. They think politicians care for themselves and the corporations.
George N Romey Added Jan 10, 2018 - 7:16pm
Politicians do care for corporations so why waste your time on someone that doesn’t have your interest at heart? 
Neil Lock Added Jan 10, 2018 - 8:10pm
Joe Chiang: I agree, in outline at least, with your diagnosis. But not with your proposed solution. It isn't radical enough for me.
 
Opher to Joe: the constitution was written hundreds of years ago when the world was different. Exactly! And the founding principles of current political states were written 200 years before that. In 1576, if my memory serves me right. The US Constitution was meant to provide checks and balances against the political state. But they've failed. We all need to look further back than 1776 to understand the problem.
 
Stone-Eater: You show me a politician with good intentions when he's at the top. The only example I can think of is William IV, king of England from 1830 to 1837.
 
Opher to George: They think politicians care for themselves and the corporations. Only half the truth. They actually care for themselves, their cronies and their sycophants. At the expense of everyone else.
wsucram15 Added Jan 11, 2018 - 12:15am
Lynn..
Texas tried it also..secession. in fact somewhere, I have the divorce decree from the US that was circulating at the time.  Two of my cousins live in East Texas and one of them was really involved in the movement.
California has what the 5th largest economy in the world?  Yeah..that will never happen either.  The property belongs to the federal government..or at least the parts they havent sold to foreign countries.
 
Until Citizens United is overturned or new legislation is enacted to counter balance the damage from that decision by Congress, OR we have a Constitutional Convention, this will not change in the US and I imagine in any country.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 11, 2018 - 12:31am
to counter balance the damage from that decision by Congress
 
That decision was by SCOTUS.....
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 11, 2018 - 12:52am
Political authority, or the authority of State, or the authority of Government,
is something the average person virtually never questions. Almost everyone goes through their entire life believing that the Government – although it’s almost always composed of provable criminals, cheats and liars – still has a solid basis for its political authority. Many people, whether left, right or anywhere in between on the political spectrum, are Statists: they think that Government has an inherent right to rule, using coercion if necessary. Yet, even a cursory examination shows that if a normal person acted like Government, they would characterized as cunning, secretive and manipulative, and either be diagnosed as insane, or locked up as a danger to society, or both. So why do people allow and consent to such a situation?
wsucram15 Added Jan 11, 2018 - 1:05am
I know Jeffry. the statement is as stands..Congress needs to counterbalance the decision. Congress doesnt make decisions..they make legislation.
Shane Laing Added Jan 11, 2018 - 2:01am
Opher.
 
The Humberside hub you quoted.
A £310m manufacturing hub in Hull that employs 1,000 people will not be affected by the decision, and should still begin producing blades and assembling turbines next year.
But Siemens, (a german company) one of the few firms to openly back a Remain vote, will not be making new investments until the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe becomes clearer.
So its on hold not pulled also, The UK has outperformed several EU states in attracting investors, last year taking €26bn - around half of all Europe’s wind energy investment.
 
Deutche Bank (a german bank) may not will move 4.000 abroad. Move to where exactly to Frankfurt presumably. The Frankfurt financial district employs approx. 65,000 people compared to over 600,000 in the City and Canary Wharf. London is the biggest financial centre in the world. Are they really going to cut off their nose to spite their face.  I doubt it.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 11, 2018 - 3:06am
You are correct. NO government has a mandate, ergo no government can be legitimate. Just chuck 'em all into the bin then
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 3:31am
Neil - while I do take a cynical view of politicians I do think there are some who are genuine and do care.
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 3:39am
Shane - fortunately Siemens is going ahead with its hub and put other developments on hold. But it was also looking to make Humberside the centre of its research project. That has gone.
I hope you are right about the logic of the situation. I am skeptical. There has already been a lot of movement out. If we do not have a soft Brexit, with access, then there will be an exodus. There are many European countries jealous of our position who would love to take over. They are actively giving big incentives to firms and finance. They see this as their big opportunity. I think we will suffer greatly.
I wait with interest to see what Khan's independent report on the impact of Brexit comes up with. I've heard the headlines and it was gloomy.
This is the biggest own goal in history in my opinion. It's analogous to not turning up at Waterloo.
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 3:40am
Burger - a bad government is better than no government. Anarchy is murder.
Shane Laing Added Jan 11, 2018 - 3:57am
To counteract EU governments giving big incentives all the UK has to do is reduce things like business rates and become something akin to a tax haven undercutting the EU.  EU officials went mad when this was suggested. Seems like a good plan to me. Good to see exports on the up and the trade deficit down by 2.9 billion.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 11, 2018 - 5:28am
Anarchy is freedom
Leroy Added Jan 11, 2018 - 7:34am
"There are many European countries jealous of our position who would love to take over."
 
The only country that could and, IMHO, will eventually become the center of the EU is Poland.  Ultimately, the French will pull out and that will be the end of the EU as we know it.  Then, it will be Poland and Germany vying for dominance, that is if Poland doesn't pull out altogether.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 11, 2018 - 8:13am
A frustrated Germany could not be reached for comment. Oops! That must be how we got Austria!
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 9:47am
Shane - so your answer is to give more sweeteners to the wealthy?
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 9:47am
Burger - Anarchy is freedom for bullies and fear for everybody else.
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 9:48am
Leroy - I think Europe looks stronger than ever. I can't see it breaking up any time soon.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 11, 2018 - 9:53am
Opher - and thus were firearms invented. when you live in a land where only the cops have guns the cops are the bullies
opher goodwin Added Jan 11, 2018 - 10:06am
Burger - I've just seen Hostiles. It is about anarchy really. They all had guns too. I think you should go and see it. It's a good film though not brilliant. But it is well worth a view.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 11, 2018 - 12:30pm
If you please, I will address the economic part of this discussion.  I see the old "soak the rich" argument.  However, I ask a serious question, how many people earning under $50,000 a year are employing a dozen or more employees and paying them at least $50,000 a year?  So giving these people making $50,000 a year or less stimulus funds is not going to provide them with the capital means to open and operate such an enterprise, yes?
 
