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Who'd be in Nick Clegg's shoes...


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#101 Wolford6

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:06 AM

What you mean is that he sees himself as the rallying point for a cause that will hopefully keep him in employment for a few more years.


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#102 John Drake

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:05 PM

What you mean is that he sees himself as the rallying point for a cause that will hopefully keep him in employment for a few more years.

 

I think it is possible to question the motives of most (if not all) politicians. It's worth pointing out that many of those who seek for Britain to leave the European Union are not averse to earning an income from it in the meantime.

 

None of which means that a debate on the subject between the leading protagonists isn't worthwhile.


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#103 Steve May

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:04 AM


I actually find it bizarre that our political leaders aren't more prepared to debate each other on television during election campaigns.

 

Perhaps someone, somewhere, still appreciates that we don't have a presidential system in this country.

 

The day someone presents me with a ballot paper giving me a choice between the Tory leader and the Labour leader is the day I'll be in favour of debates between the two.

 

In the meantime, I think all constituencies should have public debates between all the candidates.


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#104 longboard

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 01:37 PM

In the meantime, I think all constituencies should have public debates between all the candidates.

 

Well, they used to be commonplace. I've been to a few.

They declined greatly in popularity though, perhaps because of the spread of television coverage and changes in attitudes towards politicians.



#105 John Drake

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

Perhaps someone, somewhere, still appreciates that we don't have a presidential system in this country.

 

The day someone presents me with a ballot paper giving me a choice between the Tory leader and the Labour leader is the day I'll be in favour of debates between the two.

 

In the meantime, I think all constituencies should have public debates between all the candidates.

 

Both local and national debates would be good, but generally, we get neither. The last general election proved there was a big audience interested in serious political head-to-head debates between party leaders.

 

We may not have a Presidential system, but it is nevertheless presented and reported that way these days. To pretend otherwise is to ignore current reality, IMO.

 

How often do we hear 'David Cameron said...', 'Ed Miliband said...' on the news, or a leader declaring party policy on the hoof, and how often do we hear people saying (even on here) that they won't vote for a particular party because they don't like the cut of the leader's jib. Indeed, it's a common theme when Labour's failure to extend its opinion poll lead in opposition is discussed, that part of the reason is not policy, but because Ed Miliband 'doesn't look Prime Ministerial'. It may not be healthy, but that's the way things are. It's not even a recent development. As far back as 1992, the general election was said to have been swung by leader-focused events such as John Major 'on his soapbox' and Neil Kinnock's embarrassing 'We're awlraaaght!' triumphalism in Sheffield.

 

Currently we don't have a system capable of engaging growing numbers of people to participate in the democratic process. Quite the opposite, in fact. So what do we do about that? Getting the party leaders on TV to debate key issues with each other is, IMO, one small way forward and shouldn't be sniffed at.


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#106 Steve May

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 02:26 PM

Both local and national debates would be good, but generally, we get neither. The last general election proved there was a big audience interested in serious political head-to-head debates between party leaders.

 

We may not have a Presidential system, but it is nevertheless presented and reported that way these days. To pretend otherwise is to ignore current reality, IMO.

 

How often do we hear 'David Cameron said...', 'Ed Miliband said...' on the news, or a leader declaring party policy on the hoof, and how often do we hear people saying (even on here) that they won't vote for a particular party because they don't like the cut of the leader's jib. Indeed, it's a common theme when Labour's failure to extend its opinion poll lead in opposition is discussed, that part of the reason is not policy, but because Ed Miliband 'doesn't look Prime Ministerial'. It may not be healthy, but that's the way things are. It's not even a recent development. As far back as 1992, the general election was said to have been swung by leader-focused events such as John Major 'on his soapbox' and Neil Kinnock's embarrassing 'We're awlraaaght!' triumphalism in Sheffield.

 

Currently we don't have a system capable of engaging growing numbers of people to participate in the democratic process. Quite the opposite, in fact. So what do we do about that? Getting the party leaders on TV to debate key issues with each other is, IMO, one small way forward and shouldn't be sniffed at.

 

 

I think you're wrong.  It's completely the wrong direction to be going in. 

 

You can't vote Labour because you want Ed Miliband as PM and then complain that your local Labour MP is no more than a party drone who slavishly obeys the whips and parrots the party line.

 

Focussing more and more on the party leaders simply downgrades the whole Parliamentary election process.   It leads to otherwise intelligent people like ckn thinking that their vote is wasted because they live in a Tory safe seat when actually all that happened is his preferred candidate lost. 

 

I don't care what you think you're voting for, or what the media tells you you are voting for, what you are actually voting for is the person who will represent you in Parliament.   

 

You do not, in this country, vote for the government or for the Prime Minister.   The people who you elect to Parliament decide on those on your behalf.   That's what you elect them to do.

