Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: The Brexlection

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  • linger, in reply to DeepRed,

    Supporting Le Pen clearly correlates with Fear of the Other:
    immigration, terrorism, insecurity (=non-specific fear, maybe including fear of violent crime, but possibly also including fears about economic security, including of course fear of “foreigners, coming over here, taking our jobs”).

    Interestingly, “unemployment” by contrast (if you’re not already experiencing it) is something that happens to other, “undeserving”, people, so isn’t strongly associated with support for any one candidate; but it ranks a little higher among Macron supporters.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Neil,

    The “Hillary is an evil warmonger wall street stooge but I don’t suppprt Trump” and “Macron is a elitist blah blah bringing on the victory of the FN but I don’t support Le Pen” is a peculiar form of kabuki that has real world consequences.

    It would be nice if the so-called social democratic progressive parties of the west DIDN'T put up a warmongering creatures of wall street in the arrogant belief voters will hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils, wouldn't it?

    The French voters will handily defeat Le Pen, like the Spanish they've tasted fascism within living memory and they didn't like it at all. But how much longer can we rely on voters rejecting an unacceptable candidate just so the establishment can elect another defender of the status quo?

    In two English speaking countries (Brexit & Trump) the voters have dared to defy the proposition that no matter how bad, the status quo is better than anything else. So far, the right has benefited from this. The attacks on Corbyn, to me at least, seems to indicate the establishment is much happier trying to accommodate plutocrats and neo-fascists than socialists and democrats.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Are we seeing the revitalization of the UK Labour Party or its demolition?

    Neither, probably.

    The British haven't changed their 2-party structure since the introduction of universal suffrage, which resulted (after a delay) in many of the newly enfranchised voters finding a home in Labour and the Liberals becoming unelectable.

    English voters are fairly settled into an approach of voting either for the Conservatives or for their strongest constituency opponent, be that Labour in the North and large cities, or the Lib Dems elsewhere.

    I'm picking that Labour won't drop below 200 seats this election.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5449 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    inevitability of the ascendance of the populist right in France

    The Front National's first-round vote has varied between 10% and 17% over the last 25 years, so 21% is not a huge leap - and it's a long way from there to being electable.

    The two-round system is a fairly poor way of selecting a single president from multiple candidates (all systems of directly electing a single leader, including NZ mayoral elections, are intrinsically bad, but conventional instant run-off STV is probably the least worst => I'd suspect Le Pen would have been eliminated at the 3rd or 4th round of such a system).

    Bringing extremist candidates into power is in many ways an artefact of such unfair voting systems - with MMP, NZF and ACT are effectively corralled -> they may get a coalition ministry but have never moved near to displacing National. (and NZF is constrained from moving further to the right by the possibility of National and Labour working together to exclude them, as has happened in several European states).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5449 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    (all systems of directly electing a single leader, including NZ mayoral elections, are intrinsically bad, but conventional instant run-off STV is probably the least worst => I’d suspect Le Pen would have been eliminated at the 3rd or 4th round of such a system).

    Certainly, FPP and two-round voting are terrible ways to fill a single vacancy.

    I know you prefer that mayors be voted in by fellow councillors immediately following a triennial election, Rich, but how do you think the offices of the president of France, Ireland, or even the United States, should be filled, in a way that is recognisably democratic? Or is that not important to you?

    I have to ask, because you didn't go on and give us your alternative method.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Todd,

    In the case of Ireland, the president is a mostly ceremonial post, and a "beauty contest" suffices. They could of course abolish the post and have the Taoiseach be head of state as well as government.

    The US and France should adopt a parliamentary system, like the vast majority of the worlds democracies. The US has the excuse of being the first large modern state to try democracy, but it's now 2017, not 1776, and we can change and use modern innovations (like MMP and the electric jug).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5449 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Okay. You're basically saying that, in all circumstances, "the people" have no role to play in filling single-vacancy public offices.

