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UK Political System
#81
(20-09-19, 07:01 AM)ClairefromFR Wrote: I have mixed feelings about the Gilets jaunes movement. I think that some of their claims are legitimate (the gap between metropoles and small towns/rural areas, the decline of public services in the latter, the fiscal inequality...) but, as a movement, they are too mixed a bunch for me to support them. They have been used by elements from the far-right and the far-left without  being able to find a real political platform for their movement. I'm also very critical for their chosen path of action. Destroying the Champs-Elysées will get them nowhere and asking for Macron's head might sound very 1789 but, IMHO, not conducive to any of the changes they claim to bring forward.

I see them as one of the traditional "jacqueries" our country delivers regularly. But, IMO, some of their claims will have lasting effects on French politics in the longer run, after the movement dies. The movement also showed the acute need of rekindling social links.

It will be interesting to see if they will join the Union movement against the retirement reform this fall or whether their radical aversion for anything like intermediate bodies will keep them out of the traditional fighting mode.

France both suffers and benefits from a very stable constitution, set up during the Algerian war. The election calendar has been upset by the reducing of the president mandate from 7 to 5 years, aligning the GE with the presidential ones. it reinforces the feeling that during 5 years, no opposition will be able to make itself heard. IMHO, we should have a carefully thought reform of the voting system to make it more representative, without falling into the trap of a strict proportional system which would paralyse an easily divided and confrontational country (see the former 4th Republic). 

The French love constitutional change Big Grin . After all, what Western country can claim to have had in two centuries five republics, two empires, three monarchical regimes + the shameful Vichy government and three revolutions and countless major rioting movements.
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#82
(19-09-19, 07:36 AM)ClairefromFR Wrote: As I see it, British politicians are amateurish more than stupid. They don't take politics seriously. Which is maybe why we EU people are so amazed at the sight of British politics. 

My humble explanation is that the UK has lived an unprecedented political stability, never was invaded nor partitioned... while other European countries know what political upheavals mean. Faced with the dividing Brexit issue and the historical choice of deciding its place in today's world, much of this stability is being tested, constitutionally, politically, economically and at the level of its national cohesion.

The UK is facing not only the difficult choices brought by the Brexit referendum but the need to modernise its inner workings.

This is absolutely right. What is worrying is how many people conflate the Supreme Court ruling with a view that the judges wished to block Brexit. This latter position is absurd. It would not matter what the issue was-the proroguing was the illegality and Brexit incidental. But I think it illustrates how the constitutional workings of the UK are no longer fit for purpose. People in the UK (mostly England) have rarely had to face these issues but are now going to get a lot of practice!
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#83

These people, like many who voted for Brexit, have very real grievances. A failure to provide answers to them over a long period of time=Trump and Brexit and a myriad of other so called  'populists' exploiting them. (Personally I really admire the French refusal to allow things to drift!).
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#84
(25-09-19, 07:06 PM)Albion Wrote: These people, like many who voted for Brexit, have very real grievances. A failure to provide answers to them over a long period of time=Trump and Brexit and a myriad of other so called  'populists' exploiting them. (Personally I really admire the French refusal to allow things to drift!).

I hope we will be able to keep on doing it. But anything can happen anywhere, as history has taught us.

There is mechanical momentum, a spiralling out of control, in historical events that leads people to accept things they didn't want in the first place. Which brexiter would have claimed in 2016 that a no deal Brexit was the only "patriotic" path.
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#85
interesting posts all

So what do you think of macron???? is he the messiah or is he a very naughty boy?

to try and keep this on topic as well, I post more relevant news from today:

the govt cynically failed to step in and let thomas cook stay afloat, stranding many holidaymakers and ruining their getaway plans... 

just watched a bit of question time from yesterday,if you can be bothered i suppose you could use a uk based proxy to get into bbc iplayer and watch a bit of it...it shows you the biased balance of media vs politicians

Naga Munchetty, the bbc early morning news presenter has been picked at for her denoucing of trump as a racist regarding the go back home tirade he launched at ilhan omar and the squad....

shes bitten back at the bbc and been backed by other ethnic minority bbc stars...
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#86
Macron is neither the messiah nor a naughty boy. He's a clever man who made a gamble and won it. He understood that the traditional parties were collapsing in France and positioned at the centre of a very easily divided country. He was served by events (the temptation of the centre-right to go further right, the divisions of the left) and by our voting system. At the end of the day, in any election in a two-round majority voting system, voters end up by voting "against". 

He won also on his pro-EU stand (no ifs no buts) against the hazardous path of the far-right. His being elected amounts inter alia to a remain vote. He also won because he's an articulate politician. It seems that idiocy was not such a winning hand after all. No more than regressive nationalism.

His problems come from the very specificities of his winning. He was not a typical politician in that he never stood for election and didn't have behind him the huge apparatus of the traditional parties. He gathered all people who didn't agree with the shifting to the right of Les Républicains, those who used to vote for the Socialist party but disagreed with the far-leftish populists like Mélenchon and the younger people and anyone who wanted a renewal of the political offer. Now the difficulty he's facing is how to cater for such a disparate set of voters. He also thought he could dispense with intermediate bodies and was recalled to reality by the rural/small towns elected representatives and the unions, as well as the gilets jaunes crisis. He's bound to face regularly the contradictions of his manifesto (nor right nor left, or both together Big Grin ).

I think he's clever enough to learn from his mistakes but his sometimes impulsive habit of uttering blunt responses to complex problems doesn't give him a popular appeal. He seems to lack empathy for the left-behinds in our society (I don't know him, I just tell the perception of many people). 

On the other hand, IMHO, he's supported for his foreign policy (the president's traditional field of competence) and the will of the French people to find a middle-ground. People recognise also his lack of fear, a certain courage to brave adversity. How long will it last? Our country is so unpredictable ans so difficult to govern that I would never volunteer with predictions of any kind.
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#87
(28-09-19, 08:21 AM)ClairefromFR Wrote: I think he's clever enough to learn from his mistakes but his sometimes impulsive habit of uttering blunt responses to complex problems doesn't give him a popular appeal. He seems to lack empathy for the left-behinds in our society (I don't know him, I just tell the perception of many people). 
We like to think we are all rational people, but all of us can surrender to our emotions. It is the exploitation of these emotions by these unscrupulous "populists" that leads to problems. Envy and greed can be exploited to make people angry for political ends. People can be made resentful by all manner of things (Trianon to Hungarians, the Refugee Crisis if you're in one of the transit states, fall in the standard of living in post-industrial areas, etc). It doesn't seem that difficult - propagandists of the past have noted that people believe a lie because they want to believe the lie. It doesn't matter if the lie has been conclusively proved to be a lie to their rational selves, their emotional selves still want to believe the lie.

I see a lack of empathy for the disadvantaged (e.g., left-behinds) to be a defining characteristic of anglo-american capitalism, and I think it is very dangerous for Macron to follow these ideas.

I'm afraid that I have no magic solutions. We can only try to reduce resentment and forcefully challenge the purveyors of lies.
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#88

hello, Claire,
I'd love to respond to this post of yours, but it's a bit too late as I've just come from a late summer bbq, drowned in a comfortably friendly amount of vin jaune and vin fou ( that's what this period requires, I believe )
Till demain, then.

Good night
Moonbeam Rider
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#89
Lucky you. I love vin jaune.
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#90
vin fou?
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