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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Never mind the House, watch the governors’ races for 2020

SystemSystem Posts: 6,389
edited November 3 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Never mind the House, watch the governors’ races for 2020

Notoriously, Hillary Clinton never paid a campaign visit to Wisconsin in the five months between securing the Democratic nomination on 7 June 2016 and polling day, before losing the Badger State by less than 23,000 votes out of nearly three million cast. There is an element of mythology about Clinton’s Rust Belt absence. In truth, Trump didn’t spend any days there in the final month before polling day either – though he did devote five days campaigning earlier on – and he gave only slightly more in-person attention to Pennsylvania and Michigan too.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    First! Like Mrs May & Leave.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    On topic - great thread as usual and a fascinating angle I haven’t seen explored elsewhere.
  • swing_voterswing_voter Posts: 400
    Second: like the Republicans next week
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    Off topic:

    Plonker:

    The hearing was suspended last Friday after Mr Assange complained the Spanish translator only understood English, and was not fluent in Australian.

    https://news.sky.com/story/ecuador-throws-out-wikileaks-founder-julian-assanges-mistreatment-claim-11540082
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 23,684

    Off topic:

    Plonker:

    The hearing was suspended last Friday after Mr Assange complained the Spanish translator only understood English, and was not fluent in Australian.

    https://news.sky.com/story/ecuador-throws-out-wikileaks-founder-julian-assanges-mistreatment-claim-11540082

    Just when you thought he couldn't be more of a dick.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 23,684
    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 21,698

    On topic - great thread as usual and a fascinating angle I haven’t seen explored elsewhere.

    Seconded. This was a theme I hadn’t thought about at all before this article.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 11,111
    Fifth, like Hard Brexit and best outcome.
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 23,514
    "Our police are institutionally incompetent

    Matthew Parris

    It’s not prejudice and phobia that hamper good policing but low-calibre officers who are happy to settle for mediocrity"

    (£)

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/our-police-are-institutionally-incompetent-lvxwbzvj7
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523

    Off topic:

    Plonker:

    The hearing was suspended last Friday after Mr Assange complained the Spanish translator only understood English, and was not fluent in Australian.

    https://news.sky.com/story/ecuador-throws-out-wikileaks-founder-julian-assanges-mistreatment-claim-11540082

    I think he's Strining his luck.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 20,243
    edited November 3
    AndyJS said:

    "Our police are institutionally incompetent

    Matthew Parris

    It’s not prejudice and phobia that hamper good policing but low-calibre officers who are happy to settle for mediocrity"

    (£)

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/our-police-are-institutionally-incompetent-lvxwbzvj7

    I was struck in the recent policing furore that Nottinghamshire seem to be employing PC Savage, who now has that Force's blessing for reporting "looking at me in a funny way...."

    Was a time that was satire.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 12,526

    On topic - great thread as usual and a fascinating angle I haven’t seen explored elsewhere.

    Seconded. This was a theme I hadn’t thought about at all before this article.
    I knew, at least vaguely, about the ability of States to redraw electoral division boundaries, but I hadn’t appreciated that a change at the top could have such an immediate effect. How often can such boundaries be revised? I suspect, of course, that different States have different rules

    I wonder whether Trump has the patience to keep fighting against a Dem House. Bullies like easy targets and I wonder whether he’d reach a point where he’d just sulk.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523

    On topic - great thread as usual and a fascinating angle I haven’t seen explored elsewhere.

    Seconded. This was a theme I hadn’t thought about at all before this article.
    I knew, at least vaguely, about the ability of States to redraw electoral division boundaries, but I hadn’t appreciated that a change at the top could have such an immediate effect. How often can such boundaries be revised? I suspect, of course, that different States have different rules

    I wonder whether Trump has the patience to keep fighting against a Dem House. Bullies like easy targets and I wonder whether he’d reach a point where he’d just sulk.
    That could have the upside of leaving him a lame duck who decides not to run again in 2020.

    Or it could turn him full time onto foreign affairs, which would be umm, suboptimal...
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 12,526
    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
  • logical_songlogical_song Posts: 6,415
    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    "Holder, speaking at a campaign event in Georgia last month, said, "When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about."
    https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/414654-orourke-avenatti-does-not-represent-most-democrats
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 46,004
    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. 1000, dickishness, like ingenuity, has no upper limit. As they say, foolproof plans frequently underestimate the creativity of fools.
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 23,514

    AndyJS said:

    "Our police are institutionally incompetent

    Matthew Parris

    It’s not prejudice and phobia that hamper good policing but low-calibre officers who are happy to settle for mediocrity"

    (£)

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/our-police-are-institutionally-incompetent-lvxwbzvj7

    I was struck in the recent policing furore that Nottinghamshire seem to be employing PC Savage, who now has that Force's blessing for reporting "looking at me in a funny way...."

    Was a time that was satire.
    That was a Rowan Atkinson sketch IIRC.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    AndyJS said:

    AndyJS said:

    "Our police are institutionally incompetent

    Matthew Parris

    It’s not prejudice and phobia that hamper good policing but low-calibre officers who are happy to settle for mediocrity"

    (£)

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/our-police-are-institutionally-incompetent-lvxwbzvj7

    I was struck in the recent policing furore that Nottinghamshire seem to be employing PC Savage, who now has that Force's blessing for reporting "looking at me in a funny way...."

    Was a time that was satire.
    That was a Rowan Atkinson sketch IIRC.
  • OblitusSumMeOblitusSumMe Posts: 5,672

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.

    So it would be democratic just to cancel Brexit if people were able to moan about it?

  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    What worth is dissent without a vote?
  • logical_songlogical_song Posts: 6,415

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    "I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes."
    That's a very naive statement.
    The trouble with what's happening in the US is that local majorities are using the power to entrench their position.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474
    On topic, David Axelrod has had similar thoughts ...
  • daodaodaodao Posts: 715
    edited November 3
    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    Individual voter registration is an attempt to suppress the votes of individuals living in multi-occupancy dwellings, who tend to be younger, poorer and more mobile - the demographic that tends to vote Labour.

