[Discussion] European Politics Discussion

European Politics discussion

Sorbicol wrote:

It's certainly not the end of Boris, but given all the attempts that have been made for the whole partygate investigation to disappear and yet it just won't go away, it could just be that the writing is on the wall.

The poll numbers are going to do him in unless they change radically. Clearly the Tory party cares for little else.

I dont believe Boris is going anywhere, until I see multiple sources showing him being dragged out

Axon wrote:

Don't disagree. I'd argue that Nuclear is now on the table after a life long rejection of it. But I do think that huge public transport investment and a new approach to how housing is delivered has to be considered. For both climate and societal reasons.

I am still not a fan of Nuclear, at all. But yeah, it might be required.

Macron gets the W.

Damn, if those numbers hold up, it is much better than the polls. Just like it was the case last time as far as I recall.

Whew good.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Whew good.

Disaster avoided, but in 2002 Chirac got 82% against daddy Le Pen, as the shock a far right candidate could make it into the last 2 consolidated everyone around him. And he wasn't exactly a perfect candidate otherwise.

Last election, Macron still got 66% against Le Pen, now it's down to 58%. And nobody bats an eye anymore when a Putin friend, who criticizes the EU buts loves "misplacing" its money, and is just slightly better at hiding her racism than holocaust-denying daddy makes it to the final round. What's worse: the results keep getting closer, as people over here are just as tired of neo-liberal centrism - even with universal healthcare and vastly superior worker rights.

Honestly, most of the underlying issues have to be tackled at a European level. Macron is uniquely positioned to do so, but my hopes are not high. The EU has done some great work on consumer rights, data privacy and is starting to gain momentum on anti-monopolist frameworks. But the economic lens remains a very neo-liberal one, and that needs to change or someday we will have a Vichy sympathizer in the Elysée.

dejanzie wrote:

Last election, Macron still got 66% against Le Pen, now it's down to 58%. And nobody bats an eye anymore when a Putin friend, who criticizes the EU buts loves "misplacing" its money, and is just slightly better at hiding her racism than holocaust-denying daddy makes it to the final round. What's worse: the results keep getting closer, as people over here are just as tired of neo-liberal centrism - even with universal healthcare and vastly superior worker rights.

After Trump, Brexit etc. we certainly don’t bat an eye anymore.
Even the weakest victories is yet another planet busting bullet dodged
40-50% of the voting population being hellbend on destruction is the new normal.
For France I would love to see the left wing parties grouping up. If they could beat Le Pen in the first round things could be much more interesting.
Also, everyone should get rid of First Past The Post voting systems :/ supposedly meant to keep out the crazies, but these days it seems like it does the exact opposite.

Yeah, the difference between Mélenchon (far left candidate) and Le Pen was 1,25%, so a run-off between centrist and far-left is not that far-fetched. Europe has seen a rise of the far right for a few decades now, and the establishment reaction has been to co-opt the xenophobic language and implement far more rigid immigration rules. Which has just moved the Overton window to the right, while the far right remains as popular (I'm generalizing, I know).

I have to wonder what reaction we would see if the far left starts to become impossible to ignore.

UK is having it's local elections. Not usually a big deal apart from Sinn Féin becoming largest party in Northen Ireland, the DUP refusing to form a government with them in Stormont allowing the UK government dump the Northern Ireland protocol and potentially trigger a trade war with the EU.

So, apart from that nothing at stake.

Axon wrote:

UK is having it's local elections. Not usually a big deal apart from Sinn Féin becoming largest party in Northen Ireland, the DUP refusing to form a government with them in Stormont allowing the UK government dump the Northern Ireland protocol and potentially trigger a trade war with the EU.

So, apart from that nothing at stake.

Sinn Féin confirmed as largest party in Northern Ireland Assembly

No idea what this actually is going to mean. Axon, help?

Depends on the DUP, I think it’s likely they will refuse to serve in the executive which puts us back to the state of play after Cash for Ash.

Though the DUP have three seats less than SF, the two independents elected are former DUP members (and ministers) who stood as Independent Unionists. You would expect the DUP to pick up one of the remaining Foyle seats. So expect those two to receive a lot of pressure to rejoin. Not sure what happens in a tie?

I can’t see the DUP agreeing to form an executive as the second party. To do so surely gives the TUV a chance to do to the DUP what they did to the UUP.

TL;DR I think it means suspension of devolved government and stalemate.

Depends on the DUP
the state of play after Cash for Ash.
who stood as Independent Unionists.
To do so surely gives the TUV a chance to do to the DUP what they did to the UUP.

Hello, yes, wholly ignorant American speaking, I'm going to need some definition of terms?

Northern Ireland assembly requires that Nationalists and Unionist parties share power. It a part of the Good Friday Agreement and not universal popular one but it's there. If the largest party of either block refuses to enter into the arrangement then the assembly falls because you can't agree a first and second minister.

It get more interesting when you have the Alliance party who refuses to align itself getting more and more vote share. I'm not even sure what happens if they get to first or second place.

Cash for Ash was a scandal that Sinn Féin took the opportunity to walk out of the Assembly over. Along with a few other issues but that's not important. I believe the Assembly has stalled 27 times and last count so it not the event per-se DoveBrown is referring to but the lack of a working Assembly.

This is why many are against the power-sharing aspect as it just results in sectarian headcounts for elections and not functioning government. The joke is that power sharing is actually often referred to as blame sharing.

