Search found 64 matches

by Mechanicus
Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: War On Journalism: London Edition
Replies: 64
Views: 11540

Re: War On Journalism: London Edition

As far as I can see, the process was this: - government agents wanted to have the disks - Guardian said no, then you could see how much as-yet unpublished stuff is still there. - But you are not allowed to have the disks with this info on it - then we prefer to destroy the disks - OK, here's an ang...
by Mechanicus
Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK Muslims demand gay marriage exemption...
Replies: 40
Views: 8342

Re: UK Muslims demand gay marriage exemption...

Just as an update, the House of Commons just voted in favour of the gay marriage bill at second reading by a resounding 400 votes to 175! Labour had about 20 voting against, the Lib Dems 2 and Conservatives 139 (meaning they nearly split down the middle yes v no with a plurality for no, but about 40...
by Mechanicus
Sat May 19, 2012 10:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What makes Royal families Royal?
Replies: 90
Views: 19275

Re: What makes Royal families Royal?

yurell wrote:According to Wikipedia only 26% are republicans.
Currently at 13%, according to recent polls.
by Mechanicus
Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:24 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: French Presidential Election 2012
Replies: 67
Views: 13102

Re: French Presidential Election 2012

It is looking like the anti-immigration, law-and-order-focussed and protectionist Front National candidate, Marine Le Pen, came a strong third, with between 18 and 20% of the vote. Wasn't expecting that. I understood that opinion polls put her and her party much further back.
by Mechanicus
Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An election system
Replies: 108
Views: 15923

Re: An election system

Here in Australia our politicians live and breathe this notion. They don't represent you to the party. They represent the party to you. All they do is try to sell you their political party so you can vote for them and give them power. They hold no regard for the people who elected them. If the Amer...
by Mechanicus
Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A new Australian PM by Monday?
Replies: 23
Views: 3917

Re: A new Australian PM by Monday?

I might be reading it wrong, but this Australian thing sounds closer to a vote of confidence. At the very least, it's not a leadership decision by the whole party, only by the parliament fraction. By coincidence, the Dutch Labour Party is going through a similar thing. But they are not in power so ...
by Mechanicus
Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A new Australian PM by Monday?
Replies: 23
Views: 3917

Re: A new Australian PM by Monday?

eta: and just to correct something, there are 102 labor members of parliament, and they all get a vote in the selection of a leader. Only getting 30 would be hugely telling about the fact that people generally think that Rudd can't be worked with. Oh, I didn't realise the Senate caucus got to have ...
by Mechanicus
Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A new Australian PM by Monday?
Replies: 23
Views: 3917

Re: A new Australian PM by Monday?

Well, the first poll to come up on google is this one . The two-party preferred poll (a simple toss-up between the two main parties) has the coalition slightly ahead and the preferred prime minister poll has Gillard slightly ahead, but the actual polls show a *fifteen point* lead for the coalition w...
by Mechanicus
Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A new Australian PM by Monday?
Replies: 23
Views: 3917

A new Australian PM by Monday?

Kevin Rudd, just-resigned Foreign Minister and former PM, has pretty much launched his bid to retake the leadership of the Labor party, and hence prime minister-ship of Australia less than two years after he lost it. Julia Gillard, current PM, has set the ballot for Monday and all members of Labor's...
by Mechanicus
Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: A state funeral for Thatcher - why or why not?
Replies: 77
Views: 30698

Re: A state funeral for Thatcher - why or why not?

I'm with Peter Oborne here. She was an immensely significant politician. She changed the political debate from the post-war consensus to Thatcherism. But in her way, she's no more significant than Clement Attlee who created that consensus and didn't get a state funeral. If it were length of time in ...
by Mechanicus
Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:18 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: So: Papua New Guinea has two governments now...
Replies: 21
Views: 4191

Re: So: Papua New Guinea has two governments now...

So both sides have taken moves to make the other side illegal in some kind of political Mexican stand-off? This is better than the Whitlam dismissal! In terms of constitutional crises, this is up there with the best. I just hope this doesn't get nasty. I'm hopeful it won't, but I hadn't realised Pa...
by Mechanicus
Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: So: Papua New Guinea has two governments now...
Replies: 21
Views: 4191

So: Papua New Guinea has two governments now...

A quick primer: Papua New Guinea's government, headed by prime minister Peter O'Neill since August, was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court , but the parliament then retrospectively legalised it and forced the previous incumbent, Sir Michael Somare, out of his seat in parliament (which you need to be...
by Mechanicus
Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Harper proposes new 'tough on crime' bill
Replies: 51
Views: 7282

Re: Harper proposes new 'tough on crime' bill

The depressing thing, for me at least, is less that the government didn't know the House's procedure and more that it completely confirms the idea that they'll vote something down purely because it's being proposed by the opposition. I feel like this is a common trend in party politics worldwide re...
by Mechanicus
Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Harper proposes new 'tough on crime' bill
Replies: 51
Views: 7282

Re: Harper proposes new 'tough on crime' bill

Whoops. Now that's embarrassing. There's been no shortage of quiet head-scratching amongst Commons watchers over yesterday's failed attempt by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to introduce a raft of terrorism-related report stage amendments to the omnicrime bill, only to see all five ruled out of o...
by Mechanicus
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:58 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: SOPA talk, yo.
Replies: 620
Views: 88813

Re: SOPA talk, yo.

