General Politics Thread

thedoctor2016

Mushi-shi
Wales is still Labour the Tories only won one of their target seats so it can be done. Maybe we just hate the Tories more in Wales. And Rhodri Morgan made it clear there was clear red water between new labour and Wales so we don’t have free schools or slightly private hospitals and the welsh government education postgrad loan of £17,650 allowed me to study the one in England won’t. I do think the English Labour Party need to learn from welsh labour as yes we did just say a steady as you go but we have succeeded and somehow prevented more places falling unlike in England that seemed to repeat 2019.
I think Labour needs to go more liberal and try and destroy the lib Dems and greens and hopefully pick up some old labour as well as I do think Keir has been crap I though he would be more exciting and he’s just voted for the brexit deal which somehow ended up pissing both sides off he should pick a side, try and make labour win a new type of coalition or try and flirt with the right wing people and lose the young liberal elite. Yes I’m now counted as young liberal elite but my mother wasn’t and neither was my father it was the new labour push for education and the welsh governments support that I even got it you shouldn’t be ashamed people go to university you should say we provided those platforms and you can still be part of the Labour Party as yes the “new” working class isn’t where my parents and grandparents came from.
 

kuuderes_shadow

Thousand Master
A long standing and highly effective strategy of the Conservative Party at all levels has been to allocate money to those that they want to vote Conservative and cuts to those who they either think will not or think will do so regardless.

In the past, the North (being in the "not" category) suffered. Now the Tories want the North more than anything so flood it with money. And the voters there respond accordingly.

Other parties do it as well to a certain extent, but not to anywhere near the same scale or extent, and mainly purely on the basis that their voters are inevitably those that stand to benefit from their policies. Most other parties care about things like fairness. The Tories don't care about fairness, only about winning.
 

kuuderes_shadow

Thousand Master
I think Labour needs to go more liberal and try and destroy the lib Dems and greens
If you think destroying the Lib Dems would hand Labour ANY of the Lib Dems current seats in parliament then you're living in cloud cuckooland.

If the Lib Dems were destroyed then every single one of those seats would go to the Conservatives, and not by a small margin (except Caithness etc. which would go SNP with the Tories in second and Orkney & Shetland which would probably still go liberal just because).

And I can't think of a single marginal with the Lib Dems in second that would turn into anything other than a stonking majority for the current top placed party either. Which is generally not Labour. Or the Greens.

Just like the vast majority of the seats the Lib Dems lost in 2015 went to the Conservatives, after 5 years of Labour doing everything they could to attack the Lib Dems in those seats.

And on a local level you'd probably see most go the Tories and most of the rest go to Independents as well.

---

Not that I'd personally be opposed to a more liberal Labour party. The problem is that it wouldn't get results. It would just drive away the left-conservative voter block (which are the ones Labour have been shedding to the Tories these past few elections) even further, whilst not actually gaining them anything of note in exchange. Right-leaning liberals wouldn't switch to Labour en masse without a wholesale redefining of the party, while left-leaning liberals are already voting overwhelmingly Labour in much of the country, and the places where they aren't are because other parties stand a good chance of defeating the Tories while Labour never could.
 
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thedoctor2016

Mushi-shi
I think how the SNP Destroyed labour and the red wall shows the map can and is being rewritten we keep winning Sheffield Hallam now. And labour will have to pick because the greens made gains in the council and i bet it was because of the deal and the fake right baiting Starmer has been doing. Its not going to win an election any time soon but I would know what a liberal labour party stood for.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
A long standing and highly effective strategy of the Conservative Party at all levels has been to allocate money to those that they want to vote Conservative and cuts to those who they either think will not or think will do so regardless.

In the past, the North (being in the "not" category) suffered. Now the Tories want the North more than anything so flood it with money. And the voters there respond accordingly.
Like I said, it’s still more than New Labour ever did for anyone around here. Thatcher ignored us because she knew she would never get our votes, Blair ignored us because he knew he always would.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to buy my vote they absolutely can, it would just be a matter of negotiating a price. A bidding war would probably be the best way, just get the Labour and Tory candidates to outbid each other for how much better off they’ll make me and I’ll pick whoever goes highest. I voted for Corbyn because I thought he’d be the most likely to do a bit of fair wealth redistribution, but if Boris does more or less the same thing and cuts funding to safe Tory seats and gives it to Teesside for cynical reasons, the end result is still the same. Perhaps I should be happy that my area finally matters.
 
