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I hope this thread takes off. I much prefer watching European politics over North American politics.

North American politics, even in Canada, are pretty much scripted with few results and occasionally expected and temporary action: it's kinda like x-hamster.com.

Europeans, on  the other hand, have a history of diplomacy followed by massive warfare, and they don't flinch or argue much once all hell breaks loose. Europeans have evolved from petty tribal warfare and bickering and turned it into an higher cultural art. Kinda like watching the more talented tenants on RLC.

We, on the other hand, have devolved to the point where our major elected leaders are guests on late night talk shows (Mr. O) or twitter (Mr. T). Canada also boasts some popular stars on occasion. Mexico, well, it's run by the drug cartels.

I'm especially fond of the Q&A with the British Prime Minister and the UKs Parliament; the sessions are televised here, and I am always amazed at their fine and extensive use of oratory to get things done. In America, things only get done in back rooms with money being exchanged. By the time it goes to our House or Senate, the whole damn thing has been scripted. We can watch that too, but who really wants to watch a bunch of whores?

We don't get enough political information about Italy. This is amazing, since it's the birthplace of European politics, along with the ancient Greeks.

Please continue. I'm sick of thread that only contain Alinsky American crap.

 

 

 

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:01 PM, Foamy T. Squirrel said:

I hope this thread takes off. I much prefer watching European politics over North American politics.

North American politics, even in Canada, are pretty much scripted with few results and occasionally expected and temporary action: it's kinda like x-hamster.com.

Europeans, on  the other hand, have a history of diplomacy followed by massive warfare, and they don't flinch or argue much once all hell breaks loose. Europeans have evolved from petty tribal warfare and bickering and turned it into an higher cultural art. Kinda like watching the more talented tenants on RLC.

We, on the other hand, have devolved to the point where our major elected leaders are guests on late night talk shows (Mr. O) or twitter (Mr. T). Canada also boasts some popular stars on occasion. Mexico, well, it's run by the drug cartels.

I'm especially fond of the Q&A with the British Prime Minister and the UKs Parliament; the sessions are televised here, and I am always amazed at their fine and extensive use of oratory to get things done. In America, things only get done in back rooms with money being exchanged. By the time it goes to our House or Senate, the whole damn thing has been scripted. We can watch that too, but who really wants to watch a bunch of whores?

We don't get enough political information about Italy. This is amazing, since it's the birthplace of European politics, along with the ancient Greeks.

Please continue. I'm sick of thread that only contain Alinsky American crap.

 

 

 

Foamy, I think I have said many times that there is no such thing as a fair electoral system if there are more than 2 alternatives (ignoring very minor parties)... and yet the US manages to have presidential elections were the candidate with the most votes loses (the same happened in 1951 in the UK) . I am not suggesting this is unfair because both parties know the rules as I think Trump pointed out. It is important to mention this because European electoral systems catering for several parties are therefore obviously even more unfair and the nature of a country's politics is driven by electoral systems. With the UK's first past the post system consensus is almost a dirty word, whereas for countries using some variation of proportional representation like Germany or Italy they are used to having to negotiate post election. They can take months to sort out a government whereas we seem to get scared if things aren't sorted out in a matter of days.

I think relating the politics of the ancient world to now is difficult. Democracy only briefly flourished in Athens and as for Rome the democratic process pretty much died when Augustus became Emperor. I don't think the current systems of those countries have any relation to their ancient past.

If you ask me rather than learning from US politics European politicians seemed to want to seek to copy them. I have always been against TV debates in the UK system and last time it was a terrible mess last time. Basically no sitting PM wants them because it makes the opposition candidates seem like equals and of course it is easier to attack a record than an untried policy. In 2015 the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) with no government representation attacked and wounded the Labour Party leaving the Tory Party who decided not to take part with a victory. in the Brexit vote left wing leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared on a comedy show in which he totally failed to give any confidence in the case he was tasked with making. In the 2017 election not only was Theresa May too scared to turn up to a debate she had been invited where the Conservative/Tory Party were the only party whose leader wasn't present (Corbyn having decided to turn up at the last minute) but also a radio programme called "Woman's Hour" where she might have faced difficult questions. She did turn up on a magazine/chat programme with her husband in an attempt to look human which failed about as much as Gordon Brown  did being interviewed by Piers Morgan several years earlier. So you see they do try the soft TV route.

I haven't even got to PMQ (Prime Minister's Questions) yet but that's enough for now. 

 

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indeed, Europe try to copy US politcs because 2 parties are easier to managing, fortunately it failed in Italy, i think democracy is based on being able to choose what you want and then be represented by anyone

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PMQs are a relic of history. Up until Tony Blair, who really had contempt for parliament, it used to be 2 15 minute session on Tuesdays and Thursdays which allowed obviously for more reaction to events when he changed it to 1 30 minute session on Wednesdays.

One thing that has fortunately changed is that everyone other than the Leader of the Opposition asked 2 questions, one of which was to ask about the PM's business for the day. This was a total waste of time, then the first question was a written one which the PM would answer briefly until the member asked his proper question. I think maybe even that has gone now so at least we get straight to business.