    The exclusion of certain suburban areas from the metropolitan counties when local authority boundaries were re-drawn in 1974, and subsequent boundary re-configurations to create unitary authorities, were done with an eye on the likely electoral consequences of these changes.

    A local example that I am familiar with was the creation in 1974 of the Borough of Trafford, so as to establish a probable Tory-held authority within Greater Manchester, although after many years, the Tories lost control last May. The alternative more logical re-configuration using the River Mersey as the boundary, with a Borough of Wythenshawe (incorporating Sale and Altrincham), and the City of Manchester incorporating Stretford and Urmston but losing Wythenshawe, was not contemplated by the Heath government, as both such authorities would have been guaranteed to be perpetually Labour-controlled.

    Widespread gerrymandering is a feature of politics in the 6 counties. Even in the last few months, the DUP has been successful in pressuring the Boundaries Commission to re-draw the initial draft Westminster constituency boundaries as they were perceived as harming the DUP.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662
    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022
    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    Individual voter registration is an attempt to suppress the votes of individuals living in multi-occupancy dwellings, who tend to be younger, poorer and more mobile - the demographic that tends to vote Labour.

    The exclusion of certain suburban areas from the metropolitan counties when local authority boundaries were re-drawn in 1974, and subsequent boundary re-configurations to create unitary authorities, were done with an eye on the likely electoral consequences of these changes.

    A local example that I am familiar with was the creation in 1974 of the Borough of Trafford, so as to establish a probable Tory-held authority within Greater Manchester, although after many years, the Tories lost control last May. The alternative more logical re-configuration using the River Mersey as the boundary, with a Borough of Wythenshawe (incorporating Sale and Altrincham), and the City of Manchester incorporating Stretford and Urmston but losing Wythenshawe, was not contemplated by the Heath government, as both such authorities would have been guaranteed to be perpetually Labour-controlled.

    Widespread gerrymandering is a feature of politics in the 6 counties. Even in the last few months, the DUP has been successful in pressuring the Boundaries Commission to re-draw the initial draft Westminster constituency boundaries as they were perceived as harming the DUP.

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 2,329
    Foxy said:
    That's not really "trouble" by African standards.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662
    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 5,167
    And an interesting MRP poll using similar techniques to the one predicting a hung parliament in GE 2017

  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 5,167
    Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:
    That's not really "trouble" by African standards.
    It depends on where you are in Africa, but point taken!
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662
    edited November 3
    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 5,167
    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    edited November 3

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    Amusing to see that the only countries in the Americas considered 'full democracies' are Canada and Uruguay. The former is a given, but it's less than 35 years since Uruguay was ruled by a typical junta. Bit embarrassing for the US to be ranked behind them, albeit all credit to Uruguay for getting the house in order.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022
    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Or maybe we look at the alma mater of the PM and bill the relevant University course for the damage done to the country.

    Oxford University has to pay for Blair's folly in the Iraq War and Edinburgh for Brown's excesses.

    (Aberystwyth is lucky in that Neil Hamilton has not been let near the levers of power).
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
    That I certainly agree with and that to my mind is the key objection to the student loan system.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662
    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
    That I certainly agree with and that to my mind is the key objection to the student loan system.
    Which is why we need to limit the amount poor performing universities can charge or withdraw funding entirely.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    edited November 3

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Or maybe we look at the alma mater of the PM and bill the relevant University course for the damage done to the country.

    Oxford University has to pay for Blair's folly in the Iraq War and Edinburgh for Brown's excesses.

    (Aberystwyth is lucky in that Neil Hamilton has not been let near the levers of power).
    And we'd only have to pay pro rata for Prince Charles.

    Edit - you're forgetting Brexit, btw. Cameron, Osborne, May, Hammond and Boris...
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 11,370
    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.
    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
  • daodaodaodao Posts: 715

    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    ..............

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
    The demographic composition of Trafford borough is not such that it could ever be perpetually held by the Tories. I merely stated that it would be a "probable" Tory-held authority (i.e. for most of the time). In the last 45 years, political control of the Trafford unitary authority has been held by the following parties:

    Party Tenure
    Conservative 1973–1986, 1988–1995, 2004–2018 (34 years)
    No overall control 1986–1988, 1995–1996, 2003–2004, 2018–present (4 years)
    Labour 1996–2003 (7 years)

    I agree with your comment regarding Wales - I lived there for 21 years and the demographic dominance of the South Wales valleys makes it very difficult for any party other than Labour to be dislodged from control of the Senedd. PC challenge intermittently there, particularly in the Rhondda and Caerphilly, but are handicapped by the perception that their agenda is linked to the promotion of Yr Iaith, which can antagonise monoglot English-speakers.

  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    edited November 3
    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Or maybe we look at the alma mater of the PM and bill the relevant University course for the damage done to the country.

    Oxford University has to pay for Blair's folly in the Iraq War and Edinburgh for Brown's excesses.

    (Aberystwyth is lucky in that Neil Hamilton has not been let near the levers of power).
    And we'd only have to pay pro rata for Prince Charles.

    Edit - you're forgetting Brexit, btw. Cameron, Osborne, May, Hammond and Boris...

    Poor old Oxford!

  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Or maybe we look at the alma mater of the PM and bill the relevant University course for the damage done to the country.

    Oxford University has to pay for Blair's folly in the Iraq War and Edinburgh for Brown's excesses.

    (Aberystwyth is lucky in that Neil Hamilton has not been let near the levers of power).
    And we'd only have to pay pro rata for Prince Charles.

    Edit - you're forgetting Brexit, btw. Cameron, Osborne, May, Hammond and Boris...

    Poor old Oxford!

    It certainly would be poor by the time it had finished paying for that lot!
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,070
    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    I'd like to add that any course which has paybacj rates lower than 20% should have funding withdrawn. They are of no value.
    By 'paybacj [sic] rates' do you mean pay over time or of economic value to the country?

