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Thread: UK Politics Thread

  1. #481

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Hasn't Pann done so verbosely? The social turbulences are ideological and cultural, transcending Brexit as event, contributing to a likely future breakup of the UK and an English political environment where civil power-sharing norms and institutions coarsen or break down progressively over time.
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  2. #482
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    The Mail is now suggesting that England becomes independent. This would further cement permanent Tory rule, with the loss of the disproportionately non-Tory nations.

    To think that the Tories played on the SNP's desire for Scottish independence thus meaning that a Labour government would threaten the UK.

  3. #483
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    The Mail is now suggesting that England becomes independent. This would further cement permanent Tory rule, with the loss of the disproportionately non-Tory nations.

    To think that the Tories played on the SNP's desire for Scottish independence thus meaning that a Labour government would threaten the UK.
    The Tories, or more correctly known as the Conservative and Unionist Party, have tended to be against jettisoning the peripheral scraps - with Sir Tony being the person who has really managed to turbocharge the whole thing with all three quickly developing parties that are extremely Nationalist and parochial. Whether that was his intention or not is somewhat moot now.

    Surely what is odd is that we have a system where there are now separate parliaments in Northern Ireland (when the children stop squabbling), Wales and Scotland with the English sort of told that since Westminster is self evidently the best then this one is enough. The direction is clear - Scotland is solely here for the money, Wales is so stunted it isn't a viable entity and Northern Ireland is as always a mess with the South happier to claim to want it than actually have to deal with the mess.

    If there is a new way for the four Nations to have some structure then I'm happy to hear about it. But surely the starting point is that all four want to be a part of it. As things stand, we seem to get along better with Canada, Australia and New Zealand - and that might well be due to distance and little interference. There is talk of CANZUK and perhaps such a looser grouping would be more suitable. Perhaps not since Scotland wants to get in with the EU and those sweet subsidies as soon as it gained independence and Northern Ireland would one way or another also do the same.

    At least in the USA, even though there seem to be deep divisions and many of each camp think that the other are traitors / criminals / bastards etc - they all intrinsically think of themselves as American first and then loyalty to their state second. Here that just doesn't seem to hold true anymore.

    As to whether this divestment would cement Tory rule, one thought would be for Labour to develop a set of plans that people actually agree with, as opposed to clinging to ideals that have never really managed to scrape over the line in about 50 years, with Sir Tony forcing the party to power by shredding most of the baggage.

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  4. #484
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    As to whether this divestment would cement Tory rule, one thought would be for Labour to develop a set of plans that people actually agree with, as opposed to clinging to ideals that have never really managed to scrape over the line in about 50 years
    This.
    Be relevant!
    Being [both] representative [and] accountable results in legitimacy.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  5. #485

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    When Scots can't live with Angloids and Russians can't live with Ukrainians, in this 21st century, it might do to revisit the general study of disintegrative social forces. Who were the old politologues and sociologists who observed that the presence of social order over chaos is an affirmative mystery?

    Why should we believe that "English" or "Irish" wish to share a country with "themselves?" Polities are always provisional.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    The Tories, or more correctly known as the Conservative and Unionist Party, have tended to be against jettisoning the peripheral scraps - with Sir Tony being the person who has really managed to turbocharge the whole thing with all three quickly developing parties that are extremely Nationalist and parochial. Whether that was his intention or not is somewhat moot now.

    Surely what is odd is that we have a system where there are now separate parliaments in Northern Ireland (when the children stop squabbling), Wales and Scotland with the English sort of told that since Westminster is self evidently the best then this one is enough. The direction is clear - Scotland is solely here for the money, Wales is so stunted it isn't a viable entity and Northern Ireland is as always a mess with the South happier to claim to want it than actually have to deal with the mess.

    If there is a new way for the four Nations to have some structure then I'm happy to hear about it. But surely the starting point is that all four want to be a part of it. As things stand, we seem to get along better with Canada, Australia and New Zealand - and that might well be due to distance and little interference. There is talk of CANZUK and perhaps such a looser grouping would be more suitable. Perhaps not since Scotland wants to get in with the EU and those sweet subsidies as soon as it gained independence and Northern Ireland would one way or another also do the same.

    At least in the USA, even though there seem to be deep divisions and many of each camp think that the other are traitors / criminals / bastards etc - they all intrinsically think of themselves as American first and then loyalty to their state second. Here that just doesn't seem to hold true anymore.

    As to whether this divestment would cement Tory rule, one thought would be for Labour to develop a set of plans that people actually agree with, as opposed to clinging to ideals that have never really managed to scrape over the line in about 50 years, with Sir Tony forcing the party to power by shredding most of the baggage.

