The Will of the People

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:42 pm

In the EU Referendum 37.5 % of the electorate voted to leave, 34.7 % of the electorate voted to remain and 27.8 % didn't vote. If a threshold had been set in the Act that enabled the referendum to take place, such as the "at least 40 % of total electorate must vote in favour" that was set in the Scotland Act 1978, then the leave vote would have failed. If a lower threshold had been set then it would still have passed.

The concept is that if the people want to change from a status-quo that has been established by duly elected democratic governments they must show that a significant section of the population want the change, not just a simple majority of those that vote. Obviously people will disagree whether such thresholds should be used or, if used, what they should be but countries that are more knowledgeable about referenda do tend to use them. The details of how they are used vary from country to country. Denmark, for example, uses exactly the rule used in the Scotland Act 1978 for any constitutional changes. It can also use referenda to vote against bills, which don't alter the constitution, that have gained parliamentary approval but in that case it has a threshold of 30 % of the electorate. Switzerland doesn't use a percentage threshold but requires a double majority, i.e. a majority of total voters and a majority of Cantons.

Warwick

PS I am not trying to argue whether such a threshold should or should not have been included in the EU Referendum Act but it is clear that a lot more thought was needed than was given.

Keltz
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Keltz » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:52 pm

Mixos wrote:the rules enacted before the vote were that 40% of the TOTAL electorate had to vote "yes" and this threshold was not met.


Just before the referendum vote in 1979 a backbench MP put in an amendment to the referendum that 40% of all registered voters had to vote yes. To not vote at all, therefore, was effectively being counted as a No vote and that included those who had died but still remained on the electoral register. The amendment was put in place to ensure the referendum did not achieve a yes result as it was not realistically possible to gain a majority on those terms. I would argue that until voting becomes mandatory as in Australia, a 50%+1 is the best we have. This does of course assume proper democratic rules are applied throughout the referendum and as we know illegal funding and a biased media has raised questions with the Brexit result.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:33 pm

Purely for accuracy, a backbench MP cannot "put in an amendment" to any act. A backbench MP can table an amendment. If that particular amendment is then selected by the Speaker, and they aren't all selected, it will be debated in Parliament and Parliament will vote on it. The amendment will only be included in the Act if it is approved by a majority in Parliament.

Warwick

Keltz
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Keltz » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:20 pm

Kilkis wrote: The amendment will only be included in the Act if it is approved by a majority in Parliament.Warwick


And as such a majority was achieved bearing in mind Scotland had only 71 MPs in Westminster in 1979 ( now 59 ) with no chance of opposing it. Much like what has happened with Brexit where the whole of Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:52 am

A minor point but the financial markets viewed last night's votes in parliament as a step nearer to a no-deal. Typically Sterling falls against both the Euro and the US Dollar if the markets think a no-deal is more likely and rises if the markets think a no-deal is less likely. Sterling suddenly dropped 0.7 % against the US$ and 0.8 % against the € as the votes unfolded. It doesn't sound to be very much but sudden drops of that size are not that common. Note the stress on the word "think". Obviously the financial markets don't know what will happen any more than anyone else but they are a pretty large, savvy group of people and there is evidence that supports the concept of the "Wisdom of Crowds". It recovered a bit this morning so presumably the pessimistic/optimistic, depending on your point of view, sentiment eased overnight.

Warwick

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:02 pm

I heard an interesting comment on a discussion programme a couple of nights ago. They were talking about a majority of younger voters voting to remain and a majority of older voters voting to leave. Someone then pointed out that if you dig deeper into the data a majority of over eighties voted to remain and it was older voters under 80 that voted to leave, i.e. those that lived through the second world war tended towards remaining in the EU. Food for thought.

Another idea that is never discussed is coincidence. The UK entered the EEC, the forerunner to the EU, in 1973. Since then working people's wages have tended to stagnate in real terms, i.e. purchasing power. Two years previously, however, in 1971 the USA abandoned the gold standard so that all world currencies became completely fiat currencies. There is plenty of evidence that it is this event that resulted in stagnating wages not joining the EU. For example the stagnation is even clearer in US economic data but the US is not part of the EU. A significant number of people in the UK have been convinced that it was joining the EU that caused them gradually to become worse off when in fact it was nothing to do with joining the EU.

Warwick

Mackie
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Reading V Watching

Postby Mackie » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:42 pm

Reading all about the meetings and watching the guys that were in the room talking about!! Wow
Great 3 part documentary (2nd about Greece). Not sure if it has been posted before.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=33s&v=Wl5vynTpYtg

Maud
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Maud » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:13 pm

Yes, the first programme was very good Mackie. Tonight’s, as you mention, focuses on Greece. If people have the time and inclination, please view last weeks on iPlayer first if you can.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:16 pm

I've just watched the first episode dealing with events from 2010 leading up to the referendum. It charts the path as seen through the eyes of the participants with comments from all the leading figures so it cannot really be described as biased overall, although obviously the comments of the participants reflect their own biases.

Warwick

Mixos
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Mixos » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:31 pm

The second episode, focusing on the Greek debt crisis, was broadcast last night and made riveting viewing. Yiannis Varoufakis described how Eurozone finance ministers "bamboozled" him into submission during the various crisis meetings. It brought to mind his warnings to Theresa May two years ago that she would face the same bamboozling in the Brexit negotiations. Whatever your views on Brexit, the programme offered a fascinating insight into the way the EU leadership will always draw the wagons into a circle to put the interests of Le Grand Projet first. You might ask: who can blame them?

Maud
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Maud » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:33 pm

Sorry....yes, the second episode was yesterday. We were out, so I recorded it, - hence my confusion about watching it today.

I thought last night’s episode was also very good. Again there were interviews from many different sources. I think most of us know what was happening in Greece at the time, but it was still very informative.

It will be very interesting to see what will happen with Brexit. This is a different situation to Greece. The crisis then was about saving the Euro. Germany was happy to eject Greece to do it. (Merkel was worried about Germany being the biggest financial contributor, and her voters not being happy about it. - I have simplified that!). Everyone else knew it wasn’t the solution. I am not sure if Brexit would have such devastating financial implications for the EU, so possibly the U.K. does not have such a big ‘bargaining chip.’

Time will tell.

YoMo2
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby YoMo2 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:44 am

Mixos wrote:......Yiannis Varoufakis described how Eurozone finance ministers "bamboozled" him into submission during the various crisis meetings.


I don't think Varoufakis ever "submitted". It was precisely because he refused to submit that the EU nobbled Tsipras. Varoufakis realised he had been stabbed in the back and resigned.

There seems to be quite a body of opinion that Varoufakis was right all along. I certainly don't think anyone can say Greece has been "saved" by the three bailouts. The last Debt/GDP ratio figures published show it at a record high. That worked out well then.

Andrew

Philb
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Philb » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 am

Following on from the Airbus and Nissan announcements, Ford also plan to move production out of the UK. What a surprise. Who'll be next?

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-brita ... 0qF-vw0NOg

bobscott
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby bobscott » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:20 pm

MI6??
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:07 pm

I've just listened to a 2015 Radio 4 programme on Magna Carta by Paul Sinha, a GP who gave up the medical profession to become a stand-up comic and subsequently a quizzer on The Chase. Towards the end of the programme he discusses what he would have in a UK Bill of Rights. One clause he suggested was:

    Everybody should have the right to vote in a general election.
    Everybody should have the right to vote on X Factor.
    Nobody should be allowed to vote on both.

Works for me.

Warwick


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