    If the latter, we need to abolish all business and economics courses at once given the huge losses they've caused...
    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.
    Are you in Hong Kong and been on beers all afternoon?
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    Cheeky! (The 'Fenwicks Christmas Window' is Newcastle's version of Selfridges' in London and a popular draw)

  • FF43FF43 Posts: 7,449

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    I disagree. Everyone should have the right to vote, except where there are universally held and objectively applied reasons not to. Voting is fundamental to citizenship. By creating voting citizens and non voting ones you create different classes of citizens.

    Voting and debate aren't alternatives
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 11,370
    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.
  • Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
    There was a successful pilot of a student loan repayment programme for teachers in the early 00s, then it was promptly scrapped as recruitment numbers stabilised.

    The Tories are running another pilot for teachers in certain subjects, in some LAs.

    It beggars belief that they are not doing the same for the NHS. The scrapping of the nursing bursary has had an immediate and massive negative impact on applications.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 6,730

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.
    I'm just surprised they thought we had a functioning government in 2017.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.

    I studied medieval English history for three years. Since the day I left university in 1986 I have not once practically applied the knowledge I acquired. But the disciplines I learned - evidence selection, source assessment, how to frame an argument, etc - have been critical to all I have done work-wise.

  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022
    daodao said:

    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    ..............

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
    The demographic composition of Trafford borough is not such that it could ever be perpetually held by the Tories. I merely stated that it would be a "probable" Tory-held authority (i.e. for most of the time). In the last 45 years, political control of the Trafford unitary authority has been held by the following parties:

    Party Tenure
    Conservative 1973–1986, 1988–1995, 2004–2018 (34 years)
    No overall control 1986–1988, 1995–1996, 2003–2004, 2018–present (4 years)
    Labour 1996–2003 (7 years)

    I agree with your comment regarding Wales - I lived there for 21 years and the demographic dominance of the South Wales valleys makes it very difficult for any party other than Labour to be dislodged from control of the Senedd. PC challenge intermittently there, particularly in the Rhondda and Caerphilly, but are handicapped by the perception that their agenda is linked to the promotion of Yr Iaith, which can antagonise monoglot English-speakers.

    I agree entirely about Wales.

    Labour (or rather Blair's Government) are responsible for the voting system which amplifies Labour dominance by gerrymander.

    The Tories, Plaid Cymru and the LibDems have also all failed Welsh voters in different ways.

    Trafford looks as though it has been well-served by Heath's choice in the sense that there has been change of party (though I accept that Trafford is probably drifting leftwards by demographic change, and so this makes Heaths' decision look better in retrospect).
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 6,730

    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    Individual voter registration is an attempt to suppress the votes of individuals living in multi-occupancy dwellings, who tend to be younger, poorer and more mobile - the demographic that tends to vote Labour.

    The exclusion of certain suburban areas from the metropolitan counties when local authority boundaries were re-drawn in 1974, and subsequent boundary re-configurations to create unitary authorities, were done with an eye on the likely electoral consequences of these changes.

    A local example that I am familiar with was the creation in 1974 of the Borough of Trafford, so as to establish a probable Tory-held authority within Greater Manchester, although after many years, the Tories lost control last May. The alternative more logical re-configuration using the River Mersey as the boundary, with a Borough of Wythenshawe (incorporating Sale and Altrincham), and the City of Manchester incorporating Stretford and Urmston but losing Wythenshawe, was not contemplated by the Heath government, as both such authorities would have been guaranteed to be perpetually Labour-controlled.

    Widespread gerrymandering is a feature of politics in the 6 counties. Even in the last few months, the DUP has been successful in pressuring the Boundaries Commission to re-draw the initial draft Westminster constituency boundaries as they were perceived as harming the DUP.

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
    Being in power with 30% of the vote isn't a sign of gerrymandering it is a sign of a flawed electoral system.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.
    I agree entirely.

    The system needs returning to before New Labour got their hands on it.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358



    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.

    Worth reading the full report - there are other factors.

    This is a theme we often cover:

    A deepening divide between the people and the experts
    The reaction to the populist insurgency has revealed the prevalence of prejudices about the average voter in some political, academic and media circles. In his book The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce observed that “oikophobia is real” and that “the elites have become progressively more sceptical of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.

    Some blamed popular ignorance and xenophobia for the Brexit and Trump results and argued that those who voted for them were political illiterates who had been duped by “post-truth politics” or worse, bigots with xenophobic views. In this way, some opponents of Brexit and Trump have presented voters (and supporters of populist parties in general) as the threat to democracy today. The popular reaction to an economic and political system which many voters feel has left them behind is presented as the cause of democracy’s ailments rather than a consequence of them.

    According to Luce (2017), the crux of the West’s democratic crisis is that “our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders; Britain versus Brussels; West Virginia versus Washington. It follows that the election of Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU are a reassertion of the popular will.” The split that Luce observes is one of deepening polarisation between the political class and alienated voters in the West. This has been the most striking trend in the Western democracies in 2017.
  • not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 2,554
    I

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    I would require a functioning democracy requires both.
  • not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 2,554
    edited November 3
    One simple trick the GOP use is to minimise the number of polling stations in Democratic areas to the point where voting takes hours. In one place in Georgia there is one polling station serving a population of about 15000.

    Needless to say, in GOP supporting areas polling stations are plentiful.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022

    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    Individual voter registration is an attempt to suppress the votes of individuals living in multi-occupancy dwellings, who tend to be younger, poorer and more mobile - the demographic that tends to vote Labour.

    The exclusion of certain suburban areas from the metropolitan counties when local authority boundaries were re-drawn in 1974, and subsequent boundary re-configurations to create unitary authorities, were done with an eye on the likely electoral consequences of these changes.

    A local example that I am familiar with was the creation in 1974 of the Borough of Trafford, so as to establish a probable Tory-held authority within Greater Manchester, although after many years, the Tories lost control last May. The alternative more logical re-configuration using the River Mersey as the boundary, with a Borough of Wythenshawe (incorporating Sale and Altrincham), and the City of Manchester incorporating Stretford and Urmston but losing Wythenshawe, was not contemplated by the Heath government, as both such authorities would have been guaranteed to be perpetually Labour-controlled.

