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Pavlos
05-04-2007, 11:43 AM
Ok... so yesterday we had the local elections here in the UK and they're still counting the ballots today. For those who live outside the United Kingdom, or don't take a general interest in politics, these are the elections when people decide on local governments; the Scots rejig their parliament, the Welsh reshuffle the assembly and the English fiddle around with the archaic council system from the nineteenth century.

Thus far we've seen the Cameron Effect (registered trademark) sweep across England but (though there are still quite a large number of councils to be accounted for) Labour haven't lost out too badly - at least when you consider what the press and the doom-mongers were saying. So far as the Welsh Assembly is concerned, Labour looks set to be the largest party but with no overall majority. In the last few minutes the SNP has snook ahead of Labour by one seat in the Scottish Parliament but it's constantly shifting and is far too close to call - looks like it will be the Liberal Democrats who make the final decision as to who will be in power when they choose which party to form a coalition with.

So, what are your feelings on the results so far?

Edit: So forumites from other parts of the world can comment here's a quick summary of the parties:

Liberal Democrats: As the name suggests, they support social liberalism

New Labour: Left to centre-left to centre (call it an identity crisis if you will)

Conservatives: Centre-right

Scottish National Party: [Scotland only] Supports more power for Scotland (can't say its a bad thing) and calls for a referendum on independence by 2010 - clever, it makes sure that this isn't a vote about independence but more about people becoming disillusioned with New Labour.

Plaid Cymru: [Wales only] Not actually calling for independence, more to further devolution in Wales and give the Welsh Assembly powers like the Scottish Parliament

Edit to the edit: I think the important thing to remember is that these elections are to do with local affairs and not national ones.

Jae Onasi
05-05-2007, 09:16 PM
Is this like representatives locally elected going to a national assembly? I'm not terribly familiar with any UK politics other than House of Lords/Commons

Ctrl Alt Del
05-05-2007, 09:33 PM
^I will comment more later.

But see, I just read the newspaper that Blair isn't going to have a safe voyage out of the minister chair... Another defeat yesterday...

Pavlos
05-06-2007, 05:20 AM
Is this like representatives locally elected going to a national assembly? I'm not terribly familiar with any UK politics other than House of Lords/Commons

It's nothing to do with national government :). These elections were on local policies... I suppose you could see it as sort of electing a mayor for your city... only there are several mayors working together on a council. In Wales and Scotland they also have the Assembly and the Parliament; these bodies are for decisions involving the whole of Scotland or Wales.

Negative Sun
05-06-2007, 06:31 PM
SNP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Party) won here in Scotland, which is all I care about :)

Hopefully we wont be tied to England for much longer anymore, freedom baby, feels good!

For the record, we had elections for the Scottish Parliament and local Councils here in Scotland.

Pavlos
05-07-2007, 05:52 AM
SNP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Party) won here in Scotland, which is all I care about :)

Well, they won by one seat... it remains to be seen whether or not Alex Salmond becomes First Minister (what with the Lib Dems being completely against a referendum on independence and thus unlikely to start a coalition government with him). I think what you'll find is that if Salmond does become First Minister of Scotland and holds a referendum on independence in 2010, it will be overturned. After several large failures in elections, the SNP removed independence from their manifesto, replacing it with the promise of a referendum. People are safe to express their annoyance with New Labour by voting for the SNP without fearing independence. Also, because Scotland uses proportional representation we can see that the majority of people did not vote SNP (they do not have a majority in the parliament) and so are perfectly happy with the situation now or don't even want a referendum on independence.

In lots of ways, I am for other SNP policies such as devolving more power to Scotland... I've been considering the advantages of late of federalising the union - each part controlling its own domestic policy but sharing a common, strong economy, monetary unit and massive international influence along with a common foreign policy. But there are these stupid policies like removing Scottish sportsmen and women from the British Olympic team; why waste money on pathetic, useless policies like that when his government could do something much better for Scotland with that time and money?

Negative Sun
05-07-2007, 06:31 PM
The monetary unit is strong for those who have plenty of it, and I for one think it's ridiculous to have a different one compared to the rest of Europe, which makes this one of the most expensive countries to live in...

Take away all the political b/s, Scotland deserves to be independent and you know it...The Union of 1707 is a joke...Why is everyone so scared of a bleeping referendum???
Isn't that the ultimate display of democracy? Let the Scottish people decide for once, they might not know what's best, but they sure know what's theirs by right, freedom...

