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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian federal election - 2015 on: December 10, 2014, 03:03:48 pm
For what it may be worth, Canada ranks 20th in the International Cricket Council rankings (and it was higher in recent years when the country had limited over international status, teams 11-16 in the list have limited over international status).

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ICC GLOBAL RANKINGS (as at 29 June 2014)
SENIOR MEN'S CRICKET
Reliance ODI Championship Table:
Rating
1 AUSTRALIA FULL MEMBER 115
2 INDIA FULL MEMBER 112
3 SRI LANKA FULL MEMBER 111
4 SOUTH AFRICA FULL MEMBER 111
5 ENGLAND FULL MEMBER 109
6 PAKISTAN FULL MEMBER 100
7 NEW ZEALAND FULL MEMBER 98
8 WEST INDIES FULL MEMBER 94
9 BANGLADESH FULL MEMBER 72
10 ZIMBABWE FULL MEMBER 61
11 Afghanistan Asia No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member 34
12 Ireland Europe No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member 33
Then, Associates & Affiliates from most recent WCL event (excluding Ireland/Afghanistan mentioned above);
13 Scotland Europe 2
14 UAE Asia 2
15 Hong Kong Asia 3
16 PNG East Asia - Pacific No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member
17 Kenya Africa No. 1 Associate/Affiliate Member
18 Namibia Africa 2
19 Netherlands Europe 3
20 Canada Americas No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK parliamentary by-elections 2014 on: November 21, 2014, 09:45:37 am
Extract from the Wikipedia article on White van man.

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"White van man" is a stereotype found in the United Kingdom of the driving of smaller-sized commercial vans,[1] perceived as selfish, inconsiderate, mostly working class and aggressive.[2] According to this stereotype, the "white van man" is an independent tradesperson, such as a plumber or locksmith, self-employed, or running a small enterprise,[2] for whom driving a commercial vehicle is not the main line of business, as it is for a professional freight-driver.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: October 15, 2014, 05:54:08 pm
Shouldn't it be the Lib Dems who are the oldest political party anyway, since (no matter what date you put it at) the Tories/Conservatives split from the Whigs?


The history is quite complicated. I will try and summarise it, but you will appreciate that many books have been written about aspects of the history. I am just attempting my own summary of what I have read without citing particular sources in this post.

1. Tory and Whig parties came into existence during the Exclusion bill debates in the 1680s. The Whigs wished to exclude the catholic Duke of York (later King James II of England) from the succession to the Crown.

2. King James II was eventually overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of 1688/89. Members of both parties accepted the new situation, apart from the Jacobite wing of the Tories.

3. From the Glorious Revolution until the Hanoverian succession in 1714, comparative cohesive parties competed for royal favour and in the frequent general elections of the period.

4. King George I distrusted the Tories. From 1714 until 1760 just about any politician who aspired to executive office had to associate himself with a Whig faction. There were still Tories in Parliament, but the old disputes gradually became irrelevant.

5. When King George III came to the throne in 1760 politics was organised around faction supporting prominent political leaders. Some, like Lord North, might be from families with a Tory tradition. Others like the Duke of Newcastle might regard themselves as Whigs but it no longer mattered. People from both traditions belonged to each faction.

6. Politics began to again re-crystallise into parties, more significant than mere factions, in the late 18th and early 19th century. During the Revolutionary War, most politicians supported William Pitt the Younger. Pitt's followers, at the time, were known as the Pittites but in retrospect were the core of what became known as the Tory Party. Ironically some prominent Pittites, like Pitt himself and the Duke of Portland, called themselves Whigs.

7. The small number of opponents of Pitt, led by Charles James Fox, became the core of the 19th century Whig Party.

8. There continued to be factions created, in the early 19th century, but they increasingly tended to be distinctly Tory or Whig. By about 1820 the two parties were fairly cohesive. There were some factions swinging between the two parties until the late 1850s. In the 1830s and 40s the Tories came to be called the Conservative Party and the Whigs (and associated groups) were informally described as the Liberal Party. The Whigs, joined with Peelite Liberal Conservatives, Radicals and some Irish Opposition politicians to create a formal Liberal Party in 1859. The Protectionist wing of the Conservative Party then became the only organisation claiming to be the heirs of the Tory tradition.

