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    Originally posted by Macromia View Post
    The majority of referenda that have been held in the UK have been advisory, only some of them have had minimum turnouts/results set that would make them binding if achieved. In all cases parliament remain sovereign and can chose to overrule, or later reverse action taken based on referendum results.
    Well given that there have only ever been three, you got me, I'd forgotten the original EU referendum was also advisory (I wasn't old enough to vote).
    The last one, on voting change had the outcomes built into the enabling legislation.
    No.
    The general election "confirmed" nothing about whether or not the voters wanted to go ahead with Brexit.
    Both major parties confirmed that they would contine a process of leaving the EU.
    They were voted as the main two parties in a general election.
    That's how it works when we're not playing with referendums.


    Most people (and all sensible people) do not vote in general elections on the basis of a single issue. In fact, many don't give much thought to the issues at all, they vote for the same party they have always voted for.
    I'm not sure that's a certain as you think, but it's how a parliamentary democracy works and if brexit is part of the bundle you vote for, that's what you'll get.

    But you can't have it both ways, you can't assert that people have a duty to educate themselves on issues in a referendum and then assert that people don't do that in a general election, and therefore should be protected from the consequences of their ignorance.

    Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
    To say JP that you would rather be governed by that shower ("experts" think not!) is rather sad.
    It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a considerable upgrade from the self serving morons we have in office and the pound shop lenin in opposition.

    As far as the EU army it brings a tear to my eye to read how trusting you all are of the great and good of the EU...there are ways in which "permanent structured cooperation" can be invoked which is not legally an army but is, really. We cannot veto that if we are in because it is officially "not an army". I am happy for you that you trust the EU not to do this in spite of its stated leanings in this direction.
    It's not possible on many levels.
    More to the point, there's already a European military force (NATO) which includes the USA who pay for a lot of it.
    The most likely way a European army is created is that the US pull out, leaving the current members.

    We certainly live in interesting times...
    You can say that again!
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      Well argued JP - though I do not agree with some of it you really made me laugh with your description of "the pound shop lenin" - as long as we can argue in a respectful and constructive way long may the interesting times continue....
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

      Comment


        To be honest, I've pretty much had enough.

        While I know you don't agree, I am close to certain that leaving the EU will have a negative impact on my life (and probably for the remainder of it) and also that of my only son.

        Continually hovering on the brink, fearing the worst and having the slimmest hope that someone will see sense, be brave enough to act and be in a position to actually do that, is affecting me.

        And the knowledge that it's all being done because a few very rich people want to make some money or have a completely misguided view of the UK's position in the world just adds to the misery.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          I get it. I can mirror your feelings. I respect your views. Mine are the opposite of course!
          I have also had enough. I am certain that leaving the EU will have a positive impact on my life and that of my three kids. Continually having to fight for what I believe in and having the slmmest hope that those who are blocking the best way forward for this country will be stopped by someone brave enough to act and be in a position to do that. And the knowledge that it is all being done because those who are making huge amounts from the EU or are put into positions of power by that institution want to keep their cushy numbers or have a completely misguided view of the UKs position believing it to be a shrivelling cowering island on the edge of a powerful and successful Europe (which isn't either) just adds to the misery.
          Which just goes to show how far apart thinking, intelligent people are on this. How do you resolve the fact that views are so opposed - neither you nor I will be happy to accept the middle ground...
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

          Comment


            Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
            How do you resolve the fact that views are so opposed - neither you nor I will be happy to accept the middle ground...
            I don't think we do resolve the difference in our views.

            We're comparing a situation we know with a situation that might be better.
            You believe it will better (and I have to accept that it's at least possible).

            Do I think the possible improvement is worth the risk of that belief being wrong? no.

            Nothing has been offered up that is so much better than how we are now that moving to it is simply worth taking a chance.
            And nothing has been offered up that looks like an actual plan of how we move from where we are now to the new and better better position.

