War & PoliticsGerman Election

 

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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Harry (HARRYN)      
42034.21 In reply to 42034.19 
Quote: 
The US is not fundamentally a 2 party system, that is just a result of crooked politics and crooked election laws that tend to push out smaller parties.

Same in the UK, though I'd not describe it as crooked, just outmoded: the FPTP system throws the majority of votes away in every constituency - I think I'm right in saying that no post-WW2 government has actually won a majority of the votes cast.

I'm a passionate advocate for a proportional representation vote: Every vote cast counts towards the balance of MPs in government.  Yes, you'll get a handful of wankers of every stripe, but a) that's a price of representative democracy worth paying, I think and b) to some extent the extreme right wingers cancel out the communists and the anarchists cancel out the libertarians.

It would take some time to get used to: the UK has had an spurious adversarial two-party system for too long, where the true representation of opinion is far more complicated & nuanced (as I'm sure it is in the US, as you suggest).

If you want reasonably balanced, reasonably decent journalism, try the Tory-supporting Telegraph (pay-walled after a number of articles per month) and the Labour-supporting Guardian (free advertisement paid access).

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  patch  
 To:  ALL
42034.22 In reply to 42034.21 
Over here in Godzone, they use mixed-member (Y, J) proportional representation, same as Scotland and Wales, with the added complication of Maori seats. The current result is that National and Labour (think Tories and Labour) have won all but one of the constituencies, but neither of them have enough for a majority government on their own, so until sometime in October (when the foreign and postal votes are done being counted) everyone is speculating on which party will make a deal with either the Greens or New Zealand First, both of them having enough seats to bring the total above 61 seats.

The only problem is that the Greens are seen as a waste of time, but NZ First are the local equivalent of a toned-down UKIP. Mind you, the head of NZ First is in his seventies, so maybe if they just drag it out a bit, he might not be around to be quite such a dick any more.

Having said all that, the government was dissolved over a month ago before the election, and we're muddling along with no-one in charge quite nicely so far. Makes you wonder why they bother.
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  Harry (HARRYN)      
42034.23 In reply to 42034.20 
> I suppose the British, French, Spanish. US, Middle Eastern Countries never did anything regrettable in their history? ...

If you look up, you might spot what I'm saying flying way above your head.


> Am I personally responsible for...? No way.
>
> The reality is that nearly every country has...

You are not a country!


> ... we all must learn to move beyond it.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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 From:  Harry (HARRYN)   
 To:  ALL
42034.24 
In the news - the various German political parties failed to form a coalition.

I can see how the various minority parties would view it all - for them, it is a rare opportunity for a strong negotiating position.

It will be interesting to see if Merkel needs to resign to bring it together, a new election, or something else.

Perhaps they need the AFD after all?

In the meantime, Germany runs along just fine with minimal need for a lot of Federal level steering and new laws + taxes.
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  Harry (HARRYN)      
42034.25 In reply to 42034.24 
It's only been 2 months. It's not like they're not collecting taxes.
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 From:  Harry (HARRYN)   
 To:  ALL
42034.26 
At least from the news we receive in the US, it looks like the government is coming together.

It is a funny sort of deal - it appears that more or less the concept is to "pay off" other parties to join into the government.  A combination of positions and special interest funding for pet projects and concepts.

I am sure that it goes on everywhere, I am just not used to it being so obvious.  It gives the impression that more or less Merkel is selling off policy to stay in power.

Seems like a dangerous game to play for the long term, as it increasingly alienates the right end of the party.
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  Harry (HARRYN)      
42034.27 In reply to 42034.26 
It's called compromise. If you want to form a coalition government then all parts of that government will require some of their policy ideas being made reality. Otherwise what is the point of them agreeing to being part of a coalition government if they are unable to actually act as part of the government?

It's nothing new nor sinister. It's what happens in countries with more proportional election systems that result in the requirement of a coalition being formed. Usually leads to a more moderate and centre policy direction. And potentially much more stable.
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 From:  [The best version of] (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42034.28 In reply to 42034.27 
Or it leads to nutjobs like the DUP having a cudgel on your gummint.
“hooliganism comes to lawn bowling”
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  [The best version of] (DSMITHHFX)     
42034.29 In reply to 42034.28 
That's more a problem with the Tories and Theresa May, who were both already comfortable doing business with terrorist supporters and human rights abusers, so their eagerness in paying the DUP to prop her up shouldn't be a surprise.

I know almost nothing about German politics, but it appears their coalitions are at least done with the major parties - not ones who had less than 1% of the vote - so have a greater chance of being somewhat representative.

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 From:  [The best version of] (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)     
42034.30 In reply to 42034.29 
I'm all for proportional elections, but they can be abused and manipulated to give minority parties disproportionate power, as we see in places like Italy and Israel. As for Germany, it may well be that at some point in the near future, a center-right party will form a coalition with the AfD in order to form a government.
“hooliganism comes to lawn bowling”
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  [The best version of] (DSMITHHFX)     
42034.31 In reply to 42034.30 
But FPTP gives major parties disproportionate power. No perfect system but at least with a proportional systems the power is much more proportional and representative.

But yeah, what BP said. That was a poor decision that isn't even a formal coalition.
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 From:  [The best version of] (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42034.32 In reply to 42034.31 
What we need is to fix stupid voters and non-voters (mea culpa, for quite a few years).
“hooliganism comes to lawn bowling”
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