Pat Condell speaks about DEMOCRACY

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#2
WoW
He certainly got My thoughts in there !.
Who knows, perhaps some of the Expats will return back to Blighty.
But wait for the dust to settle & see what the pollies have dropped the people into.
I don't think we will get all we asked for but will get what the hierarchy wants to get for their own nest.
spacesailor
 

Phil Perry

Well-Known Member
#4
Paddy Ashdown has died today. I never agreed with his politics ( Liberal Democrat ) but the man was bang on about Democracy.

Here he is being interviewed towards the end of the Brexit vote counting, when it could have gone either way. Sound quality not good.

 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#5
The biggest enemies of the democratic process are misinformation deliberately put out and outright corruption. Once the people lose the right to change a government by voting, it becomes a Dictatorship (inevitably a corrupt one) it ultimately becomes necessary to do it by force as has been the case all down through history.. Democracy is a human rights issue too .The "rights" have to be defined and protected by genuine and effective laws and a system of affordable justice available to all equally..
Tell the people the truth. by a genuine free press and have an open and accountable government. . At election time Hold a verifiable, fair and honest ballot and abide by the results. No one dies, and the people have the final say and the result is accepted. and respected by all.. How civilized, compared to what may happen other wise.
Churchill famously said. Democracy is the worst system EXCEPT for ALL the others. Nev
 
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Yenn

Well-Known Member
#6
There are a few democracies in the world, but the USA is not one of them. Just look at todays news if you want proof. One man with power can totally stuff up the government of the country, resulting in some people having to work for no wages and a lot more just not working in civil service jobs.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#7
" Once the people lose the right to change a government by voting, it becomes a Dictatorship (inevitably a corrupt one)"
Australian Republic system, El Presidente, picked by the pollies for the polies.
What quick way to line the polies pockets .
spacesailor
 

Marty_d

Well-Known Member
#8
" Once the people lose the right to change a government by voting, it becomes a Dictatorship (inevitably a corrupt one)"
Australian Republic system, El Presidente, picked by the pollies for the polies.
What quick way to line the polies pockets .
spacesailor
The USA has El Presidente picked by the people (well, by the electoral colleges anyway) and look how that turned out.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#10
The USA has El Presidente picked by the people (well, by the electoral colleges anyway) and look how that turned out.
The American experience is certainly worth keeping in mind when those of us here wish for a Republic. I think if we ever go that way, it's important that we never have a president with more power than the GG currently has. I've always been a believer that the power should be concentrated in the parliament as representatives of the people.

Maybe the best alternative would be to keep a constitutional monarchy but break ties with the UK and appoint an Australian monarch. In Queensland, we already have the King, Wally Lewis, the greatest footballer who ever donned a pair of footy boots, but possibly he wouldn't be acceptable on a national scale due to the difference in codes. Alternatively, we're already used to a queen, so maybe Kath from Kath and Kim could be Queen Kath the 1st., Australia's first true monarch. With a monarch here in Australia, we could dispense with the GG to save a quid and possibly the state governors as well. I'm sure Kath could handle that work load.

It might sound ridiculous, but it would still be a better system than the American one.
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#14
The Republican referendum that Howard put up was destined to fail. One sticking point was that a lot of the population wanted a popularly elected leader to deliver an all powerful Trump like presidency.

Howard told us it was a minimalist proposal, ie: just scrub out GG & Queen and write in President. Unfortunately, Howard was having a bob each way. He didn't want a Republic, but if the referendum passed, he wanted to shift more power to the PM. At the time I had a copy of the constitution, so was able to cross check the proposed changes that they mailed out. On a few of them, the wording Governor General was replaced with Prime Minister, not President as we were told.

Probably the worst one was the power of the Prime Minister to sack the President. He could do this without providing reason to Parliament, who had a set time in which to approve or not approve the PM's call. But here's the kicker: even if the Parliament didn't ratify the President's sacking, the Prime Minister was under no legal requirement to reinstate the sacked President. In other words, the PM could unilaterally get rid of any President without providing reason. Howard was a tricky little chap.