    Widespread gerrymandering is a feature of politics in the 6 counties. Even in the last few months, the DUP has been successful in pressuring the Boundaries Commission to re-draw the initial draft Westminster constituency boundaries as they were perceived as harming the DUP.

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
    Being in power with 30% of the vote isn't a sign of gerrymandering it is a sign of a flawed electoral system.
    Who chose the electoral system ?

    It didn't just happen -- someone actively chose to construct a different electoral system in Wales as opposed to Scotland or N. Ireland.

    They chose it for naked political considerations.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523
    edited November 3

    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.

    I studied medieval English history for three years. Since the day I left university in 1986 I have not once practically applied the knowledge I acquired. But the disciplines I learned - evidence selection, source assessment, how to frame an argument, etc - have been critical to all I have done work-wise.

    You came up smelling of Roses?

    I'll get my coat...
  • not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 2,554

    daodao said:

    “Party-friendly state apparatus” is not a concept all that familiar to those in the UK".

    I disagree, although the ways of doing it vary from country to country.

    Individual voter registration is an attempt to suppress the votes of individuals living in multi-occupancy dwellings, who tend to be younger, poorer and more mobile - the demographic that tends to vote Labour.

    The exclusion of certain suburban areas from the metropolitan counties when local authority boundaries were re-drawn in 1974, and subsequent boundary re-configurations to create unitary authorities, were done with an eye on the likely electoral consequences of these changes.

    A local example that I am familiar with was the creation in 1974 of the Borough of Trafford, so as to establish a probable Tory-held authority within Greater Manchester, although after many years, the Tories lost control last May. The alternative more logical re-configuration using the River Mersey as the boundary, with a Borough of Wythenshawe (incorporating Sale and Altrincham), and the City of Manchester incorporating Stretford and Urmston but losing Wythenshawe, was not contemplated by the Heath government, as both such authorities would have been guaranteed to be perpetually Labour-controlled.

    Widespread gerrymandering is a feature of politics in the 6 counties. Even in the last few months, the DUP has been successful in pressuring the Boundaries Commission to re-draw the initial draft Westminster constituency boundaries as they were perceived as harming the DUP.

    A good test of a gerrymandering is: does a party ever lose power?

    All governing parties become unpopular, and the renewal opportunities provided by a spell in opposition are necessary for parties & democracy.

    So, the Heath Govt created a Council (Trafford) that can change hands rather than one "perpetually Labour controlled". Well done Heath !!!

    Look westwards to Wales for a truly gerrymandered country where the Government never loses power even with ~ 30 per cent of the vote. That is what a gerrymander looks like.
    Being in power with 30% of the vote isn't a sign of gerrymandering it is a sign of a flawed electoral system.
    Who chose the electoral system ?

    It didn't just happen -- someone actively chose to construct a different electoral system in Wales as opposed to Scotland or N. Ireland.

    They chose it for naked political considerations.
    And the Conservatives backing for FPTP is nothing to do with naked political considerations?
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474



    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.

    Worth reading the full report - there are other factors.

    This is a theme we often cover:

    A deepening divide between the people and the experts
    The reaction to the populist insurgency has revealed the prevalence of prejudices about the average voter in some political, academic and media circles. In his book The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce observed that “oikophobia is real” and that “the elites have become progressively more sceptical of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.

    Some blamed popular ignorance and xenophobia for the Brexit and Trump results and argued that those who voted for them were political illiterates who had been duped by “post-truth politics” or worse, bigots with xenophobic views. In this way, some opponents of Brexit and Trump have presented voters (and supporters of populist parties in general) as the threat to democracy today. The popular reaction to an economic and political system which many voters feel has left them behind is presented as the cause of democracy’s ailments rather than a consequence of them.

    According to Luce (2017), the crux of the West’s democratic crisis is that “our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders; Britain versus Brussels; West Virginia versus Washington. It follows that the election of Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU are a reassertion of the popular will.” The split that Luce observes is one of deepening polarisation between the political class and alienated voters in the West. This has been the most striking trend in the Western democracies in 2017.


    Another phenomonen is to frame the outcomes of two exceptionally close votes (one of which saw the loser of the popular vote elected) as being the people v the elite. It’s a whole lot more complex than that.

  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 6,730



    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.

    Worth reading the full report - there are other factors.

    This is a theme we often cover:

    A deepening divide between the people and the experts
    The reaction to the populist insurgency has revealed the prevalence of prejudices about the average voter in some political, academic and media circles. In his book The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce observed that “oikophobia is real” and that “the elites have become progressively more sceptical of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.

    Some blamed popular ignorance and xenophobia for the Brexit and Trump results and argued that those who voted for them were political illiterates who had been duped by “post-truth politics” or worse, bigots with xenophobic views. In this way, some opponents of Brexit and Trump have presented voters (and supporters of populist parties in general) as the threat to democracy today. The popular reaction to an economic and political system which many voters feel has left them behind is presented as the cause of democracy’s ailments rather than a consequence of them.

    According to Luce (2017), the crux of the West’s democratic crisis is that “our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders; Britain versus Brussels; West Virginia versus Washington. It follows that the election of Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU are a reassertion of the popular will.” The split that Luce observes is one of deepening polarisation between the political class and alienated voters in the West. This has been the most striking trend in the Western democracies in 2017.
    Thanks for sharing. Nowhere is that more true than in the Labour Party. A party membership more and more made up of latte-sipping Guardianistas who are completely detached from traditionally working class Labour voters. Whether the party stays left or moves back rightwards, this issue will remain.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 9,502
    MaxPB said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
    That I certainly agree with and that to my mind is the key objection to the student loan system.
    Which is why we need to limit the amount poor performing universities can charge or withdraw funding entirely.
    No because often the inefficiency lies with employers not universities. Employers favour Oxbridge, for instance, often with no good cause, especially where the degree subject is irrelevant, as is usually the case. It is bad for the company and more importantly for the country. How to prevent this is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 2,022
    edited November 3



    And the Conservatives backing for FPTP is nothing to do with naked political considerations?

