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British EU Referendum Thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Here's something interesting. Varoufakis (you know, that motorbiking former Greece finance minister) has his take on Brussels, May and Brexit.

    Link

    There are logical jumps that don't make much sense, say
    which makes you go wut?, but the stuff about tactics to outmanoeuvre him I can actually see having happened. So I dunno that I think Britain can be treated like Greece, but this certainly doesn't make me more optimistic of a deal happening. We'll see if "no deal" ever was a true option for May, I suppose. Greece had that choice as well.
     
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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  3. bolko7

    bolko7 Second Year DLP Supporter

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    Just a side note, current negotiation has nothing to do with trade or anything. Hell they even are not about UK. EU needs to show force, and as Brussels politicians are so arrogant they will say and do everything to show that they have power.

    What I can not get how stupid lately EU is, at this moment UK is having election they should be hitting May with info that she is giving in ect. A good hit from this could cost her. But rather then that we get "you will pay or ...", I do not know if anyone in Brussels met a Brit before cuz they should know how arrogant you ppl are. And this will help your PM win.

    At the moment I do not know that EU is, want to be ect. I do know one thing ppl in Brussels think they are better then rest of Europe and that is starting to piss me off. They are millions of ppl in UK that don't know what to do but theirs government is this.
     
  4. nath1607

    nath1607 Groundskeeper

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    Honestly you're kind of just making Darth Revans point for him. You're not really complaining about free trade there, but a lack of adequate fiscal policy. Free trade is effectively the majority benefit while a minority suffers, and protectionism is the reverse where the minority benefit while the majority suffer. Thus while there are negatives with free trade, they are more than outweighed by the positives and the negatives can be corrected with proper legislative action or via taxing a small amount of the positive that the majority gain to eliminate the negative. That it hasn't been done well enough is not a failure on free trade as it's accomplished it's stated goals, and as protectionism would be considerably worse for everyone, but on the politicans elected by that public who didn't correct for the minority negatives it creates. That they then elected a party who wishes to reduce the tax on the rich who have been one of the main beneficiaries of free trade due to their capital allowing them to exploit it to a greater extent, and at the same time aims to reduce benefits or services that the overall population receives or benefits from is rather ludicrous of a notion yet that's what happened.

    The second point is rather silly too, as free trade itself is just a name when the policy is more freer trade and that's what it's done. It's wrong of China, but when you compare the negatives vs positives of what China is doing the rest of the world still ends up overwhelmingly in the positive and thus most people are better off. They are simply trying to extract more benefit for their local economy which is their right as all countries do to some extent, but no where near to an extent their policies are harming or are a negative to the overall global economy. They've also reduced in scope this policy over time. The US has done the same with it's own specific industries nationally, but you see it historically in the way the US used it's extensive influence with the IMF and WTO to promote a global policy beneficial to itself since they were founded.

    To decry China in this regard is like that thought experiment where you get a 10% raise and the other person gets a 15% raise, and you'd rather not get a raise at all since they get more, even though both of you benefit from it.

    Your second argument is also kind of relevant to what happened in the US election cycle with Trump decrying China as a currency manipulator. The problem with that claim though was that it was based upon information gained from cultural consciousness, as in the early 2000's it was frequent topic in the press and then it faded away as China diminished that aspect of it's policy. Thus when he made that claim he did so off information nearly a decade old. Since then arguably the US has been the most prolific currency manipulator in the world due to the sheer scale of quantitative easing and has been for years, which is kind of why both foreign affairs and trade experts face palmed at his claim.

    Edit - My bad, this is the EU Referendum thread. The wrong sort of topic for this place really.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  5. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    Talking solely about the democracy aspect and ignoring free trade, I have a mental conflict- one the one hand I agree that representative democracy is about voting for who makes the decisions for you and voting on each and every decision is paralysing for the government, but on the other hand situations change from the time of voting and if large portions of the populace make a public show of agreement about something then the elected representatives should follow the publicly shown opinion.

    So, ignoring whether or not TTIP was a good idea, if there is a large majority of the population demanding that it be stopped then shouldn't it be the responsibility of the elected representatives to take that view into account and either stop it or explain satisfactorily why it shouldn't be stopped?