    Reminds me of the observation that the center right respects protest and organizing on their side so much more than the center left respects the same on theirs. It's hard for me to perceive in what way Starmer's Labour resembles 1970s Labour more than 1990s Labour.

    I don't understand the concept of setting very low standards of governance for your country and complaining when it lives up to them.

    What is the key to non-partisan enthusiasm? Voter disappointment with the alternative, or positive enchantment with a policy platform? Political demography and geography, or records of good government?

    For half a year now Labour has led the Tories in the polls for almost-certainly the exact same reasons the Republicans have led on the generic ballot for the same amount of time, and why Biden's approval rating came up parallel with Trump's, that being the sting of global inflation that no national leaders can control (short of unpopular or theoretical state interventions).

    The difference between the left and the right sometimes seems to be that the former will choose flight or freeze over fight.

    So maybe inflation will be durable and Labour's proposal to tax oil and gas profits will push them over the 40% line they need to capture a majority, or maybe it won't and Conservatives can offer some new distraction to keep the 35% they absolutely need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Being [both] representative [and] accountable results in legitimacy.
    I have bad news for you...
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  6. #486
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    This.
    Be relevant!
    Being [both] representative [and] accountable results in legitimacy.
    Depends on what you mean by accountable. There are any number of things that this government has done that would customarily have resulted in resignations in past governments. Except that it's only custom and not legal, so there's nothing to legally force this government to do so.

    Except that nearly the whole of our constitution is based on custom. Which means that, due to this (according to you accountable) government's practices, there are no limits on what this government can do.

    Which is why this government is despised by pretty much every ex-minister from past governments.

  7. #487
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    But we're still talking about the failings of this government - which I agree are egregious - and not about the fact that Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition are not able to be relevant to the electorate.

    But on the point about public indifference to the egregious personal and moral failings of the government, i do genuinely believe the problem is one of the boy who cried wolf:

    In the last decade there has been a complete disappearance of 'calibration' in UK political discourse.
    Every failing, regardless of severity, immediately results in shrill outrage broadcast and amplified.
    There is no distinction, no sober consideration, and absolutely no attempt to do anything but impute the worst possible motive for any deviancy from the norm.
    Just volume. Immediate volume. A Pavlovian response to crowd source 120 decibels of rage.

    The sheer visceral rage that surrounded party-gate's big reveal - that boris had been presented a cake during a ten minute interlude - was frankly absurd. It lacked calibration.

    I simply feel that the electorate have become desensitised; they become aware of yet another 120 decibel crowd-sourced rage-fest and tune it out as noise.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-20-2022 at 09:59.
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  8. #488
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Hasn't Pann done so verbosely? The social turbulences are ideological and cultural, transcending Brexit as event, contributing to a likely future breakup of the UK and an English political environment where civil power-sharing norms and institutions coarsen or break down progressively over time.
    well, if you were choosing to base your response purely what someone else said you might have stated that my argument was disputed - which would be fair enough - rather than that (an unspecified proportion of) it was unlikely to hold any truth.

    this was written about the american political establishment ~2016, but it maps equally well on the britsh situation:
    https://twitter.com/A_NeedhamNYU/sta...52771834880003

    Quote Originally Posted by Monty
    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Being [both] representative [and] accountable results in legitimacy.
    I have bad news for you...
    You don't, as it happens, because I am not a utopian.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-21-2022 at 11:42.
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  9. #489

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    The sheer visceral rage that surrounded party-gate's big reveal - that boris had been presented a cake during a ten minute interlude - was frankly absurd. It lacked calibration.

    I simply feel that the electorate have become desensitised; they become aware of yet another 120 decibel crowd-sourced rage-fest and tune it out as noise.
    What do you make of the British press' coverage of Meghan Markle?

    You don't, as it happens, because I am not a utopian.
    I don't know what this is supposed to mean, but unless you want to cosplay in Children of Men,



    shouldn't be your default instinct toward anything your political opponents find, ah, distasteful.

    I'll elaborate. You find the Conservative Party relevant and accountable to your preferences in governance. That's fine (sic). But most Briton's don't. While liberals don't generally have the guts to retaliate toward the coarsening of political norms and institutions, pushing it without forethought is not to the Party's long-term benefit. Take the NYMag quote to heart. It concerns the refusal to acknowledge the existence of radically-divergent ideologies, but applies to more basic differences in the nature of the disregard.