That's not compatible with a popularly elected President, but the problem with popular election is that the President then has a political mandate and we're in that US style of semi dictatorship posing as democracy. It's quite interesting looking at polls taken among young people about democracy. I think it's getting towards a majority of them think we don't need democracy.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#15
Instead of "Republic" Lets have a "Constitutional-Democracy" CD for short,
By the people for the people.
President, Let the original Australian's (Aboriginal) select our NON Political Leader from their group.
Should please half the population, and the war in their sector should only use Spears & hand weapons.
JAN 26th "PRESIDENT-SELECTION-DAY" let war commence !.
What a show for the world leader's.
spacesailor
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#16
Willedoo, the young have an innate sense of justice that diminshes as self interest kicks in under the advertising "must have to be happy /look successful" syndrome and they become materialistic. Democracy has to be explained to them, and I'm sure they would agree with the principle. What they judge it on is what they see and experience..so called (corrupted) democracy and they see it's NOT working . There's a lot of people who don't want democracy unless they can manipulate it, and then of course, it's not democracy anymore, is it? USA is now a good example of that so America can no longer hold itself up as the" Way To Be". for the rest of the World to aspire to copy.. America colonises by trade deals that overule elected governments.policies. The courts do what guns did once. Nev
 
#17
OK - I have finally got around to this thread...

On Pat Condell's diatribe (you can guess where I am going)....

I agree with quite a bit of it - where he spouts fact rather than rhetoric.. It was the people's vote and a majority (although slim, not too slim in relative terms of elections - where less than 1% often dictates an outright majority) did vote to leave. And I absolutely agree with him - out means out.. The question was very stark - do you want in or out.. no out with a little bit of in; or out with a lot of in.. it was simply out. And that is what was the people (who could be bovvered turning up - btw, it was the largest voter turnout in an eon) voted by a 4% margin to leave. And, I agree that the government made very clear that it would honour the will of the majority of the voters.. And I agree.. a lot of pollies are pursuing what they want over what their electorate want.. which is hardly representative of whom they were elected by to act on their behalf. In all of this, I vehemently stand by him..

But...

I would never subscribe to the reasoning he has given - in the video at least... And, Phil - one of the great things about the country we live in - and the other country we love and would live in if it weren't for family (in my case who changed their mind at the last minute) - and even of those countries accused of not having a democracy and free speech, such as the US, is that we can have different views and we can fight for what we believe in - no matter how marginal any support may be for us...

And this is where Pat Condell's video worries me..

Firstly, he has accused the EU of may failures - without giving one anecdotal piece of evidence, let alone statistics to back up his assertions. Lots of claim, but no evidence (verifiable or otherwise), is exactly the same as our favourite leader of the free world - Trump. In fact, a lot of what he says is not quite true at all. There has been no benefit of joining the EU; we didn't vote to be ruled by the ECJ, etc etc.. are clearly untrue as the UK has prospered (at least for a long time) under the EU and the ECJ was there at the time Britain joined the EU - like it or lump it. The assertion that member states of the EU are without boundaries is also untrue - each member state can do what they like with respect to immigration from non-EU countries - and I find it ironic that non-EU migration has always been slightly higher (until recently, where it is materially higher) than EU immigration - non-EU immigration to the UK is the sole responsibility of the home office - no EU legal requirement (although with the Syrian conflict, there has been pressure to take the on - only Germany acceded).

And of the question of lack of democracy - well - surely one of the tenets of democracy is that people have the freedom to fight and ask of the people to endorse or implement whatever thy are fighting for. To say, "hey - we won a vote and after two years of negotiation, it doesn't look quite as good as we thought it would, but hey, we're going to do it anyway.." or if there was a perceptible shift in public opinion, then surely that would open up the idea of a second referendum (or lets call a referendum for what it should be - a vote). Otherwise, it would be like saying, at one arbitrary general election - we voted in the LNP and we will never have a vote on it again.. don't care what public think about the LNP and its government - it is here to stay ad infinitum. Having said that I haven't seen a perceptible change in public opinion so I wouldn't support a second referendum - but that is a different reason to Condell's.