For any law to be enacted it has to pass both in the Senate and the House. If both SOPA and P-IP pass then the bills go in to a committee that unifies the two bills in to a single bill with the same language, that revised bill then goes back to the senate and the house for final passage. That is tr...
by Mechanicus
Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:41 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: NDP Leader Jack Layton dies of cancer.
Replies: 10
Views: 1911

Re: NDP Leader Jack Layton dies of cancer.

He seemed like a genuine and honourable guy. Difficult to find in politics these days.
by Mechanicus
Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:57 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Canada rebrands armed forces.
Replies: 13
Views: 2249

Re: Canada rebrands armed forces.

To be fair, the change does nothing but clarify the constitutional position. The Canadian armed forces are the forces of the Crown, which is generally controlled by the government.

EDIT: rephrasing to make it clearer.
by Mechanicus
Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer
Replies: 128
Views: 14354

Re: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer

James is the obvious answer. I can't see anyone more vulnerable than him right now. Plus, it's been a habit of the last week that every time parliament came to debate him (Hunt's BskyB statement, Opposition day debate on withdrawing the bid) he dropped a bombshell something like an hour before to tr...
by Mechanicus
Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Replies: 91
Views: 7617

Re: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.

Oh, I'm massively in favour of it, it provides some element of meritocracy in a government dominated by Eton->PPE graduates.
Hah, sadly that's very true. :)
by Mechanicus
Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Replies: 91
Views: 7617

Re: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.

The system goes wrong most commonly when the Senate is 'hostile'. This is annoying, but since the Senate can only ratify or reject laws (bunch of other items too, but they're not important day-to-day), it's at worst a misfeature, not a bug - the primary purpose of the Senate is to protect states IM...
by Mechanicus
Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:21 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Replies: 91
Views: 7617

Re: Maori MP refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen.

The rationale for this is that in the Commonwealth realms swearing an oath to the Queen is the equivalent of swearing an oath to the flag or the constitution - they are all embodiments of the state and as such are above politics.

Of course, it's rarely as simple as that.
by Mechanicus
Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:24 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer
Replies: 128
Views: 14354

Re: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer

Yup. All my questions are rendered academic. Now we will have to wait and see what the police come up with in their investigations. OfCom has a continuous duty to apply the fit and proper test, so it might well be that they will decide that they aren't fit and proper to hold the 39% that they do (e...
by Mechanicus
Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:19 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer
Replies: 128
Views: 14354

Re: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer

@HiFranc: Yes, I was aware of Mr. Hunt's limited remit. The bid has in any case been referred to the Competition Commission now because Murdoch has withdrawn his undertaking to sell of Sky News from the BSkyB conglomerate. I was under the impression that the Competition Commission could make a Fit ...
by Mechanicus
Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer
Replies: 128
Views: 14354

Re: Newspaper "Aids and Abets" Murderer

Rupert Murdoch flew in to London today to handle the situation personally. Asked what his priority was, he pointed to Rebekah Brooks (link from the inimitable BBC) . Not apologising on behalf of his papers to the families of murdered schoolgirls Milly Dowler, Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells who were...
by Mechanicus
Sun May 29, 2011 7:01 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Representative Democracy and the voting criteria
Replies: 19
Views: 7875

Re: Representative Democracy and the voting criteria

I'm wondering how voting system would influence this. Given a limited number of candidates how do you pick the one that best expressed the will of the people? FPTP is most definitely not the answer, but how do the others stack up? Personally, I think you need to look at the system that has the most...
by Mechanicus
Sun May 08, 2011 11:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: UK AV Referendum
Replies: 33
Views: 3067

Re: UK AV Referendum

The thing is in Ireland is that the Constituency link is almost too strong. Many MPs (Or TDs as they're known) have been shown to spend a disproportionate amount of their time doing constituency work and their is the perennial slander of politician's attending random people's funerals for votes. Bu...
by Mechanicus
Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Alternate Voting Systems (Range, Condorcet etc)
Replies: 186
Views: 23276

Re: Alternate Voting Systems (Range, Condorcet etc)

That's odd, has anyone done research into why people tend to become opposed to it over time? No research as such, but at a guess, people like the idea of change to our political system because of the damage done to it by (amongst other things) the Iraq war, MPs' expenses and various lobbying scanda...
by Mechanicus
Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Alternate Voting Systems (Range, Condorcet etc)
Replies: 186
Views: 23276

