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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local by-elections 2014 on: September 28, 2014, 05:35:28 pm
Not sure when it will come around for by-election, but the death of one of the two remaining SDP district/borough councillors occured about 2 weeks ago.

http://www.bridlington.gov.uk/
http://www.bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk/news/local/former-bridlington-mayor-ray-allerston-dies-1-6845497

The only remaining district councillor is in Aberavon, Neath Port Talbot. There is one Town councillor on Bridlington Town Council remaining. Not sure if there are any others lurking at town/parish council level.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 04:26:54 pm
Haven't been in for a while, but thought I would offer some constitutional knowledge to the by-election questions.

I think it would be unthinkable that Osborne could refuse an appointment to Northstead Manor/Chiltern Hundred. He would undoubtedly be advised by government lawyers/civil servants/constitutional experts that he would set an awful precedent. The only reference I can find to a refusal to appoint was in 1842 - I have no idea why it was refused.

Parliament is in recess until 1 Sept, and then again from 12 Sept to 13 Oct for party conferences. This is important. Under the terms of the Recess Elections Act 1975 the Speaker is required to issue a writ for a by-election if petitioned by 2 MPs during a recess. This is rarely used, but is on the books: Should we make it to the conference recess period, expect 2 MPs to be found.

There is potential for fun and games if the writ is moved during 1-12 Sept. Technically the motion to move the writ can contain many details, including when the Speaker should actually issue his writ. In modern times, no directive of time is usually given and the Speaker does so within 24 hours. Historically this was not always the case, and the Speaker was directed to issue his writ on a particular date - this definitely was done in 1983 for the Cardiff NW when Conservatives delayed the issuance of the writ by a few weeks (in the end, the 1983 general election superceded the by-election).

Should the Tories wish to prevent a conference season recess writ (which could not be filibustered or voted down) and a delayed by-election, this would be their best bet - pass a writ quickly in September with some date long in the future. By convention the writ is issued within 3 months of the vacancy, so technically they could direct the Speaker to issue at the end of November with a by-election date sometime in the New Year and be considered to be completely within the existing conventions.

Whilst constitutionally permissible, politically this would be crazy - UKIP would exploit it massively in the media and would tar the existing political classes as totally disconnected and operating within their own rules with no regard for the constituents who were unrepresented.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: English local elections, May 2014 on: June 01, 2014, 05:18:31 am
My bi-ennial Oxford report:



Darker shade indicates a gain. Lib Dems have essentially retreated to the more middle/upper class enclaves of the city. Greens have retaken the student wards in the city centre. Reviewing the data directly shows that UKIP picked up votes in the traditional working class wards from Labour.

See below for maps of party share dating back to 2006.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Newprogressive/Oxfordmaps
4  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: Atlasian Presidents Survivor on: February 15, 2014, 02:44:22 pm
Gustaf

(JFK, whilst an accidental President and the only one to ascend from the PPTship, brought the nation together at a difficult time, steadying the ship in its early months. In the early years he was widely regarded as one of the greats to hold the office)
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: 10 years: The Decennial on: February 15, 2014, 02:40:48 pm
Dear Atlasia,

I hope this message finds you well. To those of you who once knew me, I hope you have a good few years. To those that don't I'm named after a small bit of Maryland, or perhaps its the other way around.

I'm posting today because this online sim, the Republic of Atlasia, is approaching a whole 10 years old. I don't think many sims last that long, and its good to see that this section of the forum remains as vibrant and exciting as it did many years ago when I was an active poster. Its a big milestone and I'm hoping that there can be some marking of this - I would be interested to be contacted by posters to help organise something.....

EDIT: Sorry I should have said - this is one of the earliest threads I can find on the subject. Not sure when the technical anniversary should be taken as, 2 January, or whatever date in February Nym was first elected.

Well I missed the 2 January. Not sure if anybody marked it.  According to my research Nym was elected on 22 February 2004, so a week until that anniversary, which I believe may be worth marking.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / 10 years: The Decennial on: November 10, 2013, 06:10:01 pm
Dear Atlasia,

I hope this message finds you well. To those of you who once knew me, I hope you have a good few years. To those that don't I'm named after a small bit of Maryland, or perhaps its the other way around.

I'm posting today because this online sim, the Republic of Atlasia, is approaching a whole 10 years old. I don't think many sims last that long, and its good to see that this section of the forum remains as vibrant and exciting as it did many years ago when I was an active poster. Its a big milestone and I'm hoping that there can be some marking of this - I would be interested to be contacted by posters to help organise something.....

EDIT: Sorry I should have said - this is one of the earliest threads I can find on the subject. Not sure when the technical anniversary should be taken as, 2 January, or whatever date in February Nym was first elected.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever met a fellow AF member? on: July 25, 2013, 05:29:37 pm
ILV
Akno
Phil
Assad

Obviously nobody that lives on the same continent.
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Progressive Caucus: April Convention on: April 12, 2013, 07:33:48 am
It lives!

