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Mad Tony
02-06-09, 15:03
For those who have been following the European elections in the UK, who do you support and/or plan to vote for?

It looks like the Conservatives are in for a big win, so I'm quite looking forward to seeing the results on Friday. Hopefully renewed efforts will be made to encourage Gordon Brown to hold a general election.

A brief guide to the parties can be found HERE (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060102.stm)

European political groups can be found HERE (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/groups/default_en.htm)http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060102.stm

adventurerLara
02-06-09, 15:09
I'm not old enough to vote but IMO I would prefer the conservatives than labour any day:p

Reggie
02-06-09, 15:10
About time SOMEONE posted something political with what's been happening lately.
Sounds like you support the Conservative party right?

For me, I'm going with the Lib Dems (yay to being 18 :D). They're the least tarnished by the recent fraud scandals and Vince Cable talks a lot of sense. In a time where we desperately need more democracy, this seems like the obvious party to vote for.
On top of that, I'd rather see a party that's willing to work effectively with the EU rather than go against it representing us (like UKIP) because like it or not, the EU will continue to have a large influence. They've promised us that its going to be democractic and up to us regarding key treaties though which is reassuring.

So there, I've nailed my colours to the mast so to speak. :p

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 15:13
About time SOMEONE posted something political with what's been happening lately.
Sounds like you support the Conservative party right?

For me, I'm going with the Lib Dems (yay to being 18 :D). They're the least tarnished by the recent fraud scandals and Vince Cable talks a lot of sense. In a time where we desperately need more democracy, this seems like the obvious party to vote for.
On top of that, I'd rather see a party that's willing to work effectively with the EU rather than go against it representing us because like it or not, the EU will continue to have a large influence. They've promised us that its going to democractic and up to us regarding key treaties though which is reassuring.

So there, I've nailed my colours to the mast so to speak. :pYep, I'm actually a member.

Obviously I don't agree with the Lib Dems, but when it comes to left-wing parties I prefer them over Labour anyday. It's also nice to see you're not turning to some of the smaller parties in protest. While I'm fine with UKIP, I hate the possiblity of parties like the Greens and BNP getting more votes because of the expenses scandal.

disneyprincess20
02-06-09, 15:15
After how the Liberal Democrats have screwed over the county I used to live in, and how Labour have quit running my current local council twice, I'm also going to vote Conservative. It's a bit of a wasted vote in this area, because it's got such strong Labour support here, but if my vote can at least weaken their grip on power in this area, I'll do it.

People have died for our right to vote, and even if the candidates are not that thrilling I will still vote for those who gave all they could so we had the chance to vote.

[patriotic rant over]

Lara's Nemesis
02-06-09, 15:21
I haven't decided yet but I know it certainly won't be Conservative.

Lemmie
02-06-09, 15:27
I'm toying with Liberal Democrats, but I need to do a little more research before I cast my vote.

Reggie
02-06-09, 15:37
Yep, I'm actually a member.

Obviously I don't agree with the Lib Dems, but when it comes to left-wing parties I prefer them over Labour anyday. It's also nice to see you're not turning to some of the smaller parties in protest. While I'm fine with UKIP, I hate the possiblity of parties like the Greens and BNP getting more votes because of the expenses scandal.
Same here and I would say the same about the Conservatives - I'd rather see Conservatives get votes over Labour. :tmb:
As for minority parties, that's a real no no for me as are independents. We need a strong parliament that's not made up of mostly extreme and single issue parties and I think that the green's and BNP's tactic of using the recent scandal as a means to get a foot in is just plain political oppurtunism. Not good and they would probably both be just as fascist and controlling as each other (for different reasons).
What we really need though is a general election.

disneyprincess20
02-06-09, 15:40
What we really need though is a general election.

:tmb:

Absolutely true, one should have been called already, in my opinion.

He won't do it though, he won't do it until the very last minute (which I believe is June next year).

Reggie
02-06-09, 15:42
You're right - in fact, Gordon Brown won't do ANYTHING until the last minute. :(

disneyprincess20
02-06-09, 15:43
On the topic of a general election, have you seen this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8079604.stm)?

I don't care who's trying to force an election, I'm just glad someone is.

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 15:45
Unfortunately though that's not going to happen until this time next year when the 5-year limit is up. It's unlikely that Gordon Brown will call an election before that time because he know Labour will suffer heavy losses. Heck, I'd go as far as to say the Lib Dems have got a chance of coming second. If they don't come second, then I bet they wont be far behind Labour. Of course, this wont happen if Labour get a bump in the polls and suddenly become popular again.

Personally I think there needs to be some reform. I don't think somebody should be allowed to become prime minister without being elected. I'm mainlg referring to Gordon Brown here - he was never elected to office by the British public. He's only prime minister because Tony Blair chose him to succeed him at the end of his term in June 2007.

disneyprincess20
02-06-09, 15:48
Personally I think there needs to be some reform. I don't think somebody should be allowed to become prime minister without being elected. I'm mainlg referring to Gordon Brown here - he was never elected to office by the British public.

I'd say we didn't vote his cabinet into office; we voted in Tony Blair, his team and everything they offered at the time. It's a bit of a fallacy to say that we vote a leader of a party into power, because we actually vote for leaders in our own areas. But you're right in that Gordon Brown isn't actually an elected PM, and I don't think he should have been allowed to be in power this long without an election.

You're right though, everyone seems to be so disaffected by Labour, that the Lib Dems have quite a good chance of coming in second this time.

Minty Mouth
02-06-09, 15:49
Monster Raving Loony Party all the way.

Are they still in the race? :vlol:

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 15:50
The Lib Dems made some big gains in 2005, and that was before this expenses malarkey and before Labour became extremely unpopular among the public. Who knows how many votes they'll get this time round.

Punaxe
02-06-09, 16:01
For the sake of understanding each other it's probably best if we refer to the different groups in the European Parliament (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/groups/default_en.htm) and not the individual country's members of that group.

As for me... I'm very pro-European, and two groups are almost equally strong contestants for my vote: ALDE and The Greens/EFA. I'm still searching through the details, but I'm currently leaning towards ALDE.

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 16:07
^^

People here tend to vote Eurosceptic parties such as the Conservatives or UKIP in the European elections. We in Britain are generally more Eurosceptic than the rest of the Europe (one of the things which makes me proud to British :p).

Neteru
02-06-09, 16:08
None of the above.

Punaxe
02-06-09, 16:11
^^

People here tend to vote Eurosceptic parties such as the Conservatives or UKIP in the European elections. We in Britain are generally more Eurosceptic than the rest of the Europe (one of the things which makes me proud to British :p).

Oh we have many sceptics here as well, in fact, an extreme-right party that you may well have heard of (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Wilders) is set on becoming the biggest party should we have national elections right now. Not sure how he's doing in the European polls, but being as pro-European as I am isn't very common. :p

Recommend you edit your first post to include the groups, by the way.

Cochrane
02-06-09, 16:39
It's bad to see the amount of euroscepticisim we have at the moment. I'm quite a fan of european unification with open borders, single currency and the like. I'm not so convinced by the huge lack of democracy the EU has, though. I had a hard time choosing who to vote for (I voted in advance via mail, as I won't be at home on election day) because none of the parties actually can do much to influence what Brussels is going to do in the end.

Punaxe
02-06-09, 16:47
It's bad to see the amount of euroscepticisim we have at the moment. I'm quite a fan of european unification with open borders, single currency and the like. I'm not so convinced by the huge lack of democracy the EU has, though. I had a hard time choosing who to vote for (I voted in advance via mail, as I won't be at home on election day) because none of the parties actually can do much to influence what Brussels is going to do in the end.

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm all for democracy, but for many parties this democracy would include binding referendums - something we've had bad experiences with in the past :p When the Dutch voted against the European constitution, as far as I could tell, hardly anyone actually realized what they were doing. They thought they were voting against the euro, against Turkey, against our government... I have a problem with democracy when the public cannot be trusted, and especially with so much euroscepticism, I don't know if the public can be trusted to vote rationally on European issues.

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 16:55
What's with all this hostility towards eurosceptism? It's a rational and common political view that is just as valid as any other view towards the EU. Some people are acting as if it's something as severe as racism.

I think a nation filled with people who are pro-European is potentially dangerous, as it makes it more likely for that nation to submit to the EU.

Cochrane
02-06-09, 18:23
I have mixed feelings about this. I'm all for democracy, but for many parties this democracy would include binding referendums - something we've had bad experiences with in the past :p When the Dutch voted against the European constitution, as far as I could tell, hardly anyone actually realized what they were doing. They thought they were voting against the euro, against Turkey, against our government... I have a problem with democracy when the public cannot be trusted, and especially with so much euroscepticism, I don't know if the public can be trusted to vote rationally on European issues.

I guess the European Union has quite a lot of way to go. The main reason we can't trust the public to act rationally is because the EU administration does way to little to show the importance of the EU and is too distant from the public. Multi-million euro advertisement campaigns won't solve that problem, I guess.

I don't need binding referendums, though, that is correct. However I wouldn't want a true european constitution without being able to vote for or against it. I don't actually want to vote against it, but I want the public discussion and debate that would happen and could alter the proposal that would hopefully come with a referendum.

What's with all this hostility towards eurosceptism? It's a rational and common political view that is just as valid as any other view towards the EU. Some people are acting as if it's something as severe as racism.

I think a nation filled with people who are pro-European is potentially dangerous, as it makes it more likely for that nation to submit to the EU.

Well, it can be. Most eurosceptic people on the continent are rather unreasonable. Some are just opposed to specific measures (Turkey is the big issue, as is over-regulation), but conveniently ignore that EU allows them to go on vacation wherever they like without border controls, and pay on both sides of the border with the same money. They seem to just take that for granted, or ignore it.

There is valid criticism one can bring against the european union, no doubt about that. I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to say that half of what they do is crap (but the other half is good). However, valid criticism that also looks at the benefits the EU brings (or, in the case of the UK, could bring if only they would let it) and ultimately rejects it for other nations than "patriotism just because" is rather rare.

SamReeves
02-06-09, 18:34
I'm kind of curious if the old European rivalries still exist between neighboring nations? And if that throws a wrench into the EU's plans? There's still about a 1000 years of history of bad blood, whereas here in the US we've only had some 200 years of state to state rivalry. ;) As they say, is it hard for an old dog to learn new tricks?

Cochrane
02-06-09, 19:02
I'm kind of curious if the old European rivalries still exist between neighboring nations? And if that throws a wrench into the EU's plans? There's still about a 1000 years of history of bad blood, whereas here in the US we've only had some 200 years of state to state rivalry. ;) As they say, is it hard for an old dog to learn new tricks?

That's a very interesting question, I think Wikipedia has detailed articles on the relationships between any two european countries. For the most part, classic rivalries have been dropped: France and Germany were constant enemies until the second world war, but this is completely forgotten now. France and Great Britain have a long history of hating each other, but this has, as far as I can tell, decreased a lot. Everybody hated Germany after each world war (for good reason), but this is largely gone as well.

Of course, such feelings might still exist, they are just no longer as prominent - largely. There are still strong anti-german feelings in Poland, for example, and yes, that is a problem at times. In general, the western, older members are a little afraid of adding newer countries to the east and south, but this is mainly for economic reasons as wages are much lower there. There is a huge debate whether Turkey join the EU or not as well - apart from many other things (some feel that a secular islamic country does not have a place in the christian-dominated EU, others worry about Turkey's bad economy, which would probably ask for EU help) rivalries between Greece and Turkey are very much present to this day.