9. The Whig aristocratic families mostly broke from the Liberal Party over Irish Home Rule in 1886. The Liberal Unionists, including the few remaining Whig Unionists, formally merged with the Conservative Party in 1912. The 1859 Liberal Party eventually merged, in 1988, with the SDP to create what is now the Liberal Democrats.

10. The continuity between the 17th century Tory Party and the modern Conservative Party and the 17th century Whigs and the Liberal Democrats, are both dubious. However if the Conservatives can claim succession from the Tories, I do not see why the Liberal Democrats are not the political heirs of the Whigs.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: October 03, 2014, 08:22:53 am
Phony Moderate.

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What happens if we see a result along these lines?

Lab - 290 seats
Con - 290 seats
SNP - 35 seats
Lib Dems - 20 seats

There also some other members in a House of 650 (minus Sinn Feiners not taking their seats), who might provide some additional chances of negotiation.

There is some sort of constitutional convention that politicians have a duty to provide the Crown with an administration, so as to avoid troubling the electorate with too frequent new elections. Given the numbers suggested, no stable majority coalition seems likely. 

However the Labour Party seems better placed than the Tories to form a minority government, which might either through formal confidence and supply agreements or informal understandings and case by case negotiations, keep things together for at least six months or possibly longer. 

As the Conservatives would be busy disposing of Cameron and the Liberal Democrats would not be keen on the expense and risk of a quick second election, it is probably only the SNP who would vote against the government in the short term. Labour could then arranges a dissolution at the time of its choosing (not as easy now as before fixed term Parliaments, but not impossible - would the opposition really vote against a dissolution when they could not put together an alternative administration with a majority).
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 22, 2014, 05:09:54 pm
The Labour and Conservative Parties are both seeking to redesign the British constitution with minimal regard to principle and maximum attention to partisan advantage. It may be that some half baked plan will be adopted before the general election or during the next Parliament. Most likely the whole exercise will prove to be as futile as House of Lords reform and everybody will give up the idea of major reform for English government, for another generation.

Neither party wants to create a proper English Parliament, elected on its own by some form of proportional representation, similar to what exists in Scotland.

The Conservatives want English votes for English issues, with the representatives of English constituencies only voting on the English legislation. Possibly they may create something called an English Parliament, but really it would just be part of the UK Parliament. Official Conservative policy (as so far invented by D. Cameron) does not seem to envisage splitting the UK and English executive governments.

Party advantage - more often than not the Conservatives could hope to have concurrent UK and English majorities. If Labour have a small UK majority, the Conservatives may hope to gridlock the system by exploiting a Conservative English majority. That would leave the UK government having to accept and administer its opponents legislation, unless it advised the monarch to exercise the Royal veto over bills for the first time since the early 18th century. Parliament has no power to override a Royal veto, so this situation might lead to a bit of a constitutional crisis.

Labour (official policy) is to call for a constitutional convention (which looks like it would be wholly dominated by the Westminster politicians with little or no input by the general public). This will put off constitutional change at Westminster for years. It may be that the hope is that the issue will be less pressing by the time any report is agreed (if one ever is), so that the next government can ignore it. Labour is prepared to agree to what sounds like an English grand committee to debate English legislation, but is not willing to agree that MPs from the rest of the UK should not participate in the final decision on a bill.

Party advantage - Labour keeps some control in the UK Labour, English Tory majority situation. The government, in that situation, might not be able to pass legislation it wanted but could block legislation it did not like (without breaking the very strong convention against use of the Royal veto). So another form of deadlock.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 12, 2014, 11:28:41 am
The royal representative in Scotland before the union of parliaments had a title like Lord Commissioner.

I imagine Princess Anne would be well placed to represent the Queen, as she and her son have been building up support for a while. Princess Anne often attends rugby union internationals in Edinburgh and her son was involved in playing the game within the Scottish system.

The Queen is, of course, half Scottish herself and spends part of her year in Scotland (Christmas and New Year), so no doubt some arrangement could be made foe who does what within the royal family.  
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 11, 2014, 06:12:57 am
The problem of England continues to be intractable. Creating an English Parliament leads to the risk that the First Minister of England would do to the Prime Minister of the UK what Boris Yeltsin did to Mikhail Gorbachev.  Federal type states do not work very well when one member of the Federation is stronger than all the others combined.