    Evidence against, but not for, the credibility of

    People forget we've been through these social turbulences before, and will do again. The important point is for 'the system' to be flexible and adaptable enough to accomodate the pressures, rather than resorting to revolutionary rupture.
    appears throughout even your own postings. Take it more seriously. To make the British system more dysfunctional and unrepresentative than it already is will foreseeably bring the public further in line with France and the US, even accounting for an herbivorous opposition.

    Last edited by Montmorency; 05-22-2022 at 04:31.
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  10. #490
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    What do you make of the British press' coverage of Meghan Markle?
    If you mean specifically; i don't know. I am a monarchist, not a royalist - and therefore entirely disinterested in the private lives of the royal family.
    If you mean generally; then i laugh at meghan's failed attempt to to bring american PR and 'personality' into british distance - and disappointed that Harry lacks the capacity to realise the inevitability of this failure.
    Either way, i'm not sure how it relates to UK political governance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    While liberals don't generally have the guts to retaliate toward the coarsening of political norms and institutions, pushing it without forethought is not to the Party's long-term benefit...
    ...Take it more seriously.
    We have an adversarial political system; it is explicitly the role of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to hold the gov't to account.
    Labour cannot perform this role if people won't vote for them, and yet they seem incurious about what the electorate actually wants.
    They need to be relevant!

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    To make the British system more dysfunctional and unrepresentative than it already is will foreseeably bring the public further in line with France and the US, even accounting for an herbivorous opposition.
    I agree - no-one wants a dysfunctional and unrepresentative system of governance.
    Looking at your graph leads me to be both surprised and delighted that despite; the financial crisis, brexit, covid, the cost of living crisis, less than half of britons believe that the political/economic systems need complete or major reform - similar to germany.
    I contend that the system is evidently flexible in a way that america and france seem not to be.
    And insist the Labour party take an interest in being relevant - if for no other reason than to prevent the further coarsening of political norms and institutions.

    If they don't then they will be displaced, eventually. As happened a hundred years ago when the liberals ceased to be relevant to the demands and expectations of the electorate in a previous episode of revolutionary fervour.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-22-2022 at 09:34.
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  11. #491

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    If you mean specifically; i don't know. I am a monarchist, not a royalist - and therefore entirely disinterested in the private lives of the royal family.
    I think you mean it the other way around, unless you want a stronger monarchy.

    We have an adversarial political system; it is explicitly the role of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to hold the gov't to account.
    Labour cannot perform this role if people won't vote for them, and yet they seem incurious about what the electorate actually wants.
    They need to be relevant!

    I agree - no-one wants a dysfunctional and unrepresentative system of governance.
    Looking at your graph leads me to be both surprised and delighted that despite; the financial crisis, brexit, covid, the cost of living crisis, less than half of britons believe that the political/economic systems need complete or major reform - similar to germany.
    I contend that the system is evidently flexible in a way that america and france seem not to be.
    It's in the image captioning, but these survey materials are from 2020. So for example the numbers would be higher for the US today. I don't know about the rest, but I doubt they've diminished for the UK. You seem confident that they have or are, but the long-term discontent the Conservatives are sowing makes that estimation a gamble. I didn't expect half the British public condemning fundamental aspects of the existing system to be a cause for optimism.

    The substance of your judgement on the relevance of Labour politics is difficult for me to judge objectively - would 39% vote share be qualitatively less relevant than a 42% share? - but this expectation

    And insist the Labour party take an interest in being relevant - if for no other reason than to prevent the further coarsening of political norms and institutions.

    If they don't then they will be displaced, eventually. As happened a hundred years ago when the liberals ceased to be relevant to the demands and expectations of the electorate in a previous episode of revolutionary fervour.
    would bely your confidence that Britain is inherently resilient to social upheaval. It's also a troubling outgrowth of a certain political Americanism, namely that it is up to the center-left to take responsibility for the center-right's flaws. You probably said this on the basis of the parliamentary opposition's traditional role being to devise optical and electoral penalties against ruling parties, but to go beyond that and invert the responsibility for good government just reproduces American pathologies.



    TBH I think one thing that has become clear is that simple FPTP is one of the worst available electoral systems, including all the others. If stability is the highest priority, it's clear that ditching FPTP would alone offer considerable inoculation to the French, British, and American polities. Notwithstanding all the other problems - that is, FPTP alone is such a major and singular source of dysfunction that removing it would support the lifespan of almost any political system.
    Last edited by Montmorency; Yesterday at 07:05.
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  12. #492
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I think you mean it the other way around, unless you want a stronger monarchy.