            So I choose not to change the situation until I'm sure that things will improve, or there's some way of mitigating that risk (like a fall back position, or something that gives me genuine confidence, which at the moment, nothing has).

            I'm not saying that where we are (in the EU) is perfect and can't be improved.
            But it's a known position (and life seems to me to be better now than it was 40 years ago, so something is working out OK).

            So, until someone can show me that
            a) there's something of actual benefit (not that something that might happen that sounds bad might be avoided - because anything "might" happen) and
            b) the downsides that are predicted to happen if we change have been considered and either addressed or we've decided to live with them and
            c) there's a plan to move from where we are to where we're going to be that seems at least plausible,
            I'm in favour of making no change.

            Those three things are basic requirements for making any kind of decision about any kind of change.
            I spent most of my life involved in business and if I'd proposed something to a board of directors as vague as Brexit, they'd have sacked me.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              Well given that there have only ever been three, you got me, I'd forgotten the original EU referendum was also advisory (I wasn't old enough to vote).
              The last one, on voting change had the outcomes built into the enabling legislation.
              There have only been three referendums that involved the entire country; there have also been several regional referendums, some with conditional outcomes fixed in the enabling legislation, some without.

              Of course, even when outcomes are fixed by the enabling legislation, parliament can still reverse the outcome by passing further legislation - because that is what the parliamentary sovereignty that so many 'Brexiters' claimed to want allows.


              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              Both major parties confirmed that they would contine a process of leaving the EU.
              They were voted as the main two parties in a general election.
              That's how it works when we're not playing with referendums.
              Yes, but "how it works" also includes the fact that voters will regularly choose a particular party because the majority of their policies are ones they agree with, knowing that democracy allows them to campaign against the policies that they don't agree with even though they may have helped vote a party with those policies into power.

              It really doesn't matter what basis the government things they have to justify a particular course of action. If they want to show that they are genuinely following the democratic wishes of the population they always have to be prepared to change their position if the majority of the public withdraw their support for a particular position.


              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              I'm not sure that's a certain as you think, but it's how a parliamentary democracy works and if brexit is part of the bundle you vote for, that's what you'll get.

              But you can't have it both ways, you can't assert that people have a duty to educate themselves on issues in a referendum and then assert that people don't do that in a general election, and therefore should be protected from the consequences of their ignorance.
              I know that many people will vote based on single issues (something that was clearly demonstrated in the recent EU elections where about a third of those who voted in the UK voted for a 'party' that stood on a single issue - a single issue that the candidates would have no power at all to enact).
              Perhaps the majority of voters do voters do vote this way? But if so, all that this demonstrates is that they do not use their votes sensibly (voting for 'The Brexit Party' in EU elections being a prime example).


              Comment


                "this demonstrates is that they do not use their votes sensibly (voting for 'The Brexit Party' in EU elections being a prime example)".
                Absolutely correct if you support Remain. Totally sensible if you support Brexit. Maybe they cannot actually make it happen but it puts pressure in the right places. Look how many leadership candidates for the Conservatives now have a more "brexity" position.. it works. As for the election after the Referendum it is disingenuous to state that the majority did not vote on the one issue (Brexit). Many voted differently than they had in their whole lives because of this issue. As for a party changing direction "if the majority of the public withdrarw their support for a particular position" I agree entirely. It is clear that the majority support Brexit so the Conservatives will have to move from a wishy washy rubbish trade agreement to a harder Brexit. You will not agree of course but you have no more right to say the majority support Remain than I have to say the majority support Brexit,
                JP - totally get your position though I personally think we need to take the risk and that we will be better of for doing so, "I'm not saying that where we are (in the EU) is perfect and can't be improved." I agree that the EU has huge issues but it will not be improved "from the inside". This is sadly a fantasy. It cannot even stop the ridiculous schlep to Strasbourg which everyone hates and which wastes millions...it is a dinosaur run by self interested bureucrats who believe a One Size Fits All policy can run the whole of Europe (well one size as long as it suits France and Germany...)
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                Comment


                  Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                  JP - totally get your position though I personally think we need to take the risk and that we will be better of for doing so
                  Well, at least it's going to be an interesting.