The attempt to square the circle by dividing England into regions did not work. The Labour government (as represented by John Prescott) promoted a devolution revolution for North East England. The people of that region rejected the idea. If an area like the North East did not approve a Regional Assembly, no part of England would.

However, if Scotland remains in the UK and gets the promised devo max, perhaps the UK constitution will have to be changed in quite a major way. The politicians may have to bite the bullet and risk an English Parliament. The UK Parliament could be left as a federal or quasi federal legislature with quite restricted powers compared to the national parliaments and assemblies.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 10, 2014, 05:05:40 pm
I have identified one Speaker defeated at the polls since the Union. Sir Richard Onslow (a Whig politician who had represented Surrey since 1689) was defeated in the 1710 general election. He was Speaker from 1708-1710. Speaker's, in that period, were partisan figures who were by no means certain of retaining the chair in a new Parliament but it was still an unusual event for one to lose an election.

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Local opinion believed that he had been taught a lesson that ‘’tis dangerous for a man to act in opposition to the greater part of the gentlemen’, and the post-mortem into the causes of his political demise continued into the new year. After a run of nine county victories, the magnitude of Onslow’s defeat was heralded by many Tories as the greatest of their electoral triumphs. By all reports Onslow was shattered by his electoral reverse, and although one of the Whig ‘cities of refuge’ was secured for him nine days later at St. Mawes, the Surrey defeat had a profound influence upon him.

As the election had been a Tory triumph, Onslow had no hope of being re-elected Speaker.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 08, 2014, 07:05:23 pm
I found some material on page 352 of the Scottish government's document about ''Scotland's Future''. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00439021.pdf

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We propose that Scotland’s independence day should be on
24 March 2016. The first election in an independent Scotland
will then take place on 5 May 2016
■ Between the referendum and independence, we will put in place
the initial constitutional platform for independence and
the arrangements for the transfer of powers to Scotland
■ The legislation on independence will place a duty on the
Scottish Parliament elected in 2016 to establish a constitutional
convention to prepare the permanent written constitution of
Scotland

The SNP definitely want the constitution to be wholly made in Scotland. The 'initial constitutional platform' would presumably be drawn up by the existing Scottish Parliament dominated by the SNP. Nothing is said about the electoral system to be used in 2016.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 08, 2014, 06:40:50 pm
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Has there been any talk of the electoral system post-independence? Would it essentially be the same as the current Scottish Parliament's elections or something completely different?

I have not noticed anything, although I am in southern England so I might not have seen it.

Presumably a yes vote, would be followed by some negotiations over the terms of disunion. The independence constitution might be negotiated during that process, but I would suspect that Scotland would prefer as little interference as possible from the rest of the UK.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have suggested a constitutional convention, with representatives of all the parties and civil society groups in Scotland. This was modelled on the body which came up with the current devolution arrangements (which notably was boycotted by the SNP). The existing convention proposal is related to changes within the union, but there is no reason why it could not be used to draft an independence constitution if there has been a yes vote on independence.

Such a body would not be likely to make major changes to the existing Scottish Parliament electoral system.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 10:57:08 am
In the days when rotten boroughs abounded, the House of Commons sometimes noticed particularly outrageous examples and punished them by not issuing a writ for a by-election. This left a seat vacant for the rest of a Parliament. The disappointed electors were thus cheated of the opportunity to freely vote for the highest bidder, one more time. Nineteenth century spoilsports were sometimes so outraged that they disenfranchised the borough (see the sad history of Grampound in Cornwall, whose two seats were transferred to Yorkshire). It should be noted that the borough would still be represented as part of a county constituency, when its individual representation disappeared, but there would be fewer opportunities to make a corrupt profit.

However punishing a corrupt constituency is not really something to be done in a modern democracy. Nowadays it would just be a squalid party game to leave innocent electors without an MP.
12  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Why do Presidents swear in on the bible? on: August 21, 2014, 04:49:50 pm
Custom and personal choice. It is not a legal requirement and as has been pointed out not all Presidents have followed the custom.