    I am not a Tory and I voted for AV in the referendum.

    Whatever the demerits of FPTP (& there are many), the UK government does get changed.

    Whatever the failings of democracy in the US (& there are many), the US Presidency and the House and the Senate does get changed.

    That doesn't happen in Wales.

    (Also, it is not just the Conservatives who are enthusiastic about FPTP. Nick Palmer is a delightful exception, but most Labour MPs support FPTP as well. Come to South Wales and meet them.)
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 11,180

    I

    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.

    I would require a functioning democracy requires both.
    +1. I'm surprised at OSM's position. Majorities should come and go in a democracy - if whoever is currently dominant can decide to restrict the franchise to exclude their opponents, that is effectively a legal coup d'etat.

    For example, South Africa under apartheid was not ferociously oppressive in terms of freedom of speech. You could stand in Soweto and say "This system is horrible, our government is corrupt and oppressive" and nobody would lock you up. But you couldn't vote to change it. That wasn't a functioning democracy, and in the end insurrection seemed to be the only option open to people who wanted one.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 46,004
    Finished Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar. Found it very good.

    Currently reading 100 Great Kings, Queens and Rulers of the World. Onto Darius the Great. Just begun the anecdote about him becoming king because his horse was the first to neigh after sunrise.

    #alternativesystemsofelection
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474

    I

    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.

    I would require a functioning democracy requires both.
    +1. I'm surprised at OSM's position. Majorities should come and go in a democracy - if whoever is currently dominant can decide to restrict the franchise to exclude their opponents, that is effectively a legal coup d'etat.

    For example, South Africa under apartheid was not ferociously oppressive in terms of freedom of speech. You could stand in Soweto and say "This system is horrible, our government is corrupt and oppressive" and nobody would lock you up. But you couldn't vote to change it. That wasn't a functioning democracy, and in the end insurrection seemed to be the only option open to people who wanted one.

    You can criticise the European Union as much as you like!

  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 19,656

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    Hogwash
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    To summarise: for a so-called “People’s Vote,”or rather a “second people’s vote” to succeed in its aims, it needs: a majority in the House of Commons to pass the referendum Act needed; an agreement by the EU Council to grant a sufficiently long extension of the two-year period, under Art 50(3) of the TEU, or else the UK would be out of the EU before the result of the vote were known and was acted upon; thirdly, a sufficient majority of the electorate giving the “right answer” to the “right question” in the second referendum; fourthly, a positive answer by the ECJ on the question of whether the UK can unilaterally revoke its Art 50 notice; fifthly, a resolution in the UK of the issue of whether that could be done without an Act of Parliament—the Miller case in reverse; and lastly, the continued political will to carry all this out—no comment. The chances of any “People’s Vote”resulting in the UK remaining seem slim indeed. The UK is sloping towards an EU exit, whether we like it or not.

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/the-truth-is-that-brexit-is-happening-whether-we-like-it-or-not
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 27,474
    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.

    I studied medieval English history for three years. Since the day I left university in 1986 I have not once practically applied the knowledge I acquired. But the disciplines I learned - evidence selection, source assessment, how to frame an argument, etc - have been critical to all I have done work-wise.

    You came up smelling of Roses?

    I'll get my coat...

    I think you’d better! The Wars of the Roses were far too late for me anyway. I stopped at 1066.

  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 22,859

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I was thinking exactly the same thing. You have this Electoral College nonsense which makes the votes of some of the electorate is worth significantly more than others; a President who did not win the popular vote; the suppression of significant numbers of voters on the most spurious of grounds being sought by elected, partisan officials and obtained through the courts with elected, partisan judges; gerrymandering on an epic scale; mechanical counting machines which are known not to work but retained in use by partisan officials; utterly chaotic rules and procedures about postal votes which means it often takes weeks or even months before a close result can become official; at what point do we seriously question whether this is in fact a democracy at all?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 34,639

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    That seems plausible at first glance. The USA is clearly a democracy but has lots of little issues that taken together do appear problematic. We have little issues but perhaps not quite as many so rate a bit to higher but not by much.

    Why is Belgium so low?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 34,639



    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.

    Worth reading the full report - there are other factors.

    This is a theme we often cover:

    A deepening divide between the people and the experts
    The reaction to the populist insurgency has revealed the prevalence of prejudices about the average voter in some political, academic and media circles. In his book The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce observed that “oikophobia is real” and that “the elites have become progressively more sceptical of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.

    Some blamed popular ignorance and xenophobia for the Brexit and Trump results and argued that those who voted for them were political illiterates who had been duped by “post-truth politics” or worse, bigots with xenophobic views. In this way, some opponents of Brexit and Trump have presented voters (and supporters of populist parties in general) as the threat to democracy today. The popular reaction to an economic and political system which many voters feel has left them behind is presented as the cause of democracy’s ailments rather than a consequence of them.

    According to Luce (2017), the crux of the West’s democratic crisis is that “our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders; Britain versus Brussels; West Virginia versus Washington. It follows that the election of Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU are a reassertion of the popular will.” The split that Luce observes is one of deepening polarisation between the political class and alienated voters in the West. This has been the most striking trend in the Western democracies in 2017.


    Another phenomonen is to frame the outcomes of two exceptionally close votes (one of which saw the loser of the popular vote elected) as being the people v the elite. It’s a whole lot more complex than that.

    Yes, turns out there's plenty of elites and the people on all sides.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 8,292

    One simple trick the GOP use is to minimise the number of polling stations in Democratic areas to the point where voting takes hours. In one place in Georgia there is one polling station serving a population of about 15000....

    Which can be an effective deterrent if you have to queue for four or five hours to vote.
    And the legal entitlement to time off work to vote is two hours.

    Does it make voting impossible - of course not. But it is indefensible.

    “a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes...”
    Hogwash is unduly polite.

    Especially from malcolm :smile:
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 13,523

    ydoethur said:

    You came up smelling of Roses?

    I'll get my coat...

