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#41 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:35 PM

Yeah we have some yahoos in Alaska that disagree with their having become a state (Sarah Palin's hubby was in such a group) and want to secede. There are also people in US territories like Puerto Rico which would like to petition for statehood. The last measure was narrowly defeated because many enjoy their exemption from US income taxes. The US like any large country has many regional flavors, customs, and even dialects though. But you also need to figure in the fact each state is quasi-sovereign in it's own right by design. I think what you are seeing in the UK may be something of an evolution towards that idea, where central governance is still in London, but each of the old lands that make up the UK will be semi autonomous. But admittedly my family's relationship with the Crown being a couple centuries removed I might well be a little ignorant on how things are broken up there :P


No, you're on the money! I understand that each US state has its own distinct micro-culture (and possibly at the country's geographical extremities this is more pronounced and possibly racially motivated too) and that in many ways individual states do already have a degree of legal autonomy. British visitors to your country are always advised that what may legal in one state is not necessarily so in another and to check. Certainly we crossed a few state lines when my family visited the US. There is much more of a move to separate Great Britain up into its constituent countries because Scotland - and to a much greater degree, Wales - believe that their cultural identites have become subsumed by "England" and "Englishness". In Wales there has been a decades-long struggle to get Wesh taught again in all Welsh schools and an upsurge in Welsh speakers. Scotland has had its own quite separate education system for a long time and it is still free for Scots to attend university. I have less issues with that kind of separatism, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) are quite a lot more agressive in seeking genuine autonomy from the rest of Great Britian, and at its extreme end, going into Scotland could become like moving from France to Germany on the continent. My concern is that this would work on a much larger landmass, but on an island that you can literally drive from one ened to the other in one day at its longest point and half a day at its shortest, it will not work at all.

#42 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:05 PM

No, you're on the money! I understand that each US state has its own distinct micro-culture (and possibly at the country's geographical extremities this is more pronounced and possibly racially motivated too) and that in many ways individual states do already have a degree of legal autonomy. British visitors to your country are always advised that what may legal in one state is not necessarily so in another and to check. Certainly we crossed a few state lines when my family visited the US. There is much more of a move to separate Great Britain up into its constituent countries because Scotland - and to a much greater degree, Wales - believe that their cultural identites have become subsumed by "England" and "Englishness". In Wales there has been a decades-long struggle to get Wesh taught again in all Welsh schools and an upsurge in Welsh speakers. Scotland has had its own quite separate education system for a long time and it is still free for Scots to attend university. I have less issues with that kind of separatism, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) are quite a lot more agressive in seeking genuine autonomy from the rest of Great Britian, and at its extreme end, going into Scotland could become like moving from France to Germany on the continent. My concern is that this would work on a much larger landmass, but on an island that you can literally drive from one ened to the other in one day at its longest point and half a day at its shortest, it will not work at all.

This is quite true. In New England, our individual state identities largely revolve around being the least like Massachusetts, which many regard as being clandestinely Socialist :P Connecticut usually plays this game wrongly, as they usually try to pass themselves off as the rich part of NY instead of New England's southernmost state. NH was largely populated by Scots, English, some Irish and French Canadians in it's first hundred years, and our laws and State constitution do reflect that as much as our town's names. Yes Virginia, there is a Bath, New Hampshire. We also expect our representatives be they in Concord or DC to work as hard for us as the draft animals we once used to pull up granite boulders from our fields with. We usually don't offer second chances if they screw up. Our state representatives unlike our Federal ones are elected biannually. Not much chance to screw up if you can't tow the burden, because the budget for the state is done by the new class of reps. Unlike most states our lower house is all volunteer as well. Though elected, they're paid the equivalent of a nice dinner for two in Concord ($100) every two years. They also get their own distinct license plate corresponding to an assigned space at the State House offices and a transponder for the highway tolls paid on the state's tab. State senators, executive council, and the Governer get paid living wages but modest in comparative to other states. That is because once the legislative session is done, they do much of the legwork to get what the reps pass enacted.