 

If you want to vote for something else then you'll have to work to change the system.


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#107 ckn

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

And here's quite probably the most complete explanation for why I won't vote Lib Dem in its current incarnation:  The Cledge


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#108 John Drake

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:38 PM

I think you're wrong.  It's completely the wrong direction to be going in. 

 

You can't vote Labour because you want Ed Miliband as PM and then complain that your local Labour MP is no more than a party drone who slavishly obeys the whips and parrots the party line.

 

Focussing more and more on the party leaders simply downgrades the whole Parliamentary election process.   It leads to otherwise intelligent people like ckn thinking that their vote is wasted because they live in a Tory safe seat when actually all that happened is his preferred candidate lost. 

 

I don't care what you think you're voting for, or what the media tells you you are voting for, what you are actually voting for is the person who will represent you in Parliament.   

 

You do not, in this country, vote for the government or for the Prime Minister.   The people who you elect to Parliament decide on those on your behalf.   That's what you elect them to do.

 

If you want to vote for something else then you'll have to work to change the system.

 

I completely understand the point you're making, and how the system is supposed to work, but I think you're ignoring the current reality of the way most people digest politics these days (if they bother to show any interest at all).

 

If the system worked as you describe, then ballot papers would not show party symbols alongside the candidate names, because we would all know who the candidates were and what they stood for, without needing to attach any other label to them. The reality for most people, even at local level, is they will not have a clue who their local councillors are or the name of their local MP and the only communication they will have had from any of them will be a leaflet through the door during an election campaign with a few trite party slogans on it. If you live in what's considered to be a 'safe' seat, you might not even get that.

 

How can anyone be expected to make a value judgement about which way to vote based on such scant information?

 

Local hustings sound like an ideal alternative to national leaders' debates, but I've never seen or heard of one taking place in my local constituency for any kind of election and I've been of voting age since 1984.

 

When we get to European elections, the situation is even worse. The constituencies are so massive, it's inconceivable that the candidates could take part in enough hustings in enough places to reach more than a fraction of their electorate, even if they wanted to.

 

Everyone who votes in an election will have made up their minds for myriad different reasons. The more information they have at their disposal in order to make a decision, the better, IMO. Party leaders' debates can and should be just one element of that, though never the be all and end all, because the reality of our parliamentary system is that if you and I and enough others vote for representatives of the same party locally, the leader of that party will be installed as the Prime Minister shortly afterwards, with wide ranging powers including the selection of the Cabinet, and will be viewed as the leader of the country both within and beyond it. On that basis alone, I want to hear what they have to say during an election campaign before i decide to vote for someone who will, for the most part, troop loyally through the voting lobbies to do their leader's bidding (not mine) for the next 5 years.


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#109 Rodill Rover

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:38 AM

Re the title of the thread.

Who would be in Nick Clegg's shoes.

There is a big protest planned this weekend targeting the LibDem conference at the Barbican Centre in York, no doubt intending to remind Nick of his two faced life.
I can't see it making much impact on his rhino skin though. ( no RL reference intended)

#110 WearyRhino

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:05 AM

better-way-demo.jpg

Edited by WearyRhino, 07 March 2014 - 11:55 AM.

LUNEW.jpg


#111 Griff9of13

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 02:37 PM

A new low: Liberal Democrats beaten by Bus Pass Elvis Party in council by-election


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#112 ckn

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Can anyone think of a credible reason why Nick Clegg should retain his leadership of the Lib Dems?  He's just seen his councillors reduced by 310 and his MEPs culled all bar for a very lucky result in still getting one despite coming 5th in the South East.  The EU elections saw him come a resounding 5th, a whole 150,000 fewer voters than the Green Party.


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#113 tonyXIII

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 02:33 PM

Can anyone think of a credible reason why Nick Clegg should retain his leadership of the Lib Dems?  He's just seen his councillors reduced by 310 and his MEPs culled all bar for a very lucky result in still getting one despite coming 5th in the South East.  The EU elections saw him come a resounding 5th, a whole 150,000 fewer voters than the Green Party.

 

Continuing the european theme, how about "faute de mieux"?

 

I can't think of any other reason.


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#114 John Drake

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:00 PM

Can anyone think of a credible reason why Nick Clegg should retain his leadership of the Lib Dems?  He's just seen his councillors reduced by 310 and his MEPs culled all bar for a very lucky result in still getting one despite coming 5th in the South East.  The EU elections saw him come a resounding 5th, a whole 150,000 fewer voters than the Green Party.

 

I can think of two:

 

(1) there's no one to replace him with who would be any more plausible than he is, or anymore likely to retain their seat at the next election either.

