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The Brexit Thread


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Well I was responding to the charge that I'm a "populist." I freely admit I am so inclined.

I saw an article yesterday where a Brexiter was interviewed. "If you're rich you vote stay, if you're poor you vote leave," she said. That sort of stuck with me. It's emblematic of something stirring in the masses of people. People are starting to get the sense that they are being screwed, and they're right. They're not always right about who they think is screwing them, and they don't always pick the best representatives of their interests, but maybe they're doing the best they can with the power they don't have.

As far how democratic or undemocratic the EU is, I'll be the first to admit my understanding of how the Kafkaesque EU government works is very limited, so I'm open to the possibility that I'm wrong on that point. Though I would like to hear an explanation as to where I've gone wrong.

My understanding is that the EU consists of 7 decision making bodies:

1. The Council of the EU (legislature).

2. The European Parliament (legislature).

3. The European Council (executive).

4. The European Commission (executive).

5. The Court of Justice of the European Union (judiciary).

6. The European Central Bank (central bank).

7. European Court of Auditors

Of these governing bodies, only the European Parliament is directly elected by European citizens. So it doesn't sound to me like the people have much power in the equation, and if the people lack power, then that's undemocratic by definition.

 

For once I am in whole-hearted agreement with you. 

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Well I was responding to the charge that I'm a "populist." I freely admit I am so inclined.

I saw an article yesterday where a Brexiter was interviewed. "If you're rich you vote stay, if you're poor you vote leave," she said. That sort of stuck with me. It's emblematic of something stirring in the masses of people. People are starting to get the sense that they are being screwed, and they're right. They're not always right about who they think is screwing them, and they don't always pick the best representatives of their interests, but maybe they're doing the best they can with the power they don't have.

As far how democratic or undemocratic the EU is, I'll be the first to admit my understanding of how the Kafkaesque EU government works is very limited, so I'm open to the possibility that I'm wrong on that point. Though I would like to hear an explanation as to where I've gone wrong.

My understanding is that the EU consists of 7 decision making bodies:

1. The Council of the EU (legislature).

2. The European Parliament (legislature).

3. The European Council (executive).

4. The European Commission (executive).

5. The Court of Justice of the European Union (judiciary).

6. The European Central Bank (central bank).

7. European Court of Auditors

Of these governing bodies, only the European Parliament is directly elected by European citizens. So it doesn't sound to me like the people have much power in the equation, and if the people lack power, then that's undemocratic by definition.

 

I am typically sympathetic to populist ideas.  Sometimes the deck is so stacked from the beginning, that's its not a fair chance for many, if not most.  But this isn't one of those times.  If you are going to vote for something, you have the burden to educate yourself or at least have the decency to admit your ignorance and abstain.  You have heavily EU subsidized parts of the UK voting to leave EU for supposedly economic reasons and then turn around and say "Oh crap, can we make sure we get that same amount from UK now that we've kicked EU to the curb?"

 

And you keep saying that EU government is Kafkaesque, but complexity alone is not enough to declare it Kafkaesque.  It's federalism made up of 28 distinct sovereign nations with history dating back hundreds of years.  Of course it's going to be complicated.  But the system essentially ensures that EU only acts when all 28 member states are basically in agreement (In 2006, UK voted for 84 of 86 EU legislation and abstained from 2.  It's like the UN security council.  Nothing gets done if the powers that be object).  If someone unfamiliar with US government kept calling it Kafkaesque, that would be wrong too. 

 

As for the 7 main bodies

 

1. The Council of the EU (legislature).:  Each member country gets one minister per policy area.  How the member country selects the minister is up to them.  The concept is that of equal representation among the members regardless of population.  Remind you of any legislative body in the US?

2. The European Parliament (legislature).: Each member country gets proportional seats based on population.  Members of the parliament are elected by direct vote.  Many compare it to the House of Representatives in US federalism.  For good reason.

3. The European Council (executive).:  Made up of heads of state from each member country.  Because Europe doesn't want a single executive in charge of the whole union.  It's different than US, but does that make it Kafkaesque?

4. The European Commission (executive).:  I discussed this in another post, but essentially consider it a type of Cabinet with Commission president acting like the chief of staff.

5. The Court of Justice of the European Union (judiciary).:  Each country sends a Judge chosen by their method.  Only requirement is that the judge must have legal background and must be deemed completely independent.  What's the problem here?

6. The European Central Bank (central bank).:  It's the European federal reserve.

7. European Court of Auditors:  This is EU's OMB.  it's role is primary reporting and tabulating.

 

 

 

If 'inferior' countries have any say in the UK's affairs then that makes it undemocratic,

What percentage of the 'Leave' voters do you think would believe that a Greek or Irish vote should be worth the same as the vote of an Englishman?