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kuuderes_shadow

Thousand Master
I think how the SNP Destroyed labour and the red wall shows the map can and is being rewritten we keep winning Sheffield Hallam now. And labour will have to pick because the greens made gains in the council and i bet it was because of the deal and the fake right baiting Starmer has been doing. Its not going to win an election any time soon but I would know what a liberal labour party stood for.
You're in Sheffield? That makes things make much more sense. But all the Labour gains realistically possible on parliamentary level from the map being redrawn away from the Lib Dems have already happened. Everywhere left the Conservatives are the only possible winners. Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston, Bath, Guildford, Winchester, Cheltenham, heck even Westmorland and Lonsdale... these places aren't going to switch to Labour unless the Labour party rewrites itself to the point where it is effectively them that has been killed off, and not the Lib Dems/Greens.

Adopting a policy of "nudge in the liberal direction and focus our efforts on killing off the Lib Dems and Greens" for Labour would result in easily 50+ seats going Conservative over the 2019 result (mostly from Labour). In exchange for what for Labour? Brighton Pavilion and Watford, and that's about it I'd reckon (although whether Brighton Pavilion would actually be anything other than a Green hold at this point even if Labour focused everything on destroying them is doubtful tbh). Just about everywhere else that policy shift would appeal to enough to win the seat voted Labour last time. Maybe also getting respectable but fairly distant second in St Albans and St Ives.

But it's true that a big part of Labour's issue is that it's not really clear what they stand for right now. And that they have to do something about this if they want to stop the decline they've seen over the last few years. Boris has taken a bunch of Miliband's policies and made them into his own, which has kind of left Labour at a bit of a loss - it's hard to criticise policies or come up with an alternative vision when they're policies you were putting forwards yourself just a few years ago, after all.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
To be honest, seeing that Labour's pitiful and hilarious (though predictable) response to doing so woefully is "we'll take this on the chin, no excuses whatsoever from us this time. But it's all Jeremy Corbyn's fault even though he hasn't been leader for over a year and we've done nothing at all in that time except tell you we are nothing like him. We promise to become more right wing." has made me wish I actually did vote for Shaun Bailey the conservative candidate for mayor, just because I think nothing short of defeat in London will actually cause these fools in Labour to do any self reflection.
I do think there’s some merit in the idea of causing some upset by just voting out the incumbent every time regardless. Safe seats are one of the worst things about our system, and why I think proportional representation would be better, but even then you’d probably find the parties would just put all their most entrenched names at the top of the list so they still always get elected.
 

kuuderes_shadow

Thousand Master
I do think there’s some merit in the idea of causing some upset by just voting out the incumbent every time regardless. Safe seats are one of the worst things about our system, and why I think proportional representation would be better, but even then you’d probably find the parties would just put all their most entrenched names at the top of the list so they still always get elected.
The easiest way around that is to have what's called an open list, which is where you make it so that rather than just voting for a party list, you vote for a specific candidate within the list. There are lots of countries around the world (Open list - Wikipedia) that use open list PR rather than closed list which is where the party chooses the candidate ordering.

You allocate seats between parties based on the total share of the vote between the parties, but allocate seats within the parties based on which candidates got the most people voting for them.

So for example:

Party A gets 22, 8, 7 and 3 votes for its 4 candidates (40 total)
Party B gets 10, 9, 5 and 2 votes for its 4 candidates (26 total)

Party A gets allocated 3 seats, while party B gets allocated 1 seat. So the people from Party A who got 22, 8 and 7 votes get elected, as does the person from Party B who gets 10 votes - even if the person from B who got 9 votes was the party's preferred candidate.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
The easiest way around that is to have what's called an open list, which is where you make it so that rather than just voting for a party list, you vote for a specific candidate within the list.
Ah yes, that’s the ones with all the different ballot papers, isn’t it (presumably so each ballot paper doesn’t look like a toilet roll)?

I have to admit I’ve never fully understood those. I feel like if UK voters had the choice between every single candidate standing in an election, the HoC would end up with maybe a dozen people in it, with Boris, Keir, Nigel, Nicola and Jeremy taking about five million votes a piece. Perhaps it works better for smaller parliaments.
 

kuuderes_shadow

Thousand Master
Ah yes, that’s the ones with all the different ballot papers, isn’t it (presumably so each ballot paper doesn’t look like a toilet roll)?

I have to admit I’ve never fully understood those. I feel like if UK voters had the choice between every single candidate standing in an election, the HoC would end up with maybe a dozen people in it, with Boris, Keir, Nigel, Nicola and Jeremy taking about five million votes a piece. Perhaps it works better for smaller parliaments.
Well maybe, if it was a nationwide list. But the only country I know of that has a nationwide list with open PR is the Netherlands (they have no threshold either which makes it even more extreme).

More likely I'd expect most constituencies would have 6-10 members each, which would keep the number of contesting parties (and candidates within each party in a constituency) to a reasonably sane limit. Estonia would be a good example.