    France and the United States are never going to give up their republican forms of government. Also, there will always be reasons, and a desire in certain circumstances, to elect single office-holders. I will comfort myself in the knowledge that you have at least conceded that conventional instant-runoff STV is "probably the least worst" method of determining who wins single-vacancy elections. I don't recall you doing that previously.

    You went on to suggest that public, single-office, elections - necessarily including single-seat STV - [can] bring extremist candidates into power, without giving any examples, but then opined that Marine Le Pen would not win under AV (IRV) voting. I agree, but neither, in my view, will she win the second round on 7 May - just as they did in 2002, a majority of voters will "hold their noses" and vote for Macron.

    Setting aside Ireland France, and turning to US presidential, US senate and US House elections, it just so happens that I have given a little bit of thought to how they might be improved. My thoughts are briefly set out here (see the 10th and 11th comments)--

    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2017/02/the-problem-of-us-presidentialism/ .

    (My suggested improvements, suitably amended, could also, of course, apply in respect of gubernatorial, state house and state senate elections.)

    Two clarifications: when I say the two co-presidents would have equal power with the president, I should have said they would have equal status; and my reference to the square root of the population should have read the cube root of the population (the "cube root rule").

    I'm not expecting you to respond (unless you care to). I'm just taking this unexpected opportunity to let a wider audience see what one set of improvements (in my view) might look like.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I would hope they don't drop below 200, but things are looking very weird. Recent polling puts them in with a shout in places like NE Wales. Their target seats list now seems vast and whilst they don't have the people to flood those seats, they might not have to.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    From the Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/vote-labour-jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may

    Mombiot pays out Blairite hypocrisy in rather compelling terms

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to martinb,

    Mombiot pays out Blairite hypocrisy in rather compelling terms

    Blair hasn't been PM for quite some time. I'm not sure that Corbyn will get any more votes by attempting to exorcise a ghost that most voters don't really care about.

    It seems more to do with Labour infighting which probably isn't going to attract voters.

    And putting up a supporter of Chavez and the IRA might not be a particularly effective way of dealing with whatever Blairite past needs to be reckoned with.

    Since Nov 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    So I'll put Neill down for TLDr...

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Todd,

    "the people" have no role to play in filling single-vacancy public offices

    No, I'm saying that they have every role to play. They should elect a parliament, who choose a Prime Minister who commands the confidence of a majority. Given a fair voting system for MPs, this ensures the PM will have the support of MPs representing a majority of the populace.

    France and the United States are never going to give up their republican forms of government

    The US, probably - they'll keep their 18th century constitution until the nation breaks up.

    France has only had a directly elected president since 1958 when it was instituted as a deliberately counter-democratic measure to impose stability on a deeply divided nation.

    Most other (democratic) republics have an indirectly elected president. Germany and Italy for instance (with constitutions designed by the WW2 victors to suppress extremism).

    The Swiss, interestingly, rotate the presidency (and hence their nominal head of state) between the members of a power-sharing Federal Council.

    without giving any examples

    You need one? Donald Trump. or Vladimir Putin, admittedly accompanied by ballot rigging.

    you have at least conceded that conventional instant-runoff STV is "probably the least worst" method of determining who wins single-vacancy elections

    There has to be a "least worst" method in every case. If the alternatives were astrological projection or throwing the candidates into the harbour and seeing who remains afloat, I'd opt for the latter.

    Also, I'd just point out that Lindsay Perigo (who?) was not the first to suggest a collective presidency for the US, it was unsuccessfully proposed by Edmund Randoph and others in the Federal Convention of 1787.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5449 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd,

    Thanks for your comments, Rich.

    I should have said, no *direct* role to play in filling single-vacancy public offices.

    Bringing extremist candidates into power is in many ways an artefact of such unfair voting systems[.]

    To me, what you are saying here is that any electoral system used to directly fill a single public office is unfair, and *invariably* throws up an extremist candidate. With regard to the US, one out of 45 ain't bad - and even then, Trump only made it by way of the Electoral College. And, as we are now witnessing, he is being somewhat constrained by the other two branches of government. Although I wouldn't put money on it, I doubt he will be re-elected.

