EU referendum

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Re: EU referendum

Postby ronjanec on June 26th, 2016, 1:05 pm 

Paul Anthony » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:23 am wrote:Sore losers or perseverance? Over 3 million people have signed a petition calling for another referendum.

Their justification is, there should be a rule that says in referendums with less than 75 percent turnout (Thursday's vote was 72.2 percent), there should be another referendum unless a decision is reached by more than 60 percent of those voting.

Attempting to change the rules after the vote is taken as a means of justifying another vote is...well that's not how laws work, is it?

The Brits have officially lost their right to call their American cousins "stupid". :)


Yeah, CNN has been talking about this(and really promoting this story) since Saturday, and calling this "Regrexit"(as in, I regret my previous vote for "Leave", and now want to change my vote) TPTB never go down without a fight.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby TheVat on June 26th, 2016, 5:25 pm 

In the US, a voter turnout of 72% would cause mass swooning, or possibly cardiac arrest, of election commissioners. I can see that, as a general thing, decisions of such magnitude should require more than a mere plurality. But that barn door needed shutting before the cows got out.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 26th, 2016, 7:05 pm 

sponge » June 25th, 2016, 9:20 pm wrote:I agree with you about the prejudices and preconceptions that many people had towards Leavers. It was as if you were automatically labelled a far right racists if you dared to voice any concerns about the increasing population or cultural differences.

Paul Anthony » June 25th, 2016, 9:36 pm wrote:Again, the parallels between the sentiments of the British and Americans is uncanny. Nor is this sentiment exclusive to just the UK and the US. Those who have pushed for a world without borders may have pushed too far, too fast.

Yep, and I haven't (and wouldn't) argued for reducing inward migration at any point. That those trying to sympathise with me say "yeah, exactly, you're not racist for opposing immigration" is a better illustration of my point than any opponent could have provided.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Watson on June 27th, 2016, 12:31 pm 

Is the government bound by the absolute announced outcome? If this was an election, no doubt there would be calls for a recount or other scrutiny or back room type of maneuvering. With something as serious as this, and by an apparently uninformed public, the government could and should be listening to the whole of the country on balance, and take it under advisement. Instead of putting the full weight of the decision on a such a small percent voters, who would likely wish to change their vote anyway.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 27th, 2016, 12:56 pm 

Watson » June 27th, 2016, 5:31 pm wrote:Is the government bound by the absolute announced outcome?

Referenda are not legally binding, and like all laws and motions they await the approval of Queen Elizabeth II. The process by which we leave the union (beginning with the invocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, or the "triggering" of it, as our illiterate political and journalistic classes have been saying) takes two years and, formally speaking, only necessitates renegotiation. But I think it would be unwise of the Conservative party to so clearly and publicly flaunt its disrespect for democracy by ignoring the obvious wishes of the voting majority.

The several million voters who are showing their contempt for democracy by petitioning, after the fact, for the rules on referenda to be changed (and showing their extremely conservative nature, by suggesting that a departure from the status quo ought to require a supermajority) are likely to be ignored. I'm particularly pleased that government petitions are not taken too seriously by parliament, because the first one ever to receive enough signatures to be motioned was a call for the return of the death penalty.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby sponge on June 27th, 2016, 1:09 pm 

Lomax » June 26th, 2016, 6:05 pm wrote:
sponge » June 25th, 2016, 9:20 pm wrote:I agree with you about the prejudices and preconceptions that many people had towards Leavers. It was as if you were automatically labelled a far right racists if you dared to voice any concerns about the increasing population or cultural differences.

Paul Anthony » June 25th, 2016, 9:36 pm wrote:Again, the parallels between the sentiments of the British and Americans is uncanny. Nor is this sentiment exclusive to just the UK and the US. Those who have pushed for a world without borders may have pushed too far, too fast.

Yep, and I haven't (and wouldn't) argued for reducing inward migration at any point. That those trying to sympathise with me say "yeah, exactly, you're not racist for opposing immigration" is a better illustration of my point than any opponent could have provided.


Hey Lomax, hang on. I don’t think you can judge my thinking by that quote of mine. My own reasons for voting as I did were based on much more complex issues, I was simply responding to your comment about the way Leavers were perceived. Anyway, I never said you opposed immigration or that I do. In fact, I don’t oppose immigration or resent immigrants. I was merely agreeing with your point that Leavers were perceived as such because of quite legitimate concerns about the pressures of the housing crisis and the state of the NHS. Maybe some government investment in house building and the NHS over the past thirty years could have avoided these worries and negated the Brexit argument about it.

You brought up the question of cultural differences yourself when discussing the Scots and English.