 

UK voters' votes having equal weight with any other votes in the EU is the very definition of democracy.  If you want UK votes to have greater weight than Greek or Irish (I presume due to greater wealth of the UK than Greece or Ireland) then that's plutocracy.  If for any other reason, then oligarchy.  Would you like the US electoral college to be based on respective states' wealth rather than population?  If that's what you are advocating for, it may be a lot of things, but it sure isn't democracy.

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UK voters' votes having equal weight with any other votes in the EU is the very definition of democracy.  If you want UK votes to have greater weight than Greek or Irish (I presume due to greater wealth of the UK than Greece or Ireland) then that's plutocracy.  If for any other reason, then oligarchy.  Would you like the US electoral college to be based on respective states' wealth rather than population?  If that's what you are advocating for, it may be a lot of things, but it sure isn't democracy.

I'd rather the US electoral college be determined by the United States and not Mexico and Canada.
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I'd rather the US electoral college be determined by the United States and not Mexico and Canada.

 

Since there is no political union between US, Mexico, and Canada that's obviously not an issue.  UK objecting other EU countries having equal say in EU measures that can affect UK is an objection to federalism not democracy.  It would be like New York saying that congressional votes from other states should have less weight if the law affects NY. 

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Since there is no political union between US, Mexico, and Canada that's obviously not an issue.  UK objecting other EU countries having equal say in EU measures that can affect UK is an objection to federalism not democracy.  It would be like New York saying that congressional votes from other states should have less weight if the law affects NY.

Exactly. There've been calls to create a North American Union (or was it just American?) and I would thoroughly oppose any such union that would take away our sovereignty as a nation.

As for New York, it is not a Country, it is a State.

And now there's no union between the UK and those other countries. Problem solved.

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Why wouldn't Britain and honestly Germany not want to leave the EU. All they have become is a safety net for all these other countries who are just awful economically.

 

The Euro is good for German exporters.  Maybe not so good (long term) for Germany/EU bankers :-)

 

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/ben-bernanke/posts/2015/04/03-germany-trade-surplus-problem

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.....

Wasting your time bud.

As most every major voice in the leave campaign shouted 'We're fed up of hearing from experts.'

Sadly, most of the (not so) great British public, along with many hear reading, agreed.

Hail.

Edited by Gibbs Hog Heaven
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http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36632956

Brexit: 'Half' of Labour top team set to resign

 

Up to half of the shadow cabinet is set to resign in a bid to force Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to step down, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg understands.

 

It follows the sacking of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn overnight.

 

Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has said "with a heavy heart" that she is resigning.

 

Mr Corbyn faces a vote of no confidence over claims he was "lacklustre" during the EU referendum.

 

A Labour source told the BBC Mr Corbyn had "lost confidence" in Mr Benn.

 

Mr Benn, who is to appear on the Andrew Marr Show shortly, said there was concern about Mr Corbyn's "leadership and his ability to win an election".

 

He added: "There is no confidence to win the next election if Jeremy continues as leader.

 

"In a phone call to Jeremy I told him I had lost confidence in his ability to lead the party and he dismissed me."

Ms Alexander, who joined Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet last year, tweeted: "It is with a heavy heart that I have this morning resigned from the shadow cabinet."

 

In a letter to the Labour leader, she wrote: "Our country needs an effective opposition which can hold the government to account."

 

The letter continued: "As much as I respect you as a man of principle, I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding and I believe that if we are to form the next government, a change of leadership is essential."

 

https://twitter.com/AmichaiStein1/status/746975657465360384?lang=en

BREAKING: 10 Labour shadow cabinet ministers expected to resign after 2 resigned/sacked by @jeremycorbyn

3:57 AM

 

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/746974426504171520?lang=en

Live on air @DMcCaffreySky gets a text from Jeremy Corbyn's office saying the Labour leader will not resign

Live on air Sky Political Correspondent gets text from Corbyn's office saying "there will be no resignation of a democratically elected leader.
3:52 AM

Edited by visionary
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UK voters' votes having equal weight with any other votes in the EU is the very definition of democracy. If you want UK votes to have greater weight than Greek or Irish (I presume due to greater wealth of the UK than Greece or Ireland) then that's plutocracy. If for any other reason, then oligarchy. Would you like the US electoral college to be based on respective states' wealth rather than population? If that's what you are advocating for, it may be a lot of things, but it sure isn't democracy.

You missed my point. As an Irish person who experienced first-hand over several decades the attitudes of the English toward foreigners, I know full well the contempt a significant portion the English population have for others. The Green wogs having a vote on anything that impacts Old England? The horror!

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You missed my point. As an Irish person who experienced first-hand over several decades the attitudes of the English toward foreigners, I know full well the contempt a significant portion the English population have for others. The Green wogs having a vote on anything that impacts Old England? The horror!

 

Yup, totally missed it.  My bad, I thought you were defending the "leavers".  Thanks for setting me straight.