                  The 2020's aren't going to be my favourite decade, I can see that already.


                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    we certainly live in interesting times....I love the rollercoaster nature of politics at the moment. My son is studying Government and Politics at A Level. He must think it has always been this fascinating....
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      "this demonstrates is that they do not use their votes sensibly (voting for 'The Brexit Party' in EU elections being a prime example)".
                      Absolutely correct if you support Remain. Totally sensible if you support Brexit.
                      No. Voting to elect people who have demonstrated that they have complete disregard of the EU, and in many cases have already shown that they will rarely attend or vote in the EU parliament, to represent the UK's interests in the EU parliament is (at best) foolish regardless of your position on Brexit.
                      Doing so when they have produced no manifesto whatsoever and are standing solely on a single issue that they will be in no position to act on is just downright stupid.


                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      Maybe they cannot actually make it happen but it puts pressure in the right places. Look how many leadership candidates for the Conservatives now have a more "brexity" position.. it works.
                      Realistically it puts pressure on no one. Conservative leadership candidates were always going to be largely pro-Brexit because the leadership candidates themselves, and a large part of the parties voting base, are well off enough to ride through Brexit without being greatly affected by the negative effects.
                      If the Conservative leadership campaign took into account the way that people voted in the EU elections, after proper consideration of what the results actually show, it would lead to candidates who leaned towards remain - or at least supported another referendum.
                      All claims that the EU elections show support for leaving the EU are based on nothing but confirmation bias (I.e, people who already want to leave the EU seeing what they want in the results, not what the results actually show).


                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      As for the election after the Referendum it is disingenuous to state that the majority did not vote on the one issue (Brexit). Many voted differently than they had in their whole lives because of this issue.
                      I would say that it is as disingenuous to say that the majority did vote on a single issue. Brexit was certainly a very significant issue (which just shows that the voters in the UK really don't know what they are voting for), but it was certainly not the only issue that people considered.


                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      As for a party changing direction "if the majority of the public withdrarw their support for a particular position" I agree entirely.
                      I'm glad.


                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      It is clear that the majority support Brexit so the Conservatives will have to move from a wishy washy rubbish trade agreement to a harder Brexit. You will not agree of course but you have no more right to say the majority support Remain than I have to say the majority support Brexit,
                      On the contrary, it is far from clear that the majority support Brexit, and ALL current indications point to the opposite.
                      All recent opinion polls (for about the last 12 months) have found the public to favour remain and/or to consider the 2016 referendum result to have been the wrong decision.
                      Swings in recent elections have largely favoured parties that support Brexit, with those who are not considered to be taking a clear side losing out (although, of course, other issues also affect the vote).

                      I am aware that you will claim that opinion polls before the referendum showed that remain was favoured, but the reality is that this isn't really true. Opinion polls prior to the 2016 referendum showed that support for remain/leave was very variable, and fairly close, with about 20% of respondents consistently stating that they were undecided. Immediately before the election 'leave' showed a very clear upturn as the percentage of 'don't knows' fell.
                      This is not what is being seen now. The polls now show consistent support for remain with a much lower percentage of 'don't knows' (around 10%). The margin is still narrow, and could still potentially go either way if another referendum was held, but they is most definitely not "clear majority support for Brexit" as you falsely claim.


                      The politics that we are currently seeing are certainly interesting, but the real interest requires a more in depth analysis than simply concluding: "the Brexit Party did well so that means that the majority support remain".

                      Comment


                        I love this! You actually use the "add up the votes" argument to make the losers win. Add the Conservatives to the Brexit party and the Remainers lose - but that does not fit the narrative so you don't. Simply wonderful.