    It's in the image captioning, but these survey materials are from 2020. So for example the numbers would be higher for the US today. I don't know about the rest, but I doubt they've diminished for the UK. You seem confident that they have or are, but the long-term discontent the Conservatives are sowing makes that estimation a gamble. I didn't expect half the British public condemning fundamental aspects of the existing system to be a cause for optimism.

    The substance of your judgement on the relevance of Labour politics is difficult for me to judge objectively - would 39% vote share be qualitatively less relevant than a 42% share? - but this expectation



    would bely your confidence that Britain is inherently resilient to social upheaval. It's also a troubling outgrowth of a certain political Americanism, namely that it is up to the center-left to take responsibility for the center-right's flaws. You probably said this on the basis of the parliamentary opposition's traditional role being to devise optical and electoral penalties against ruling parties, but to go beyond that and invert the responsibility for good government just reproduces American pathologies.



    TBH I think one thing that has become clear is that simple FPTP is one of the worst available electoral systems, including all the others. If stability is the highest priority, it's clear that ditching FPTP would alone offer considerable inoculation to the French, British, and American polities. Notwithstanding all the other problems - that is, FPTP alone is such a major and singular source of dysfunction that removing it would support the lifespan of almost any political system.
    The other constitutional aspects might be workable as long as the other constitutional aspects were functional. The problem amongst all this is how pretty much all the constitution is based on custom, and not legally actionable. This didn't used to be a problem in the past when custom alone was enough to force action. It's a problem now that we have a government that decides that custom means nothing, and only the law, which it leans hard on, can force it into action. And this government depends on its support not caring about the custom-based constitution either. And as one of its former peers observed, even this isn't enough, as it gathers up loose strands of power where it does not already control things.

    Both the government and its support can most accurately be described as Trumpian.

  13. #493
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I think you mean it the other way around, unless you want a stronger monarchy.
    To quote Askdifference i am: "An advocate of, or believer in, monarchy" as opposed to a "supporter of a particular royal regime".

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    It's in the image captioning, but these survey materials are from 2020. So for example the numbers would be higher for the US today. I don't know about the rest, but I doubt they've diminished for the UK. You seem confident that they have or are, but the long-term discontent the Conservatives are sowing makes that estimation a gamble. I didn't expect half the British public condemning fundamental aspects of the existing system to be a cause for optimism.
    My confidence is of course hedged around with caveats. And yet both the similarity and the contrast with comparitive nations is striking - accepting that the data is ~2020.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    The substance of your judgement on the relevance of Labour politics is difficult for me to judge objectively - would 39% vote share be qualitatively less relevant than a 42% share? - but this expectation
    The system is what the system is. People understand how it works - including its limitations - and yet they choose to retain the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    would bely your confidence that Britain is inherently resilient to social upheaval. It's also a troubling outgrowth of a certain political Americanism, namely that it is up to the center-left to take responsibility for the center-right's flaws. You probably said this on the basis of the parliamentary opposition's traditional role being to devise optical and electoral penalties against ruling parties, but to go beyond that and invert the responsibility for good government just reproduces American pathologies.
    How would you like to measure societal resilience?
    You might look at the last last time it was subject to revolutionary upheavel relative to its peer nations...

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    TBH I think one thing that has become clear is that simple FPTP is one of the worst available electoral systems, including all the others. If stability is the highest priority, it's clear that ditching FPTP would alone offer considerable inoculation to the French, British, and American polities. Notwithstanding all the other problems - that is, FPTP alone is such a major and singular source of dysfunction that removing it would support the lifespan of almost any political system.
    That is a view, but it is not one i share.

    I remain of the view that:

    a) a significant proportion of the alleged coursensing of political norms and institutions is nothing more performative outrage, from a political pole that has forgotten that the role of "HMML Opposition" entails more than just pavlovian shrieking on general broadcast...

    b) ...further, that not only is a significant proportion invented behind performative outrage, another significant proportion [IS] that performative outrage; where calls for 'direct action' are fine, and every action is perceived through in the least charitable interpretation possible.

    c) that we have a political system that prioritises internal coalitions that negotiate manifesto platforms in public before an election, rather than external coalitions that negotiate policy platforms in private after an election...

    d) ...and that such a binary choice requires a manifesto offer that appeals to the electoral common ground, across the geographic and social divide, which should obsolete niche policy proposals that generate widespread electoral distaste.

    Be relevant. Don't shriek all the time. Get into power. Do what you said you would do to make the world a better place. Be accountable for the consequences. Reflect on where ambitions failed to meet reality. Rinse. Repeat.
    Last edited by Furunculus; Yesterday at 14:52.
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  14. #494
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    One of the few remaining ways of ensuring accountability, now that the Tories have secured control of most of the legal avenues and ignored the ones based on custom, is independent reporting on the PM's actions. And Johnson pressured the investigator to not publish her report. And has instigated other meetings since then (and lied about them).