Incidentally, my own voting decision was based purely on the questions of democracy and sovereignty, not because I hate foreigners but because, as a woman, I know the value of democracy and what it cost my ancestors to achieve it and I felt this government was not fighting hard enough to keep it safe. I don’t think I have ever been as conflicted as I was over this poll and, despite what you may assume about me, I put an awful lot of thought into my decision.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 27th, 2016, 1:31 pm 

sponge » June 27th, 2016, 6:09 pm wrote:Hey Lomax, hang on. I don’t think you can judge my thinking by that quote of mine. My own reasons for voting as I did were based on much more complex issues, I was simply responding to your comment about the way Leavers were perceived. Anyway, I never said you opposed immigration or that I do. In fact, I don’t oppose immigration or resent immigrants. I was merely agreeing with your point that Leavers were perceived as such

Okay, mea culpa. Having got sloppy about my previous habit of reading way back before responding, I hadn't spotted the connection. Anyway I rather mean to say that the Leave movement wasn't entirely immigration-focused at all; I have never heard gripes (xenophobic or otherwise) about migration from (for instance) Owen Jones or Philippe Legrain, both of whom I think it would be accurate to describe as highly cosmopolitan and pro-immigration. These are the types of public commentator who probably swayed, I think, a small portion of the internationalist Left and therefore, potentially, the referendum outcome. But it has seemed impossible to get anybody to address their (or my, similar) concerns, which has the effect of giving the impression there is no good reply to be made.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby sponge on June 27th, 2016, 2:05 pm 

Sure, I think the Leave campaign got wrapped up with UKip despite their efforts to distance themselves.

Right now I'm more concerned about the way the politicians appear more worried about their own opinions and/or jobs than pulling the country together and reassuring businesses and the money markets about the future. The way even top political figures are still arguing their case and reiterating their warnings smacks of the old political elite establishment that probably had more influence on the outcome than all the other issues put together.

On the news this evening, business leaders in the north of England and farmers in the midlands were all expressing their frustration and anger at the lack of leadership of the politicians. As one put it, 'Our concerns have been ignored for years and, despite a democratic vote, they are still ignoring us and, because it didn't suit them, are blaming us for answering the question that they posed.'
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 27th, 2016, 6:58 pm 

Is this credible? It sounds more like conspiracy theory than actual conspiracy.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/683739/EU-referendum-German-French-European-superstate-Brexit?AID=7236
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Whut on June 27th, 2016, 8:57 pm 

I don't think calling for a second referendum should be viewed as undemocratic. It was not a general election. It is essentially the public giving their formal opinion on the issue.

There is nothing undemocratic about asking the public if they still hold the same opinion. If the public's opinion may have dramatically swayed during the shake-up of the last few days then perhaps it could be argued that it's the government's duty to double check before making such an important decision about the future.

Regarding the petition, I think the exact terms such as the 60% requirement are probably not that important really. It's just the petition to do with a second referendum that happened to go viral on social media - although I certainly don't wish speak for anyone who signed it. Just a feeling.

I do think a second referendum would be very damaging however. We should go ahead with Brexit. Not because it would be the so-called democratic thing to do, but because the damage has already been done. My biggest concern about how this has all played out is how divisive, extreme and ill-informed it has generally been - on both sides. There is always some disagreement and passion surrounding politics but this is different from my experience. The whole debate has been accompanied some kind of widespread sourness. As if it had been festering for years and has finally bubbled over. This political culture is now a stark reality for the UK and a lot precedents have already been set - no matter what the outcome of a second referendum might be.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 27th, 2016, 9:08 pm 

Whut » June 28th, 2016, 1:57 am wrote:I don't think calling for a second referendum should be viewed as undemocratic. It was not a general election. It is essentially the public giving their formal opinion on the issue.

There is nothing undemocratic about asking the public if they still hold the same opinion. If the public's opinion may have dramatically swayed during the shake-up of the last few days then perhaps it could be argued that it's the government's duty to double check before making such an important decision about the future.

Well, to illustrate the point: do you think there would be many signatures - from the same people - for a third referendum, if the second referendum yielded a majority for Remain?
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Whut on June 27th, 2016, 9:37 pm 

Lomax » June 28th, 2016, 2:08 am wrote:
Whut » June 28th, 2016, 1:57 am wrote:I don't think calling for a second referendum should be viewed as undemocratic. It was not a general election. It is essentially the public giving their formal opinion on the issue.

There is nothing undemocratic about asking the public if they still hold the same opinion. If the public's opinion may have dramatically swayed during the shake-up of the last few days then perhaps it could be argued that it's the government's duty to double check before making such an important decision about the future.