The idea that the EU is not a democracy is lamentable at best.. In fact, I can give many reasons why the EU is more democratic than the UK.. Lets look at reality: The European Council decides the political direction - or strategy - of the EU. It is made up of the elected heads of all EU member states. Democratically elected. The European parliament - of which Nigel Farage is a member of (or at least was) - is the law making body of the EU (yes, the commission has some law making ability in the same way as any UK government department can make secondary legislation). Guess what - Euopean members of parliament are directly elected by the people of the EU including the UK - not appointed by someone arbitrarily as Condell suggests.

The European Commission is the civil/public service arm of the EU. They are not elected directly by the people in the same way civil/public servants are not elected by people in Britain nor Australia. They are appointed as per normal employment appointments with one notable exception - executive positions of the EU are required to be appointed by the European Council - those people elected by each individual state to head their respective states. The commission are responsible for many administrative functions, including the review of operations of the EU and recommended legal changes - that they draft and submit to the council for approval and then then parliament for passing into law. This is no different to any other civil/public service - except for one notable exception - they are the only function that can propose legislative changes to the parliament - which is why the allegation the EU is undemocratic is levelled at them. And, this is not entirely unjustified based on the Nigel Farge contention that a member of the European Parliament (MEP) cannot introduce their own private members bill. However, this is clutching at straws a bit, because the commission is compelled to receive what amounts to private members bills and then apply the rigours of legal draftsmanship to ensure they are properly framed and therefore can be considered fit for debate by the parliament. Of course, it can be argued that the commission can word anything they receive in such a way that it will achieve their political aims (or at least mitigate the damage to their political aims) before it is submitted to parliament. And there may be truth in this.. I will have to do some research... But, the reality is the parliament can dismiss the whole of the commission - and it effectively did in 1999.. where the whole of the commission resigned because the parliament basically said do that or suffer being sacked.

Also, unlike the UK, the EU is governed by the written treaties of the EU, passed by the council - or the heads of EU member states, democratically elected by the EU peoples to represent their interests. The UK has no constitution (despite what legal professors will say).. Oh yes - it has a body of constitutional law - but even as the EU referendum has proved - there is no compulsion of parliament to follow the declared will of the people - unlike a country with a written constitution (and a military ready to back it up).. The UK voted out without condition - that is looking like it is in the hand and heart of the leader of the minority government rather than a substantive constitution. The treaties govern what can happen in the EU as a written constitution - and they have been restricted by the ECJ on numerous occasions by attempting to exceed their licence. All we can do in the UK is pursue a very expensive process of a judicial review - which basically in a review of how the government came to a decision on something and if deemed outside existing administrative laws is referred back to the secretary of state of whatever department it affects for consideration - therein nothing the courts can do to compel the government to do anything - just review it.

Unfortunately Condell does not proffer examples of a lack of democracy of the EU.. But let me compare and contrast to the UK.. The UK has, allegedly, like Australia, a bi-cameral system of parliament. However, the upper house is effectively appointed by the government of the day (yes, previous appointments, by convention, are allowed to stay on). They are unelected and all but a very few are there for hereditatry reasons. Yet, as unelected members of a house, they are allowed to hold ministerial and secretary of state (very senior ministerial and usually cabinet) positions. The UK parliament cannot dismiss the civil service and when the House of Lords has an opinion, the Parliament Acts (1947 and I can't recall the other) can be invoked to override it, but it is the most passionate changes it is reserved for. Governments have, though, threatened to "flood the House of Lords" with their own peers to get things through. I don't think the same could happen in the EU. Therefore, the UK easily bypasses one of the main checks and controls of a bi-cameral system - which is why I call it a semi-cameral system. BTW, private members bills that go against the grain of the governing party has, on evidence, very little chance of succeeding. Ironically, I'm finding it difficult to find the stats for the UK, but in Australia, according to wikipedia, only 16 private members bills since 1901 have been successful.

I disagree with Rees-Mogg's assertion that a second referendum is OK.. for the reasons above - there doesn't appear to be a perceptible change in the will of he people.

Paddy Ashdown (RIP) is a bit like Sid Spindler (also RIP) - very pragmatic and integral. I agree with him - the will of the people - even if it is one more than 50% should be implemented. I did subscribe to the theory that a material constitutional change there should be a significant majority - but time and time again, the British population has subscribed to first past the post rather than proportional majority - so they should live by a simple majority vote.