    Thank you for bringing Edmund Randolph's three-person presidency proposal to my attention. I was unaware of that. I was, however, aware of the information contained in your other comments.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Trump is a closet Francophile - accordion to some sources....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7274 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    without giving any examples

    You need one? Donald Trump. or Vladimir Putin, admittedly accompanied by ballot rigging.

    There have occasionally been good presidents too, you know, and no shortage of party appointed fuxors. I can't say I'm totally convinced the system of directly electing presidents is broken. It is a check/balance on the power of the legislature.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Also, I’d just point out that Lindsay Perigo (who?) was not the first to suggest a collective presidency for the US, it was unsuccessfully proposed by Edmund Randoph and others in the Federal Convention of 1787.

    Lindsay Perigo (founding leader of the Libertarianz Party), in his magazine, Free Radical, was actually proposing a Triumvirate for New Zealand (the three Tribunes being elected by STV nationwide), not for the US. Quite different to Randolph's proposal that the three members of the Executive would be "drawn [i.e., appointed] from different portions of the country."

    It is in that context that I mentioned him as being the originator of the proposal. I did not want people thinking it was my original idea, when it wasn't. (See his proposal here: http://www.freeradical.co.nz/content/constitution/ .)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Neil,

    Blair still gets a lot of stick, but I think it is almost accepted now that he’s somehow in the process of being rehabilitated. Probably due to Brexit. That process isn’t complete and won’t ever be complete for some people, but I have noticed in the last 6 months that a lot of people who probably always quite liked him but didn’t like to talk about it, now do openly. Same is true for Clegg though.

    Turns out catastrophic defeat is cathartic, for the latter and for the former, he’s clearly still articulate and powerful and people were reminded of this by comparison to his successors (not just Corbyn).

    Of course as long as we have the former MP for Bradford West trundling around the country showing his film about Blair I suspect Blair will always be slightly in fear of another attempt at a citizen’s arrest.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Blair still gets a lot of stick, but I think it is almost accepted now that he’s somehow in the process of being rehabilitated.

    Jesus wept. All that's going to do is further entrench the utter loathing and contempt that huge numbers of people feel for him and his acolytes.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2660 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Well there are a lot of people out there who want, desperately, to believe in a Labour politician / leader and Blair has obviously seen this opportunity of Brexit to try and remove some of the poison around his name.

    He's really good though and this is what almost makes it worse. I went to his launch speech a couple of months back in London and it was really quite amazing to watch him in action. I didn't live in the UK during his era and so had only encountered him second hand, as it were, so I didn't really appreciate how he could hold a room.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ben Austin,

    No doubt. My wife talks about seeing him on telly delivering his keynote speech at the Labour party conference a year or so before the 1997 general election and getting goosebumps. And then her grandad 'Red George' turning to her with his wolrd-weary smile and saying 'just wait'.

    Fool me once....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2660 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Well it's official, we are going to be at with with the EU by lunchtime, now that the PM's accused Brussels of interfering in the election. This being the one she called without necessity and the one everyone has known for months would deliver a handsome Conservative Majority on a bad day.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12325 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I went to his launch speech a couple of months back in London and it was really quite amazing to watch him in action.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-jeremy-corbyn-unpopular-labour-party-general-election-a7721561.html

    Yes, well. Don't believe everything Polly Toynbee and Nick Cohen tell you.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Luckily I don't? Anyway, the point was I literally went to a speech he made and my conclusion was that he is an amazing political performer, despite his many issues, which I hadn't really appreciated having not being in the UK during his premiership

    Whatever some journalist thinks of that is up to them

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I'll just leave this here:

    Yep, no way of spinning anything positive from that. UKIP has completely taken control of it's host body and is abandoning it's previous physical chrysalis form, and the electorate are too pissed off and apathetic to push the turnout above 30-35%.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2660 posts Report Reply

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