Lemmie
02-06-09, 20:04
I'm kind of curious if the old European rivalries still exist between neighboring nations? And if that throws a wrench into the EU's plans? There's still about a 1000 years of history of bad blood, whereas here in the US we've only had some 200 years of state to state rivalry. ;) As they say, is it hard for an old dog to learn new tricks?

As Cochrane mentioned, there are sometimes great racial and cultural divides between closely neighbouring countries.

There are also internal divisions within nations as well - such as the questions of Scottish Independence and the cultural differences between the French speaking and Dutch speaking communities of Belgium.

And of course, many of the nations of Europe are relatively new - some much younger than the United States.

Mad Tony
02-06-09, 20:35
I'm kind of curious if the old European rivalries still exist between neighboring nations? And if that throws a wrench into the EU's plans? There's still about a 1000 years of history of bad blood, whereas here in the US we've only had some 200 years of state to state rivalry. ;) As they say, is it hard for an old dog to learn new tricks?As Cochrane said, many of these old rivalries have either been dropped or have declined over time. I've noticed though that we're generally not popular in Europe because of our Eurosceptism and because we maintain stronger ties to the US than we do to individual European countries. That's my view on it anyway.

lararoxs
02-06-09, 20:41
Talking of elections, has anyone seen the list of MPs named and shamed on the BBC website? Some of the claims are ridiculous!

Well, back on topic.

If I was old enough to vote, I would probably go with Lib Dems. Better than Labour and the mess they have gotten us into.

Reggie
03-06-09, 11:00
Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears have both quit now. I seriously think we need a general election the Labour government is falling apart and we need change now otherwise our political system will just get even more discredited than it already is.

Trigger_happy
03-06-09, 11:19
I would vote, and Probably Conservatives, if my dad had remembered to sign me up when he should of. We filled in the forms and all, but its too late I think.

I dislike the EU as an entity. The idea is brilliant, but I don't think it can work. We all speak different languages to start with, and we've survived this far for centuries, with centuries of History- some things are going to be very difficult to carpet over.

Jack Croft
03-06-09, 11:19
Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears have both quit now. I seriously think we need a general election the Labour government is falling apart and we need change now otherwise our political system will just get even more discredited than it already is.

Exactly.

disneyprincess20
03-06-09, 11:34
Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears have both quit now. I seriously think we need a general election the Labour government is falling apart and we need change now otherwise our political system will just get even more discredited than it already is.

Exactly.

Completely agree, but I still doubt he'll do it. I honestly want him to, but I doubt he will. He waited so long to be in power that he's not going to give it up now just because "the people" are unhappy. :rolleyes:

Mad Tony
03-06-09, 11:36
Completely agree, but I still doubt he'll do it. I honestly want him to, but I doubt he will. He waited so long to be in power that he's not going to give it up now just because "the people" are unhappy. :rolleyes:But even his own party are rebelling against him. Soon he'll have virtually no support and will have no choice but to call a general election.

disneyprincess20
03-06-09, 11:40
But even his own party are rebelling against him. Soon he'll have virtually no support and will have no choice but to call a general election.

Of course, but I doubt that will stop him. He does have a choice, which is to limp on until the end. I reckon he thinks he's the best person to sort out the financial crisis (which seems to be sorting itself out as the MPs worry about their expenses, as the pound reached a 7 month high today (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8080601.stm)). He should, possibly must call an election, I just doubt he will. I really really want him to, but I have no faith in him. I believe he wants to stay in power more than do what he should do as a leader.

Mad Tony
03-06-09, 11:44
But can't a leader be removed by a vote of no confidence?

Ward Dragon
03-06-09, 12:07
(which seems to be sorting itself out as the MPs worry about their expenses, as the pound reached a 7 month high today (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8080601.stm)).

Yeah, recessions usually go away on their own after awhile (especially if people don't meddle with things and try to micromanage the economy :whi:)

john_york
03-06-09, 12:09
I'm torn between Lib Dems and Greens at the moment. Hopefully will have made my mind up by tomorrow!

Reggie
03-06-09, 12:35
But can't a leader be removed by a vote of no confidence?
Yes, this is a possibility but only with 'Drastic Action' as the Independent says:

Leading article: Drastic action is now needed to secure a general election

If this week's results turn out to be as bad for the Government as many expect, Cabinet members and backbench Labour MPs need to summon up the courage that deserted them when Mr Brown ran unopposed for the Labour leadership and take action to remove the Prime Minister. That, in the end, is the only way the country will get the early general election it craves.

FULL ARTICLE HERE (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-drastic-action-is-now-needed-to-secure-a-general-election-1694539.html).


It all comes down to the decisions and attitudes of backbenchers within the Labour party. A motion of No confidence is all very well but with Labour still commanding the majority in the commons it will take a rebellion to actually get rid of Gordon Brown. This is still possible though - you only have to remember what happened with Margaret Thatcher...

Catapharact
03-06-09, 12:41
It all comes down to the decisions and attitudes of backbenchers within the Labour party. A motion of No confidence is all very well but with Labour still commanding the majority in the commons it will take a rebellion to actually get rid of Gordon Brown. This is still possible though - you only have to remember what happened with Margaret Thatcher...

IMO it would be best for the conservatives to hold off until election time to force a "no-confidence" vote. Calling an election at an undue time will result in a logistical nightmare. You are gonna end up with a lot of people not bothering to vote at all and the majority who might end up voting, will only do it on a party bias basis rather then making an informed decision about selecting the person best suited for the job.

disneyprincess20
03-06-09, 12:47
IMO it would be best for the conservatives to hold off until election time to force a "no-confidence" vote. Calling an election at an undue time will result in a logistical nightmare. You are gonna end up with a lot of people not bothering to vote at all and the majority who might end up voting, will only do it on a party bias basis rather then making an informed decision about selecting the person best suited for the job.

That, in a nutshell, is Gordon Brown's argument for not calling an election. The problem is everyone wants the Labour Party out right now, and voter apathy was strong at the last election anyway. I think people will turn out to vote this time, if only to vote Labour out. That's what he doesn't want. He want's some heads to roll, some lambs to be sacrificed, then he'll try to recover Labours image in this country a bit and call an election at the very last moment he legally can.

Punaxe
03-06-09, 12:48
Guys, shouldn't you be having this discussion overhere (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=152799)?

john_york
03-06-09, 12:53
^Punaxe, this thread was here first ;)

------

As much as I think that this government has absolutely run its course and change is desperately needed, I think that Brown is right to not call an election at the moment. Obviously, his reasons for not doing so and the reasons I think it's the right thing are very different.

He doesn't want to call an election he's definitely going to lose, thinking he may as well hold on to power he gained, despite not being elected into his position, until next year.

I think that considering how angry the public appear to be about the expenses furore, a general election now would mean that a lot of people won't bother voting, having lost any faith in the political system and a good chunk of those that would vote would end up voting for those they may not otherwise - BNP being a good example. The two combined could lead to an unacceptable BNP parliamentary representation, and that would not be a good think for the people of this country.

Best to wait it out until next year, or at least until this fiasco has calmed down. Surely Brown and his few remaining cronies can't screw up the country much more than they already have...?

<crosses fingers>

Catapharact
03-06-09, 12:53
That, in a nutshell, is Gordon Brown's argument for not calling an election. The problem is everyone wants the Labour Party out right now, and voter apathy was strong at the last election anyway. I think people will turn out to vote this time, if only to vote Labour out. That's what he doesn't want. He want's some heads to roll, some lambs to be sacrificed, then he'll try to recover Labours image in this country a bit and call an election at the very last moment he legally can.

Well if that is true then people wouldn't mind if the given elections were conducted at their due time. That way, Gordan Brown would get the arse kicking that the public thinks he deserves. If he indeed plans to fix his party's image, and people obviously seem to think he is doing that as a ploy to win the election, then that wouldn't factor in him getting any sort of advantage in the race now would it. People get Labour to fix up things and at the same time, Gordan Brown gets booted out of office.

Seems like a win-win senerio to me.

disneyprincess20
03-06-09, 13:00
Guys, shouldn't you be having this discussion overhere (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=152799)?

I'm going, just finishing up here first! :p


Well if that is true then people wouldn't mind if the given elections were conducted at their due time. That way, Gordan Brown would get the arse kicking that the public thinks he deserves. If he indeed plans to fix his party's image, and people obviously seem to think he is doing that as a ploy to win the election, then that wouldn't factor in him getting any sort of advantage in the race now would it. People get Labour to fix up things and at the same time, Gordan Brown gets booted out of office.

Seems like a win-win senerio to me.

The thing is, we didn't vote Gordon into power; he took over as leader of the Labour party after Tony Blair resigned. He should have called a general election right at the beginning, but he didn't. He had a good majority at the time, but didn't call an election. He can call an election at any time, but the very latest he can call one is June next year.

Basically, the time to call an election has long passed. He's clinging on to power now because he doesn't want to give it up, not because he's got to wait until the right moment. He can go to the Queen at any time and ask her to dissolve parliament so an election can be called, but he won't.

Mad Tony
05-06-09, 08:30
Here's the link to keep up to date with the local council elections. Promising results so far :)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/elections/local_council/09/map/html/map.stm

Punaxe
05-06-09, 11:59
I thought the UK kept its results secret until Sunday?

Here are the results of the Dutch elections yesterday (word in URL filtered - go here (http://europakiest.nos.nl) and click on the rightmost tab, starting with "UIT"). They're actually still counting, because they're doing it all by hand, and some votes won't be in until Sunday or Monday, but it'd be surprising should anything change from the current results. I'll translate them into the EP's groups for you:

Seats for the Netherlands: 25
EPP-ED (CDA): 5
No affiliation (PVV) : 4 <-- Geert Wilders' party, you'll know him from Fitna
PES (PvdA): 3
ALDE (VVD): 3
ALDE (D66): 3
EGP/EFA (GroenLinks): 3
EUL/NGL (SP): 2
I/D (CU-SGP): 2

disneyprincess20
05-06-09, 12:02
I thought the UK kept its results secret until Sunday?

We've got local elections going on at the same time, the results of which are being announced over the course of the day. As of now, only four have been announced. 3 councils have gone to the Conservatives and one to the Liberal Democrats.

Punaxe
05-06-09, 12:04
We've got local elections going on at the same time, the results of which are being announced over the course of the day. As of now, only four have been announced. 3 councils have gone to the Conservatives and one to the Liberal Democrats.

Ah right, shouldn't that perhaps -again- be in this thread (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=152799)? :p

disneyprincess20
05-06-09, 13:00
Ah right, shouldn't that perhaps -again- be in this thread (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=152799)? :p

Hey I already posted my areas results in there, I was just answering your question! :p

I can tell the difference between the two elections, the ballot sheet for the EU one was enormous!

larson n natla
05-06-09, 13:06
Im too young to vote but as long as those BNP people dont get in I am happy quite frankly they disgust me and they shouldn't be aloud to campaign :)

Mad Tony
05-06-09, 17:06
Ah right, shouldn't that perhaps -again- be in this thread (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=152799)? :pNo, because that's about a Labour MP stepping down. This thread is about the elections. Speaking of which, the Conservatives are doing absolutely fantastic. I've just been to the vote count to watch the results for our local council and parish elections and we did great. The two conservative candidates I've been working for both won. All in all, the mood was rather good. At least among the Conservatives anyway.