    I mean, what you are saying would strictly mean that the only way you should give an opinion on the actions of politicians is by either voting for them or not, and you shouldn't bother contacting politicians to complain, organise protests, go to council meetings or in any way interact with government outside of the vote.

    Similarly, however stupid politicians think Brexit is, they should be going ahead with it unless the general population show that they think it should be stopped. If they want to make it really easy for the population to change their mind (to the point of having another referendum) then that's fine, but otherwise they should be going ahead with it.

    (That's complicated slightly by the coming election which some people are going to claim it's a mandate either for Brexit or against it no matter what.)
     
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Not me then, because I never supported that or anything close to that. I meant what Agayek said. You can't be a democratic government and be surprised that massive programs that will change the world forever need mass support and need to be explained.

    Because guess what, there's no vacuum. If the people don't know the basics, someone will fill them in. And that's where populists like Trump grow, between distrust and ignorance in one side and apathy in the other.
     
  7. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Yeah, democratic governments pretty much have to be responsive to public mandates. If nothing else, there's always the fact that the next election is only X years away, and the opposition parties always love when the ruling one does something deeply unpopular. Just look at how quickly the Tories have taken the reins of Brexit despite a lot of the party establishment (including May) being in favor of Remain during the referendum.

    Bottom line, if the majority of the voters in a democracy wants something, elected officials will pay attention out of simple self-preservation. It's very rare for politicians to willingly and knowingly kill their chances in the next election.

    As far as "Shut up outside of voting" goes, wouldn't that also mean that Revan isn't allowed to complain about any of the actions May, Trump, or other politicians he doesn't like take? He shouldn't even complain about TTIP failing, because the elected officials made their decision and as a "pleb" he has no right to speak against them. At least, if his standard has any kind of internal consistency...
     
  8. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Because everyone's been talking about democracy, have my bit. Spoilered, because it's both long and pretty off-topic for the thread. (Could merit one of its own?)

    I think that one of the aspects of a representative democracy - that the general electorate gives a mandate to the eponymous representatives to do their democratising - has turned into a rather complex creature over the years, and the advent of the internet has only further increased that complexity. Consider, if you will, the veritable wealth of information on every subject online and the ever-increasing depth of various fields. It is impossible to sift through everything in order to be the ideal informed voter who weighed every aspect of government and governing before choosing which of the parties involved is best / least bad. And so, helped by the human psyche, we take shortcuts, because it is the only way in which we can hope to keep up with everything. This translates into generalisations on complex topics, and those can miss the mark rather severely. (As this post probably does, but I'll carry on anyway. :nyan:)

    Behind those generalisations lie assumptions based on incomplete information, and it is beyond easy to find information that looks plausible but is not the whole story. To keep with the thread's theme: the 350 million pound sterling per week is one of those tidbits. Yes, that was a weekly approximation of the gross yearly contribution to the EU budget, but then you also have to keep in mind that the UK has a yearly rebate negotiated by Thatcher back in the 80s (I believe) and that money also flows back from the EU to the UK on things from research to cow pattern studies in Devon and Cornwall, and I think the average voter is fast asleep by now. There is a tremendous amount of ifs, buts, excepts etc. in governance, and sussing out the details is asking too much of voters, who have lives to get on with, hobbies to partake in, friends to meet, things that also belong in a life and that are of more immediate importance. The abstract generally doesn't interest people until it becomes immediate, and by that point, you're probably too late to master the topic, and thus you fall back on the incomplete assumptions.

    Now, depending on who you ask and what the topic and your stance is, those assumptions mean you see the world for what it is (which tends to be the populist's cry), or you're hopelessly naive about human nature (right wing re: left wing social engineering), or you're stupidly selfish (left wing re: right wing taxation policies) or you're an ignoramus who shouldn't be allowed to vote (technocratic arrogance), or just make one up on your own - I'm sure we can fill a thread the size of the 2A sticky with these.