                        You really did write "voters in the UK really don't know what they are voting for" Oh dear dear dear...the old "all leavers are stupid racists who did not know what they were voting for" argument. I thought we were beyond that here - clearly not. At least it gave me a laugh

                        As for everyone now wanting Brexit I did not claim that at all - it does help to read a post before you react sir! I said that I had no more right to say that than you had to say that the majority are for remain. Neither stance is correct. We just do not know. Except you seem to. And be 100% sure that the majority want remain now. I am happy for you in your bubble of certainty.

                        Anyway Macromia I am pleased that my views stirred you to write this response and I enjoyed reading it very much - it certainly cheered up my day! I didn't think people on here would use the "add up the losers votes" and "did not know what they were voting for" stances...it was quite nice to see those old chestnuts resurface. Old familiar friends so to speak. It is clear that your love for the EU and hatred of Brexit is passionate and genuine and that, at least, is commendable.
                        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                        Comment


                          Firstly, to correct an error in my last post...
                          The final word in post 475 should read "leave".



                          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                          I love this! You actually use the "add up the votes" argument to make the losers win. Add the Conservatives to the Brexit party and the Remainers lose - but that does not fit the narrative so you don't. Simply wonderful.
                          And then where would you put the votes for Labour (taking into account the fact that polls of party members now strongly favour remain)?
                          It is the swing FROM the Conservatives and Labour that is of interest here, and whether the votes that they lost went to pro-Brexit or pro-remain parties.


                          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                          You really did write "voters in the UK really don't know what they are voting for"
                          Yes, I "really did".
                          The EU elections were to elect representatives, who will look after the UK's interests, to the EU parliament. They were not a vote to assess peoples opinions on whether or not the UK should leave the EU.
                          A minimum of just over a third of those who voted clearly didn't understand this because they voted for a 'party' that has no interest in representing the UK as part of the EU.
                          Again, whether or not you want to leave UK to leave the EU should not have been a consideration in this election, the election was for UK representatives while we are still in the EU. It's very simple.


                          [QUOTE=islandgirl;n1068668]Oh dear dear dear...the old "all leavers are stupid racists who did not know what they were voting for" argument. I thought we were beyond that here - clearly not. At least it gave me a laugh
                          Who said anything about racists, let alone "all leavers" being in that demographic?

                          Do you think that people voted for the party that they thought best represented the UK's interests while we are in the UK, and would best represent those interests, or do you think that they voted based on their opinion on Brexit (something that the elected MEP's have no power to enact)?
                          One of these indicates that the voter understood what they were voting for, the other reallyiq stupid.


                          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                          As for everyone now wanting Brexit I did not claim that at all - it does help to read a post before you react sir! I said that I had no more right to say that than you had to say that the majority are for remain. Neither stance is correct. We just do not know. Except you seem to. And be 100% sure that the majority want remain now. I am happy for you in your bubble of certainty.
                          Umm...
                          I have not claimed the you are suggesting that everyone now wants Brexit (I don't think anyone would be foolish enough to claim that - well, very few people anyway!), neither have I claimed to be 100% sure that the majority now want remain. I know what you said, and that is what I responded to. To quote my response (with emphasis added by underlining):
                          • "I would say that it is asdisingenuous to say that the majoritydidvote on a single issue."
                          • "The polls now show consistent support for remain with a much lower percentage of 'don't knows' (around 10%). The margin is still narrow, and could still potentially go either way if another referendum was held,but they is most definitely not "clear majority support for Brexit" as you falsely claim."


                          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                          Anyway Macromia I am pleased that my views stirred you to write this response and I enjoyed reading it very much - it certainly cheered up my day! I didn't think people on here would use the "add up the losers votes" and "did not know what they were voting for" stances...it was quite nice to see those old chestnuts resurface. Old familiar friends so to speak. It is clear that your love for the EU and hatred of Brexit is passionate and genuine and that, at least, is commendable.
                          Many people don't try to oversimplify politics and understand that, when people are not voting on the basis of a single, binary issue, votes for more than one party can justifiably be considered together if the intention is to reduce the outcome to just one issue.