Im too young to vote but as long as those BNP people dont get in I am happy quite frankly they disgust me and they shouldn't be aloud to campaign :)I don't agree with that at all. I agree with you that they're disgusting. However, no matter how extreme a party's views are, they shouldn't be barred from campaigning. The whole point of a free society is freedom of speech.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 20:31
Sorry to bump this thread but the actual results of the European elections are coming through now. There's a live feed on the BBC with commentary.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8085850.stm

jackles
07-06-09, 20:37
*glares at MT for double posting*


I am interested in how the independant parties have done as a lot of people I know were boycotting the main parties.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 20:42
*glares at MT for double posting*


I am interested in how the independant parties have done as a lot of people I know were boycotting the main parties.Hey, you just know somebody would've posted the results tomorrow :p

So far it looks as if UKIP are doing very well. Obviously that's bad for us in a way since a lot of Conservative voters turned to UKIP. Still, I'd rather have them getting a lot of votes than the BNP or Greens.

The results for the north-east are in and Labour won with the Conservatives in second. :mad: Still, that's the north where the Conservatives generally do poorly and the Labour vote was down 9% from the last European elections. I can't wait to see Labour get thrashed everywhere else in the country.

tlr online
07-06-09, 20:43
For those who have been following the European elections in the UK, who do you support and/or plan to vote for?

It looks like the Conservatives are in for a big win, so I'm quite looking forward to seeing the results on Friday. Hopefully renewed efforts will be made to encourage Gordon Brown to hold a general election.

A brief guide to the parties can be found HERE (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060102.stm)

European political groups can be found HERE (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/groups/default_en.htm)http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060102.stm

The results haven't surprised me one bit. I wonder if this is a knee-jerk reaction however. I also wonder if Labour are the lesser of two evils.

jackles
07-06-09, 20:44
I am listening to it as well. I was surprised that Labour actually had the most votes there, and quite shocked to see how many the BNP got.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 20:47
I am listening to it as well. I was surprised that Labour actually had the most votes there, and quite shocked to see how many the BNP got.I was too. However, I expect it was the BNP's strong eurosceptic message which got them the votes. It's a shame those strong eurosceptics couldn't have just voted UKIP instead. A lot of BNP voters are ignorant of their other policies.

The results haven't surprised me one bit. I wonder if this is a knee-jerk reaction however. I also wonder if Labour are the lesser of two evils.I'm gonna be honest here, out of all the parties I honestly believe Labour are the biggest of evils, besides the BNP of course.

Punaxe
07-06-09, 21:50
Current prognosis of the EP:

http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/4352/clipboard01opr.jpg

Source (http://euronews.eu/)

What I really don't like is how people/media/parties in many countries fail to keep the European elections separated from their internal affairs.

Also euroskeptic parties seem to have gotten a boost, though luckily, the pro-Europeans are still in majority. It's hard to say what all the non-registered parties will be doing in this regard though.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 21:55
Also euroskeptic parties seem to have gotten a boost, though luckily, the pro-Europeans are still in majority. It's hard to say what all the non-registered parties will be doing in this regard though.I still fail to see what's so bad about eurosceptism. Really, what is wrong with opposing the EU's over-reaching powers and its intrusion into indivudual countries domestic politics? I'm also very glad to see that the party I'm a member of (Conservative party) has moved away from the main center-right European parliament grouping (EPP) which is very pro-EU.

Back to Britain, I'm very pleased to see that Labour have done very poorly in the north so far, which is typically a stronghold for them. This means that they're most likely going to do even worse down south which is very strongly Conservative. Why am I so pleased to see Labour do so poorly? Firstly because I feel Labour have wrecked this country while they've been in power but also because this might bring us closer to a general election which the British public are crying out for. The sooner there's a general election, the sooner we'll be able to get the Conservative candidate for parliament in my area into Westminster and get the Labour MP out. We're one of the only constituencies in the county which has a Labour MP representing us.

Punaxe
07-06-09, 22:02
I still fail to see what's so bad about eurosceptism. Really, what is wrong with opposing the EU's over-reaching powers and its intrusion into indivudual countries domestic politics? I'm also very glad to see that the party I'm a member of (Conservative party) has moved away from the main center-right European parliament grouping (EPP) which is very pro-EU.

The general pro-European vision seems to be that to oppose European cooperation is to oppose progress, as only united we can face the challenges ahead and have something to say in the global plan which is getting more and more significant - whether you oppose it or not.
I too hold the opinion that the European Union has brought us pretty much only good things, that without the EU we would be way worse off, and that with even tighter integration we would all be even better off.
I do not believe there is a single party that wants to relinquish all national contol to the EU. Even the most pro-European parties realize that many things need to continue to be considered at a national level. There are only so-many domestic politics that are being "intruded", and in my opinion, for pretty much all of those it makes sense to have it coordinated on European scale.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 22:04
But I don't see why any national policies should be affected by the EU. In words of Agent 47 (the guy on this forum) "I don't want a bunch of suits in Brussels deciding what goes on in this country".

Reggie
07-06-09, 22:05
I simply don't think its constructive to have parties such as UKIP in power because they will surely be a destructive force within the EU. Do we really want a weak EU and does a weak EU really mean a strong national government at home? I'm not so sure. Hence why I supported the Liberal Democrats.

Punaxe
07-06-09, 22:09
But I don't see why any national policies should be affected by the EU. In words of Agent 47 (the guy on this forum) "I don't want a bunch of suits in Brussels deciding what goes on in this country".

Take immigration... Right now, each member state has its own policy, and once accepted, European citizens can go wherever they want. Basically this means that immigrants can go to the easiest country to get in, and then flock to wherever they want. Or they pick and choose which country is best, so this single country has to bear the weight of the entire EU's immigration.
Managing this policy together with the other member states means we can better regulate the influx. Surely you can see how this is a good thing? We have open borders between ourselves, but the outer borders differ greatly in this respect. This makes no sense.
I am oversimplifying this but even going into all details, managing this together is in my opinion clearly the better choice.

I voted ALDE, by the way. High-five, Reggie. :p

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 22:09
Eastern results are in. 3 Conservative MEPs, 2 UKIP MEPs, 1 Lib Dem MEP and 1 Labour MEP. :D

@Punaxe: I don't agree with the EUs "open borders" thing for several reasons. The first reason is that it means that poorer EU countries have many immigrants flocking into the richer EU countries. For example, when Poland joined the EU there was a huge influx of Polish immigrants coming into this country due to our rather lenient benefit system. I have no problem with Polish people coming here to work but our country simply can't handle all of these immigrants.

But it also means that immigrants from outside of the EU have an unfair chance of getting in. As I said, I'd rather the EU stay out of national politics and let us as a country decide our immigration laws.

EDIT: Jesus Christ the British Nazi Party just got its first seat in Yorkshire & Humber :hea: Still, the Conservatives got 2 seats :)

Agent 47
07-06-09, 22:56
But I don't see why any national policies should be affected by the EU. In words of Agent 47 (the guy on this forum) "I don't want a bunch of suits in Brussels deciding what goes on in this country".

that'd be me :D you're nearly right though, i use "dictated to by suits in...) close enough though :jmp:

ok, about these BNP seats, please remember some of the people who voted for them did so as a protest in all probability. kinda stupid but people vote in very strange ways :D

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 22:57
You know I watched the first part of Hitler the Rise of Evil earlier and I just watched Nick Griffin being interviewed by the BBC. I can see some many similarities there.

So Agent 47, are you pleased with how well we've done so far? I sure am. First time we beat Labour in Wales. :D

Agent 47
07-06-09, 23:00
You know I watched the first part of Hitler the Rise of Evil earlier and I just watched Nick Griffin being interviewed by the BBC. I can see some many similarities there.

So Agent 47, are you pleased with how well we've done so far? I sure am. First time we beat Labour in Wales. :D

i assume he was thilled by getting some seats then?

yes, the Tories are doing rather well :tmb:

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 23:01
i assume he was thilled by getting some seats then?Obviously, although the presenter pretty much just owned him by pointing out how racist and out of touch they are. There could be a benefit to this BNP victory if there ever was one - it may increase the chances of there being a general election because many Labour MPs will see how serious this has become.

Agent 47
07-06-09, 23:09
Obviously, although the presenter pretty much just owned him by pointing out how racist and out of touch they are. There could be a benefit to this BNP victory if there ever was one - it may increase the chances of there being a general election because many Labour MPs will see how serious this has become.

hehe, owned on tv :vlol:. that's a good way of looking it at, we just have to if Mr Brown has the stones to call an election, i understand he's refusing to step down?

there'll be a leadership challenge for sure, and the party will self implode :D the Tories have to strike whilst it's looking good :jmp:

Punaxe
07-06-09, 23:11
I didn't see your reply earlier because you used the edit function...

(...) @Punaxe: I don't agree with the EUs "open borders" thing for several reasons. The first reason is that it means that poorer EU countries have many immigrants flocking into the richer EU countries. For example, when Poland joined the EU there was a huge influx of Polish immigrants coming into this country due to our rather lenient benefit system. I have no problem with Polish people coming here to work but our country simply can't handle all of these immigrants.


It is no different here: lots of "cheap labour" came to the Netherlands the minute it was possible. I think this is a good development however. The rest of the country simply continues to get better jobs, leaving the lesser paid ones to those who are more willing to be paid less. People complaining about immigrants "stealing their job" should remember that even with all these immigrants, the Netherlands had pretty much the lowest unemployment rate worldwide (until the recent recession, not sure how we're holding up now, but still pretty good).
Also, there is a job for the EU if your country indeed "can't handle" the immigrants. Of course you see the EU as the root of the problem, which it may be, but if you ask me, it gives you more advantages than disadvantages - and a united Europe can work on the disadvantages. Going back to the root and taking away the "problem" but also the advantages I think would be a bad thing to do.

But it also means that immigrants from outside of the EU have an unfair chance of getting in. As I said, I'd rather the EU stay out of national politics and let us as a country decide our immigration laws. (...)

I was mostly talking about immigrants from outside the EU in my previous post, and I was explaining how the EU can work together to fix this problem. Again here, you could go back to the root and "fix" the problem there, but that'd probably give you more problems than you're fixing.

But also keep in mind that even when the EU legislates, the member states are usually free to make their own amendments for their own countries. And keep in mind that, at least when the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified, the UK can pick and choose which European legislation to accept.

Altogether, a stronger EU is a stronger EU, and one all member states can benefit from. The concept is simple: cooperation.

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 23:13
hehe, owned on tv :vlol:. that's a good way of looking it at, we just have to if Mr Brown has the stones to call an election, i understand he's refusing to step down?

there'll be a leadership challenge for sure, and the party will self implode :D the Tories have to strike whilst it's looking good :jmp:Indeed! :tmb: The Conservatives (and I guess this means me too since I work for them) need to sort out this expenses scandal and get ahead of the game by getting this message out to the public (that's where I come in). At the moment we're losing a lot of votes just like Labour are because of the scandal which has caused with the mainstream parties.

lararoxs
07-06-09, 23:36
Ah! It's great to know Labour are in 4th(?) place below Conservatives, UKIP and Lib Dems!:tmb:

Come on, Brown! The pressure has got to get to you soon!:p

Like he will!:rolleyes:

Mad Tony
07-06-09, 23:43
The pressure has definitely already gotten to him, he's just too stubborn to stand down and call a general election.

lararoxs
07-06-09, 23:53
The pressure has definitely already gotten to him, he's just too stubborn to stand down and call a general election.

It's a shame because I think he seems almost proud of the fact he is still PM, and that somehow he is going to magically get the economy out of this mess that he has got us into!

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 00:30
Altogether, a stronger EU is a stronger EU, and one all member states can benefit from. The concept is simple: cooperation.

So is the goal basically to have a United States of Europe? I mean, does the EU have a central constitution which grants it federal powers and then each individual country is like a state within the EU? That's the only way I can make sense out of the EU, but then again I'm only used to how the government works in the US so I could be missing something obvious.

