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Shame; it was a nice planet - Grin with cat attached
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Shame; it was a nice planet Nov. 3rd, 2004 08:53 am
Oh.
Fuck.

Short of a comet strike (and Bush is God's buddy, remember) it looks like another 4 years of the thief-in-chief. If this really is the case it's down to those of us in other nations to direct our own governments in a path that can mitigate this damage.

This means, in the UK, bringing in a government that will not act like the 51st state, but one that will fully engage in Europe in order to make that continent a genuine superpower; one that has sufficient military might, commercial power and internal cohesion not to directly combat the US, but to be able to direct and execute its own agenda irrespective of US action.

This will mean some major changes in both the UK government (ie, greater support for our one integrationist party) and in the operations of the EU (ie, greater power of the EU parliament over the Commission and Council, removal of vetos) and a bit of bloody political maturity. I'm of the firm belief that this requires proportional representation in both national and supranational elections, as this leads to more rational political discussion and a greater feeling of enfranchisement that first-past-the-post (or, for that matter, the utterly absurd two-tier first-past-the-post that we're watching with dismay in the US.)

The baton has been dropped; if we don't pick it up we cannot be satisfied to blame others for the path the world takes.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Re: First Past The Post

From: wechsler
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 09:31 am (Link)
PR has no benefits for an election in which there is only one post up for grabs, so there's some validity in what you say, however the abolition of the tiered system would still have the benefit of people not thinking "but my state always goes way X". Turnout appears to be high this year (it looks more like the first open South African elections that something you'd expect in the "home of democracy", fuck knows what they were playing at), but could have been higher, and the reduction of herd voting could have had other effects.

Re: First Past The Post

From: ciphergoth
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 11:04 am (Link)
We don't know who would win if the President were directly elected by simple plurality (FPTP), rather than having an electoral college. Turnout could be completely different in "safe" states if their vote actually counted for something.

It's also interesting to speculate who would win if a fairer voting system than FPTP were used.
From: robinbloke
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 09:14 am (Link)
I'm finding myself a lot more politically motivated than I have been because of Bush, whereas previously I was fairly apathetic about the whole shabang.

With our three horse race coming soon up things are going to get interesting; the UK needs to wake up and stop thinking about the past and look to the future and those on it's doorstep.
From: purplerabbits
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 10:36 am (Link)
This means, in the UK, bringing in a government that will not act like the 51st state

Which in my case probably means going all out for Scottish independence...

Scots independence?

From: mrz80
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 03:11 pm (Link)
I understand a fairly significant step in that direction was taken a bit ago, with the reopening of the Scots Parliament. Is there real substance to that move, or was it more of a symbolic gesture? And is there any reasonable expectation that 1707 would be undone?
From: countess_sophia
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 12:46 pm (Link)
Bush may well be the best friend that the cause of EU development ever had. The clear threat that he and his ilk pose has concentrated people's minds greatly. This will happen more now it is clear that his appointment last time was not merely an aberation.

I feel that achieving full membership of greatly enhanced and more democratic EU is the number one priority for Britain now. That and reforming our own corrupt political system.

Soph x

Almost as quixotic as voting for Peroutka...

From: mrz80
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 03:15 pm (Link)
...is the notion of actually forming a viable functioning single political entity out of as fractuous, hatefilled and mistrustful lot as western Europe. I would expect better odds of a (admittedly "fringe") candidate like Peroutka or Badnarik moving into those fancy digs in DC for 4 years than the odds of the EU actually starting to function as a cohesive whole. The whole "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing hasn't any real staying power.

Re: Almost as quixotic as voting for Peroutka...

From: wechsler
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 03:40 pm (Link)
The view from here is rather different, although I appreciate that US media has a particular image they like to paint of us.

In some ways Europe already seems less internally divided than the US.

Re: Almost as quixotic as voting for Peroutka...

From: mrz80
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 03:59 pm (Link)
I wasn't looking at my US media sources (all they've got right now is the election, the war, and the new season of The Simpsons). I was looking at my history books, and the several hundred years' mutual antagonisms between, oh, say, France and Germany, England and Germany, England and France (that's one of the REALLY big ones), France and Austria, Italy and hmmm... the rest of Italy :-)... [any ethnic or national group in the Balkans] and [any other Balkan group], Turkey (which you could argue is actually Asian rather than European) and Greece, Poland and Russia, Germany and Russia, etc., etc. You know, a hundred years ago isn't all that long in the overall scheme of human history, and a hundred years ago England was still the aloof master player, cagily playing Germany and Austria off France and Russia, trying to keep them antagonistic but not to the point of war whilst not quite allying with either bunch. There's a WHOLE lot of historical/cultural "baggage" that suggests, as far as European unity goes, (to use a quaint Suthuh'nism) "That dog won't hunt!"

Re: Almost as quixotic as voting for Peroutka...

From: wechsler
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 04:19 pm (Link)
Yes, 20 years ago Germany was divided and the Iron Curtain had Europe split in half. 60 years ago was WW2 and the US and USSR were allies, and France and Germany were at war. Now we have a European Union with France and Germany closely at its heart and a constant post-war record of closer economic and social union. Leaving aside the abberations of Thatcher and de Gaulle we'd probably have the system I envisage already.

History accelerates. Europe evolves in timescales of decades or less, and the antagonisms you list are (with the clear exception of the Balkan states) little more than ancient history. To claim that the European political class cannot overcome or work around them in the short-to-medium term is frankly ludicrous. There is, frankly, very little work left to do; we're not seeking a federal system in the US mould, but a co-operative union for which all the groundwork is already in place.

Re: Almost as quixotic as voting for Peroutka...

From: mrz80
Date: November 3rd, 2004 - 04:49 pm (Link)
I will concede the argument to the man on the scene. Back to the studio. :-)