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I'd like to contribute, but right now things are so confused and in the air that all I can see is smoke and dust. I have no clue what happpens next.

This morning the Telegraph is talking of the possibility of the party splitting apart, the very eventuality the whole process was intended to prevent. It is true that the process has revealed the incompatibility between the viewpoints of the brexit ultras and the business-firsters. Up until now they have hung together under the Blue Flag of electoral convenience, being stronger together so long as they don't stamp over each other too much.

But even on this point it is unknowable. Neither the moderates nor the ultras have distinguished themselves in the process as having the courage of their convictions to risk the wilderness by voting against the party when things have become difficult and risked an election. I doubt they will gain a spine now.

But this split is across the electorate now. Leavers and Remainers are split asunder and this will have major electoral impacts. It's why the Labour party under Corbyn have been so careful to avoid having a position whilst in opposition; they hoped brexit would have happened under the Tories and they could then present themselves at an election as honest brokers who never betrayed their electorate.

But if corbyn forces an election before the process is complete, then Labour's constituency will shatter, just as the Tory's has.

The country has become like the USA, ungovernable from the top down. At least two utterly irreconcilable views have torn the country apart and nobody can predict where the pieces fall. Politics is changed and we cannot reset.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 05:55:33 PM EST
I'm not so sure about "The country has become like the USA." We have two parties, and each has pretty good internal solidarity. We don't have any particularly major issue that splits the parties.

The UK has two parties, neither of which is aligned on one or the other side of the main political issue. It is almost four parties, with the combinations of Labour/Conservative * Brexit/Remain."

by asdf on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 12:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the US party that does not believe in government now has only about 30% of the registered voters. With a presentable, if not charismatic, leader and an agenda that actually has popular appeal the other party should win handily, especially given what will be coming out in the next four weeks. While Trump's base will cry 'we wuz stabbed in the back!' 6o% of the electorate will either not give a damn or be greatly relieved. Then our national fit of madness will be over - for a while.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 05:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's essentially my take these days. Could be wrong of course. What's already come out should be damning. The rest of the Mueller investigation, the outcome of the government shutdown (entirely Individual-1 inflicted), and any other investigations should finally be sufficient to break the fever in the US, albeit temporarily. Let's hope that once we do get a fever break, we get enough time to undo as much of the damage as possible.

"There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility." -- Lisbeth Salander
by Don Durito on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 06:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you new here, Don Durito? Welcome!

And what about them Justice Democrats / Green New Deal and whatnot? I was enthusiastic about them just out of principle, but are they actually demonstrating that a renewal of US democracy?

They are smart, they are lucid, and they are ... so far... uncontrollable. Ocasio Cortez certainly appears to scare the crap out of the Democratic establishment, so it will be interesting to observe how, and how successfully, they will try to crush them.

It will come down to campaign finance... Can the modern US variant of democracy be successfully crowd-funded?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 09:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US system (where you need to get an absolute majority in the Electoral College to win the presidential and VP elections) is set up to very strongly favor a two party system. That was not the original intention; there was an unrealistic hope that a party system would not develop. That lasted for about a decade.

In any case, it is virtually impossible to get a third party off the ground. Most politicians figure this out and work to steer one of the two major parties in their preferred direction. There are a few outliers, but they are all weird special cases.

by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My assumption, indeed, is that the only hope for democracy in the US lies with the Democrats.

And yes, I'm aware that it's a long shot.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one party state then?
ho. ho. ho.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 05:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Representative Government In The Ancient Polities

Democracy is fine, but not every citizen should have a vote. Individuals need to meet a standard for "True Democracy" as in ancient Greece with the Senate of Rome. One has the elites [later the nobility] who should run the nation, all others are dispensable as in slavery or later ownership in Medieval times of serfdom and serfs.  Sovereignty in leadership cannot be entrusted to the lesser in wealth and knowledge.

The Founding Fathers and the Electoral College

    Robert W. Bennett, author of Taming the Electoral College and a law professor at Northwestern University, notes that neither women nor white men without property could vote at the time, either--meaning that slavery was not the only factor that made the allocation of the Electoral College out of sync with reality. "A relatively small number of people actually had the right to vote."

As the voting rights expanded, the states of the Union found other means to block its citizens from participating in the elections. I have realized later on, the U.S. is just a poor democracy and undoubtedly reaps the harm/ills from such a policy.

Third parties are blocked not by the form of an Electoral College, but by indirect representation of the winner takes all. Same situation in the UK with districts and plurality voting. Some nations have party-list proportional representation as in The Netherlands where coalition forming and compromise have become an art.

Electoral Systems by Country

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Elites? Johnson, Reese-Mogg and all the rest? Are you sure?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Over the past 200+ years there has been in the US a gradual migration from the original republic towards democracy. Voting rights have been extended to those without the appropriate religion, property, race, gender, or age, and the process for choosing senators has been changed, as has the primary system, etc. The original goal of avoiding mob rule has been largely removed from the system.
by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 05:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The salient point is that US Constitution prescribes an Elector College only for election of POTUS.

The US Constitution does NOT

  • limit the number of House representatives, instead prescribes representation proportionate to population; the limit was established by Congress in USC and could be repealed at any time;
  • prescribe representation by "district";
  • proscribe the number of political factions in Congress;
  • proscribe any other election process; or
  • proscribe allocation of electors between or among political factions.

IdioSavant's comment about the helplessness of the polity and proportional representation in the USA is incorrect.

Limits to unqualified enfranchisement ("direct democracy") in the USA are the result of the stunted imaginations of eligible voters, possibly illiteracy, and craven federal and states' legislative acts, elected by the cretins that the polity elects to do so, over and over again (because "institutional knowledge", incumbency), including Secretary of State in each (if not APPOINTED) whose executive function is to fulfill demands of the partisan corporations who dominate a legislature and qualify voters' rights AND candidatures in that state.

A third party could be had IF voters "thought" that candidate could WIN!!!


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 06:04:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was talking about the UK, not the USA. And obviously, the UK has a far freeer hand in changing its electoral system than the US: all they have to do is overcome a self-interested establishment seeking to preserve its own power, rather than that plus some archaic rules designed to produce constitutional stasis.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 08:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my mistake

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 11:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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