You are quick to figure out what the people want Pavlos, without having a referendum...Why is that? Do you know what's best for them? Do the politicians?
It's time for the patronising to stop and actually give the people what they want, if they want independence, they'll vote for it, if not, they wont, it's simple as that.

Pavlos
05-08-2007, 11:39 AM
It's time for the patronising to stop and actually give the people what they want, if they want independence, they'll vote for it, if not, they wont, it's simple as that.

I can only go on what the election results said and that means that the majority of the Scottish population do not want a referendum on independence. Maybe they voted on other affairs (they probably did) but if as many people as you say are so hell-bent on a referendum then you'd imagine that it would be important enough for them to vote SNP - and they would have a sizeable majority in parliament.

Waste public money and time better spent on transport, the NHS and so forth (or if you're on the right: tax cuts) on a referendum that seems to have a foregone conclusion - I don't care, I'm not afraid that the Scottish will choose independence over anything else, I'm just expressing an opinion that I think it is best for all of us if Scotland remains in the union (we're all going to be back in the mixer together anyway in half a century when the EU begins to move ever closer to becoming a state). The fact remains that the majority of people in Scotland - from the election results - either couldn't care less about Salmond's crusade for independence, or are opposed to it. Just because you want something to happen doesn't mean it should, especially in a democracy where the majority rules.

You do know that all of Salmond's figures for abolishing council tax (and I agree with the idea of abolishing it - it's a horrifically unfair taxation system) rely on money coming from London? Sounds fundamentally flawed if he's for cutting ties with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This whole thing about being oppressed by the "evil English" is about to be undermined completely because, in all likelihood (unless some shining beacon arrives from the back benches) a Scot will become the next PM - Gordon Brown.

Edit:

The monetary unit is strong for those who have plenty of it, and I for one think it's ridiculous to have a different one compared to the rest of Europe, which makes this one of the most expensive countries to live in...

The strength of the monetary unity is nothing to do with the distribution of wealth - I'm a centre-left (which means my views are pretty "radical" compared to modern-day right-wing dominated politics) liberal, I'm all for redistribution of wealth (reducing the gap of wealth - there have to be classes, it is a fact of capitalism but I'd prefer the classes to be closer together). The strength of the monetary unit is, however, an indication of the success of an economy. I was appalled when it turned out we weren't signing up to the Euro but in the end, what difference does it make? Plus: the economy has done very well without the Euro.

Negative Sun
05-08-2007, 11:58 AM
A Scot becoming the next PM does sfa for the Scots living up here...Labour has done sfa for the Scots living up here, we've already got a parliament in place and an NHS system, so we don't need the English, nor do the English need us...
We should be a part of Europe, which is one thing Westminster doesn't particularly like, the pound is ridiculously expensive and benefits almost no one here, Westminster gets to decide if Scottish troops go and get killed in Iraq etc...
How is that fair? That is close to oppression, imagine how the Yanks would feel were they still ruled by Britain...The same goes for the Scots

Independence is about more than just there political issues about taxes and the NHS that get thrown about, and which is something you can't understand unless you live here and feel the Scottish nationality and how much it is restricted by being tied to the bleeping English...

Pavlos
05-08-2007, 12:32 PM
Believe me, I come from the North of England and we have a very similar situation here to the one in Scotland, so I sympathise with what you say about not seeing the benefits of unionism (to be fair, though, urban areas have seen improvements under Labour - both Liverpool and Manchester have had millions of Pounds poured into them, so has Edinburgh). If there are no benefits then it is not through any lack of effort on the part of the English, or the Welsh, or the Irish (billions of Pounds are devoted to subsidising Scotland) - it is entirely to do with the administration sitting in Edinburgh.

Maybe I would feel the same way about separatism if I was in your position, maybe I wouldn't. But the fact remains that this is a democracy and the majority rules the roost. Whether or not it is right for Scotland to be independent or if the Scots deserve it is irrelevant to the final decision.

I disagree with your position but I wish you well in your campaign for independence :).

Negative Sun
05-08-2007, 03:20 PM
Maybe I would feel the same way about separatism if I was in your position, maybe I wouldn't. But the fact remains that this is a democracy and the majority rules the roost. Whether or not it is right for Scotland to be independent or if the Scots deserve it is irrelevant to the final decision.
That's where a referendum would come in handy, because it would show beyond a shadow of a doubt what the Scots actually want...The LibDems are refusing to form a coalition with SNP because they want to ask the people what they want for Scotland...Tell me how that makes sense.

If you feel Scotland is a money drain then that's your opinion, the rest of Britain wouldn't lose anything by allowing Scotland to be independent then, so I don't see the point in arguing it.