    I think you’d better! The Wars of the Roses were far too late for me anyway. I stopped at 1066.
    We must not be Hastyngs about these things.

    Have a good morning.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 11,180
    China is quite an interesting example of the democracy discussion. I give talks to Chinese groups on how Britain works, organised by a UK-based company. The participants are entirely frank about many problems in China - corruption, inequality, pollution, demography. They are carefully silent on the government.

    Christian Chinese friends, living in Britain and not pro-regime, say that in fact it's perfectly possible in China to be highly critical of the regime in everyday conversation, though they'll be discreet with foreigners. What gets you into trouble is trying to organise a critical group. The Chinese government seems to feel that pretty open discussion of policy is a good thing, so long as you don't try to change the government.

    It's clearly better than a system where any criticism of anything gets you locked up. But it does mean that ultimately state policy is rooted in the preservation of power at all costs. Anyone who has been in politics is familiar with the insidious temptation - "Yes, we're out of ideas and pretty crap, but we mustn't let the other side win". But ultimately democracy partly means accepting that you should sometimes lose.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 25,863



    And the Conservatives backing for FPTP is nothing to do with naked political considerations?

    I am not a Tory and I voted for AV in the referendum.

    Whatever the demerits of FPTP (& there are many), the UK government does get changed.

    Whatever the failings of democracy in the US (& there are many), the US Presidency and the House and the Senate does get changed.

    That doesn't happen in Wales.

    (Also, it is not just the Conservatives who are enthusiastic about FPTP. Nick Palmer is a delightful exception, but most Labour MPs support FPTP as well. Come to South Wales and meet them.)
    I think a big challenge is that in South Wales voting Labour is seen as a fundamental part of their Welsh identity.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 25,863

    I

    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.

    I would require a functioning democracy requires both.
    +1. I'm surprised at OSM's position. Majorities should come and go in a democracy - if whoever is currently dominant can decide to restrict the franchise to exclude their opponents, that is effectively a legal coup d'etat.

    For example, South Africa under apartheid was not ferociously oppressive in terms of freedom of speech. You could stand in Soweto and say "This system is horrible, our government is corrupt and oppressive" and nobody would lock you up. But you couldn't vote to change it. That wasn't a functioning democracy, and in the end insurrection seemed to be the only option open to people who wanted one.

    You can criticise the European Union as much as you like!

    But, we couldn’t vote to change it and, indeed, were denied a vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

    Thankfully, in 2016, that changed.
  • YorkcityYorkcity Posts: 3,509



    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.

    Worth reading the full report - there are other factors.

    This is a theme we often cover:

    A deepening divide between the people and the experts
    The reaction to the populist insurgency has revealed the prevalence of prejudices about the average voter in some political, academic and media circles. In his book The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce observed that “oikophobia is real” and that “the elites have become progressively more sceptical of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.

    Some blamed popular ignorance and xenophobia for the Brexit and Trump results and argued that those who voted for them were political illiterates who had been duped by “post-truth politics” or worse, bigots with xenophobic views. In this way, some opponents of Brexit and Trump have presented voters (and supporters of populist parties in general) as the threat to democracy today. The popular reaction to an economic and political system which many voters feel has left them behind is presented as the cause of democracy’s ailments rather than a consequence of them.

    According to Luce (2017), the crux of the West’s democratic crisis is that “our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders; Britain versus Brussels; West Virginia versus Washington. It follows that the election of Trump and Britain’s exit from the EU are a reassertion of the popular will.” The split that Luce observes is one of deepening polarisation between the political class and alienated voters in the West. This has been the most striking trend in the Western democracies in 2017.
    Thanks for sharing. Nowhere is that more true than in the Labour Party. A party membership more and more made up of latte-sipping Guardianistas who are completely detached from traditionally working class Labour voters. Whether the party stays left or moves back rightwards, this issue will remain.
    Latte-sipping Guardanistas count me in.

    This from a lad who started work on cold freezing building sites.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 10,283
    edited November 3
    e

    One simple trick the GOP use is to minimise the number of polling stations in Democratic areas to the point where voting takes hours. In one place in Georgia there is one polling station serving a population of about 15000.

    Needless to say, in GOP supporting areas polling stations are plentiful.

    Well, it was only 13700 people. And they moved it 3 miles away from the regular location.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 25,863
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    MaxPB said:

    Repayments over time. Agree on economics, the world would be a better place without them, lawyers too.

    Quite. Countries without laws are wonderful places to live and people are flocking to live in them.

    Or perhaps you are, once again, talking out of your arse.

    If there is one thing that people working in business, finance and public life generally ought to be taught it is economic history: 3 years on why and how economic booms and busts happen and why you should never assume that you are immune from complacency and hubris would be money well spent.
    The real problem, as the good Dr Foxy (not to be confused with the somewhat less good Dr Fox) said, is that actually most degree courses will never lead to salaries that repay more than a fraction of the loans taken out to pay for them. Average earnings for Economics, for example, is distorted by the comparatively small numbers who earn millions, overlooking the large number at the bottom of the financial system on quite low wages. But that means even for those courses with good headline figures, most of the money will have to be written off. For History or English, despite their dominance of white collar roles, the salaries are not actually that high (and the small number who go into say, Law and the even smaller number who succeed financially in it don't make the same adjustment as there are so many of us).

    And, of course, even this is predicated on the SLC being able to collect the money that is repaid in an efficient and timeline manner, something their exceptionally useless Head of Repayments has failed to do for the small matter of the twenty-six years he has been in post.
    Indeed.

    I do take the, admittedly old-fashioned, view that being well-educated is a good thing in itself, regardless of what salary it leads to. And that this is something which all of us should pay for because it benefits all of us to have people around us, whatever they do, who are well-educated and who have the ability to keep on learning during their lives, for their own and for others’ benefit.
    I agree with much of that except the “all of us should pay for” bit.

    These things do need to be budgeted and paid for and I don’t think it unreasonable to except undergraduates choosing their courses at tertiary level to make a contribution. It otherwise gets very expensive and there are all sorts of other heavy demands on the public purse.