Getting back to Pat Condell's video - agree with a lot of the sentiment but not the rationale - and I am happy to say I am not a far right person if that video is what represents being far right - not a bigot - but someone who would provide a thin veil of democracy and suppress any dissent from what has been decided.
 
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facthunter

Well-Known Member
#18
IF you trust Democracy and the process, you can't rule out re-voting (changing your mind) especially when a lot of important FACTS were not around (Deliberately) and not considered at the time. It's like more (critical) evidence in a Court situation.. Have a retrial or at least consider the OPTION.
This EXIT amounts to a Constitutional Change. (It's of that order and nature) so perhaps more than "1/2 plus one" of those who decide/bother to vote might reasonably have been required there IF people were Fair Dinkum. ? A good Australian concept which we and you United KINGDOM people might think about seriously if we want to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, and looking bloody silly to all and sundry.. At least the EU wasn't subject to a ruler by birth , even though it may be claimed Betty Windsor is a "not really" titular ruler and makes tourist Pounds.. I wouldn't like to put it to the test.
The "United Kingdom " certainly Isn't "united" on this one, so whatever happens nearly 1/2 won't like it. Ireland has a hard border problem and Scotland may stay in the EU. However you got there, it doesn't seem like a "nice' place to be. Saying it's all due to Teresa or making it her problem alone is absolute BS. You wouldn't need to be a genius to have anticipated this.. Nev
 
#19
IF you trust Democracy and the process, you can't rule out re-voting (changing your mind) especially when a lot of important FACTS were not around (Deliberately) and not considered at the time. It's like more (critical) evidence in a Court situation.. Have a retrial or at least consider the OPTION.
Nev, I absolutely agree with you on this one. In any democracy where an issue is voted for that requires a period of time to implement, a democratic check and balance should be allowed for, especially where the implementation markedly differs from what was proposed. However, the danger is what happened in Ireland - I can't recall what treaty it was for, but as it represented a constitutional change for Ireland to allow, it went to the vote and was lost. So the government sent it back to the vote another time.. and lost.. So the government sent it to the vote another time and requested the right answer. It finally passed (referendum fatigue?). This is also not democracy. The question is at what point to do you call another referendum. There are some things to consider in this case:
  • No referendum in the UK is binding - They are government sponsored opinion polls (much like the gay marriage vote in Aus, as I recall). However, the government were quite clear and unequivocal - they were going to implement the outcome of the vote. The will of the people was expressed under what effectively amounts to what legal academics call a "social contract." To not implement Brexit would be to violate the social contract (not unheard of in politics, I have to say).
  • Unfortunately, they didn't state the terms, however, the question was very stark Do you want the United Kingdom to exit the EU (or some such wording) with a clear Yes or No. I spent quite some time in the booth weighing it all up and could have stayed their all day. It did cross my mind that if I voted Yes, then be prepared for a rough ride as it has a good chance of a hard Brexit. And I agree with Pat Condell on this - most who voted out meant OUT - no transition period, no soft Brexit, etc. If anything, there probably should be a second referendum, should the current plan get through parliament, that says "Do you want to exit using the agreed plan or crash out and be on your own" as the latter is what the majority voted for. We can't compare how it is being implemented to how it was promised to be implemented to provide a justification as there were no promises.
  • If this were a court case, it would have been adjourned for a retrial on day 1. People were mixing this up with an election campaign. This reminds me, Pat is absolutely wrong that all the issues were thoroughly debated, etc. There were claims and counterclaims but no real issues were debated because the remain camp were so incompetent (and probably smug in the knowledge they were going to win). Very little evidence was provided to support either side, really. Brexiteers did, throughout the campaign state that there would be short term economic problems and then asserted facts about the amount being saved from the EU could be invested to mitigate the impact and of course, who could forget Boris' claim that some £350m/week could be pumped into the National Health Service (NHS). Somehow this was construed as a promise and this is what the remain camp hung off, but never proferred any real evidence of why not all the payment savings could redirected to the NHS or even why that amount was inflated significantly. Just regurgitating the same old stuff. The government published a pro-remain pamphlet and had it mailed to every household in the land. There was nothing similar to argue for Brexit to have a balanced opinion, etc. etc. Unfortunately, the referendum is not a court and to sides with vested interests went off and campaigned - both spouted utter carp and we are in a situation today where it would be no different as no-one really knows the mid - long term impact based on verifiable evidence to support projections. Plus I would wager, very few who voted for Brexit did so because they thought they would be no worse off (although I know one couple who knew they would be better off - they run a visa agency).
  • There doesn't seem to be a perceptible change in the mood of the nation about Brexit.. The opinion polls show very little change from pre-referendum - which the remainders slightly ahead;
So, we really have a situation where the government bound themselves ti implement the will of the majority, there is no real divergence from what was expected, new information is hardly going toyed anything that wasn't already known or provide any better view of what will happen mid - long term and there doesn't seem to be a change in the opinion polls. Like it or not, it would seem a weak argument to have another referendum to test the waters - and even if it did win, would the Brexiteers be able to have another crack because the ECJ has opined that the UK can revoke its withdrawal notice with no legal impact, however the EU have said if the UK do, it won't be on the same terms as we had pre-submission of the withdrawal notice.