Also remember that each vote is a vote for the party first and a vote for the person within the party second. So everyone who votes for Jeremy Corbyn or the Corbynista party in a hypothetical North London constituency is first and foremost voting for the Corbynista party to get seats, and then voting for Jeremy Corbyn to get the first of the seats the Corbynista party picks up.
 

jake scully

Kiznaiver
When the zinc alloy lady, Theresa "Hostile Environment" May, Theresa "Snooper's Charter" May, tells you that you might be going a bit too far with restricting people's freedom, you might just possibly be going a little bit too far with restricting people's freedom. Thanks for helping prepare the ground for this though, Theresa.
Don’t forget Theresa ‘I can’t dance to Dancing Queen’ May
She made a fool of herself again with that
Think it was at Tory party conference aka the ‘we are all super rich and you’re not’ party
hello? based department?
Based department ? What do you mean?
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Benjamin Netanyahu: How many international laws are you breaking right now?

Alexander Lukashenko: Like, maybe 2 or 3 my dude

Benjamin Netanyahu: You are like a little baby. Watch THIS
 

ayase

State Alchemist
So I’ve been a bit confused recently why the Democrats in the US even need to negotiate with the Republicans, given that they hold the Presidency and majorities in both houses, so I went down the rabbit hole of American political procedure.

What I found leaves me staggered that America has ever had a functioning federal government. So the filibuster, something which wasn’t even in the Constitution and used to require senators to constantly debate in order to block legislation (we have something similar, and similarly stupid called “talking out”) now doesn’t even require senators to do anything at all in order to block a vote, so while you can pass law with a majority, you need a majority of at least 10 to even HAVE the vote in the first place. So a majority of any less than 10 means nothing.

But THEN, executive orders exist, which basically allow Presidents to pass whatever crazy laws they like without even having a vote, and regardless of who has a majority in congress or the senate, completely eliminating the need for even the slightest compromise. Why on Earth do Presidents not just use these ALL THE TIME?

Well apparently, executive orders can be overturned in court, but since a President has the power to appoint judges via a simple majority of 51 after the filibuster requirement for this was REMOVED, they could just have the senate pack the courts with judges who would rule in their favour (which is what they already do with the supreme court) at which point there would no longer even be any need for congress or the senate, and a President could just rule as a dictator via executive orders upheld by his lackeys in the judiciary. In fact, if a President just declares a “national emergency”, something for which there are NO preconditions, they can pretty much do whatever they like. Given the array of options available to him that could have been used to seize absolute power, I’d say in hindsight Donald Trump was very restrained.

Well, there’s a couple of compelling paths to power for any Americans reading.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
It speaks volumes, I think, about control and manipulation of media that the Covid “lab leak” theory was regarded as crazy, unfounded, borderline racist conspiracy theory which got people banned from social media for propagating it... right up until the point the UK and US political and intelligence establishments started to publicise the fact they were entertaining it as a possibility (the publicising in particular being something I wouldn’t have thought would have been necessary unless they had the specific intention of manipulating public perception).

Not that I’m suggesting people should in any way, shape or form trust either conspiracy theorists, the political establishment or the intelligence services (ymmv on which of those sources you believe to be more likely to lie to the public to further their own agenda than another, I’d have a hard time making that call myself) but it is interesting how the narrative can be flipped completely on its head when the exact same opinions are expressed by different sources and reported differently, isn’t it?
 

jake scully

Kiznaiver
So I’ve been a bit confused recently why the Democrats in the US even need to negotiate with the Republicans, given that they hold the Presidency and majorities in both houses, so I went down the rabbit hole of American political procedure.

What I found leaves me staggered that America has ever had a functioning federal government. So the filibuster, something which wasn’t even in the Constitution and used to require senators to constantly debate in order to block legislation (we have something similar, and similarly stupid called “talking out”) now doesn’t even require senators to do anything at all in order to block a vote, so while you can pass law with a majority, you need a majority of at least 10 to even HAVE the vote in the first place. So a majority of any less than 10 means nothing.

But THEN, executive orders exist, which basically allow Presidents to pass whatever crazy laws they like without even having a vote, and regardless of who has a majority in congress or the senate, completely eliminating the need for even the slightest compromise. Why on Earth do Presidents not just use these ALL THE TIME?

Well apparently, executive orders can be overturned in court, but since a President has the power to appoint judges via a simple majority of 51 after the filibuster requirement for this was REMOVED, they could just have the senate pack the courts with judges who would rule in their favour (which is what they already do with the supreme court) at which point there would no longer even be any need for congress or the senate, and a President could just rule as a dictator via executive orders upheld by his lackeys in the judiciary. In fact, if a President just declares a “national emergency”, something for which there are NO preconditions, they can pretty much do whatever they like. Given the array of options available to him that could have been used to seize absolute power, I’d say in hindsight Donald Trump was very restrained.