Well, to illustrate the point: do you think there would be many signatures - from the same people - for a third referendum, if the second referendum yielded a majority for Remain?


No. So I guess it's like asking for the goal posts be moved?

I don't think that necessarily means that it's just signed by people who voted to remain and want a second chance though. There seems to be a significant number of undecided voters who never truly realized the implications of the referendum until after it was all said and done. The whole thing has come across as quite irresponsible to me really. The general feeling I get is that there is a worryingly large amount of people who seem to be surprised that this ended up being as serious as it is, and never really understood what it was really all about to begin with. Although I will grant that's basically anecdotal.

For what it's worth, I'd wager that remain would take the majority if it was run another two times. Not that it would do the country much good though. Things have been shaken up now and it's best to just go with it I think.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 27th, 2016, 10:11 pm 

Lomax » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:08 pm wrote:
Well, to illustrate the point: do you think there would be many signatures - from the same people - for a third referendum, if the second referendum yielded a majority for Remain?


Human nature is sometimes fun to observe. Many of the people who tout the advantages of "democracy" and "majority rules" are shocked to learn they are not in the majority. :)
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Re: EU referendum

Postby TheVat on June 28th, 2016, 12:29 am 



Ya think? ;-)

When Merkel starts wearing a black cape and face mask, and telekinetically choking people, then I will worry.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Eclogite on June 28th, 2016, 1:59 am 

In a democracy the people get the kind of government they deserve. It is a curse equivalent to the Chinese "May you live interesting times."
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 28th, 2016, 1:07 pm 

As an American, I have always viewed the EU with awe and amusement. They have attempted to unite a group of sovereign nations that have long histories of hating each other. Despite that major obstacle, they have managed to create more unity than exists in the US, which has taken over 200 years to accomplish. And yet, the US is not as united as Europe in some ways.

We have freedom of movement between the 50 states, a benefit not truly gained until after we had fought a civil war. The federal government has worked tirelessly to unify the laws across all the states with less success than the EU already has. Until very recently, gay marriage was legal in some states but not recognized in many others. We still don't have consistent gun laws in all states, with some states agreeing to reciprocity but others willing to confiscate weapons from travelers who own them legally in their home states.

It has taken 200+ years to unite colonies - not formerly sovereign nations (with the exception of Texas). I am not surprised when a former empire demonstrates some resistance to the efforts of the EU. I am only surprised it doesn't happen more often.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 28th, 2016, 1:30 pm 

You do your country down, Paul Anthony. Of Europe's 50 states only 28 have united, and only 22 of those share freedom of movement. Its largest mainland country - its Texas, if you like - never joined, and its second richest country - its New York, if you like - is leaving. The EU has coped for decades, not centuries, and much of the credit it gets for creating peace, it owes to its military agreements with US (I am speaking of NATO). In spite of this, there was a war and attempted annexation and ethnic cleansing between several European states (Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia, and the Republic of Macedonia) only 21 years ago. Europe still has a dictatorship (Belarus) and two probably nascent ones (Russia and Turkey). The colonies which you faintly praise the US for uniting were colonies of the very assortment of hostile nations you more strongly praise my continent for having belatedly brought together.

And while doing your country down, you do my country up. Britain is not a former empire. Elizabeth II is the head of 53 states.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 28th, 2016, 1:40 pm 

Lomax » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:30 am wrote:

Britain is not a former empire. Elizabeth II is the head of 53 states.


I meant no disrespect. Rather, I merely point out that an empire does not voluntarily become subsumed by another entity. By severing its relationship with the EU, the UK can once again be called a proper empire. :)
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 28th, 2016, 1:42 pm 

Ha, well I meant to say you don't mean enough disrespect. Monarchy and imperialism are not, to me, attractive traits.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 28th, 2016, 2:28 pm 

Lomax » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:42 am wrote:Ha, well I meant to say you don't mean enough disrespect. Monarchy and imperialism are not, to me, attractive traits.


I share the same disrespect for the imperial empire the US has become.

If one is opposed to empire building, should one celebrate when a former empire becomes part of an even larger one?

For better or for worse, smaller nation-states (for lack of a better word) can be laboratories for change, or at least for experimentation. Unification of those states brings conformity and an end to exploration of other methods of organization. Personally, I'd like Washington, DC to stop trying to make all 50 states (and the rest of the world) conform. Allow every state to be as liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, progressive or whatever else each can imagine. Only then can we determine which, if any, is the better plan.