Glad to see that this old institution still has a place in Atlasia today
9  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Worst SCOTUS cases on: April 08, 2013, 07:43:51 am
The Slaughterhouse Cases

Literally reduced the Privilege or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment to be nothing more than a smudge upon the Constitution. It ignored both the plain textual meaning, and the intent clearly expressed as the language was discussed by Congress. It gave necessity to bring back substantive due process to incorporate the Bill of Rights, which is somewhat contrived when this gives something of a straightforward option. Only now is it beginning to have new live breathed into it, though there was also an attempt by Hugo Black in the 40s.

It is without question one of the worst decisions still in force.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Police Commisioner Elections : November 2012 on: November 17, 2012, 06:43:19 pm
Whilst trawling Surrey sites for statistics, came across this interesting tidbit about turnout.

Elmbridge Borough Council
Overall turnout = 15.05%
Postal votes      = 46.12%
Polling station =  9.73%

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
Overall turnout = 14.51%
Postal votes      = 48.36%
Polling station =  9.98%

Guildford Borough Council
Overall turnout = 18.22%
Postal votes      = 46.87%
Polling station =  10%

Mole Valley District Council
Overall turnout = 19.76%
Postal votes      = 47.18%
Polling station = 13.43%

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
Overall turnout = 14.75%
Postal votes      = 45.03%
Polling station =  8.48%

Runnymede Borough Council
Overall turnout = 12.27%
Postal votes      = 49.12%
Polling station =  7.65%

Spelthorne Borough Council
Overall turnout = 13.10%
Postal votes      = 47.82%
Polling station =  8.39%

Surrey Heath Borough Council
Overall turnout = 14.25%
Postal votes      = 46.88%
Polling station =  9.6%

Tandridge District Council
Overall turnout = 15.57%
Postal votes      = 47.56%
Polling station = 10.14%

Woking Borough Council
Overall turnout = 16.56%
Postal votes      = 45.78%
Polling station = 10.05%

Waverley Borough Council
Overall turnout = 17.16%
Postal votes      = 50.38%
Polling station =  11.8%
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Police Commisioner Elections : November 2012 on: November 16, 2012, 05:04:39 pm
Sussex results are reported by Local Authority (via the Brighton & Hove City Council website). Does anyone know of any others doing so? If so I can make a map..
http://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/democracy/election/2 for Thames Valley
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Police Commisioner Elections : November 2012 on: November 16, 2012, 03:52:40 pm
Has been something of a farce hasn't it. My Oxfordshire village polling station (electorate 1895) had a pretty low turnout: At 8:45 last night, I was given ballot #78. Naturally I was the only one present. I spent some time with the polling staff chatting and we worked out that it had cost about £3 per vote to run the polling station (just in their wages)
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Mideast Governor ZuWo on: July 08, 2012, 04:52:45 pm
Governor,

As a former everything-but-President I try to look in on Atlasia from time-to-time: I'm mightily impressed with how you are striving to make the Mideast active through the Wiki and generally through engaging with the populace. From experience, its something of a rarity, so keep it up.

Peter
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local elections, May 2012 on: May 06, 2012, 04:53:59 am
Oxford vote shares by ward



Interesting to look at the comparisons over the past 6 years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Newprogressive/Oxfordmaps

A complete LD retreat into its core wards , and a general expansion of the Labour/Green vote (2010 is an exception for the Greens as the general election affects local voting intentions).

Also Carfax ward has now been represented by a councillor for all 4 parties over the last few years:

Labour (2012 -)
Lib Dem (2002-2007; 2008-2012; 2010 - )
Green (2002-2010)
Conservative (2007-2008), though only due to defection
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local elections, May 2012 on: May 04, 2012, 05:10:30 pm
what particular variety is the independent cllr?

Community campaigner, working class, thoroughly deserving of the post. Nominally labour-ish, but thoroughly rooted by a moral compass - he's the sort that'll do what he thinks is right even if it damns him in an election.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local elections, May 2012 on: May 04, 2012, 04:24:11 pm



As somewhat predicted, a bit of a bad night for the LDs. Labour overwhelming winners both in terms of seats and votes. Greens polled second overall, and in a great number of wards.

New Council
Labour 29 (+3); LD 13 (-3); Green 5 (-); Independent 1

Lab gain 2 from LD
Lab gain 1 from IWCA
Lab gain 1 from Green
Green gain 1 from LD
Ind gain 1 from Lab

Carfax has gone Labour! Carfax. This is a very studenty ward, and in my time at Oxford, was very anti-Labour (an anti-govt time of course - I was a student in the immediate aftermath of Iraq invasion, top-up fees, etc.). The Lib Dems clearly threw everything at retaining Headington & the NW wards - there was a total collapse along the Cowley Road wards and amongst any C1/2 worker population in the NE of Oxford.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local elections, May 2012 on: April 29, 2012, 12:29:00 pm
Ward name map

Of the four remaining wards to the NW, Wolvercote (the most northerly) is the most vulnerable on paper. To the Tories. Which could actually happen if there is a mini-collapse in the LD vote and the Tory vote holds.