Even so, it seems to me that the EU itself should be concerned with external matters (such as defense and immigration) and inter-country matters (such as currency) whilst pretty much everything internal to a specific country should be left to that country's own government to decide. That's basically how it works in the US (or at least, how it's supposed to work on paper) because the federal government isn't supposed to have any powers not explicitly granted to it in the Constitution (everything else is supposed to be determined by individual states, although the federal government keeps growing stronger and expanding its powers wherever it can, so I can totally understand why individual European countries would be worried about losing sovereignty to the EU).

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 00:35
Well, as expected, Labour held their only single seat out of the 10 in the south-east. The Conservative candidate who got the most votes made a rather funny speech comparing Gordon Brown to the machines in The Terminator. :D There's an overwhelming feeling here that people want Gordon Brown out.

At the moment Labour only have 14.4% of the vote, that's only 0.3% more than the Lib Dems. They're getting thrashed by UKIP and the Conservatives and in some counties (such as Cornwall) they came behind the Cornwall separatist party! I know this is only the European election but still, there is a clear message that Labour are not the right party to be governing.

I am also so fed up of some Labour MPs saying how Gordon Brown is the right person to lead us through the recession. What a load of rubbish. Labour are obviously one of the worst parties to lead us through this recession and out of the Labour party Gordon Brown is one of the worst people in it to be leading us through this.

EmeraldFields
08-06-09, 00:45
This might sound a little stupid, but could you relate the parties in the UK to the US parties?:p

I read the link provided in the opening post, but I'm still not sure where it all stands.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 00:47
This might sound a little stupid, but could you relate the parties in the UK to the US parties?:p

I read the link provided in the opening post, but I'm still not sure where it all stands.Well politics in the UK and the US are quite different but I guess you could say the Conservative party is similar to the Republican party while Labour/Lib Dems are similar to the Democratic party.

EmeraldFields
08-06-09, 00:48
Well politics in the UK and the US are quite different but I guess you could say the Conservative party is similar to the Republican party while Labour/Lib Dems are similar to the Democratic party.

That's what I figured, but needed reassurance.:p

Thanks:)

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 01:01
Looks like the BNP leader Nick Griffin has just been elected to the European parliament in the North East. :hea: That BNP seat was gained from Labour.

Larapink
08-06-09, 01:18
Keep the British national party away! :mad:

We all hate them, everyone should make sure they never get into power.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 05:16
So is the goal basically to have a United States of Europe? I mean, does the EU have a central constitution which grants it federal powers and then each individual country is like a state within the EU? That's the only way I can make sense out of the EU, but then again I'm only used to how the government works in the US so I could be missing something obvious.
The EU is established by a number of multilateral contracts. It does not have the full powers of a normal country and no constitution, but the members have delegated certain responsibilities there. In short, it's less coupled and has far stronger member countries than the US. Unless eurosceptics stop it or even reverse it, which does not seem entirely out of the question, I guess (and hope) that we are heading to something similar to the US in the very long run, though.

Even so, it seems to me that the EU itself should be concerned with external matters (such as defense and immigration) and inter-country matters (such as currency) whilst pretty much everything internal to a specific country should be left to that country's own government to decide. That's basically how it works in the US (or at least, how it's supposed to work on paper) because the federal government isn't supposed to have any powers not explicitly granted to it in the Constitution (everything else is supposed to be determined by individual states, although the federal government keeps growing stronger and expanding its powers wherever it can, so I can totally understand why individual European countries would be worried about losing sovereignty to the EU).
Well, this is how the EU is supposed to work as well, in theory. The problem is that it's hard to decide what are inter-country matters and what not. As a recent example, the EU just banned the sales of light bulbs starting in 2012 (I think) except for special purposes, to reduce greenhouse emission by getting people to switch to more efficient lighting alternatives. Is this an inter-country matter? If a single country adopted such a policy, the effect would be remarkably low, since no country has more than 20% of the EUs population, so setting such a policy at the pan-european level seems like a better choice. Infrastructure (roads, railways and so on) are traditionally internal things, but with the open borders, they are rapidly becoming and often already are the subject to EU legislation instead. Finally, government aids companies: Not something internal when we have one open market for everyone, because it might affect competitors in other member countries.

The9021OC
08-06-09, 06:33
Wow, there are a lot of political parties in the election. :tea:

lararoxs
08-06-09, 07:25
BNP have two seats now!:eek:

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 09:27
BNP have two seats now!:eek:No doubt they wouldn't have gotten those two seats had it not been for the expenses scandal. I'm sure a lot of their votes were simply protest votes. The BNP have become very good at hiding their true colors. Most people know of their anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim stance but they're actually very anti-semetic and there are a lot of Nazi sympathizers in the party. For you folks across the pond, the BNP are basically the British equivalent of the KKK.

Also, in the European elections Euroscpetic parties always do well, that's why the Lib Dems didn't do so well because they're one of the most pro-EU parties. The message is clear though - Labour have got to go!

So does anybody know when the results for Northern Ireland and Scotland come in? I hear Labour were taking quite a beating by the SNP, which is something that has only happened once.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 09:51
Also, in the European elections Euroscpetic parties always do well

Odd, if you think about it. The EU parliament won't expell the UK from the EU, that would be something the national parliament would have to decide.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 09:59
Odd, if you think about it. The EU parliament won't expell the UK from the EU, that would be something the national parliament would have to decide.I know, but I guess the public would rather have people (from parties such as UKIP and the Conservatives) in the European parliament who aren't as willing to surrender Britain to Brussels.

john_york
08-06-09, 10:06
No doubt they wouldn't have gotten those two seats had it not been for the expenses scandal.

I don't think that's enough of an explanation, to be honest. The main reason the BNP won seats is because less than 40% of our country got off their arses and actually voted. It's sickening that, as a nation, we're happy to sit and complain about politicians, the governments and 'the state of the country' but can't be bothered to actually do something about it in the proper way - namely VOTE.

Ah well, at least I used my vote.

Thing is, what's actually going to persuade people to get out there and vote again?

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 10:08
And the reason why there was such a low voter turnout was to do with the expenses scandal. I don't think there were that many disgruntled supporters of the three major parties that turned to the BNP, I just think a lot of them didn't vote which made the BNPs share of the vote larger as their supporters saw this as a good opportunity to get some seats. Compared to the last election, the BNP actually got less votes.

As for getting people to vote again, I honestly think Labour should call a general election. This is what the British public wants and by showing them that their voice has been heard there may be some confidence restored in our politicians.

disneyprincess20
08-06-09, 10:15
And the reason why there was such a low voter turnout was to do with the expenses scandal.

It doesn't explain the low turn out across Europe. There would have been a low turn out in the European elections even without the elections scandal. I don't mean to be patronising to you Tony, but you seem a little confused about the differences between the Local (UK) and European elections.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 10:24
It doesn't explain the low turn out across Europe. There would have been a low turn out in the European elections even without the elections scandal. I don't mean to be patronising to you Tony, but you seem a little confused about the differences between the Local (UK) and European elections.I'm not confused about the differences at all :confused: The European and council elections were held on the same day, and even though the expenses scandal didn't involve MEPs people were still reluctant to go out and vote because they were disillusioned with the main parties. How else do you explain the low voter turnout and the BNP winning two seats for the first time, despite the fact that they actually got less votes than last time?

disneyprincess20
08-06-09, 10:31
I'm not confused about the differences at all :confused: The European and council elections were held on the same day, and even though the expenses scandal didn't involve MEPs people were still reluctant to go out and vote because they were disillusioned with the main parties. How else do you explain the low voter turnout and the BNP winning two seats for the first time, despite the fact that they actually got less votes than last time?

Because people haven't been interested in politics in ages, and turn out at elections has been declining each time for a long time. Most of the people I know who don't bother to vote are only on the electoral role because it helps with their mortgage.

The expenses scandal is definately a factor, but not the only reason people didn't turn out. They haven't turned out for ages, partly because they aren't interested in politics, and partly because they don't understand the difference between local and general elections.

Personally, I explain the two BNP seats being the result of both the main parties becoming more and more central, so neither cater to people further to the extremes anymore. People who would have been Conservative voters in the past no longer feel the new, more middle ground Conservatives represent their views, so they go one step further; the BNP. I've seen this happen in my parent's social circle, and it sickens me.


Sorry Tony, I only thought you were confused because you keep muddling the two up in the threads. No offence intended :)

john_york
08-06-09, 10:47
And the reason why there was such a low voter turnout was to do with the expenses scandal.

And how does that explain the 38% turnout in 2004?

Cochrane
08-06-09, 10:51
Well, in most major countries the election seems to have been treated as a local issue, where people vote to show how content they are with the national government, not to influence EU politics. This is not unique to Great Britain, it's exactly the same over here.

I think this could, possibly, be changed, if the pan-european aspect of the election was emphasized more. Individual parties should get less prominence than the (largely unknown) groups that they form in the EU parliament. Maybe this would even help voter turnout, when it becomes more clear that this is the way to actually tell "those idiots in Brussels" what to do.

Of course, the EU parliament needs significantly more power to help there as well.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 10:58
I never said the expenses scandal was the only factor, but I definitely think it was one of the biggest factors, that and how Labour have dealt with the recession. I was watching the news this morning and Harriet Harman was saying how she met a man who said that he'd voted Labour all of his life but due to the recent expenses scandal he didn't know who to vote for, so he abstained. This is just one example of how many voters are unhappy with the main parties mainly because of the expenses scandal, but because they don't hold extreme or minority views they'd rather just not vote at all.

I agree, people are getting less interested in politics but unthinkable things happened to Labour last night. For the first time they lost in Wales and in places like the South West they came 5th. I think the expenses scandal and Labour's handling of the recession had a large part in that.

I disagree with you on Conservative voters changing sides and supporting the BNP though. The main party that attracts Conservative voters is UKIP, as some Conservatives feel the party isn't taking a hard enough stance on Europe.

@john_york: It doesn't, but the expenses scandal has only accelerated this feeling of discontent towards politicians. As I said, parties like the BNP got less votes. They only got a larger share of the vote because less people voted for overall because many people are dissillusioned with the main parties.

Reggie
08-06-09, 11:08
Am I the only one not terribly bothered by the two BNP seats. Bottom line is, Britain has their share of far right extremists whether the media likes it or not. The question is, how can the mainstream parties win those alienated voters back over to them. The problem is not the BNP but our rotten system of politics and democracy.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 11:11
Am I the only one not terribly bothered by the two BNP seats. Bottom line is, Britain has their share of far right extremists whether the media likes it or not. The question is, how can the mainstream parties win those alienated voters back over to them. The problem is not the BNP but our rotten system of politics and democracy.The problem is that now they're represented in the European parliament, they'll be able to get more funding.

Reggie
08-06-09, 11:15
Y'know Ben, I never thought the day would come where I was less concerned about the BNP than you are. :p As I've said before, the BNP have every right to represent the people and even gain legitimacy in a time where the parliament has grown more illegitimate in itself. Personally, I voted on European issues but its inevitable that with a low turnout and such a level of frustration that people became polarised and alienated and so voted BNP. I'm not surprised at all.

Spong
08-06-09, 16:38
I think this whole thing about the BNP getting into European parliament is hilarious.

Trigger_happy
08-06-09, 16:54
Its not like they will be able to do anything- they have 2 seats out of like 750. And then, its not like the EU parliament does anything anyway.

Lemmie
08-06-09, 18:02
Am I the only one not terribly bothered by the two BNP seats. Bottom line is, Britain has their share of far right extremists whether the media likes it or not. The question is, how can the mainstream parties win those alienated voters back over to them. The problem is not the BNP but our rotten system of politics and democracy.