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Exactly. There've been calls to create a North American Union (or was it just American?) and I would thoroughly oppose any such union that would take away our sovereignty as a nation.

As for New York, it is not a Country, it is a State.

And now there's no union between the UK and those other countries. Problem solved.

 

But do you oppose it because you don't want to be in a federalized union with Mexico and Canada or because the end result will be undemocratic?  One is a pragmatic stance and the other is a principled one.  If UK leave voters said I know our interests may be damaged by leaving the EU, but it is an undemocratic bureaucracy and it would be wrong for us to stay, that's a principled stance.  If the UK leavers say, you know what, we just don't get net benefit from a EU, so we want to leave, that's pragmatic decision. 

 

The problem is that the claim that EU is undemocratic is inaccurate.  And they say they want to leave the EU but still get all the net tangible benefit of being in the EU.  Thus, the decision is neither principled nor pragmatic.  They either got swindled by false campaign promises (like the 350 million pounds being directed to NHS), blamed EU for all the woes created by a globalized economy (I got news for the leavers, leaving EU won't change the forces of globalization), or voted based on xenophobic biases and fears.  

 

Kinda getting besides the point, but essentially, giving equal voice to your federalized members comes with the territory of federalism.  Let us not forget that at one point, the US states were sovereigns too.  Plus, having a bloc of 28 nations lifts everyone in that union (or would you support the net giving states  leaving the US and forming their own countries?).  And as I said before, the single most important function of the EU is to so integrate the interests of European continent to never walk down the path of the great wars ever again.  Anywhere between 50 to 80 million people died in WWII alone.  When's the last time you worried about a great geopolitical war in the European continent?  Do you really think that has nothing do with the fact that they created the predecessors for the EU shortly after WWII?  

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Stolen from the net, not my words, just something doing the rounds........

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.

How?

Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-manoeuvred and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over - Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession ... broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was "never". When Michael Gove went on and on about "informal negotiations" ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.

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That would be awesome. A vote occurs, with a result that people really don't want. And would be disastrous. So leadership basically scraps it.

See- GOP convention.

I think it would be terribly wrong for the GOP to overturn the will of its party, but that it could be for the best for the country. Would an "artificial" candidate one chosen by the party leaders and not the people be able to win? It's possible given Hillary's weaknesses, but it'd be such a slap in the face to the 40% of the party that voted for Trump.

 

The other thing to consider is that given the anti-establishment mood of the country would a candidate chosen by the elite of the party be so in opposition to the mood of the Trump, Sanders, and GOP voters that it would have a devastating ripple. I don't think it would, but with the mood of these voters, it is possible.

 

Lastly, would Trump say "F you" to the Republican party and go third party taking a third of the GOP with him?

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Good posts UK and bearock.

I don't think the Brexiters expected that they would win. The EU is calling them out as well and demanding that Article 50 be triggered ASAP.

This is such an utterly moronic decision because eventually they will have to get to exact same point where the UK is right now. But it will require likely a decades worth of work and an economic recession on top of it. And prolonged austerity measures.

All for what? A fake regaining of democracy that they never lost. A stark reminder that usually nothing good comes out of ignorant populism.

Is it any surprise that the main people who led the Brexit charge are backing off instead of making their campaign promises come true? They know what they just did and don't want to do the work associated with it or go down in history as the morons who led an ignorant deceptive campaign.

Edited by No Excuses
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Stolen from the net, not my words, just something doing the rounds........

Interesting stuff...... Having a conversation with a mate earlier and we both noted that Boris has been VERY quiet this weekend for someone who was SO vocal leading up to the vote.

Can't believe the number of people who voted to leave now going back on their vote saying they shouldn't have done it. Supposed mature, reasoned adults.

They should be banned from ever voting ever again!

Hail.

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So I keep seeing about a petition for a remote that has 3 million signatures. Assuming you don't know how those 3 million originally voted, isn't that just a drop in the bucket considering the number of people that voted? I don't see how that number is even worth news coverage.

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That would be awesome. A vote occurs, with a result that people really don't want. And would be disastrous. So leadership basically scraps it.

See- GOP convention.

 

Love is just a game, that everybody plays

And when the game is over, not everybody pays

Some play the game and lose

Some play the game and win

The winners walk out laughing,

The losers cry, deal again.

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Burgold, Trump doesn't have the money to run third party. If he's broke with the RNC backing him, it means he's got nothing on his own for a campaign.

Oh, I think he could easily run a third party campaign relying only on the media (social and traditional) if his goal is revenge and to screw the GOP.

 

People with little hands can be very petty and small minded.

Edited by Burgold
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Oh, I think he could easily run a third party campaign relying only on the media (social and traditional) if his goal is revenge and to screw the GOP.

 

Did you say Hillary Plant?  Bill Clinton can thank Ross Perot for getting elected.  Now Hillary gets to thank Trump.  History repeats itself.

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