Monday, October 27, 2014

Quote of the day 27th October 2014

"The choice at the election, if you’re a Eurosceptic, is clear enough. You can have a pro-EU leader who will nonetheless give you an in/out referendum (David Cameron), an anti-EU leader who can’t deliver one (Nigel Farage) or a pro-EU leader who doesn’t even pretend to want one (Ed Miliband). I trust the electorate, and am more bullish than most about winning a referendum on withdrawal even against the three party leaders.
Still, what an opportunity looks like sliding past. The latest poll shows the Conservatives and Ukip taking 50 per cent of the vote between them, while Ed Miliband becomes prime minister with 34 per cent. It’s enough to make you weep."
(Dan Hannan, Conservative MEP,  writing in the Spectator. You can read the full article here.)


Jim said...

I cant vote for either of those Dan.

Jim said...

its rather pathetic that I need to explain the UK electoral system to an elected MEP. You see Dan, we dont actually vote for a "leader". We vote for a member of the legislature (an MP) to represent us in the House of Commons. We never get a chance to vote for a "leader" as such (and i do use that term lightly on past performance of the last 4 of them). in fact that which you are suggesting could actually be implemented, but it will mean we need to invoke demand 3 of Harrogate:

3. Separation of powers:

The executive shall be separated from the legislature. To that effect, prime ministers shall be elected by popular vote; they shall appoint their own ministers, with the approval of parliament, to assist in the exercise of such powers as may be granted to them by the sovereign people of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; no prime ministers or their ministers shall be members of parliament or any legislative assembly;

Chris Whiteside said...

Formally you are right, Jim, but in practice what Dan wrote is perfectly reasonable and not in any way pathetic.

As you well know the evidence suggests that in General Elections something like 85% of people cast their vote primarily on the basis of what party label is against each candidate. One of the important factors voters take into consideration when deciding what party to support is what they think of the party leaders. And except where a sitting MP or candidate is exceptionally well known, more people probably know the identity of the main party leaders than know the names of the candidates in their constituency.

Hence it is not unreasonable in practice to refer to a vote for Labour as a vote to put Ed Miliband into Downing Street, etc.

Jim said...

It does not work does it Chris, You know that and I do. And you know as well as I do that a vote for a candidate is not always a vote for a party, though I do admit, with some people it is. The very very best we can do is elect a {insert party here} MP, then there needs to be a majority of that same party MP's elected to the HOC, so that that leader (whom has not been elected by the general public) is the "Leader" of the nation, thus at the same time disenfranchising those same people whom elected him/her.

Then there are all the ministerial postions which further disenfranchise, then of couse there are the whips and the PPS's and of course then we have to consider those back bench MPs who want to climb the ladder to a ministerial position, so thus are nothing but a nodding dog. (if you doubt me there look at the copeland mp now)

its just a farce isn't it?

Jim said...

My aim is as you well know, Chris to detach the UK from this unelected and unelctable government we find ourselves under, that being the EU commission.

But more important is that I don't want to hand power, or indeed my sovereignty to those whom saw fit to hand it away in the first place.

sorry but those days are gone now.

Chris Whiteside said...

Jim, you know as well as I do that Dan Hannan's description of the positions of David Cameron and Ed Miliband also reflects the views on Europe of the overwhelming majority of Conservative and Labour candidates.

I doubt if there will be a single Conservative candidate at the 2015 General Election who does not think there should be a referendum.

There may still be a small handful of Labour MPs and candidates who would vote for a referendum. You might have a point for people living in Birkenhead (Frank Field's constituency) for example. But the majority of Labour MPs certainly won't vote for an EU referendum.

And UKIP have only suggested in their own most bullish projections that they might get 25 seats, so they are not going to form a government.

So Dan's quote is a reasonably accurate assessment of the likely consequences of electing a Conservative, Labour or UKIP MP.