I'm concerned that people can vote for them, but then again it's just another opportunity for the BNP to demonstrate how totally incompetent they are.

Spong
08-06-09, 18:08
I'm concerned that people can vote for them, but then again it's just another opportunity for the BNP to demonstrate how totally incompetent they are.

Another opportunity? When have the BNP had this opportunity before?

I say give 'em their fair stab at it. I find it funny that people fight for the right to have a so-called democracy yet they whine and bicker when things like this happen. It's the system you voted for people, live with it.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 18:15
People have every right to "whine and bicker" about the BNP. That's what free speech is all about.

Reggie
08-06-09, 18:16
Exactly Spong. I think the BNP are utterly detestable BUT I wouldn't sacrifice our democracy by supporting any law that prevents people voting for them. They gained so many votes because people are disillusioned with the system and we need the system to be reformed preferrably to a form of PR and moving away from old gentleman's club style of things before we can begin to have faith in politics again. And of course, Gordo needs to go but something tells me he's going to cling on until the very end because Labour's cabinet has acted spinelessly already. Let the conservatives come in and probably mess it all up even further and then finally people will start considering the Lib Dems as a serious mainstream option. Seems they held their own ok with the latest elections even with the overall swing to the right. :tmb:

@Ben: So are you working for the conservatives now (I think you said something like that) and do you intend to go into politics when you're older? We could have a future MP here at TRF? :D

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 18:19
Who says the Conservatives are gonna mess things up?

Reggie
08-06-09, 18:20
With no desire to reform things and the cut, cut, cut policies and nothing much else to go by policy wise (in other words, all reactionary policies). That's the impression I get. I actually preferred the Conservatives under Michael Howard - at least they were distinguishable from Labour - not that I would have even voted Cons back then either. BTW, you didn't answer my question about your ambition?

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 18:22
I'm sorry but cuts are what's needed right now thanks to Labour's ridiculous borrowing. You can't spend your way out of a recession.

Spong
08-06-09, 18:22
People have every right to "whine and bicker" about the BNP. That's what free speech is all about.

Very true, but it changes nothing. And often the things people are moaning about are as a result of the system they vote for.

Exactly Spong. I think the BNP are utterly detestable BUT I wouldn't sacrifice our democracy by supporting any law that prevents people voting for them. They gained so many votes because people are disillusioned with the system and we need the system to be reformed preferrably to a form of PR and moving away from old gentleman's club style of things before we can begin to have faith in politics again. And of course, Gordo needs to go but something tells me he's going to cling on until the very end because Labour's cabinet has acted spinelessly already. Let the conservatives come in and probably mess it all up even further and then finally people will start considering the Lib Dems as a serious mainstream option. Seems they held their own ok with the latest elections even with the overall swing to the right.

You, Sir, are a genius. Or a prophet because, from a spectator's point of view, that's how I see things going. People are gonna start chucking votes around left right & centre just to get away from the parties who messed up before. Would be nice to think that a moment of clarity might befall our nation one day and that people will work out that it doesn't matter who you vote for.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 18:31
People don't vote for a system of government, they vote for people to represent them in parliament.

Reggie
08-06-09, 18:31
I'm sorry but cuts are what's needed right now thanks to Labour's ridiculous borrowing. You can't spend your way out of a recession.
Aww what happened to you actually answering my questions properly? You're just playing politics with me. Save that for Westminster if you get in! :p My point is, the Conservatives only have reactionary policies and nothing much of substance. I'm not saying certain cuts are bad but when that's all that defines the party as conservatives these days, they're really not much different from Labour anyway. Bottom line is, they seem like an over-hyped party without any solid plan.

@Spong: You're absolutely right, the way things are going, opinion will be polarised even further until something's done. These people backing our unelected PM and wanting to keep the status quo in order to save their own skins don't seem to realise that the threat to democracy isn't the BNP but themselves. People like me and you and probably many others are fed up.

Lemmie
08-06-09, 19:31
Another opportunity? When have the BNP had this opportunity before?

I say give 'em their fair stab at it. I find it funny that people fight for the right to have a so-called democracy yet they whine and bicker when things like this happen. It's the system you voted for people, live with it.

They haven't had an opportunity like this, granted, but of course they've been voted into council positions for a good while now - and out again when their stupidity and lack of experience betrayed them.

Ultimately they won't have a fair stab at it because I think they are unrealistic in what they want to accomplished (as well as being immoral, in my opinion) and confused about how to change government policy for the better.

Freedom of speech is fantastic, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but the BNP as Fascists through and through are clearly against freedom of speech for anyone who disagrees with them.

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 21:12
The EU is established by a number of multilateral contracts. It does not have the full powers of a normal country and no constitution, but the members have delegated certain responsibilities there. In short, it's less coupled and has far stronger member countries than the US. Unless eurosceptics stop it or even reverse it, which does not seem entirely out of the question, I guess (and hope) that we are heading to something similar to the US in the very long run, though.

Ah, I think I see now :) So there are established rules and guidelines of what the central EU government can do, but they are not collected into a single document yet?

Well, this is how the EU is supposed to work as well, in theory. The problem is that it's hard to decide what are inter-country matters and what not.

Yup, that's the main problem in the US too :p

As a recent example, the EU just banned the sales of light bulbs starting in 2012 (I think) except for special purposes, to reduce greenhouse emission by getting people to switch to more efficient lighting alternatives. Is this an inter-country matter? If a single country adopted such a policy, the effect would be remarkably low, since no country has more than 20% of the EUs population, so setting such a policy at the pan-european level seems like a better choice.

Now when you say light bulbs, is that specifically the incandescent ones? I'm having trouble seeing why they would be banned. If there is a cheaper more energy-efficient alternative then it should already be selling much better anyway. On the other hand, if there is not a cheaper energy-efficient alternative then they are putting a lot of stress on poor people who need light.

Infrastructure (roads, railways and so on) are traditionally internal things, but with the open borders, they are rapidly becoming and often already are the subject to EU legislation instead.

Yes, that's tricky. Again taking the US as an example, there are federally maintained highways but the smaller roads are maintained by the individual states, so perhaps the EU is (or could be) doing something similar?

Finally, government aids companies: Not something internal when we have one open market for everyone, because it might affect competitors in other member countries.

This I'm not 100% clear on. Is this when a country's government will give some sort of state money, tax breaks, etc. to a company to help it do well against competing companies from other countries?

Trigger_happy
08-06-09, 21:22
Now when you say light bulbs, is that specifically the incandescent ones? I'm having trouble seeing why they would be banned. If there is a cheaper more energy-efficient alternative then it should already be selling much better anyway. On the other hand, if there is not a cheaper energy-efficient alternative then they are putting a lot of stress on poor people who need light.

He means the old ones- i.e, the big bulb- like ones with a coil inside. The EU has decided to launch its laughable green policy, and so has forced every country to ban them by 2012, despite numerous problems, including:


The energy efficient ones, meant to be nice and green, are filled with poisonous mercury, and the Eu hasn't got a plan to deal with that.
The flickering of the bulbs gives people headaches and migraines- if normal bulbs are banned, this means people are going to have to live with constant headaches, or live in the dark.
They are more expensive
They need special clearing up if you break one
You can't use them with dimer switches.


I think its just another example of the EU using its brute force to push things onto people.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 21:26
He means the old ones- i.e, the big bulb- like ones with a coil inside. The EU has decided to launch its laughable green policy, and so has forced every country to ban them by 2012, despite numerous problems, including:


The energy efficient ones, meant to be nice and green, are filled with poisonous mercury, and the Eu hasn't got a plan to deal with that.
The flickering of the bulbs gives people headaches and migraines- if normal bulbs are banned, this means people are going to have to live with constant headaches, or live in the dark.
They are more expensive
They need special clearing up ifyou break one
You can't use them with dimer switches.


I think its just another example of the EU using its brute force to push things onto people.

Not sure about the dimmer switches, the special cleaning and more expensive parts are true, but the rest has proven to be nonsense. The EU has pretty strict health and safety regulations. Even common sense (and a little bit of trust and critical thinking) would tell you that the first points are simply not true.
About the price... It can be expected to drop when indeed the now-cheaper bulbs disappear.

Trigger_happy
08-06-09, 21:28
The headaches thing is true- a teacher at my school refuses to teach in a certain classroom as the lights give her headaches. Its the rapid flickering that does it. Plus, the colour of the lights is really dodgy- they're all grey.

Reggie
08-06-09, 21:32
I have to confess, they give me headaches too when naked. Perhaps some kind of filter or lampshade can help avoid that though? If any bulb is naked, its bound to cause a headache.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 21:35
The headaches thing is true- a teacher at my school refuses to teach in a certain classroom as the lights give her headaches. Its the rapid flickering that does it. Plus, the colour of the lights is really dodgy- they're all grey.

I've looked into it a bit more.
Does she still have this with the newer kind of CFLs, which have electronic ballasts? Indeed the older ones flicker, as do the newer ones, but at such a rate that there should be no/hardly any effect.

Also, there are CFLs which work with dimmers. Currently not all of them though.

Trigger_happy
08-06-09, 21:40
I've looked into it a bit more.
Does she still have this with the newer kind of CFLs, which have electronic ballasts? Indeed the older ones flicker, as do the newer ones, but at such a rate that there should be no/hardly any effect.

Also, there are CFLs which work with dimmers. Currently not all of them though.

I don't know, sorry. She said is was the big tubular fluorescents that did it, so we got taught Biology in a physics classroom to avoid the lights. She said that it was the way they flickered, but also the colour of light they gave off. She said that the light was too "dark" or something. I guess she meant that depth of the colour- the CFL's colour isn't as "sunny" and bright as normal bulbs.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 21:43
I don't know, sorry. She said is was the big tubular fluorescents that did it, so we got taught Biology in a physics classroom to avoid the lights. She said that it was the way they flickered, but also the colour of light they gave off. She said that the light was too "dark" or something. I guess she meant that depth of the colour- the CFL's colour isn't as "sunny" and bright as normal bulbs.

Yeah, those ones are probably older. Should ask the school to replace them.

Also they've progressed fairly well on the colour thing. We've got a few at home that I can't discern from the good ole bulbs.

Furthermore, the EU is not actually giving you these CFLs as sole option - they are only banning the hugely inefficient ones. If there's a better alternative for you (such as halogen or LED lighting), feel free to buy that instead.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 21:50
The EU should just let the individual countries decide whether or not they want to ban them. They shouldn't impose their beliefs on other nations. Just because the people who run the EU are ultra-leftists doesn't mean all of the individual member states are.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 21:50
Ah, I think I see now :) So there are established rules and guidelines of what the central EU government can do, but they are not collected into a single document yet?
Yes. The treaty of Lisbon is meant to be that single document. It was actually called EU constitution before, but failed public votes in Ireland, the Netherlands and possibly others (not sure). Now, as a treaty, it only requires a public vote in Ireland, not the other countries (where it'll be passed as an act of parliament), which some see as a deceptive tactic. I think they may have a slight point. This new treaty will establish things like an EU hymn and the like, and more importantly make the EU something that can be a partner in international treaties (it already is in some cases). This huge document still does not make the EU a country in the sense the US are, though. There is currently no time frame for it's adoption.

Now when you say light bulbs, is that specifically the incandescent ones? I'm having trouble seeing why they would be banned. If there is a cheaper more energy-efficient alternative then it should already be selling much better anyway. On the other hand, if there is not a cheaper energy-efficient alternative then they are putting a lot of stress on poor people who need light.
Yes, there's lots of criticism against that policy for these reasons. My personal opinion: I don't think very many people have light bulbs as a main expense in their households. The total cost of ownership might actually be lower for a more energy-efficient one (I don't know for certain), but there is definitely a benefit to the environment. Was it necessary to make this regulation? I'm not sure, but I don't object to it either.