    Government accountability is something in other countries that I can read about. Not something that happens in the UK.

  15. #495

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    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    To quote Askdifference i am: "An advocate of, or believer in, monarchy" as opposed to a "supporter of a particular royal regime".
    This is concerning to me, because your literal meaning is that you don't (limit yourself to) support the existing British monarchy but rather espouse monarchy - more than a symbolic one - as a desirable principle for the organization of society. Unless we're swapping the usage of the terms, it's pointless to discuss here the operation of parliamentary or other forms of democracy.

    My confidence is of course hedged around with caveats. And yet both the similarity and the contrast with comparitive nations is striking - accepting that the data is ~2020.
    Don't be caught with your pants down. There must be a number of plausible progressions, but my watch-for remains Scottish independence consequent to a medium-term Labour-SNP coalition, coinciding with long-term degradation of public institutions such as the NHS and a long wilderness period for Labour, radicalizing much of the electorate. One such scenario was visibly averted by the satiation of the anti-EU element of the British right.

    The system is what the system is. People understand how it works - including its limitations - and yet they choose to retain the system.
    The alternative is immediate civil rupture, a revolution that may or may not be violent. So it's not saying much for the UK not to be Syria or Myanmar. Neither is the US.

    How would you like to measure societal resilience?
    You might look at the last last time it was subject to revolutionary upheavel relative to its peer nations...
    "It can't happen here" is not a strong argument when made irrespective of contemporary conditions or trends. Technically speaking, the US has experienced fewer wars and revolutions on domestic soil than the English polity has. But it can happen - is happening - here. We can observe similar developments across the Anglosphere, just with a difference of degree. That the US is worst off doesn't make anyone else Safe. Who's in second place after America?

    a) a significant proportion of the alleged coursensing of political norms and institutions is nothing more performative outrage, from a political pole that has forgotten that the role of "HMML Opposition" entails more than just pavlovian shrieking on general broadcast...
    Yes, but you're a supporter of the ruling coalition, so the lack of substance you perceive in some of these will at least partly reflect the philosophical and temperamental gulf between coalitions. One thing that is clear from what (extra-electoral) surveying I happen upon is that very often non-coalition members are unified in rejecting the Conservatives in terms of relevance and accountability - they just don't share an anti-coalition. The ratchet turns for all; how will the Conservatives be poised to carry on when they lose power next, given how they act when in power?

    b) ...further, that not only is a significant proportion invented behind performative outrage, another significant proportion [IS] that performative outrage; where calls for 'direct action' are fine, and every action is perceived through in the least charitable interpretation possible.
    I mean, Vote Leave was performative outrage. But in the end, it is what it is - the coarsening is happening regardless of its 'true origin.' No one here, other than Pann I guess, is trying to valorize legacy normative arrangements, but they're going out because they've failed to constrain politics in a positive way, yet leaving no replacement.

    c) that we have a political system that prioritises internal coalitions that negotiate manifesto platforms in public before an election, rather than external coalitions that negotiate policy platforms in private after an election...

    d) ...and that such a binary choice requires a manifesto offer that appeals to the electoral common ground, across the geographic and social divide, which should obsolete niche policy proposals that generate widespread electoral distaste.
    The distinction between executive and legislature is more nuanced in a parliamentary system (e.g. in America both are referred to as "government," but typically only the (ruling coalition of the) legislature is "the government" in parliamentary systems), but the aggravation with this government as far as I can tell usually stems from the conduct and policies of the executive, making policy promises kept or unkept by the parliament less relevant.

    Be relevant. Don't shriek all the time. Get into power. Do what you said you would do to make the world a better place. Be accountable for the consequences. Reflect on where ambitions failed to meet reality. Rinse. Repeat.
    You said you weren't a utopian.
    Last edited by Montmorency; Today at 02:58.
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  16. #496
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    This is concerning to me, because your literal meaning is that you don't (limit yourself to) support the existing British monarchy but rather espouse monarchy - more than a symbolic one - as a desirable principle for the organization of society. Unless we're swapping the usage of the terms, it's pointless to discuss here the operation of parliamentary or other forms of democracy.
    Do not be too concerned; we inhabit the 21st century not the 15th. When I describe myself as a monarchist it is in the current British sense of a constitutional democracy, i.e. as opposed to that modern alternative of a presidential system.
    I do not yearn for the rule of a Sun King.
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