    In addition, the fact that we have this mass communication through the internet now means that it is far easier for like-minded people, who would be relative outcasts in their own microsociety, to find each other and to expand and limit their views simultaneously. These communities allow for much easier dissemination of information, but because it is just statistically unlikely that any one of the users is more than a marginally more informed layman (on account of the aforementioned increased depth of fields), things are simplified, cast in extremes, and then everything spreads because information is shared. We saw this with TTIP and other free trade agreements, but also with things like SOPA/PIPA/other net neutrallity-related issues, and of course Brexit, and a thousand other issues I am forgetting or not mentioning. Then you move from the strictly political to the slightly more societal like, say, immigration, and the process is rather similar there, except now there are anecdotes involved for added shenanigans. Truly, the fun never ends, and that's before even considering the intermingling of everything.
    And after that wildly off-topic wall... May hit back at the FAZ leaks by pretty much suggesting that the EU is meddling in the election, to which I want to say "of course they are, it intersects with the EU rather a lot, making them invested in the outcome." Politicians going to be politicians, though, with the EU Parliament's president saying:

    Donald Tusk also weighed in, saying that he wanted less antagonism, and I suppose the Eurosceptic papers have their meddling EU headline for tomorrow already made...
     
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That is a deliberate perversion of my point.

    It wasn't that people can't debate in the public space amongst themselves, it's that political actors are elected to terms, and that, in the context of complex negotiations like trade deals (or the Brexit negotiations that this thread is supposed to be about), they should get on with the negotiations and then stand on the result at the next election. Negotiation should be behind closed doors, so that negotiation can actually happen.

    And on that, I will happily allow them as much rope as they like on which to hang themselves.
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity Auror

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    Unilateral free trade is beneficial to both parties.
     
  11. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    And here's where I have that conflict again- where is the level of complexity over which some things should be publicly debated, and others should just be kept quiet and presented as a fait accompli? And which things are so big and cover so much area that it becomes the responsibility of the general citizen to get involved in the discussion?

    And again, even if some things should theoretically be complex enough to be left to the representatives, if the public has a generally held opinion which is clearly shown, shouldn't the elected representatives follow the clearly shown changed opinion, even if it is against what they ran on being elected or against their own opinion?

    I'm not really looking for an answer or attacking anyone, I'm just thinking out loud since this is probably one of those questions where the answer is that there isn't a real answer, and any guidelines change between countries and over time. Which I think is often used as an excuse to avoid debate of things that would screw over the general public.
     
  12. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    Hypothetical scenario:

    Only two villages in the world. Village1 is highly technically advanced manufacturing society, Village2 is a poor agrarian society. Village 1 allows unilateral free trade, Village 2 sells to Village 1. Cue transfer of wealth, except since Village 1 can pay in gold which is inherently useful there is no curb until pretty much all the industry in Village 1 is gone.
     
  13. Hopper

    Hopper Second Year

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    I see. I didn't know that soft yellow rocks are inherently useful, and aren't just arbitrarily used as a medium of exchange by people who think shiny yellow rocks are pretty. I bow to your superior knowledge.
     
  14. Paranoid Android

    Paranoid Android Groundskeeper

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    Gold is an excellent conductor and is pretty ubiquitous in use for electronic devices.
     
  15. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That'll totally help.
     
  16. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    Because it models the USD, which would be arbitrarily useful.
     
  17. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Just going to treat this as a general Brexit/British-European relations thread. Here's an interesting article comparing the British and French economies. There's nothing groundbreaking in here for people who keep an eye on the financial/economic press, but it's a nice summary nonetheless, and helps give a bit of background to upcoming negotiations.

    https://www.ft.com/content/6b724192-4b8d-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    First ideas about the DUP:

    That's not unclear at all. 1) There shall be no hard border. 2) There shall be no special status for NI. Conclusion: All of Britain must stay in the customs union and the common market.

    Barnier is doing happy dances and will from now on insist any deal that does not include the above leads to a hard border in NI. Good game.
     
  19. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So the end result is that the UK would still have all of the obligations of the EU, but no voting power?

    Great plan. If that's the idea on the table, they'd be better off scrapping Brexit altogether.
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Except that is Labour isn't completely against hard Brexit, like the vote given to handle May ample power proved. Lines aren't that partisan. Plenty of northerner Labour ppeople dislike the EU, a lot even. There's still a lot of game.