Meanwhile, different forms of governance need not prevent free trade between otherwise independent states. In order to protect that free trade, and to prevent one from intervening with another, a loose federation is beneficial. But one that limits its own tendency to intervene in internal politics. That is what our Founders had in mind so very long ago. Unfortunately, "we've come a long way, baby".
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 28th, 2016, 2:47 pm 

Quite so: the EU does a good job of making enemies of liberals, libertarians and socialists alike when it forces austerity on 19 countries, indefinitely. I am not sure if I can tell who you are referring to as a former empire joining a larger one, though.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 28th, 2016, 2:59 pm 

I have to add that the following statement

Paul Anthony » June 28th, 2016, 7:28 pm wrote:Personally, I'd like Washington, DC to stop trying to make all 50 states (and the rest of the world) conform. Allow every state to be as liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, progressive or whatever else each can imagine.

will haunt you for the rest of my tenure here, because what you say is by definition not libertarianism, only revanchist antifederalism.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 28th, 2016, 3:37 pm 

Lomax » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:59 am wrote:I have to add that the following statement

Paul Anthony » June 28th, 2016, 7:28 pm wrote:Personally, I'd like Washington, DC to stop trying to make all 50 states (and the rest of the world) conform. Allow every state to be as liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, progressive or whatever else each can imagine.

will haunt you for the rest of my tenure here, because what you say is by definition not libertarianism, only revanchist antifederalism.


So be it. I'm not a card-carrying member of the LIbertarian Party. I just lean libertarian. :)

I can trace both my anti-establishment attitude and my doubts about democracy to an ill-advised effort to teach those things by my High School's administration.

Midway through my Junior year, we moved to a new school built to resolve the overcrowded conditions that had existed in Warwick's only HS. The administration asked us to vote for a name for "our" new school. We chose "Warwick North". Shortly after the vote, the administration announced the new name: Pilgrim High School.

Oblivious to their own hypocrisy, they then asked us to choose a name for our school team. We chose "The Rebels" because we would now be competing with the school we had left, much like the Pilgrims had left England. Despite the outcome of the vote, we became the "Pilgrim Patriots". Patriots! If the Pilgrims had been patriots they would have stayed in England!

Still determined to teach us the benefits of democracy, they asked us to name the street that ran in front of the school. I don't remember what we chose, or if we even bothered to vote since, by that time, no one cared. Thus it came to pass that I graduated from Pilgrim HS, home of the Pilgrim Patriots, located on Pilgrim Parkway.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 28th, 2016, 4:07 pm 

Having enrolled at Leeds Metropolitan University, studied briefly at The Carnegie Club, and graduated from Leeds Beckett University (located on Beckett Park), I can sympathise. A large student protest did at least ensure that the most nauseating of those three names didn't stick.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby BadgerJelly on June 29th, 2016, 3:32 am 

Which is the most nauseating and why?
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Re: EU referendum

Postby TheVat on June 29th, 2016, 9:11 am 

I wondered about that, too. Heh.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Lomax on June 29th, 2016, 10:08 am 

Does anybody really want to have graduated from a club rather than a university?
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Re: EU referendum

Postby TheVat on June 29th, 2016, 12:52 pm 

Ah. I didn't quite catch, from first reading, that the Club was the same place as the others listed. No doubt, my mind recoiled in disbelief that anyone would slap such a label on a university, and tried to change the meaning of the sentence. Somehow, I read it as you attending a Leeds university under two different names, with some sort of break at a think tank for golf science or something. This is what comes of reading posts while distracted by a cat. (she has a new routine now, when she finds that the waterbowl is no longer as fresh as she likes - first, she tries friendly gestures like head-butting, tail-swiping, and bell-like calls - after these are ignored, she has learned that gently biting my big toe will draw more attention....)
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Re: EU referendum

Postby BadgerJelly on June 29th, 2016, 1:37 pm 

I've been to Leeds!

Note: Remark for viewers of Vic and Bob.
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Re: EU referendum

Postby Paul Anthony on June 29th, 2016, 2:02 pm 

Braininvat » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:52 am wrote: This is what comes of reading posts while distracted by a cat. (she has a new routine now, when she finds that the waterbowl is no longer as fresh as she likes - first, she tries friendly gestures like head-butting, tail-swiping, and bell-like calls - after these are ignored, she has learned that gently biting my big toe will draw more attention....)


Not as distracting as a cat laying on the keyboard with her head on the mouse. I have two furry friends, and they have decided to ignore the water bowl entirely, preferring the toilet. Although I despise the habit I must acknowledge the logic of their decision. The water in the toilet is refreshed several times a day, whenever it is flushed. Cats are not stupid.
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