Rather than the First Amendment, I would have thought the more relevant constitutional provision was the prohibition of a religious test for office. There is also in the text of the original constitution, the choice of an affirmation as an alternative to an oath of office (which I believe Zachary Taylor used, as his particular religious sect did not believe in swearing oaths).
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: August 03, 2014, 11:57:13 am
There is no Liberal Democrat front or back bencher who would be a credible new leader before the general election. 

For better or for ill, Nick Clegg will lead the Liberal Democrats into the election. Until we know the outcome of the election, we will not know if the Lib Dems will need a new leader and if so who is available to be chosen.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK parliamentary by-elections 2014 on: June 19, 2014, 10:28:47 am
Chris Rand has a website called Queen Edith's Online, which has something about the origin of the name.

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Here’s a wonderful piece of research by local resident Jeremy Lander, produced in 2009, linking the area to Edith Swan-Neck, or ‘Eddeva the Fair’ as she was often called, landowner in and around Cambridge in 1066 and common-law wife of Harold II. It’s a wonderful tale, as Jeremy explains in the foreword:

My interest in the subject began when I moved to Nightingale Avenue in the Queen Edith area, a south-eastern suburb of Cambridge. At the time I had no idea of the connection between the area where we lived, the ‘Queen Edith’ school in Godwin Way (where my children went), and Harold II king of England in 1066; let alone an obscure Saxon noblewoman named Edith, or how our house came to be built on land that belonged to St Thomas’ Hospital in London. But I wondered about the naming of the area and why it was called Queen Edith’s. Left unsatisfied by the explanation that it was named after Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor (especially when I found that there was no connection between her and the area) I dug a little deeper.

I owe my ‘eureka’ moment to novelist Julian Rathbone and his book ‘The Last English King’. In his fictionalised account of the life of Harold II he describes the love affair between Harold and the beautiful Saxon princess Edith Swan-Neck and it was while I read the paperback on holiday that the scales fell from my eyes. Could this have been the Edith that lived in 11th century Cambridgeshire, and the naming of the area be just a case of mistaken identity? A quick delve into the Victoria County History and all was revealed: the name Edith Swan-Neck, or ‘Eddeva the Fair’ as she was often called, landowner in and around Cambridge in 1066 and common-law wife of Harold II, was everywhere.

http://queen-ediths.co.uk/why-is-this-area-of-cambridge-called-queen-ediths/
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election Results The UK Public Probably Regretted on: June 19, 2014, 10:19:19 am
Ted Heath failed, from the point of view of right wing Conservatives, because he was not prepared to persist in right wing economic policies because he saw the social damage and was not prepared to double down on the policies. In other words, he was not as ruthless as Margaret Thatcher.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: May 29, 2014, 09:30:34 am
There is no point in dropping Nick Clegg now. Whoever inherited the poisoned chalice would still be yoked to the Conservatives in the coalition. There is no sign that a new leader would significantly improve the situation.

It is better that Clegg suffer the defeat in 2015. He will then either lose his seat (so as to no longer be eligible to remain leader under the party constitution) or more or less willingly resign. Either option would cause less damage to the long term party interest than a pre-election civil war.

The question of who the next leader will be can be postponed to the next Parliament. It will largely depend on who retains their seat. My personal tip, assuming Scotland does not become independent, is former Chief Whip and current Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael  (Orkney and Shetland). He is the most likely Scottish MP and coalition cabinet member, to survive into the next Parliament.

However I have always supported a losing candidate in Liberal/Lib Dem leadership elections, so I may not be the best person to predict what will happen.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: EP elections 2014 - Results Thread on: May 25, 2014, 03:39:54 pm
THE_TITAN

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I can't be the only Brit that voted for Lib Dem in the EU can I? Cheesy

No you are not.

I voted in the 10 member South East England region. Even on the reported unofficial exit poll figure of 8%, the Lib Dems should win the last South East seat.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: May 19, 2014, 06:59:35 pm
Clement Davies, the then Liberal Party leader, rejected Churchill's offer of a cabinet post in 1951. If the offer had been accepted, it probably would have been the end of the Liberal Party as an independent political force. The refusal of office permitted the Liberal Party to resume (modest) growth later in the decade and beyond, not least in the Scottish Highlands.