Another thing that should go because it wastes time and allows the PM to avoid difficult questions are ones which a member of his own party asks something like:

"May I congratulate my right honourable friend the Prime Minister for her dedication to improving the standard of the nation's education and ask if she would find the time in the future to visit Sir Thomas Moore's Academy for Young Girls in Much Wallop in the heart of my constituency, since it received the highest average grades in the whole of the Home Counties and the students there would benefit from being talked to by a woman who was proved such a great example to them?"

As you can see this achieves 3 things:

1. To prove an MP is actually alive to their constituents.

2. To big up the government and the PM

3. To waste time

Actually maybe 4. (in this case if it is a male MP) To prove he is not sexist by praising female minds, although there's a fair chance he's going to be leaving the house later to bend over and get caned by a dominatrix dressed as a school girl, probably not an ex-pupil of the aforementioned academy.

The Leader of the Opposition gets 6 questions which I don't think he has to ask all together and this tends to be the rowdiest part of the proceedings. This is greatly enhanced by the government and the opposition facing each other. With Jeremy Corbyn this is most likely to be something like:

"I have had a letter from Sanjay who writes that he is on 3 zero hour contracts in Willesden and no mortgage company will look at him because he has no guaranteed income even though he assures he earns on average £450 a week. He has a wife and young child currently staying with her parents in India because they have nowhere to live as there are no suitable affordable properties to rent. All he wants is to buy a 2 bedroom flat of his own but is that not indicative of the extreme housing crisis in London and the tyranny of the zero hour contract"

May:

"I see the right honourable member for Islington North (Corbyn) has difficult counting. He's supposed to ask 1 question at a time and I counted 2"

Tories: 

"Hear hear!"

May:

"I'll have a go at his first point. During their period in office the last Labour government oversaw a record of 0, that's 0, new affordable homes being built in Willesden. Isn't that typical of his party's incompetence?"

Tories:

"Hear hear!"

Labour:

"Answer the question!"

May:

"I will but ..."

Labour:

Jeers

The Speaker:

"Order, order. We must hear what the Prime Minister has to say even if the honouable member for Bolsover doesn't like it!"

Tories:

Cheers 

May:

"I will but it is is important we remember where we started from. In the last 7 years under the coalition and the previous Tory government we have passed legislation making the purchasing of brown belt land easier and we have put in cavaets which will ensure that the new houses to be built on it will be affordable and I hope Sanjay and his lovely wife and daughter will be among the first to benefit from this forward thinking policy."

(This a bit of enhanced reality because it often takes 3 attempts to get an answer if any and even then The Speaker may have to prompt The Prime Minister.) 

The Speaker:

"The honourable member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber

Ian Blackford (SNP Leader):

"Thank you Mr Speaker. If Sanjay and his family want to come to Scotland ..."

Rest of the Commons

Groans

Blackford:

"... they will discover many affordable homes in Scotland thanks to the Scottish government's excellent foresight. Isn't it true ..."

etc. etc.

That's pretty much how it goes every Wednesday. The PM typically responds to questions by attacking the opposition. people cheer and jeer and after it the pundits discuss who got the best soundbite. Unlike other previous leader Corbyn doesn't necessarily go for the easiest target that week, much to the annoyance of his back-benchers who often jeer him much to the delight of the Tories.

Often the PM isn't there so the Deputy PM, if there is one, or the The Leader of the House stands in for the PM. It is an easy way for the PM to get out of anything that will look really bad.

 

 

 

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On 4/20/2018 at 9:17 AM, Rhdem said:

indeed, Europe try to copy US politcs because 2 parties are easier to managing, fortunately it failed in Italy, i think democracy is based on being able to choose what you want and then be represented by anyone

I'm more in favor of George Washington's abhorrence of political "factions."

I don't believe Europe (except for the UK) can ever copy the US founders' idea of government's role. European's did not experience the concepts of John Locke. The US was created by ordinary men who listened to their fellows, and those fellows were men of the Enlightenment. We, and everybody else in the world, seems to have lost the intellectual spark of the Enlightenment completely.

Despite the EU, the nations of Europe are not part of a Federation. The US Federal government isn't supposed to be the source of all things; it was brought into existence by individual states, all with representation regardless of population, created by independent citizens with guaranteed rights regardless of wealth or class, who are ultimately the sole sovereigns. It doesn't always work that way. It's a struggle: an experiment. And remember, the US is not a democracy; it's a democratic republic controlled by a beautiful Constitution which is often abused and of which few Americans know about any more.

Third parties don't do very well here, so we currently only have two parties. The last "new" party we had was made up of a bunch of abolitionists. They organized and pretty much got a guy named Lincoln elected to the Presidency. Then all hell broke loose around here. Even today, we Americans argue politics often, then go about our business.

What I like about the UK's Q&A stuff is that it's far better entertainment than I ever saw on late-night comedy shows with Obama or tweets from Trump. The MPs are brave orators expressing their opinions and arguments in front of a screaming crowd; our representatives know nothing of such arts -- they're too busy grabbing greasy money under the table to engage in such banter.

Europe should not copy us. It can't. You all have different problems and cultures. Just don't ask us to come over when you have problems with each other anymore. We're a bankrupt country. Thank you.

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