                          As for the "people didn't understand what they were voting for" argument - have you given seriously consideration to how well the UK's interests will be represented now if we don't leave the EU very soon?

                          Comment


                            Well I read all that and there was, sadly, nothing new. So that is a few moments of my life I will never get back. Thank you Macromia for bothering - you really needn't have done so though. Look forward to reading a post from you when you have something new to say. Till then bon nuit mon ami!
                            Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                            Comment


                              The fundamental issue with the EU elections is that you can interpret the results any way you want.

                              I think you have to regard any vote for the Brexit party as a positive indication of a preference for leaving, as it's, otherwise, a pointless vote (for someone who won't be any use as an MEP and the voters must realise that at least).

                              I don't see how you can view the increased votes for the LibDems and Greens as anything specific. It's possibly a vote for remain and it's possibly a vote for Not Labout and Not Conservative but I still want to vote. Or some of both.

                              The remain parties gained more seats than the brexit parties, but only if you exclude Labour and the Conservatives. And, if you do that, you look to be fiddling the figures to me, you can't just decide that two major parties are irrelevant.

                              Only 37% of the electorate bothered to vote, so it's hardly the pulse of the nation anyway.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                                Well I read all that and there was, sadly, nothing new.
                                There really isn't anything new to say, it's unfortunate that it seems necessary to repeat things.



                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                The fundamental issue with the EU elections is that you can interpret the results any way you want.
                                Perhaps not "any way that you want" but, like most election results they are open to a great deal of interpretation.
                                I understand that but a lot of people apparently don't.

                                ​​​​​​​
                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                I think you have to regard any vote for the Brexit party as a positive indication of a preference for leaving, as it's, otherwise, a pointless vote (for someone who won't be any use as an MEP and the voters must realise that at least).
                                Voters should realise that voting for The Brexit Party is pointless as anything other than a protest vote, but unfortunately the number of people who seem to think that the UK results of the EU elections mean that the UK will definitely be leaving the EU very soon suggests otherwise.
                                I do agree that votes for The Brexit Party indicate a strong preference for leaving the EU for those who voted for them.

                                ​​​​​​​
                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                I don't see how you can view the increased votes for the LibDems and Greens as anything specific. It's possibly a vote for remain and it's possibly a vote for Not Labout and Not Conservative but I still want to vote. Or some of both.
                                I agree - but I haven't argued that elections are decided on single issues. However, if it is being claimed that the EU elections results are indicative of a single issue (Brexit), as many leavers want to do, votes for the LibDems, Greens, etc. have to be treated as support for remain.

                                ​​​​​​​
                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                The remain parties gained more seats than the brexit parties, but only if you exclude Labour and the Conservatives. And, if you do that, you look to be fiddling the figures to me, you can't just decide that two major parties are irrelevant.
                                Labour and the Conservatives are generally excluded because it is much harder to place the position held by their voters.
                                It would definitely not be realistic to treat votes for both parties as votes supporting Brexit as nearly 90% of Labour members have apparently indicated that they want the party to support remain, and Conservative voters seem to be split between a hard Brexit, a soft Brexit with a deal or remain.
                                Votes for the Conservatives could be treated as largely on the side of Brexit, but those for Labour would then have to be treated as largely on the side of remain - which would still put remain ahead if the elections were decided on a single issue.

                                The UK publics position regarding Brexit is strongly divided and there is no reason to believe that this is going to change anytime soon. That is what the results of the EU elections and all other voting/polls in the last 5 years that can even tenuously be linked to Brexit show.

                                ​​​​​​​
                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                Only 37% of the electorate bothered to vote, so it's hardly the pulse of the nation anyway.
                                Yes, but that's a fairly typical turnout for UK voters in EU elections. People don't vote (or vote for parties who won't bother to represent them) and then claim that the EU is unelected and doesn't represent them.
                                What does that say about the majority of UK voters?

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