The Liberal Party in 1951 was much weaker than the Liberal Democrats today. The Party had been in almost continuous decline since the split in 1916 (with only minor revivals in 1923 and 1929). Of the 6 MPs elected in 1951, three were from Wales (Davies from Montgomeryshire, Roderic Bowen from Cardiganshire and Rhys Hopkin Morris from Carmarthen) and two from England (D.W. Wade from Huddersfield West and A.F. Holt from Bolton West); all elected without a Conservative opponent. The one MP who had one a three cornered race, was the future leader Jo Grimond from the Scottish constituency of Orkney and Shetland. 
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Forum turnout poll: Will you/Would you vote in the EP elections next month ? on: April 25, 2014, 06:33:11 am
I will definitely vote Liberal Democrat. I have voted Liberal/Lib Dem in every Euro election and I see no reason to stop now.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: April 23, 2014, 09:59:47 am
Quote from njwes
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Obviously that's not at all what happened in Ireland, and I'm not familiar with the history there, but I'd imagine the circumstances are so different that any predictions of the SNP's future based on Fianna Fáil's history would be problematic.

The history is indeed different. The SNP has always been a non-violent party. The Irish political system emerged from a War of Independence and a subsequent Civil War between the pro and anti treaty wings of the independence movement. Fianna Fáil were the part of the anti treaty side in the Civil War which, a few years later, took their seats in the democratic legislature of the 26 county state. 

Vote as you shot will not be the principle around which the Scottish political system will be organised.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 04:33:33 pm
I see no reason why Labour, Liberal Democrats or Conservatives in Scotland would just disappear, if there is a pro-independence majority in the referendum. All of them have and are likely to retain  representation in the Scottish Parliament.

In the longer run there might be a realignment on the centre-right of Scottish politics. Perhaps the Tories could dissolve the existing party and reform as the Scottish Party or some patriotic name like that. One of the Scottish Conservative leadership candidates a while back suggested that sort of approach.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 06:46:29 am
A vote for independence is the start, not the end, of the process of disunion. Various contentious issues would have to be negotiated. When there is an agreement, the Westminster Parliament would have to legislate for the end of the union.

The current devolved Scottish Parliament does not have the legal authority to end the union. Only the Westminster Parliament could do that.
23  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: What would happen after proven Presidential election fraud? on: January 15, 2014, 05:41:38 pm
If Congress had accepted the fraudulently obtained electoral votes and declared the President and Vice President elected because of them, I do not see a constitutional basis to subsequently challenge the result of the election before the Courts. The only remedy would be impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate. If that did not work, then the election would have been successfully stolen, with whatever damage that might cause to the Republic..

I think US courts would decide the whole issue would be a political question, for the political branches of the government to sort out. The power to count the electoral votes is exclusively vested in Congress and there is no constitutional provision allowing Congress to subsequently alter the official result of the election.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New UK basemaps (2010 and 2015 parliaments) on: January 15, 2014, 07:59:07 am
In the last boundary review, which was closed down before final proposals were produced, the Boundary Commission for England avoided crossing any regional boundaries. This is a policy of the Commission rather than a statutory requirement.

It will be interesting to see if the Commission adopts the same policy for the next review, due to take place during the next Parliament under current law.




25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK - 1970 vs 1974 Boundaries on: January 13, 2014, 02:18:55 pm
The British General Election of February 1974, by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh (The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1974) SBN 333 17297 3, provides more information.

In a statistical appendix, between pages 285 and 307 inclusive, a constituency results table is included. On page 284 some notes explain some of the entries in the table.

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In constituencies affected by boundary revision, the increase in turnout, the swing and the increase in the Liberal vote are measured from a recalculation of the 1970 results within the new boundaries. For turnout and the Liberal vote an even distribution was assumed within old constituencies; for the Conservative and Labour votes an estimate was made from local election results for each part of an old constituency going into a different new one. Where the Degree of Identity is 80% or more, these figures can be relied on. In constituencies which were more affected by boundary changes, the notional bases are sometimes uncertain. Swing figures are set in italics in those cases where the uncertainty might involve an error of more than 1%.

Calculations made for the table seems to have similarities to the sort of notional calculations made and published, in more detail, after subsequent boundary changes. However the table does not set out the notional change in individual party votes (except for the Liberal Party).
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