    I do think the current levels of fees are politically unsustainable, but not all fees.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 34,639

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    A full democracy with a upper chamber populated by cronies, has-beens and god-botherers.

    And a voting system where you can become a majority government with 40% of the vote.

    They must set a low bar.
    Well perhaps that is why we are only ranked at 14th. It's an imperfect world and our imperfect system works surprisingly well, though I'd prefer a more proportional voting system myself. But nor is there much benefit to pretending we are not inherently democratic in our system in a way most are not. Even if we do not take this list as gospel - others no doubt exist and may rank us differently- and so long as we do not presume we cannot improve further, then even our imperfect system can be celebrated.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 31,358
    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the USA as a 'flawed democracy' ranked 21st equal in the world along with Italy and behind South Korea.

    The UK (a "Full Democracy") ranks 14th, just behind Germany (13) and ahead of all the other large EU states; Spain (19), France (29 - "Flawed"). Many smaller EU states do (a lot) better: Sweden (3), Denmark (5), Ireland (6), and some substantially worse: Belgium (32), Greece (38), Hungary (56), Romania (64).

    https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/Democracy_Index_2017.pdf
    That seems plausible at first glance. The USA is clearly a democracy but has lots of little issues that taken together do appear problematic. We have little issues but perhaps not quite as many so rate a bit to higher but not by much.

    Why is Belgium so low?
    The chart shows it scoring low on 'Political Participation' (5.00 vs UK 8.33 for example) and 'Political Culture' (6.88 vs 8.13).

    The US by contrast doesn't score particularly poorly in any one area - just broadly a bit worse in many areas.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 47,261
    edited November 3
    It does look like Florida could get its first Democratic Governor for 19 years which would probably be the biggest win of the night for the Democrats (assuming Cruz narrowly beats O'Rourke in Texas).

    Remember how crucial Jeb Bush as Florida Governor was to his brother winning the state, the Electoral College and the Presidency in 2000. After Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Florida is the most marginal Trump state from 2016
  • FishingFishing Posts: 378
    DavidL said:



    I was thinking exactly the same thing. You have this Electoral College nonsense which makes the votes of some of the electorate is worth significantly more than others; a President who did not win the popular vote; the suppression of significant numbers of voters on the most spurious of grounds being sought by elected, partisan officials and obtained through the courts with elected, partisan judges; gerrymandering on an epic scale; mechanical counting machines which are known not to work but retained in use by partisan officials; utterly chaotic rules and procedures about postal votes which means it often takes weeks or even months before a close result can become official; at what point do we seriously question whether this is in fact a democracy at all?

    But against that, consider the formidable strenghs of the American political system, compared to many others - brutal competition between the two parties, genuine separation of powers, independence of elected officials, a ferocious, scandal-hungry media and legal redress. Also far more posts are elected than virtually anywhere else, and many states and counties have more direct democracy than anywhere else save Switzerland.

    An anecdote of my own - I was in Northern California last year, staying with a friend. She was lobbying to set up a Parks and Recreation department in the small town were she was. To do that, they had to spend months organising a citizens' group, then get an initiative on the ballot. I attended one of the town hall meetings out of curiosity. With the exception of Switzerland, I really can't think of anywhere else that comes close to that level of participation in the democratic process.

    It's not a simple picture.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 22,859

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    MaxPB said:

    The Times saying that student fees are set to go down to £6.5k from £9.25k. I think a better solution is to have a variable cap per course and uni. The government must now have enough data on which courses and universities perform well in terms of payback rates and which ones don't. Allow the former to charge the full. £9.25k and the latter should have their fees capped to the payback proportion.

    The actual story is that some courses will have their fees capped, those which, in fact, are cheaper to run and lead to lower pay in after years.

    What concerns me somewhat is the proposal to leave medicine outside the cap. Yes, it's one that leads to high pay, but against that (1) we're short of doctors and (2) it's a very long course, so leads to huge debts anyway.

    I would have said there's a strong case for offering to wipe the fees of anyone who works exclusively for the NHS for ten years after graduation, but there may be other objections to that (I am sure Foxy will put me right if there are).
    Personally, I would be happy with such NHS bursaries, however recently the government removed such bursaries from Nurses, so the move is the other direction.

    We are racking up vast student debt that will wind up being written off. A bit like PFI, and the longer we leave it the more painful it will be to sort out.
    There was a successful pilot of a student loan repayment programme for teachers in the early 00s, then it was promptly scrapped as recruitment numbers stabilised.

    The Tories are running another pilot for teachers in certain subjects, in some LAs.

    It beggars belief that they are not doing the same for the NHS. The scrapping of the nursing bursary has had an immediate and massive negative impact on applications.
    This was the expectation in 2016: https://www.health.org.uk/blog/will-removing-bursaries-student-nurses-actually-lead-more-nursing-staff

    Essentially the abolition of bursaries meant more places could be funded. There was then (and in my understanding there still is) a massive over subscription for nursing places.

    I think bursaries are not necessary but I also think that there is great merit in writing off the debts of those graduates, both nurses and doctors, who "pay back" by working for the NHS for a qualifying period.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 25,863
    On topic: fascinating article, David.

    Thank you.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 25,863

    China is quite an interesting example of the democracy discussion. I give talks to Chinese groups on how Britain works, organised by a UK-based company. The participants are entirely frank about many problems in China - corruption, inequality, pollution, demography. They are carefully silent on the government.

    Christian Chinese friends, living in Britain and not pro-regime, say that in fact it's perfectly possible in China to be highly critical of the regime in everyday conversation, though they'll be discreet with foreigners. What gets you into trouble is trying to organise a critical group. The Chinese government seems to feel that pretty open discussion of policy is a good thing, so long as you don't try to change the government.

    It's clearly better than a system where any criticism of anything gets you locked up. But it does mean that ultimately state policy is rooted in the preservation of power at all costs. Anyone who has been in politics is familiar with the insidious temptation - "Yes, we're out of ideas and pretty crap, but we mustn't let the other side win". But ultimately democracy partly means accepting that you should sometimes lose.