Many residents from other states in the region move to ours (or at least shop and vacation here) to escape consumption taxes, particularly as Bill can attest from Mass, their tax burden being the heaviest of the six overall. Our property taxes are arguably the highest in the nation, but there are places you can go where this isn't the case. We also have much lower prices as a means to lure neighboring state's residents and drive our own economy which is by and large service based. But to be clear, our state motto has absolutely nothing to do with taxation!

But we also are quite proud to be one of the "original 13" United States. It was here where arguably the first shots of the Revolution were fired, it being where much of the colonist's ammo for the battles of Lexington and Concord was "liberated" from a poorly guarded British garrison near Exeter :P
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#43 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:25 PM

I think we eventually agreed to disagree since neither of us were swayed by the other's arguments! I'm still claiming it as a victory though!


You can go ahead and claim it as a victory. I do the same, so it's only fair. :P

To be fair to you, I probably did give the Bloc more credit than they deserve, but on the other hand, we still have four other major parties, and the fact that you're painting at least two of them as "single issue parties" just goes to show that you really don't understand what they're about. Whether a multi-party system is better is a matter of perspective and opinion, but what the parties in my system stand for is a matter of fact, and with all due respect, you don't have your facts straight.

No offense intended, Jules. I almost always respect what you have to say even if I don't agree with it. But in this case, you're just uninformed.

Anyway, there's no real point in resurrecting this discussion. We couldn't sway each other's opinions before, and we're not going to now.

#44 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:53 AM

You can go ahead and claim it as a victory. I do the same, so it's only fair. :P

To be fair to you, I probably did give the Bloc more credit than they deserve, but on the other hand, we still have four other major parties, and the fact that you're painting at least two of them as "single issue parties" just goes to show that you really don't understand what they're about. Whether a multi-party system is better is a matter of perspective and opinion, but what the parties in my system stand for is a matter of fact, and with all due respect, you don't have your facts straight.

No offense intended, Jules. I almost always respect what you have to say even if I don't agree with it. But in this case, you're just uninformed.

Anyway, there's no real point in resurrecting this discussion. We couldn't sway each other's opinions before, and we're not going to now.


I thought you said it was "harsh" criticism EE! I was expecting to feel an affront LOL! But, hey, you can still be polite when you're challenging and that is a rare gift!

I know we're not going to sway each other's opinions on this - but I'm going to keep on saying it because it's true. Many small political parties are small parties begun to promote a niche politcal cause. Your Quebec separatists are a case in point. There literature is all about privileging the rights of the Quebec people and the policies - including those policies they might regard as national policies are very much a second concern. That's no good for anyone who lives outside of Quebec. In the UK, it's parties like the UK Independence Party (UKiP) and the British National Party (BNP) and the Green Party who privilege their own world view before they think of the bread & butter of political life. I am certain the Greens would be horrified at my lumping them in a category with the frankly racist and increasingly outlawed BNP, but I am talking about parties primarily concerned with one issue: taking us out of the EU, curbing immigration and environmental issues respectively. None of these parties are ever serious contenders for government because everyone can see that their general policies are basically a stab at what it might be like to be in charge of the country and they do not stand up to close scrutiny.

If your argument remains that these little parties add richness to the political scene in Canada and act somehow as an additional layer of checks and balances against political monopolies while ensuring a diversity of political voices are heard, then you may be right, but when the heavy stuff happens as it has with Libya, it's far easier for a single party in government, or in the UK's case, a coalition of two parties to reach a consensus on action, than it is to cater for the inevitable protracted talks with representitives from minority parties who mainly concern themselves with their single issue.

We almost got to that stage after the hung parliament was declared in the wake of our last general election. If it hadn't have been for the Labour Party's inability to reach an agreement and strike a deal with the Liberal Democrats on a coalition, then the Conservative majority would have meant both sides running around to appease the various little single-issue manadarins and independent members - no doubt having to agree to clog up our legislative mechanism with their silly concerns - in order to secure enough seats to reach the required majority to govern. As it was, Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, found himself elevated to the position of "King Maker", but at least he leads the only viable third party.