It is true that people making less than $50,000 will spend that money.  These purchases will help pay for products already manufactured.  But it is a temporary help at best.
 
However, someone making $20,000,000 a year could use those extra funds to buy more equipment (employment for the equipment manufacturer) and hiring an employee to operate that machine (employment for his own operation).  These are a more permanent economic increase.
 
Many here may not agree or more accurately like my analysis.  But all that is needed to counter what I have said is to post a list of all the businesses employing a dozen people making over $50,000 by an employer making less than $50,000.  Then I will have been proven inaccurate.  :)
 
 
Edward Miessner Added Jan 11, 2018 - 6:43pm
Opher, I agree with you. The party system and the way political representation is selected in the US and the UK has only led to a winner-take-all mentality among those representatives who managed to be the first past the post and are on the same time. Hence here we have a GOP Congressional majority rewriting the US tax code as a reward for its donor class even at the expense of screwing many in its electoral base.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 11, 2018 - 6:55pm
Bill H, "We have fallen into an abyss where virtually all politics from the local level to the national level are controlled and decided by the corporations with the money."
 
There are exceptions, but you basically have to go far into Northern New England and similar places to find them.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 11, 2018 - 7:03pm
wsucram15, "Until Citizens United is overturned or new legislation is enacted to counter balance the damage from that decision by Congress, OR we have a Constitutional Convention, this will not change in the US and I imagine in any country."
 
Except we will never have a Constitutional Convention in this country because it will be up to Congress to permit one be held. Even if we do, it is very possible that the Convention would just make us even more beholden to large transnational corporations than we are already. It is also possible that the Convention might not agree on anything until someone comes up with a proposal to simply abolish the US Constitution and dissolve the country thereby, letting the states, territory and district go their own ways.
wsucram15 Added Jan 11, 2018 - 10:40pm
I agree Edward...i left some pretty radical legislative stuff I was involved in for about two years over the question of what if it actually happened.  I actually went to the state legislature in my state and some other Eastern states for the legislation.  There are a number of states now that have moved in that direction.
There have also been lawsuits over this very thing...2006 I think in front of the SC.  I could be wrong on the year.
 
These are examples of what is wrong and the only things to fix them short of riots in the streets.
Shane Laing Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:37am
Opher. If we can attract more businesses to come to the UK by offering lower business rates and undercutting the EU then why not.  I agree that the people at the top may not pay as much personal tax as they would in an EU country (they would have to adhere to ours) but if it creates jobs in the UK I am all for it.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:59am
Joe - you call it 'soak the rich' but I call it 'creating a fairer, more equal society'.
It would not be difficult to give tax cuts to those who reinvest their money in people or development rather than stuff through evasion tactics into off-shore havens.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:01am
Edward - the first past the post system doesn't work for me. I am coming round to thinking that coalitions work better.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:08am
Shane - what you propose is a race to the bottom that is precisely what is being exploited by the multinationals and why we need a universal tax system.
First Ireland, the Bahamas's, the Isle of Man, Malta, - and how many more offering these sharks ways of avoiding to the societies that they prey off.
These people go where they can make more money without regard to workers' rights, working conditions, health and safety, environmental concerns or the affects of their actions. It is repulsive. They are exploiting all of us.
Why should they get away with not paying their taxes. I have to pay mine. Wayne Rooney earns millions and pays less tax than me. Multinationals and the wealthy hold the country to ransom by threatening to go elsewhere. I think it is disgusting.
Why play their rotten game? It is immoral.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:04am
I can sum this up, Opher in a very short fable.
 
Once upon a time a group of people decided to put together a circus. The circus would travel about at regular intervals to amuse the people from various walks of life. Eventually the circus act grew stale and the people no longer wished to attend. As a consequence the circus was then deprived of able players for their ranks and were left to make their show with fools and criminals.
 
The end  ( promised it'd be short)
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:43am
Burger - is that about America? Religion? Politics?
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:54am
Religion and Politics
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 12:03pm
Actually they are the same :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 12:05pm
Both futile attempts at controlling that which can not be controlled. Oh, and contributions.
 
I always liked Bono's line in Bullet the Blue Sky :
 
The god I pray too isn't short on cash, mister!
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:29pm
OK - I'll go with that.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:33pm
wsucram, I read somewhere that the House of Representatives has kept tabs on states calling for a Constitutional Convention and the number now is 38. As far as radical changes are concerned, I think we need a radical rewrite! Replace the lower house with a parliament having proportional representation from each state, make the Office of President a ceremonial position and create an Office of Prime Minister to handle the day-to-day executive affairs of the government. And I think we'd do best if we have some outside supervision, for example from the UK.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:33pm
Opher, on proportional representation, my thoughts exactly!
Edward Miessner Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:35pm
Opher, to clarify, I think first past the post has proven to be a bad idea also.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:03am
Edward - I think proportional representation would be a big step in the right direction. It would also likely result in coalitions. People would have to work together which would weed out some of the more extreme stupidities.
I think the whole idea of a President is flawed. The President has far too much power.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:53pm
Opher "I think the whole idea of a President is flawed. The President has far too much power."
 
I agree. It should be a ceremonial office, and let a Prime Minister manage the state apparatus, as I wrote to wsucram15 above. And outside supervision from the UK would also be good.