Re: Alternate Voting Systems (Range, Condorcet etc)

There's a referendum in May in the UK about adopting the alternative vote (also called preferential voting in Australia and instant run-off voting in the US). Anyone British have an idea of what the likely result will be? No one knows - after the systems are explained to people, they tend to say no...
by Mechanicus
Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:02 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Britain increases tuition, met with violent protests
Replies: 148
Views: 12134

Re: Britain increases tuition, met with violent protests

There's an informative debate on the benefits and drawbacks of the tuition fee increase here from around 17.49 (which is after the main party-political statements) , with a transcript (at least for the next five hours) here . It's certainly more informative than the debate in the Commons, though tha...
by Mechanicus
Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Did someone just try to buy UK Plc?
Replies: 23
Views: 2417

Re: Did someone just try to buy UK Plc?

So not only has he admitted to laundering money for terrorists, he claims he did it with the approval and instigation of the Bank of England. That's huge. I'm pretty sure, if you read what he says afterwards, combined with what he's said in interviews since : James told ZDNet UK on Thursday that he...
by Mechanicus
Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:04 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned
Replies: 479
Views: 39638

Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

D: House of Lords, I will miss your powers. To be fair, the entire thing was the constitutional equivalent of back-of-a-beermat scrawl. Blair just decided he wanted to abolish the Lord Chancellor (with plenty of organisational difficulties for the English&Welsh judiciary and the House of Lords)...
by Mechanicus
Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:13 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday Reports
Replies: 16
Views: 2191

Re: The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday Reports

I don't see Northern Ireland joining with the Republic any time soon. For one thing, economically, the Republic would not want it. Secondly, most polls show that the populace are happy with the current arrangements and I think, to the contrary of Dream, that the likelihood of NI trying to join with ...
by Mechanicus
Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:26 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday Reports
Replies: 16
Views: 2191

Re: The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday Reports

A good result and an example of what we should have done thirty years ago after the pathetic whitewash of the Widgery Report. And, yeah, it took 12 years, but Lord Saville does have a reputation of meticulousness, and quite clearly the soldiers' lawyers (not just their lawyers, but them especially g...
by Mechanicus
Fri May 21, 2010 11:17 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK Torture Inquiry
Replies: 10
Views: 1629

UK Torture Inquiry

So, apparently the new government in Blighty is to hold a judge-led inquiry into the allegations of the intelligence community's complicity in torture. I'm cautiously optimistic that this could work out, but we shall see. Depends which judge leads it; presumably a current Justice of the Supreme Cour...
by Mechanicus
Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:05 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: British Election, take two
Replies: 68
Views: 7777

Re: British Election, take two

I'm a big fan of AMS as practiced in Germany, AV plus feels like a slightly strange compromise that I'm not entirely happy with, and would surely underline the second class mp things (by rather than having half, having only 100 proportionally chosen mps). I do see your point that AV+ would be bette...
by Mechanicus
Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: British Election, take two
Replies: 68
Views: 7777

Re: British Election, take two

I know, I fully agree that in practice an elected Prime Minister would probably be unworkable with the current system. One day, in my dreams... With regards to the House of Lords - you are indeed correct that it can be, and indeed currently is, used for that purpose. Gordon Brown tried to have a &q...
by Mechanicus
Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: British Election, take two
Replies: 68
Views: 7777

Re: British Election, take two

I am aware this is a little off-topic, but in my wildest dreams I would like to see a directly elected Prime Minister in the UK. Yes, I am aware that this would be more similar to a President, and that there would be similar problems to when different parties control the White House and House/Senat...
by Mechanicus
Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:55 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: MPs back referendum on first past the post
Replies: 23
Views: 1998

Re: MPs back referendum on first past the post

It will be interesting to see if they ever get around to the referendum and if they do what the results will be. I'm personally all for an alternative vote based system. However I doubt it will do anything for the perception of politics in this country. I'm most interested by this set of quotes fro...
by Mechanicus
Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Three MPs and one peer face expenses abuse charges.
Replies: 9
Views: 1461

Re: Three MPs and one peer face expenses abuse charges.

I expect there will be convictions; I can't imagine the parliamentary privilege defence standing up. It seems stupid not to name the other parliamentarian who's under investigation when it's already been said it's Labour's Lady Uddin . And, if I remember rightly, she was the one who sped home on the...
by Mechanicus
Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Harper Prorogues Parliament: Assault on Canadian Democracy
Replies: 36
Views: 4679

Re: Harper Prorogues Parliament: Assault on Canadian Democracy

Thanks for the lengthy explanation. I'm from The Netherlands myself, and our system doesn't work like that. Parliament is always in session. Between elections and the formation of a new cabinet, the old cabinet is considered 'demissionary' and not supposed to make any major decisions except during ...

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