I don't always think our system works, and I am certain that there are US citizens who would like other options too, but in reality the system is tried and tested and seems to owrk the best in the absence of any viable alternative. I don't doubt that Canada's system works well in Canada, but I don't see it working well in the UK or US. If it could, it would have been adopted by now, but sense there are huge differences between Canada and the US and UK, and our mindset won't carry the idea of too many little parties.

#45 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 02:01 AM

This is quite true. In New England, our individual state identities largely revolve around being the least like Massachusetts, which many regard as being clandestinely Socialist :P Connecticut usually plays this game wrongly, as they usually try to pass themselves off as the rich part of NY instead of New England's southernmost state. NH was largely populated by Scots, English, some Irish and French Canadians in it's first hundred years, and our laws and State constitution do reflect that as much as our town's names. Yes Virginia, there is a Bath, New Hampshire.


As I thought, although I usually have to zone out when I see US posters referring to certain states in a knowing kind of a way. As a Brit I won't be well up on the in-jokes, although I kind of get the whole Ozark thing!

I think there are probably lots of US towns named for Bath. Weirdly, one of our local villages in Pennsylvania - along the same road as one named "Dunkirk"! It's kind of weird, but it must have to do with transatlantic connections forged in the 18th and 19th centuries - Dunkirk; I have no idea!

We also expect our representatives be they in Concord or DC to work as hard for us as the draft animals we once used to pull up granite boulders from our fields with. We usually don't offer second chances if they screw up. Our state representatives unlike our Federal ones are elected biannually. Not much chance to screw up if you can't tow the burden, because the budget for the state is done by the new class of reps. Unlike most states our lower house is all volunteer as well. Though elected, they're paid the equivalent of a nice dinner for two in Concord ($100) every two years. They also get their own distinct license plate corresponding to an assigned space at the State House offices and a transponder for the highway tolls paid on the state's tab.


Darn! I'm the Chair of the Governing Body to one of our local schools, which is also voluntary, and I'm feeling underemunerated now! LOL! :) I don't even have my own parking space!

State senators, executive council, and the Governer get paid living wages but modest in comparative to other states. That is because once the legislative session is done, they do much of the legwork to get what the reps pass enacted.

Many residents from other states in the region move to ours (or at least shop and vacation here) to escape consumption taxes, particularly as Bill can attest from Mass, their tax burden being the heaviest of the six overall. Our property taxes are arguably the highest in the nation, but there are places you can go where this isn't the case. We also have much lower prices as a means to lure neighboring state's residents and drive our own economy which is by and large service based. But to be clear, our state motto has absolutely nothing to do with taxation!

But we also are quite proud to be one of the "original 13" United States. It was here where arguably the first shots of the Revolution were fired, it being where much of the colonist's ammo for the battles of Lexington and Concord was "liberated" from a poorly guarded British garrison near Exeter :P


I really don't think the British gave a good account of themselves did they? :)

Anyhow, that's interesting and it all adds to my knowledge of American, so thanks!

#46 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:56 PM

If your argument remains that these little parties add richness to the political scene in Canada and act somehow as an additional layer of checks and balances against political monopolies while ensuring a diversity of political voices are heard, then you may be right, but when the heavy stuff happens as it has with Libya, it's far easier for a single party in government, or in the UK's case, a coalition of two parties to reach a consensus on action, than it is to cater for the inevitable protracted talks with representitives from minority parties who mainly concern themselves with their single issue.


I do grant our system may come at the cost of some efficiency, but for what it's worth, we didn't respond to this situation in Libya any slower than anyone else in the western world.

Also, again, with the possible exception of the Bloc, our smaller parties are not single issue.

#47 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

I do grant our system may come at the cost of some efficiency, but for what it's worth, we didn't respond to this situation in Libya any slower than anyone else in the western world.