Yes, that's tricky. Again taking the US as an example, there are federally maintained highways but the smaller roads are maintained by the individual states, so perhaps the EU is (or could be) doing something similar?
Absolutely, the EU currently only assumes responsability for the so-called "Trans European Networks" (TEN), which are subdivided into more abbreviations, but which means the most important corridors for international traffic. Still, the effects are seen everywhere. For example, the EU enforces stricter crash safety standards for trains, which has resulted in basically all railroad manufacturers upgrading their products a lot. This affects everyone.

I do hope the EU won't ever get crazy and decide that it needs to regulate speed limits on freeways, though. I'm perfectly happy without any, thank you very much.

This I'm not 100% clear on. Is this when a country's government will give some sort of state money, tax breaks, etc. to a company to help it do well against competing companies from other countries?
Generally whenever a government gives money or tax breaks to any private company (for example to help with the current crisis or as incentives to open a new plant somewhere). This can put others at a disadvantage and with the open market in all countries in the EU, this is a multinational problem.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 21:58
The EU should just let the individual countries decide whether or not they want to ban them. They shouldn't impose their beliefs on other nations. Just because the people who run the EU are ultra-leftists doesn't mean all of the individual member states are.

The EU is definitely not "run" by "ultra-leftists", and for some policies it makes more sense if the individual member states were left to their own decisions, but not for all. As mentioned before, San Marino banning light bulbs isn't going to make a difference. The EU has agreed to reduce CO2 emissions together. Banning light bulbs as an act of the EU helps all member states to achieve that goal.
How is this an "ultra-leftist" "belief"?

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 22:03
The EU is definitely not "run" by "ultra-leftists", and for some policies it makes more sense if the individual member states were left to their own decisions, but not for all. As mentioned before, San Marino banning light bulbs isn't going to make a difference. The EU has agreed to reduce CO2 emissions together. Banning light bulbs as an act of the EU helps all member states to achieve that goal.
How is this an "ultra-leftist" "belief"?As I said, I don't believe the EU should force its beliefs on its member states. I think consumers should be given the choice whether or not they want to buy more efficient light bulbs. I don't believe in forcing consumers to make this choice, just like I don't believe in fuel tax hikes to try and make people "go green" and buy hybrids. The choice should be left up to the consumer, not the governments and certainly not the EU.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:05
As I said, I don't believe the EU should force its beliefs on its member states. I think consumers should be given the choice whether or not they want to buy more efficient light bulbs. I don't believe in forcing consumers to make this choice, just like I don't believe in fuel tax hikes to try and make people "go green" and buy hybrids. The choice should be left up to the consumer, not the governments and certainly not the EU.

What about products that are harmful to humans? Should they be allowed? Poisonous child toys from China?

... Products that are harmful to the environment are only a small step further.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 22:09
What about products that are harmful to humans? Should they be allowed? Poisonous child toys from China?

... Products that are harmful to the environment are only a small step further.There's a difference between poisonous childrens toys and less efficient lightbulbs. The EU are always promoting things that help the environment and they're always encouraging people to be more environmentally friendly (actually, most western governments seem to be doing this nowadays) yet they're banning things they deem to be bad for the environment anyway. What's the point in doing both of these things at the same time?

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 22:12
Yes. The treaty of Lisbon is meant to be that single document. It was actually called EU constitution before, but failed public votes in Ireland, the Netherlands and possibly others (not sure). Now, as a treaty, it only requires a public vote in Ireland, not the other countries (where it'll be passed as an act of parliament), which some see as a deceptive tactic. I think they may have a slight point. This new treaty will establish things like an EU hymn and the like, and more importantly make the EU something that can be a partner in international treaties (it already is in some cases). This huge document still does not make the EU a country in the sense the US are, though. There is currently no time frame for it's adoption.

Thanks for explaining that :)

Yes, there's lots of criticism against that policy for these reasons. My personal opinion: I don't think very many people have light bulbs as a main expense in their households. The total cost of ownership might actually be lower for a more energy-efficient one (I don't know for certain), but there is definitely a benefit to the environment. Was it necessary to make this regulation? I'm not sure, but I don't object to it either.

I'm personally not a fan of banning things, so in general I'd rather see alternatives get developed which are better overall and people will end up wanting them more anyway. If the energy-efficient bulbs will be cheaper in the long run, then the companies need to advertise that fact themselves without the government stepping in and banning the competition :p

Overall I think it's easier to work within the system (build a better product) than to work against it (ban the thing you don't like). People are always happier when they are gaining something better as opposed to being told that they can't have something they like anymore.

Absolutely, the EU currently only assumes responsability for the so-called "Trans European Networks" (TEN), which are subdivided into more abbreviations, but which means the most important corridors for international traffic. Still, the effects are seen everywhere. For example, the EU enforces stricter crash safety standards for trains, which has resulted in basically all railroad manufacturers upgrading their products a lot. This affects everyone.

I see. I think having high safety standards is generally a good thing, although I can appreciate that it would be expensive for companies to upgrade their trains. Does the EU subsidize these upgrades in any way?

I do hope the EU won't ever get crazy and decide that it needs to regulate speed limits on freeways, though. I'm perfectly happy without any, thank you very much.

You have no speed limits on freeways? :eek: I had heard of the Autobahn, but still that very concept terrifies me XD (I'm a new driver and I want to live :whi:)

Generally whenever a government gives money or tax breaks to any private company (for example to help with the current crisis or as incentives to open a new plant somewhere). This can put others at a disadvantage and with the open market in all countries in the EU, this is a multinational problem.

Ah, yes that is also tricky. I don't really know what to say about that issue. In general I favor low taxes and no government handouts, so I would not like it if a hypothetical country was forced to raise taxes on its companies to make it an even playing field with companies in a high-tax country. Basically though I think it's each country's money and if they want to waste it giving an advantage to one of their companies then maybe they'll make the money back by increased trade and maybe they won't. No EU country can compete with China's low wages anyhow, so it's kind of pointless for EU countries to fight with each other and take away any incentive the companies have to stay in Europe :p

Individual countries are also allowed to set their own sales taxes, right? Here states are allowed to set their own taxes (in addition to the federal tax) so a lot of people shop in a neighboring state if it will result in lower sales taxes. I wonder if that happens in the EU to any real extent.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:12
There's a difference between poisonous childrens toys and less efficient lightbulbs. The EU are always promoting things that help the environment and they're always encouraging people to be more environmentally friendly (actually, most western governments seem to be doing this nowadays) yet they're banning things they deem to be bad for the environment anyway. What's the point in doing both of these things at the same time?

Both target different things. There's more to being environmentally friendly than not using certain kinds of products.

And indeed there is a difference, but I think the analogy isn't far-fetched. If you allow the EU to protect us directly, why not allow the EU to protect the environment, and indirectly again, us?

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 22:15
I'm all for the EU protecting the environment, I just don't think they should infringe on member states' national sovereignty in the process.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 22:17
The EU should just let the individual countries decide whether or not they want to ban them. They shouldn't impose their beliefs on other nations. Just because the people who run the EU are ultra-leftists doesn't mean all of the individual member states are.
The EU parliament's homepage is a horrible mess, so I'm afraid I can't find information on directive 2005/32/EG and who voted for it. The site of the european council is hardly any better, so no luck there either. So all I can say is: What makes you so sure that the british MEPs and/or members of the council didn't actually vote for that measure.

What did the The EU is not (only) a place where faceless bureaucrats think of new ways to torment the poor british public, it is something that you can actually influence if you just take the time to get informed about what happens and who supports what.

The amount of influence you can exert is not high enough, and parties and media don't give the EU institutions the attention they should considering their importance, which makes it hard to be fully informed (I certainly don't even come close), and those things need fixing. But you can actually do something about it if you don't like what the EU is doing.

I'm all for the EU protecting the environment, I just don't think they should infringe on member states' national sovereignty in the process.
Does it? The british government and parliament gave up that small piece of sovereignty willingly, and there are actual benefits in return.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:19
I'm all for the EU protecting the environment, I just don't think they should infringe on member states' national sovereignty in the process.

Hmm okay, but in what way can the EU protect the environment without legislating? In fact, how can the EU do pretty much anything without the ability to have the member states legally follow?

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 22:20
Hmm okay, but in what way can the EU protect the environment without legislating? In fact, how can the EU do pretty much anything without the ability to have the member states legally follow?

Do proper research and develop fusion which would provide very cheap electricity without the environmental damage that comes from oil, coal, fission, or most other forms of energy so far. Find a real solution and people will flock to it.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 22:23
The EU parliament's homepage is a horrible mess, so I'm afraid I can't find information on directive 2005/32/EG and who voted for it. The site of the european council is hardly any better, so no luck there either. So all I can say is: What makes you so sure that the british MEPs and/or members of the council didn't actually vote for that measure.

What did the The EU is not (only) a place where faceless bureaucrats think of new ways to torment the poor british public, it is something that you can actually influence if you just take the time to get informed about what happens and who supports what.

The amount of influence you can exert is not high enough, and parties and media don't give the EU institutions the attention they should considering their importance, which makes it hard to be fully informed (I certainly don't even come close), and those things need fixing. But you can actually do something about it if you don't like what the EU is doing.


Does it? The british government and parliament gave up that small piece of sovereignty willingly, and there are actual benefits in return.I never said British MEPs didn't vote for the measure. Remember I'm not old enough to vote yet, so it's not like I voted somebody into the European parliament and I'm now complaining about them.

Hmm okay, but in what way can the EU protect the environment without legislating? In fact, how can the EU do pretty much anything without the ability to have the member states legally follow?They can encourage governments to do things their way instead of just forcing them.

Lemmie
08-06-09, 22:26
Do proper research and develop fusion which would provide very cheap electricity without the environmental damage that comes from oil, coal, fission, or most other forms of energy so far. Find a real solution and people will flock to it.

And in the meantime?

People won't flock to it if it's too expensive.

I'm definitely for finding clean, renewable energy but we all know that we should be practice 'green' and environmentally friendly methods in our everyday lives anyway.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 22:30
I'm personally not a fan of banning things, so in general I'd rather see alternatives get developed which are better overall and people will end up wanting them more anyway. If the energy-efficient bulbs will be cheaper in the long run, then the companies need to advertise that fact themselves without the government stepping in and banning the competition :p

Overall I think it's easier to work within the system (build a better product) than to work against it (ban the thing you don't like). People are always happier when they are gaining something better as opposed to being told that they can't have something they like anymore.
I guess that is just a different approach between the US and most european countries. Efficient lighting solutions will probably remain more expensive than plain old Edison light bulbs for many years, because it's such a dead simple design. Most customers don't actually care about total cost of ownership. A better product can't survive in a free market, but it would be beneficial to all if it survived. Seems like a perfect spot for government intervention.

I see. I think having high safety standards is generally a good thing, although I can appreciate that it would be expensive for companies to upgrade their trains. Does the EU subsidize these upgrades in any way?
I think I said this wrong: Existing trains don't have to be upgraded, only new trains have to comply with the specifications. Assembly lines have to be upgraded, though, and I don't think there's any EU help for that. Still, they can just pass on the higher cost to the customers - it's not like they can choose a cheaper alternative.

You have no speed limits on freeways? :eek: I had heard of the Autobahn, but still that very concept terrifies me XD (I'm a new driver and I want to live :whi:)
In the interest of full disclosure, there are speed limits on dangerous spots, at construction sites, at some places just for noise reduction on the like. In total, nearly 50% of the freeway network have speed limits.