The two directly below that, Summertown and St Margarets, will never fall. If anything, the LD voters of those wards are the most likely in Oxford to support coalition policies.

The final ward, North, just above the Carfax-Holywell pairing, looks quite safe on paper, however, Sushilla Dhall is contesting it for the Greens. She's a pretty big hitter for the LDs locally: she was Councillor for Carfax ward; she polled very well in this ward back in 2004; and contested a general election in Oxford in 2010. She'll be coming from a low base of 14%, but there's a good number of students in that ward, so its possible.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local elections, May 2012 on: April 29, 2012, 07:44:47 am
Oxford 2012 (half council up)

Incumbent map below.

Present seats (seats up)

Labour 26 (13)
Lib Dem 16 (7)
Green 5 (3)
IWCA 1 (1)



This is the first election in Oxford since the coalition government came into being. The IWCA seems to have disbanded and are not contesting their seat - expect a Labour gain there.

The Lib Dem student wards are potentially quite vulnerable: The Headington ward (the LD ward on its own) is the Oxford Brookes ward - its probably most vulnerable to Labour.

The two most southerly wards in the centre, Carfax & Holywell, will be vulnerable to the Greens.

Most of the Labour wards should be safe, though I haven't been following the fickle Cowley road politics which historically have involved key groups swinging basically wholesale between the LDs and Labour.
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Strike! on: November 30, 2011, 10:22:16 am
I am a teacher on strike (NASUWT). Though all I've done is stayed at home and caught up on marking/paperwork. Nonetheless, its making the point and I'm proud to help make it.

What union are you in Al?



20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: How much do you know about United Kingdom politics [and history] on: October 16, 2011, 05:08:41 pm
1. Caroline Lucas won the seat of Brighton Pavilion for which party in the 2010 General Election?
Green Party
2. How many Sinn Fein MPs were elected in the 2010 General Election, although they have yet to take their seats?
5
3. Who did Gordon Brown refer to as a 'sort of bigoted woman' when caught unawares on air during the 2010 Election campaign?

4. In which city was the second televised debate between the Party leaders in April 2010?
Edinburgh?
5. Who was the only Independent candidate elected in 2010, winning Down North by more than 14,000 votes?
Sylvia Hermon
6. How many MPs formed the new Parliament?
650
7. In which constituency was Speaker John Bercow elected unopposed by any of the major Parties, as tradition dictates?
Buckingham
8. What was the title of the Conservative Party's 2010 election Manifesto?
Change you believe in
9. Which Party Leader escaped serious injury in a 'plane crash on the day of the Election?
Nigel Farage
10. To within +/-15[%] what was the UK turnout in the 2010 General Election?
59%
11. Which Labour Cabinet Minister held onto his Morley and Outwood Constituency with a much reduced majority?
Ed Balls
12. Why was the election in the Thirsk and Malton Constituency postponed until May 27th?
Death of a candidate
13. Who was the outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury who left a note for his successor saying "I am afraid there is no money.  Kind regards and good luck"?
14. Which Major Party's Election Manifesto was entitled "Change that works for you (Building a Fairer Britain)"?
Lib Dems
15. How many seats did Labour lose in the 2010 Election?
100
16. Which multi-millionaire Tory candidate took the Richmond Park seat from the Liberal Democrats?
Zac Goldsmith
17. Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander, David Laws and which other Liberal Democrat were in the first Coalition Government?
Vince Cable
18. Which North East Constituency won the race to make the first declaration in the 2010 General Election?
Sunderland South and Houghton
19. Which 80 year old Labour Conservative MP became the 'Father' of the new House?
Sir Peter Tapsell
20. Which seat did former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith lose in the election?
I want to say Norwich North, but that was Charles Clarke. Urgh, Walsall South?
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: How much do you know about United Kingdom politics [and history] on: October 16, 2011, 05:00:39 pm
PRESENT DAY:
1. In percentage terms, in which constituency did Labour achieve their biggest majority in the 2010 General Election?
Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath?
2. Name the current leader of the Green Party and the parliamentary constituency she represents.
Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion
3. A former Deputy Prime Minister became a peer in 2010. Name him, his party and the government that he served in.
John Prescott, Labour, Blair Ministry
4. Which current Labour MP (in)famously supported George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign? A bonus point if you can name his/her constituency.
?
5. The current leader of the UK Independence Party made headlines when he contested a seat in the 2010 General Election. What happened to him on election day? Also, name the MP who he challenged and his position in the House of Commons. Bonus point if you can name the constituency.
Nigel Farage challenged John Bercow, Speaker and MP for Buckingham. He was in a plane crash on election day