I may be wrong, but I assume that had to do with the fact that Canada is a member of NATO, therefore an obligation to support the No-Fly zone being imposed on Libya.

Also, again, with the possible exception of the Bloc, our smaller parties are not single issue.


Again, You'd need to convince me that this is so. The Bloc is definitely formed around a single issue with pretensions - as I see it - of being of benefit to citizens outside Quebec. That is a matter of public record. However, smaller parties are almost by definition born out of a single issue or a minority political viewpoint - that's how the British Liberal Democrats began their days. Originally they were the Socialist and Liberal Democrats formed by a few disgruntled leftist politicians (known as "the Gang of Four") who were originally part of the majority Labour Party as moderates dissatisfied with the ascendency of Militant and "Loony Leftist" quasi socialism that was a reaction to Thatcherism. Looking to advance their own moderate brand of Labour values, the Gang of Four did not feel that the then current centre Liberal Party was a viable opposition to the traditional two-party electoral race which had become polarised between increasingly left and right wing politics, and that none of the parties (including the nominally centrist Liberal Party) reflected their own political complexion. Eventually, they became the Liberal Democrats (as their acronym the "SALaDs" simply gained them ridicule in Parliament) and as they gained popularity and replaced the Liberal Party as a centre-left party they became the only third party option. However, the point remains that they began as a breakaway group of disaffected, but already established politicians and I can only assume that your smaller parties yearn for the same degree of political success in numbers, but that the plenitude of minority parties in your system renders this ambition to be aspirational at best.

#48 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:56 PM

Kind of how moderates in my country find themselves disassociated with our mainstream parties as they get more and more polaric and divisive in their political views.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#49 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:08 AM

I may be wrong, but I assume that had to do with the fact that Canada is a member of NATO, therefore an obligation to support the No-Fly zone being imposed on Libya.


Either way, the point remains we did it.

Again, You'd need to convince me that this is so.


I tried to, but you refused to listen to the facts. There's not much point when you've already decided that things are a certain way and won't change your mind no matter what I say.

and I can only assume that your smaller parties yearn for the same degree of political success in numbers, but that the plenitude of minority parties in your system renders this ambition to be aspirational at best.


This is largely true, but my point has always been that a party doesn't necessarily need to form a ruling government to play in important role in parliament.

#50 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:35 PM

Either way, the point remains we did it.


Yes, but my point was that I don't think you could claim apparently decisive action taken by your government in that case as a function of a governmental system that embraces small parties. Canada is a member of NATO, therefore it was basically an obligation of being part of the treaty organisation and there wasn't much need for a debate - had this have been like the US invasion of Iraq where there was considerable debate and a lack of wholehearted support across nations, then debate would have been protracted in Canada with so many parties and political interests involved. It was bad enough in the UK with a majority Labour government and the dissenters within it - and even then what was presented to the British public as a justification for that military action eventually didn't stand up to close scrutiny.



I tried to, but you refused to listen to the facts. There's not much point when you've already decided that things are a certain way and won't change your mind no matter what I say.


Because I think you have to say it stronger and better. I haven't made my mind up one way or another, but you have not persuaded me round to your way of thinking. There is a lack of hard fact being given by you and the examples you quoted in the past did not stand up when I did a little research of my own. To persuade me, I think you'd need to come up with a solid example of a situation of national importance in your country that A) was not impeded by having to pander to numerous self-interested parties and B) that a fragmentary system worked as a positive advantage. If you can do that (and you know I'll check it out for myself!), then I'll accept what you say. Again, I think the biggest nullifier to your claim is the fact that other major western powers have not moved closer to your political system. On the world stage, I don't see anyone lauding or citing Canada as a paragon of democracy or efficient government, and as things stand in the UK where there are a number of politicians campaigning for electoral reform which might indeed benefit some smaller parties, still no one is pointing at Canada.