Well, there’s a couple of compelling paths to power for any Americans reading.
Compared to the UK system it’s very complicated and at times I give up reading stuff on internet- but Trump was always trying to undermine the US constitution and make new rules for himself as many journalists and politicians have said
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Gosh, there are a few topics I feel like discussing today (well, writing about at least given this thread’s recent lack of discussion, what happened to all of AUKN’s politicos?) but the foremost burning question I have today is: When is discrimination acceptable? I wonder because of this furore around Maya Forstater and this court ruling on her comments on biological sex and gender, which, although I don’t agree with some of the things she has said (though I do agree with others) I still find rather disturbing that it was ever in question whether or not she should be allowed to express an opinion. So with that in mind, when is it okay to discriminate against anyone?

Bathrooms? The reason there is obviously modesty, and while I couldn’t care less about that, I can perhaps understand some people wouldn’t be comfortable taking their pants off and relieving themselves in the presence of people of different genders or biological sexes. Not everybody is ready for that yet, just as I imagine not everybody would be ready for them to remove the cubicles. Safe spaces? Not something I particularly care for, as I can see little difference between a group of black people or a group of women not letting white people or men in and a group of white people or a group of men not letting black people or women in, all of which feel racist and sexist to me. But then I also believe people should be allowed freedom of association and that nobody should be forced to tolerate the presence of people they don’t want to; if the price of that is allowing racists and sexists to have their own closed groups, so be it. These are things which are open to debate and while I have my own views, I can understand the opposing arguments even if I don’t agree with them.

But when it comes to transgender people and sports, this is clearly an emotive issue but I feel like it should not be a political one. It’s an issue of simple biology. Though there are exceptions, people who are biologically male are, in general, able to physically outperform people who are biologically female (the women who are able to compete with the men are awesome, but also very few). That’s the reason sport is segregated into men’s and women’s events. I don’t see anybody arguing for the complete elimination of any segregation in sport and making women compete against men, and the reason for that is obviously because most female athletes would be demolished by male athletes. That’s why this is an issue for women’s sport, it has nothing to do with cisgender women being “transphobic” and everything to do with the fact that an MtF transgender woman still has a biological advantage over a cis woman due to being born male. It baffles me that this is even up for debate.

If this is a barrier to transgender people competing in sporting events (which it is) why is no-one proposing the very sensible indeed option of having transgender men and transgender women compete in their own sporting events? That would surely be fair and allow transgender people to realise their athletic talents without ignoring the role biology plays in people’s physical abilities and unfairly disadvantaging cis women athletes in the name of political correctness.

But most of all, why can nobody seem to discuss any of these things rationally and work it out so that everybody can have what they want instead of one group of people having to “lose” and another group “win”? If there was a bathroom for men, a bathroom for women and a bathroom for anybody who doesn’t give a toss what sex or gender anyone using it is, wouldn’t everybody be happy? If there was a club for black people, a club for white people and a club for anyone who doesn’t give a toss what race you are, wouldn’t everyone be happy? I’ve tolerated and tried to understand, then tried to ignore identity politics, but I think it is genuinely destroying dialogue and pitting people against each other to the point its ONLY use is now as a tool of division by the elite. Who is it actually helping at this point?
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
I haven't much knowledge on the subject, but my ignorant initial guess is that you could well be right about transgender female athletes having an unfair edge in sport against biologically female ones (I know some argue we're all born with different biology and hormonal levels anyway though even in our own sexes, which is true, but I feel it could still be unfair, I don't really know though), However, I sometimes feel the ones who often make this issue actually political and blow it up are the ones who feign genuine concern over sporting fairness and rather use this (legitimate but, in my opinion, pretty small) issue to delegitimate transgender rights and people in general. I find the tone of some of these pieces give away the intentions of the author pretty easily.

In like the way I saw a recent tweet that Dawkins (this brings back memories!) wrote recently mentioned somewhere, his tweet was something to the effect of "a few years ago a white man tried to self identify as black and was publicly lambasted for it, while anyone who now claims transgender women aren't women are publicly lambasted". Now I'm actually all for racial fluidity being seen as a legitimate thing and for race being opened up to personal questioning and self reidentification much in the way sex and gender is (an opinion I'm not sure the world is ready or willing to hear yet, I'll admit) but to me it seems likely Dawkins cares little about that and rather just wants to use it as a snidey sneaky way to have a pop at trans people.

Which leads me to agree with you that gender politics does get used as a tool of division by the elite, but I definitely disagree that that's all it does. I think things like fourth wave feminism and BLM and Trans rights movements ect have had tangible positive effects and these kinds of "identity politics" if that's what they are, are actually crucial in my opinion. What is also crucial, that is perhaps sometimes lacking, is the will and energy to find ways of bringing about unity and solidarity.
 
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