HISTORICAL:
6. Which Labour Party leader made a conference speech during which he said "We will fight, fight and fight again to save the party we love!"? Bonus point for the year.
Kinnock? 1989
7. What do Stuart Randall and Peter Griffiths have in common? (Two points for this.)
?
8. Name the Prime Minister who many suspect was gay.
Ted Heath?
9. Who are/were the following people?: Philip Snowden, James Prior, Barbara Castle, Desmond Donnelly, Donald Dewar.
Jim Prior was a wet minister in the Thatcher ministry - Employment then Northern Ireland I think
Barbara Castle was a Labour Cabinet minister in the 60/70s. She was the transport minister who introduced the breathalyzer.
Donald Dewar was the Labour Secretary of State for Scotland under Blair and the first First Minister for Scotland.

10. Which Prime Minister is often misquoted as saying "You've never had it so good"?
Harold Macmillan
11. Which former Home Secretary did Peter Hitchens once accuse of being a "cultural revolutionary"?
David Blunkett?
12. What was northworthy about Central Dunbartonshire in both of the 1974 General Elections?
Didn't know, so looked it up - surprised that has happened so recently
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Cameron - "I support gay marriage because Iím a Conservative." on: October 12, 2011, 01:19:21 pm
Good move by Dave, has to be said. Still, it's a shame that there'll still be a massive contingent of Tory MPs who'll be voting no.
I think thats the key point here - it may well be that a good majority of the British population will support gay marriage (or more to the point, are largely indifferent to gay rights being an issue!) - but there are plenty of Tory MPs and activists who will not be so supportive (and certainly not in the same  proportion as the wider population).

Ultimately, its not a brave move because the papers won't attack him over it - its only brave in politics if it'll hurt you in the papers.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: 56% of the British public support reinstating the draft on: August 21, 2011, 12:08:18 pm
From a personal perspective, I find it quite worrying that I count myself in the 56% majority here. The reason I find it worrying is that I consider myself quite socially liberal (as evidenced by PM score).

Bottom line: The British education system is failing to instil in a significant minority of children the necessary values to function as members of civilized society.

I have been teaching in a state comp for 5 years in a relatively urban area - my school has a slightly warped catchment: we have a significant contingent of middle class kids, and also kids from "the rough end of town". I'd like not to tar all the kids from that area - many are perfectly polite, honest and respectable kids who are keen to learn (and by the same token, there are some middle class kids who are vile). The school has results that are slightly above average at GCSE, and outstandingly good at A-level (the reasons for this split are related to our ability to hold onto our good middle class kids whilst weening out the dross), we are rated as an Outstanding school by OfSTED (though I would take issue with that assessment). I greatly enjoy my job and wouldn't trade it for another, so these are not the musings of a disgruntled teacher.

As a school, we have seen a marked decline in behaviour in recent years (there are many school specific reasons intertwined in this, but it does reflect a more general trend I believe) with certain kids. I would seriously estimate that about 10-20% of our kids are functionally incapable of holding down a job with any basic expectations that could be placed upon them (e.g. punctuality, politeness, general conversational language, honesty). Many of the more experienced teachers tell me that this is a marked increase on earlier in their careers. Some of our former students were involved in the looting of 2 weeks ago  - I would not be surprised if some of the teens who "cannot be named for legal reasons" were ours (in fact I might write some guesses down on a piece of paper!)

I'm not wanting to get into the underlying causes, or the effect of the behaviour on the wider attempt to educate, but the coming storm. Kids who are presently 14 will stay in education till they are 17, those presently 13 will stay till they are 18. Schools are already failing to truly engage the vast majority that this will effect (whilst truancy is historically low, there are several who exhibit the "head on desk" mentality) - what exactly we could do with them, I am not sure.

The best thing we could do with these kids is not to keep them in an academic environment - these kids need to develop some life skills in terms of skilled manual tasks and how to survive healthily and inexpensively on their own. An environment away from their hometown, with genuine boundaries and a new experience for the kids - I honestly believe this would increase the life chances of those kids massively.

To be fair to myself, I think my reasons for supporting a form of optional national service (with the alternative being to start A-levels, which obviously have entry requirements) are a lot more nuanced than your average Daily Mail reader. Nonetheless, its the kids at the bottom we are missing, and we need to fundamentally address what is best for them.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which Web Browser Do You Use? on: August 19, 2011, 12:12:06 pm
There's a reason that Firefox can be abbreviated as FF.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Let there be cake! Happy birthday, Verin on: August 17, 2011, 11:26:59 am
I remember ye when ye was yay high.

Happy birthday
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