 

(2) more importantly, his party has repeatedly endorsed the positions he has taken as its leader, from joining the coalition in the first place to remaining in it to the bitter end despite the various policy betrayals along the way. It's too late to whitewash any of that away now, they truly are 'all in it together'. To blame all their current calamities on Clegg alone would probably only increase the contempt many of their former voters have for the party.


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#115 Richard de la Riviere

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:01 PM

Can anyone think of a credible reason why Nick Clegg should retain his leadership of the Lib Dems?  He's just seen his councillors reduced by 310 and his MEPs culled all bar for a very lucky result in still getting one despite coming 5th in the South East.  The EU elections saw him come a resounding 5th, a whole 150,000 fewer voters than the Green Party.

There is no credible reason for him to stay, but nobody else could take over and rescue them in time for next year's general election.

 

It all boils down to should they have gone into government or not. As soon as they did, they lost between 25 and 40% of their vote to Labour, and more elsewhere. On the other hand, what's the point in being in politics if you're going to turn down the chance to actually govern?

 

It'll take them years to get anywhere near the 6.8m votes they achieved in 2010 whoever their leader is.



#116 Phil

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:08 PM

Watch Clegg jump ship to the tories and get a safe seat and/or a nice boardroom place at amalgamated conglomerates
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#117 ckn

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:23 PM

There is no credible reason for him to stay, but nobody else could take over and rescue them in time for next year's general election.

 

It all boils down to should they have gone into government or not. As soon as they did, they lost between 25 and 40% of their vote to Labour, and more elsewhere. On the other hand, what's the point in being in politics if you're going to turn down the chance to actually govern?

 

It'll take them years to get anywhere near the 6.8m votes they achieved in 2010 whoever their leader is.

The thing is that all they needed to do was stick with the Coalition agreement and how it tied into their 2010 manifesto and I'd probably still be a Lib Dem voter.  Instead, the Lib Dem ministers just decided to back the Tories, even on things that they had a pre-negotiated opt-out on.  The worst of it was the student fees debacle which was led by Clegg and his whips along with a very clear brief to MPs that they either back the Tories or see the government fall; a lot of Lib Dem MPs have taken quite well to the extra pay and privileges of being a minister of state.


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#118 Trojan

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:02 PM

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Osborne and Cameron sold Clegg and Alexander on the coalition by saying that they could get away with it by pretending that they were doing it because the country was in as bad a state as Greece, it wasn't, and that it was all Labour's fault, it wasn't/  The chickens are now coming home to roost.  It seems that anyone with vaguely left of centre views who voted Lib/Dem has deserted them.  Nodding donkey Clegg has nodded all the nasty Tory policies through and got very little back, ok they got the tax cut, but the Tories are claiming the credit for that and anyway it was more than swallowed up by the 2.5% increase in VAT, plus of course Dave got to cut the taxes of the millionaires too.  Meanwhile smug Nick sat there saying it would all come right in the end.  Well it hasn't and it won't as long as the nasty party are running things.


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#119 Richard de la Riviere

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:31 PM

The thing is that all they needed to do was stick with the Coalition agreement and how it tied into their 2010 manifesto and I'd probably still be a Lib Dem voter.  Instead, the Lib Dem ministers just decided to back the Tories, even on things that they had a pre-negotiated opt-out on.  The worst of it was the student fees debacle which was led by Clegg and his whips along with a very clear brief to MPs that they either back the Tories or see the government fall; a lot of Lib Dem MPs have taken quite well to the extra pay and privileges of being a minister of state.

In terms of your vote, that's all well and good, but around half of their 2010 voters seemed to desert them just for going into the coalition. I think that's the case anyway, and that the polls indicated this almost immediately. From that point, any idea of regaining GE2010 popularity levels was gone.

 

But they still remain a party who should have 30-40 MPs in the next parliament and in the event of another hung parliament they may well be kingmakers again.

 

In fact, on that basis, they could remain in government for a long time, even with half of their 2010 vote!



#120 ckn

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:11 PM

In terms of your vote, that's all well and good, but around half of their 2010 voters seemed to desert them just for going into the coalition. I think that's the case anyway, and that the polls indicated this almost immediately. From that point, any idea of regaining GE2010 popularity levels was gone.

 

But they still remain a party who should have 30-40 MPs in the next parliament and in the event of another hung parliament they may well be kingmakers again.

 

In fact, on that basis, they could remain in government for a long time, even with half of their 2010 vote!

A Guardian article from this evening makes that a far more interesting point.  I think there are very few Lib Dem MPs who will be looking forward to next year's elections.  It's probably only the big names such as Charlie Kennedy and Vince Cable who'll be relatively confident of retaining their seats; even the likes of Danny Alexander will be looking at their constituency make-up of anti-Tory northern Scotland and wondering how much his yellow rosette looks blue to the local electorate.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway





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