Independent Unionists are just people without a party who are Unionist aligned. However be careful thinking all the Unionist parties will all just line up behind each other as they won't. Unionist is in a civil war at the moment.

TUV are the DUP if you removed all the fun. More hard line if you can imagine that. UUP are far less hard line than the DUP and basically after the Good Friday Agreement the most hard line parties succeed at the cost of the more nuanced positions. For the UUP and DUP who have Sinn Féin and the SDLP for the Nationalist side.

Minor quibble I'd have with DoveBrown is that middle of the road Unionists are not going more hard line but are voting Alliance. In other words the TUV has a ceiling far below the DUP's.

I'll suspect the Briefing Room will have a good explainer on this very soon as you'll find that 99% of Britain is as informed and your average American on Northern Ireland politics so don't beat yourself up. On top of that nothing will happen that quickly. We are talking months of back and forth so you have time to get a handle on it.

For now, just keep an eye on Brandon Lewis. The generally expectation here is that Lewis and Donaldson will try to use this to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol part of the Brexit Treaty. Donaldson so he can recreate a hard border in Ireland and UK Governments aim is to keep trade between Nothern Ireland and Britain or East-West trade healthy. As a cost to North-South Trade of course. And if any of that happens the EU will start a trade war as it's lost all patience with Johnson's Government.

So the reason I didn’t talk about Alliance’s improvement is currently they don’t matter. They are officially not a Unionist or Nationalist party so can’t take part in the executive. Moderate Unionists who vote for Alliance don’t in the framework of Northern Ireland Assembly count as Unionist voters anymore. The assumption is the executive will powershare between the largest Unionist and Nationalist parties. If Alliance were to get more than any Unionist party, it would be a new level constitutional crisis.

The important thing about the Good Friday Agreement wasn’t that it sorted anything, it just took the heat out of the argument. What does it matter if you’re part of the U.K. or the Republic, you’re in the EU either way. You can have either identity and eventually an hybrid identity will form. I kind of see the Alliance electoral strength as that non-sectarian identity forming.

The main problem with that is that the Alliance politically is the platform of the U.K. Liberal Democrats which isn’t one that most people resonate with (liberal in the classic sense). It really requires a middle class professionals to come out in force, almost nothing for either the more socialist people or traditionalist people. People who would vote Labour or Conservative in Britain.

There is no left leaning party on the unionist side and there is no traditionalist party on the nationalist side. It makes the non-sectarian political identity just an affect of the privileged.

And the Briefing Room delivers as expected.

And the DUP are holding up their end of the bargain with the Tories.

Couple of things DoveBrown, all parties in the Assembly get to nominate ministers to the cabinet. The Assembly as a whole works across parties and not the top two. Having the third largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly isn't inconsequential. When it's all said and done First and Deputy Minister are symbolic positions for the everyday working of the Assembly even if both are needed to be filled for the Assembly to exist.

And while you personally might not like the Alliance Party, Northern Ireland is a proportional voting system and not the plurality one in the UK. Middle class professionals can cast their first preference for the Alliance without it ensuring seats for sectarian parties. I very much doubt they will have similar fortunes to the Lib Dems unless the other parties adopt their policies and I'd be happy with that.

Like a college campus on a Friday night, you people have TOO MANY PARTIES.

Be like America. Have two parties that are either malevolent or totally incompetent. It's MUCH easier.

Axon wrote:

Couple of things DoveBrown, all parties in the Assembly get to nominate ministers to the cabinet. The Assembly as a whole works across parties and not the top two. Having the third largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly isn't inconsequential. When it's all said and done First and Deputy Minister are symbolic positions for the everyday working of the Assembly even if both are needed to be filled for the Assembly to exist.

And while you personally might not like the Alliance Party, Northern Ireland is a proportional voting system and not the plurality one in the UK. Middle class professionals can cast their first preference for the Alliance without it ensuring seats for sectarian parties. I very much doubt they will have similar fortunes to the Lib Dems unless the other parties adopt their policies and I'd be happy with that.

I am just fine with Alliance Policies. My point was more that if you want to vote socially and economically conservative as nationalist there is no party to vote for. Similarly if you want to vote economically and socially liberal as a unionist there isn’t a party to vote for. The normal social economic political axis is trumped by the sectarian question. Except for Alliance which have a limited appeal, which I am sad about, both that they have limited appeal and more nonaligned parties aren’t breaking through.

I am aware that all parties nominate ministers but the first ministers are important in that you don’t get an executive without them. That veto power is the important consequence I am referring to. The DUP and Sinn Fein have the power to stop any executive. In the current arrangement Alliance will not have that veto power.

Edit: reading back my original reply, I did say Alliance wouldn’t “take part” in the executive, sorry about that I was being sloppy. I think I meant something like their consent isn’t required to form the executive.

Well, I'd argue that The Alliance is breaking through but only time will tell and I'd be biased in thinking Naomi Long is some operator. Proportional systems over time result in fracturing of two party systems. Happens gradually but often major shocks cause the biggest schisms. See Ireland as a good example.

Prederick wrote:

Like a college campus on a Friday night, you people have TOO MANY PARTIES.

Be like America. Have two parties that are either malevolent or totally incompetent. It's MUCH easier.

Oh we have all the flavours of incompetence and malice, totally or otherwise.