    And, also, that you should treat the losing side with some degree of respect because you will always govern on behalf of all and, at some point, you’ll lose again too.

    Without that, a democratic system can fracture.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 22,859
    Alistair said:

    e

    One simple trick the GOP use is to minimise the number of polling stations in Democratic areas to the point where voting takes hours. In one place in Georgia there is one polling station serving a population of about 15000.

    Needless to say, in GOP supporting areas polling stations are plentiful.

    Well, it was only 13700 people. And they moved it 3 miles away from the regular location.
    This is presumably one of the main reasons minority voters are so keen on early voting in the US. Turn up on the day and you write off hours.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 11,180



    Thanks for sharing. Nowhere is that more true than in the Labour Party. A party membership more and more made up of latte-sipping Guardianistas who are completely detached from traditionally working class Labour voters. Whether the party stays left or moves back rightwards, this issue will remain.

    Britain as a whole has moved away from half the population being traditional working class - depending on how you define it, the traditional working class is now perhaps 20% of the population. I agree that it's important to represent them, but any party does need to appeal to a much wider coalition.

    The latte-sipping Guardianista is anyway a bit of a myth outside university areas. In deepest Surrey where I now live, I wouldn't describe a single one of the local Labour people (about 600 in my CLP) in those terms, except maybe me. Most are neither intellectual nor traditional working class - they're people who are getting by as best they can who feel society ought to be more equal.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662

    China is quite an interesting example of the democracy discussion. I give talks to Chinese groups on how Britain works, organised by a UK-based company. The participants are entirely frank about many problems in China - corruption, inequality, pollution, demography. They are carefully silent on the government.

    Christian Chinese friends, living in Britain and not pro-regime, say that in fact it's perfectly possible in China to be highly critical of the regime in everyday conversation, though they'll be discreet with foreigners. What gets you into trouble is trying to organise a critical group. The Chinese government seems to feel that pretty open discussion of policy is a good thing, so long as you don't try to change the government.

    It's clearly better than a system where any criticism of anything gets you locked up. But it does mean that ultimately state policy is rooted in the preservation of power at all costs. Anyone who has been in politics is familiar with the insidious temptation - "Yes, we're out of ideas and pretty crap, but we mustn't let the other side win". But ultimately democracy partly means accepting that you should sometimes lose.

    And, also, that you should treat the losing side with some degree of respect because you will always govern on behalf of all and, at some point, you’ll lose again too.

    Without that, a democratic system can fracture.
    An important point which far too many of our own MPs in favour of no deal seem to forget.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 15,662



    Thanks for sharing. Nowhere is that more true than in the Labour Party. A party membership more and more made up of latte-sipping Guardianistas who are completely detached from traditionally working class Labour voters. Whether the party stays left or moves back rightwards, this issue will remain.

    Britain as a whole has moved away from half the population being traditional working class - depending on how you define it, the traditional working class is now perhaps 20% of the population. I agree that it's important to represent them, but any party does need to appeal to a much wider coalition.

    The latte-sipping Guardianista is anyway a bit of a myth outside university areas. In deepest Surrey where I now live, I wouldn't describe a single one of the local Labour people (about 600 in my CLP) in those terms, except maybe me. Most are neither intellectual nor traditional working class - they're people who are getting by as best they can who feel society ought to be more equal.
    Indeed, they all drink flat whites now!
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 22,859
    Fishing said:

    DavidL said:



    I was thinking exactly the same thing. You have this Electoral College nonsense which makes the votes of some of the electorate is worth significantly more than others; a President who did not win the popular vote; the suppression of significant numbers of voters on the most spurious of grounds being sought by elected, partisan officials and obtained through the courts with elected, partisan judges; gerrymandering on an epic scale; mechanical counting machines which are known not to work but retained in use by partisan officials; utterly chaotic rules and procedures about postal votes which means it often takes weeks or even months before a close result can become official; at what point do we seriously question whether this is in fact a democracy at all?

    But against that, consider the formidable strenghs of the American political system, compared to many others - brutal competition between the two parties, genuine separation of powers, independence of elected officials, a ferocious, scandal-hungry media and legal redress. Also far more posts are elected than virtually anywhere else, and many states and counties have more direct democracy than anywhere else save Switzerland.

    An anecdote of my own - I was in Northern California last year, staying with a friend. She was lobbying to set up a Parks and Recreation department in the small town were she was. To do that, they had to spend months organising a citizens' group, then get an initiative on the ballot. I attended one of the town hall meetings out of curiosity. With the exception of Switzerland, I really can't think of anywhere else that comes close to that level of participation in the democratic process.

    It's not a simple picture.
    I would agree it is not straightforward but I question the overall balance. For example to what extent is there "complete separation of powers" when Trump puts the likes of Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court using a majority in the Senate that only exists because of the 2 senators per state rule?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 34,639
    malcolmg said:

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Re the 2020 Democratic nomination, watch Eric Holder. He's been constantly on the road stumping for Democratic candidates. He could score surprising highly in Iowa and New Hampshire

    He's certainly alert to the theme in the thread header:
    Interesting comment about Arizona. They appear to have a system which disqualifies votes when the voters names are similar, on the pretext of preventing double voting. Apparently the system is used to work against people with Hispanic names.

    One does wonder sometimes whether the US can really be described as a democracy.
    I think a democracy has every right to restrict the franchise however it wishes. The test of being a democracy is that people are free to debate and dissent to such restrictions. Normally this dissent and debate will lead to a wide franchise, but I think it's an important distinction to make in the light of the Russian experience where everyone has the vote, but no-one is free to debate and dissent to the status quo -making the ability to vote almost meaningless.

    The US is clearly a democracy in a way that Russia is not. Democracy is about dissent, not voting.
    Hogwash
    Put delicately the ability to restrict 'however it wishes' surely has the potential to allow restriction which makes it meaningless for many people. 'However it wishes' suggests you should be able to restrict directly based on, for Instance, race.
This discussion has been closed.