No speed limits is fun if you're used to it, although you should probably not try to break the sound barrier as soon as you get your driver's license. Of course, I wouldn't dare drive 160 kph (100 mph), which I normally do, in most american cars, for example...

Ah, yes that is also tricky. I don't really know what to say about that issue. In general I favor low taxes and no government handouts, so I would not like it if a hypothetical country was forced to raise taxes on its companies to make it an even playing field with companies in a high-tax country. Basically though I think it's each country's money and if they want to waste it giving an advantage to one of their companies then maybe they'll make the money back by increased trade and maybe they won't. No EU country can compete with China's low wages anyhow, so it's kind of pointless for EU countries to fight with each other and take away any incentive the companies have to stay in Europe :p
Yes, it's a complicated issue (taxes vary even from state to state in EU member countries with a federal organization), and the EU does not try to make it totally level either, but when a government shows blatant favoritism for a single company, that is usually frowned upon.

Individual countries are also allowed to set their own sales taxes, right? Here states are allowed to set their own taxes (in addition to the federal tax) so a lot of people shop in a neighboring state if it will result in lower sales taxes. I wonder if that happens in the EU to any real extent.
It does happen and it's actively encouraged by the EU. As an example, ordering DVDs from Amazon.co.uk is usually much cheaper than ordering them from Amazon.de (they tend to have only english, but I prefer that anyway), and you can see how german towns near the border fill up when there's a holiday with closed shops in a neighbor country (and vice versa). Language barriers are a problem here, but with the same money (except some like Great Britain) and open borders (except some like Great Britain) it already works pretty well. I'd say this is one of the biggest advantages of the EU.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:32
Do proper research and develop fusion which would provide very cheap electricity without the environmental damage that comes from oil, coal, fission, or most other forms of energy so far. Find a real solution and people will flock to it.
Well, we've talked about this before. If light bulbs are banned, researching alternative light sources will get a boost. As long as people are buying the current light bulbs that are cheap to manufacture and expensive to keep, there is no incentive to find anything else.
I don't think we can trust the market to research what they don't actually want.

By the way, the EU is actually building a fusion reactor in France IIRC.

(...) They can encourage governments to do things their way instead of just forcing them.

I actually can't imagine a scenario in which this would work better, if at all, than coming together, deciding what needs to be done, and doing it together.

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 22:35
And in the meantime?

People won't flock to it if it's too expensive.

If it's too expensive then it's not a real solution. Forcing these "environmentally friendly" measures on people only makes people resent the government even more, and what does it gain? So Europe pollutes a slight bit less while the third world countries are probably polluting more in a week than Europe does in a year XD It's not a real solution and it only makes life more difficult for people without anything substantial to gain from it.

If people actually develop fusion, then it will not pollute the environment and it will provide lots of very cheap electricity. Cheap electricity means people stop using oil, coal, etc. and therefore there's no more pollution from using electronics, cars, lights, etc. since they will all run on electricity from a clean source.

I'm definitely for finding clean, renewable energy but we all know that we should be practice 'green' and environmentally friendly methods in our everyday lives anyway.

Do we all know that? I personally see no point in it. The sooner oil runs out, the faster people will be forced to develop a real alternative or die off. People always tend to be more resourceful when faced with a deadline anyway, so why keep postponing the inevitable?

Well, we've talked about this before. If light bulbs are banned, researching alternative light sources will get a boost. As long as people are buying the current light bulbs that are cheap to manufacture and expensive to keep, there is no incentive to find anything else.
I don't think we can trust the market to research what they don't actually want.

I still think it's better to actually have the viable alternatives before banning what currently works. The problem isn't really energy efficiency anyway, it's where to get the energy in the first place. If we get practically infinite energy for next to nothing, then efficiency really doesn't matter.

By the way, the EU is actually building a fusion reactor in France IIRC.

I wasn't sure if that was an EU project or if it was all France, but either way, go France! I hope they have a breakthrough and figure this problem out.

Cochrane
08-06-09, 22:44
If it's too expensive then it's not a real solution. Forcing these "environmentally friendly" measures on people only makes people resent the government even more, and what does it gain? So Europe pollutes a slight bit less while the third world countries are probably polluting more in a week than Europe does in a year XD It's not a real solution and it only makes life more difficult for people without anything substantial to gain from it.

If people actually develop fusion, then it will not pollute the environment and it will provide lots of very cheap electricity. Cheap electricity means people stop using oil, coal, etc. and therefore there's no more pollution from using electronics, cars, lights, etc. since they will all run on electricity from a clean source.



Do we all know that? I personally see no point in it. The sooner oil runs out, the faster people will be forced to develop a real alternative or die off. People always tend to be more resourceful when faced with a deadline anyway, so why keep postponing the inevitable?

Well, banning light bulbs by 2012 actually provides such a deadline for the development of better, cheaper lighting designs, if you think about it.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:49
If it's too expensive then it's not a real solution. Forcing these "environmentally friendly" measures on people only makes people resent the government even more, and what does it gain? So Europe pollutes a slight bit less while the third world countries are probably polluting more in a week than Europe does in a year XD It's not a real solution and it only makes life more difficult for people without anything substantial to gain from it. (...)

I still think it's better to actually have the viable alternatives before banning what currently works. (...)

I think both CPL and LED lighting already are viable alternatives. If there was nothing else, then I agree it would be a ridiculous plan - we'd be without light.

It is not too expensive (as Cochrance explained) and what it does is reduce CO2 and perhaps already - otherwise soon - save us all money. It does not make anyone's life more difficult and everyone does have something to gain from it.

Mad Tony
08-06-09, 22:50
I actually can't imagine a scenario in which this would work better, if at all, than coming together, deciding what needs to be done, and doing it together.But this "doing what needs to be done" view is subjective.

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 22:50
Well, banning light bulbs by 2012 actually provides such a deadline for the development of better, cheaper lighting designs, if you think about it.

Yeah, every now and then I throw something like that into my post to see if you'll catch it :whi: (And you always do :D)

If the government wants to act that way then fine, it might work, but they'll have to accept the consequences if it doesn't work. I expanded more on a few posts but I took so long editing it that you posted already so I moved it all to this post :o

I guess that is just a different approach between the US and most european countries. Efficient lighting solutions will probably remain more expensive than plain old Edison light bulbs for many years, because it's such a dead simple design. Most customers don't actually care about total cost of ownership. A better product can't survive in a free market, but it would be beneficial to all if it survived. Seems like a perfect spot for government intervention.

I'm tempted to make an Apple versus PC joke :p

I think I said this wrong: Existing trains don't have to be upgraded, only new trains have to comply with the specifications. Assembly lines have to be upgraded, though, and I don't think there's any EU help for that. Still, they can just pass on the higher cost to the customers - it's not like they can choose a cheaper alternative.

Ah, that makes more sense :)


Yes, it's a complicated issue (taxes vary even from state to state in EU member countries with a federal organization), and the EU does not try to make it totally level either, but when a government shows blatant favoritism for a single company, that is usually frowned upon.


It does happen and it's actively encouraged by the EU. As an example, ordering DVDs from Amazon.co.uk is usually much cheaper than ordering them from Amazon.de (they tend to have only english, but I prefer that anyway), and you can see how german towns near the border fill up when there's a holiday with closed shops in a neighbor country (and vice versa). Language barriers are a problem here, but with the same money (except some like Great Britain) and open borders (except some like Great Britain) it already works pretty well. I'd say this is one of the biggest advantages of the EU.

I find it strange that the EU doesn't like a government helping a company to make a cheaper product, but on the other hand they encourage countries to undercut each other on sales taxes. I guess that would result in generally low taxes everywhere without government handouts though, so I'll suspiciously accept it :p

I think both CPL and LED lighting already are viable alternatives. If there was nothing else, then I agree it would be a ridiculous plan - we'd be without light.

It is not too expensive (as Cochrance explained) and what it does is reduce CO2 and perhaps already - otherwise soon - save us all money. It does not make anyone's life more difficult and everyone does have something to gain from it.

But if the CPL and LED lighting are really such better alternatives, then why aren't people already using them in place of incandescent lamps? That's what I'm having trouble understanding -- how did it get to the point where people are refusing to use a better alternative and therefore the government feels the need to ban something? :confused: If the CPL and LED lights really are so much better, then I'm guessing either people don't know about the CPL and LED lighting (in which case information is preferable to a ban) or else people are just stupid (in which case there's nothing to be done for it and they deserve to lose their money XD)

Punaxe
08-06-09, 22:51
But this "doing what needs to be done" view is subjective.

Perhaps subjective, but still agreed upon by all member states. (Or through QMV anyway.) If you had a better solution, all member states would adopt your idea.

Lemmie
08-06-09, 22:52
If it's too expensive then it's not a real solution. Forcing these "environmentally friendly" measures on people only makes people resent the government even more, and what does it gain? So Europe pollutes a slight bit less while the third world countries are probably polluting more in a week than Europe does in a year XD It's not a real solution and it only makes life more difficult for people without anything substantial to gain from it.

Why the quotation marks? Do you doubt that these lightbulbs are energy efficient? :p

In the case of lightbulbs, I wouldn't care one way or another if the energy efficient ones I bought were the only ones on offer. I would just buy them. There would be no lightbulb resentment from me.

Certainly the pollution coming out from industrial development in the developing world is a major problem. But the majority of the people who use electricity on almost a twenty-four seven basis are in Europe, North America, parts of Asia and Australasia. Therefore introducing (and enforcing) green ways of living would have a significant impact.

If people actually develop fusion, then it will not pollute the environment and it will provide lots of very cheap electricity. Cheap electricity means people stop using oil, coal, etc. and therefore there's no more pollution from using electronics, cars, lights, etc. since they will all run on electricity from a clean source.

Just saw the post about the fusion reactor being built in France. Go France. Not surprising though, given how many nuclear power stations they have already. :D

We know however that there are myriad problems happening now and that could happen in the future in relation to climate change. Damage control is therefore important. Taking a British example, there's no point in having cheap electricity to power your house in the winter months if it's going to be flooded by a rising river in August. We need to prevent the situation getting any worse.

Besides, use of current efficiency techniques will probably bring even better ones, and mass implementation might well make it cheaper too.

Do we all know that? I personally see no point in it. The sooner oil runs out, the faster people will be forced to develop a real alternative or die off. People always tend to be more resourceful when faced with a deadline anyway, so why keep postponing the inevitable?

The deadline of oil running out will not likely be solved by society pulling together to find a solution. A certain group of people will work tirelessly to solve the problem while everyone else procrastinates.

If we aren't dependent on oil by the time it runs out, fine. If we find ways to reduce our energy consumption way before that time, surely that's better?

Oil running out is just one problem. The devastation caused to the environments where the oil is found is another big one. I'm thinking of areas like Alaska, or South America which already suffers from deforestation. Then there's the human cost of oil wells and mines in places like Nigeria and the DRC.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 23:03
(...) But if the CPL and LED lighting are really such better alternatives, then why aren't people already using them in place of incandescent lamps? That's what I'm having trouble understanding -- how did it get to the point where people are refusing to use a better alternative and therefore the government feels the need to ban something? :confused: If the CPL and LED lights really are so much better, then I'm guessing either people don't know about the CPL and LED lighting (in which case information is preferable to a ban) or else people are just stupid (in which case there's nothing to be done for it and they deserve to lose their money XD)

Does a viable alternative necessarily have to be better in every aspect? I don't think it does.
We have established that it is better for certain goals, but well, I'm no expert on consumer behaviour, but it is indeed still more expensive and you probably have a similar phrase in English as we do overhere saying that people prefer to stick to the old and the familiar. Also perhaps CPL bulbs are suffering from a bad image they caught years ago when they were first introduced, as Trigger happy perhaps evidenced (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showpost.php?p=3706364&postcount=113).