This is largely true, but my point has always been that a party doesn't necessarily need to form a ruling government to play in important role in parliament.


Government is about numbers. You have less elected people representing your concerns then you have less say - so playing an important part in government is always going to be relative here. If you're saying that opinions expressed by minority parties might play an important part in ensuring a wide diversity of views are at least represented in Parliament then I would not disgree with that, but opinions do not alone force through legislation, because again, that is a numbers game which is why the UK Parliament employs party "Whips" to ensure that party members vote according to the party line on certain contentious issues. You can't pass a law without majority support either here or in the US which is why large political parties containing a membership who are ideologically aligned on the most important issues such as the economy, foreign policy and defence are absolutely essential for swift and efficient legislative machinery, which is why the US mid-term elections play such an important role and why Obama's administration has been effectively emasculated because any law they try to pass gets cut off by the opposition reigning in the other house. If the US system was all about little parties then an affective opposition that can prevent certain ideals held by the Government to become law would not be possible because politcal consensus would be harder to achieve - in many ways, the US system is admirable because both sides seem to hold their ideological ground and are generally consistent and predictable, and there isn't the ideological "slippage" that there has been in the UK where the left-wing Labour Party moved due to Blairite policies to be almost further Right than the Liberal Democrats in the supposed middle.

#51 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:36 AM

Because I think you have to say it stronger and better. I haven't made my mind up one way or another, but you have not persuaded me round to your way of thinking. There is a lack of hard fact being given by you and the examples you quoted in the past did not stand up when I did a little research of my own. To persuade me, I think you'd need to come up with a solid example of a situation of national importance in your country that A) was not impeded by having to pander to numerous self-interested parties and public/style_emoticons/default/cool.gif that a fragmentary system worked as a positive advantage. If you can do that (and you know I'll check it out for myself!), then I'll accept what you say. Again, I think the biggest nullifier to your claim is the fact that other major western powers have not moved closer to your political system. On the world stage, I don't see anyone lauding or citing Canada as a paragon of democracy or efficient government, and as things stand in the UK where there are a number of politicians campaigning for electoral reform which might indeed benefit some smaller parties, still no one is pointing at Canada.


But that isn't what I was discussing in the piece of post you quoted. I've given up on trying to convince you of the superiority of our system (because I grant it is a matter of perspective and open to personal opinion). The issue I was addressing was that you continue to paint all our parties with the "single issue" brush, which is just blatantly untrue. It may be fair for the Bloc, but certainly not for the others.

#52 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:16 PM

Government is about numbers. You have less elected people representing your concerns then you have less say - so playing an important part in government is always going to be relative here. If you're saying that opinions expressed by minority parties might play an important part in ensuring a wide diversity of views are at least represented in Parliament then I would not disgree with that, but opinions do not alone force through legislation, because again, that is a numbers game which is why the UK Parliament employs party "Whips" to ensure that party members vote according to the party line on certain contentious issues. You can't pass a law without majority support either here or in the US which is why large political parties containing a membership who are ideologically aligned on the most important issues such as the economy, foreign policy and defence are absolutely essential for swift and efficient legislative machinery, which is why the US mid-term elections play such an important role and why Obama's administration has been effectively emasculated because any law they try to pass gets cut off by the opposition reigning in the other house. If the US system was all about little parties then an affective opposition that can prevent certain ideals held by the Government to become law would not be possible because politcal consensus would be harder to achieve - in many ways, the US system is admirable because both sides seem to hold their ideological ground and are generally consistent and predictable, and there isn't the ideological "slippage" that there has been in the UK where the left-wing Labour Party moved due to Blairite policies to be almost further Right than the Liberal Democrats in the supposed middle.

Not always true. Clinton was arguably more effective as President in his second term with a Republican majority in Congress than he was in his first term,In his budget battle he let the government shutdown follow through thus turning the tables on the majority and making them take the fall. One thing Obama is widely criticized for is he yields to diplomacy too much with a party bent on making him out to be the bad guy.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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