I suppose the question is at what point does the government execute the will of the people rather than keep on asking their opinion?


This EXIT amounts to a Constitutional Change. (It's of that order and nature) so perhaps more than "1/2 plus one" of those who decide/bother to vote might reasonably have been required there IF people were Fair Dinkum. ? A good Australian concept which we and you United KINGDOM people might think about seriously if we want to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, and looking bloody silly to all and sundry.. At least the EU wasn't subject to a ruler by birth , even though it may be claimed Betty Windsor is a "not really" titular ruler and makes tourist Pounds.. I wouldn't like to put it to the test.
I am not sure what the ruler by birth thing has got to do with this; and there are a few EU countries that still have monarchs, anyway. They just don't rake in the €'s as well as Lizzy res in the £'s. I was originally of the opinion that this amounts to a constitutional change - but I am not so sure anymore. According to Constitution Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc. (unfortunately UK legal dictionaries are still in printed form and the definition of constitution matches my recollection when doing UK Constitutional and Administrative law), a Constitution is "he fundamental law of a state that establishes the apparatus of the government and defines the scope of the sovereign powers. A constitution also guarantees civil rights and liberties." One of the misconceptions of the UK's loss of sovereignty is that it is at all times voluntary and the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy (i.e. we have no constitution, anyway) means that parliament can retake control of its law making powers delegated to the EU at anytime and that we can exit the rather comprehensive and complicate trade agreement that Europe still is. However, I acknowledge in practice it is not as simple as withdrawing the European Communites Act 1972 and recalling all the UK MEPs and bureaucrats in the EU. But, the fact that we are leaving the EU, and the various constitutional challenges has highlighted that ay a constitutional level, there is no change. Of course, the change to every day life is huge - so yes - a greater than first past the post would be better.. but let's not forget - this is how everything is decided in the UK - we are certainly following our laws.

The "United Kingdom " certainly Isn't "united" on this one, so whatever happens nearly 1/2 won't like it. Ireland has a hard border problem and Scotland may stay in the EU. However you got there, it doesn't seem like a "nice' place to be. Saying it's all due to Teresa or making it her problem alone is absolute BS. You wouldn't need to be a genius to have anticipated this.. Nev
It shows not only how the UK is polarised on the issue, but is not too far off the rest of Europe; and I would wager, say if there was a referendum in Australia about a similar issue, there would probably be a similar level of polarisation. Just because there is polarisation doesn't mean it shouldn't be addressed head on. And many journalists and independents predated we would not be too far off where we are now.. It is definitely not Teresa May's fault - far from it.. In fact she is trying the impossible balancing act of addressing both camps concerns - it's a lose lose as far as that is concerned.

I am not advocating leaving or staying in what I am putting up here (or trying not to, anyway). I am advocating that democracy and the rule of law should be faithfully adhered to.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#20
What ever happened to the ". Magna carta", Isn't that the Only Written Constitution England has.
" The UK has no constitution (despite what legal professors will say)".
spacesailor
 
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