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 23:09
Why the quotation marks? Do you doubt that these lightbulbs are energy efficient? :p

I doubt that it has any real impact on the environment overall. Plus, the government tries to force a lot of things in the name of environmentalism, such as corn-derived ethanol additives to gasoline in the US, which are actually more harmful to the environment once everything is considered. I think the government needs to just stay out of it because the government is all about doing what's best politically, not what's best from a scientific standpoint :whi:

In the case of lightbulbs, I wouldn't care one way or another if the energy efficient ones I bought were the only ones on offer. I would just buy them. There would be no lightbulb resentment from me.

That's because you already buy them. What if the government decided to ban your lightbulbs as well and you had to buy something else which was more expensive and gave a different color light that you weren't used to? If so many people are still buying incandescent lamps then they must have a reason for it and I don't think they'd like being forced to switch brands especially if they don't subscribe to the theory that doing so will help the environment.

Certainly the pollution coming out from industrial development in the developing world is a major problem. But the majority of the people who use electricity on almost a twenty-four seven basis are in Europe, North America, parts of Asia and Australasia. Therefore introducing (and enforcing) green ways of living would have a significant impact.

And exactly how much pollution is produced by our power plants and factories as opposed to the pollution produced by power plants and factories in these developing nations? It's negligible in comparison. The only way to actually have an impact is to get rid of pollution across the entire world, especially the developing nations, but we can't very well forbid them from developing. We'll have to develop fusion and then build fusion plants in those countries (for free if necessary) if we really want to stop pollution.

We know however that there are myriad problems happening now and in the future in relation to climate change. Damage control is therefore important. Taking a British example, there's no point in having cheap electricity to power your house in the winter months if it's going to be flooded by a rising river in August. We need to prevent the situation getting any worse.

From everything I've seen, Global Warming is a religion, not a valid scientific theory.

The deadline of oil running out will not likely be solved by society pulling together to find a solution. A certain group of people will work tirelessly to solve the problem while everyone else procrastinates.

If people don't care and problems don't get solved, then the human race will die off. If people choose that future, then that's what was democratically chosen so we should respect it, right? :p

Does a viable alternative necessarily have to be better in every aspect? I don't think it does.
We have established that it is better for certain goals, but well, I'm no expert on consumer behaviour, but it is indeed still more expensive and you probably have a similar phrase in English as we do overhere saying that people prefer to stick to the old and the familiar. Also perhaps CPL bulbs are suffering from a bad image they caught years ago when they were first introduced, as Trigger happy perhaps evidenced (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showpost.php?p=3706364&postcount=113).

But if the alternative is not what people want and the current favorite lightbulb doesn't endanger people's health, then why does the government have the right to ban it and force people to buy something else instead?

Punaxe
08-06-09, 23:17
(...) But if the alternative is not what people want and the current favorite lightbulb doesn't endanger people's health, then why does the government have the right to ban it and force people to buy something else instead?

I've actually not heard anyone reasonably complain about these alternatives. I guess whether or not the environmental change endangers people's health and whether or not we should be doing anything against it is up for debate, but I'm glad that here in the EU the politicians do seem to do what's best from a scientific standpoint.

tampi
08-06-09, 23:22
DATA : I wanted two weeks ago to buy some LED lights for my bathroom and I could not because the light emitted was ridiculous.

Punaxe
08-06-09, 23:23
DATA : I wanted two weeks ago to buy some LED lights for my bathroom and I could not because the light emitted was ridiculous.

Were they Philips lights? :p Philips is already lighting entire stadiums and cities (Amsterdam) with LED technology, it's going great. :)

tampi
08-06-09, 23:33
Were they Philips lights? :p Philips is already lighting entire stadiums and cities (Amsterdam) with LED technology, it's going great. :)

I was trying to remember, but I have not succeeded.:p:D

I also read in magazines about LED light bulbs and I was wondering in big department store. Were equivalent to only about 40W. They was not useful.

Lemmie
08-06-09, 23:33
I doubt that it has any real impact on the environment overall. Plus, the government tries to force a lot of things in the name of environmentalism, such as corn-derived ethanol additives to gasoline in the US, which are actually more harmful to the environment once everything is considered. I think the government needs to just stay out of it because the government is all about doing what's best politically, not what's best from a scientific standpoint :whi:

One bulb may not make much of a difference, a whole country using efficient ones might. Often the smallest things have the greatest effect, to trot out a rather tired aphorism.

But it is often true.

That's because you already buy them. What if the government decided to ban your lightbulbs as well and you had to buy something else which was more expensive and gave a different color light that you weren't used to? If so many people are still buying incandescent lamps then they must have a reason for it and I don't think they'd like being forced to switch brands especially if they don't subscribe to the theory that doing so will help the environment.

I certainly don't agree with totalitarian environmentalism. I wouldn't agree with it if I was up in front of a firing squad for disobeying the government and using a particular kind of lightbulb. :D

Yes, I am in a position where the energy efficient bulbs available do suit my needs very well. But I'm sure that clever designers and engineers - particularly ones from admittedly leftist, but environmentally friendly nations like Denmark and Sweden - can come up with various new kinds of bulb to suit every design and light specification.

Environmentalism should be about a range of choice - that is how it appeals to a mass market.

And exactly how much pollution is produced by our power plants and factories as opposed to the pollution produced by power plants and factories in these developing nations? It's negligible in comparison. The only way to actually have an impact is to get rid of pollution across the entire world, especially the developing nations, but we can't very well forbid them from developing.

I didn't specify power plants and industry in developed societies, but the population's use of energy as a whole. And I doubt that our pollution is negligible. Isn't the USA one of the biggest polluters on the planet? As well as the USA; Germany, France, Italy and Russia all have significant industrial output.

I certainly wouldn't forbid any developing country the opportunity to expand its economy, even now. But these countries have examples to look to in the form of cleaner industry in the Western world - they shouldn't and probably wouldn't want to return to archaic industrial ages. These countries have already felt the effects of disastrous pollution both from other countries and within their own.

From everything I've seen, Global Warming is a religion, not a valid scientific theory.

And from what I've experienced, as well as having seen and read, there's sufficient evidence to try and keep it (this hypothesised religion) in check.

If people don't care and problems don't get solved, then the human race will die off. If people choose that future, then that's what was democratically chosen so we should respect it, right? :p

That's democracy at work I guess. :D

Ward Dragon
08-06-09, 23:48
One bulb may not make much of a difference, a whole country using efficient ones might. Often the smallest things have the greatest effect, to trot out a rather tired aphorism.

But it is often true.

I don't object to the light bulbs (I think it's a good idea). I just don't like banning things and I feel like there's got to be a better way to raise awareness that the newer bulbs are better so that people want to buy them instead of being forced not to buy something else.

Environmentalism should be about a range of choice - that is how it appeals to a mass market.

Yeah, choices are great. If they can come up with something environmentally friendly that's just as good as what it's replacing, then I'm all for it. I just don't like it when the replacement is not as good and then the original gets banned (talking in general, not specifically about lightbulbs).

I didn't specify power plants and industry in developed societies, but the population's use of energy as a whole. And I doubt that our pollution is negligible. Isn't the USA one of the biggest polluters on the planet? As well as the USA; Germany, France, Italy and Russia all have significant industrial output.

I certainly wouldn't forbid any developing country the opportunity to expand its economy, even now. But these countries have examples to look to in the form of cleaner industry in the Western world - they shouldn't and probably wouldn't want to return to archaic industrial ages. These countries have already felt the effects of disastrous pollution both from other countries and within their own.

I don't think any country really wants to be poor and have a lot of pollution tainting their air and water. I'm sure they would have already improved things if they could. Simply having a shining example of developed nations to look up to is definitely not enough. They aren't in a financial position to develop alternative energies that would cut down their pollution, and yet their pollution is the main problem. The solution is for us to focus on developing much better energy sources. Once we have a much better energy source, we can give it away if necessary in order to allow all countries to stop polluting without sacrificing their livelihood.

And from what I've experienced, as well as having seen and read, there's sufficient evidence to try and keep it (this hypothesised religion) in check.

There are plenty of common-sense reasons to cut down on pollution without global warming. No one wants to breathe polluted air or drink dirty water. This whole global warming phenomenon is political scare-mongering to try to get more people to vote a certain way come election time. There's no real scientific basis for the assertion that we are destroying the climate. There were ice ages and really hot ages long before the human race ever existed, and there will continue to be climate fluctuations long after we are gone. I think it's a mistake to try to justify environmental concerns with fears about global warming, especially when there are valid reasons that have nothing to do with politics.

That's democracy at work I guess. :D

Indeed :p

Lemmie
09-06-09, 00:04
I don't object to the light bulbs (I think it's a good idea). I just don't like banning things and I feel like there's got to be a better way to raise awareness that the newer bulbs are better so that people want to buy them instead of being forced not to buy something else.

Yeah, choices are great. If they can come up with something environmentally friendly that's just as good as what it's replacing, then I'm all for it. I just don't like it when the replacement is not as good and then the original gets banned (talking in general, not specifically about lightbulbs).

It's amazing how much debate can occur over lightbulbs (see previous aphorism). :D

I don't think any country really wants to be poor and have a lot of pollution tainting their air and water. I'm sure they would have already improved things if they could. Simply having a shining example of developed nations to look up to is definitely not enough. They aren't in a financial position to develop alternative energies that would cut down their pollution, and yet their pollution is the main problem. The solution is for us to focus on developing much better energy sources. We can give it away if necessary in order to allow all countries to stop polluting without sacrificing their livelihood.

All of this I realise, and agree with. We should be far more giving with what we already have to other countries who are trying to industrialise.

That said, I think that some nations are not perhaps as concerned about social welfare (re: your point over poor air and water quality), which they certainly should know about.

I hope that by the time we have developed this technology we will be able to give it away, or at least subsidise part of it. I imagine though that it will end up being very expensive.

There are plenty of common-sense reasons to cut down on pollution without global warming. No one wants to breathe polluted air or drink dirty water. This whole global warming phenomenon is political scare-mongering to try to get more people to vote a certain way come election time. There's no real scientific basis for the assertion that we are destroying the climate. There were ice ages and really hot ages long before the human race ever existed, and there will continue to be climate fluctuations long after we are gone. I think it's a mistake to try to justify environmental concerns with fears about global warming, especially when there are valid reasons that have nothing to do with politics.

I know about the dramatic climate fluctuations the Earth has had, that they are a natural cycle of this planet that come back and go away again at intervals.

I don't know what evidence you've seen that makes you disagree with the theory, but from what I've experienced I personally don't think that global warming is as unlikely as you say. You may however, know better than me - I'm certainly no scientist (or politician, for that matter). But the symptoms of global warming thus discussed are certainly concurrent with what I've experienced.

In the long run, however, methods that are supposed to help slow climate change also reduce pollution and landfill, which I'm in favour of, and I think most people are too.

I can see that our points of view are gradually converging. :) There's a couple of iffy areas here and there, but we might chalk it up to things other from environmental issues and socio-political concerns for the developing world - such as personal experience, politics, scientific knowledge and so on.

And I'm getting tired of copy-pasting and spell-checking. Going to bed...

Ward Dragon
09-06-09, 00:24
And I'm getting tired of copy-pasting and spell-checking. Going to bed...

Yeah, I think we're sort of approaching the same goal from different angles :p Anyway, the debate was fun :D Good night :)