Elections,voting and political parties

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Foinikas, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Since the last elections,I've been having a hard time trying to decide what to vote.I think that this situation is similar to most Europeans and I'm sure to many other countries in the world too.You see,no matter how much you lean to a specific ideology and where you lean or what you want to vote,parties change,politicians change and political situations change.

    So first of all,if you allow me and if you want to tell me and everybody else in the forum,which party do you vote and what does it stand for?

    Second,has something in that party or the entire political ideology that you stand for make you change your mind or get angry with?

    Can you tell me some more about the political parties in your country and the ones that you vote for or have voted for?

    Because I look at the world...and more specifically Europe...because in USA I only see Republicans and Democrats ruling and I see that most countries are being ruled by liberal conservative parties,democrat parties,left-centre parties and generally the kind of parties that are kind of "in the middle" and with no specific ideology other than frustration,corruption and stupid politicians.The funny thing is that the people actually VOTE for them.Are people really being zombified or something?You know I don't like the communists or any of those stupid leftists who go out and protest about every single thing,but what I hate even more is when people keep voting for worthless politicians who do nothing that they have actually promised to do_Or at least some of the things they had promised to do.

    So what do you guys vote?
     
  2. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I vote Conservative which is best described as a centre-right party. Within that loose definition of 'conservatism' I'd lean towards the goals of free markets, small government, small welfare state, more individual responsibility (& by lower tax regimes, more individual choice) but with an underlying thread of social cohension. By the latter I mean support for the most vulnerable, collective local governance and some services such as public interest broadcasts (BBC).

    With regard to your second point, the only issue which bugs me is that my local Conservative member of parliament is more pro-European than either the party line or my own views. I'd stress that I'm not anti-European/EU but do believe that laws passed by national governments should have primacy over EU laws where there are significant differences between the views expressed by the national electorate over the dictates from the EU centre which are not subject to voter referendum

    Details of UK political parties:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_Kingdom

    The change I'd most like to see in the UK is a move away from a dependency culture of state handouts, away from believing that it's the governments role/duty to be the solution to every problem however trivial and for individuals/communities to stand up and take ownership.

    A small example of this would be during the local severe snow we had in December. The local government were ensuring that local main roads were gritted/cleared but many smaller residential roads were not. I had neighbours moaning that it 'wasn't fair' (that they couldn't use their cars) when in reality this focus on primary routes was exactly what should be happening. A few of us suggested that we just get our shovels out ourselves, providing our own direct solution. A couple of hours later road was passable.. a little bit of effort for this freak of nature avoids ultimately higher local taxes to pay for someone else to do the same.

    Another topical example is bank bonuses. It is not governments role, in my view, to decide the pay structure of private companies (I specifically exclude here the banks that are part state owned), it is the companys' shareholders right and duty to do so.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    In the last few years I have been voting for a party called D66 (Democraten 1966). It's a liberal-democratic party which is positioned ever so slightly left of the middle of the political spectrum of The Netherlands. The closest party in any major country would indeed be the Liberal Democrats in the UK.

    As for point two on the agenda; I don't care about faces. It seems that a lot of politics has become a baby-kissing soap. People don't make or break a country - their agendas do. And agendas are political and - for parties I would vote for - open and beyond the personal control of the faces on TV. I would say that I agree most strongly with the basic philosophy of D66 primerally. They adhere to the European interpretation of Liberalism but tend to be pragmatic when that might lead to complications and often shift towards socialism when that occurs. That being said, they currently stand for a strong investment into education on all levels and the environment.

    Currently, there are 10 parties represented in the house of representatives. Currently, the major ones are VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie; Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy); PvdA (Partij voor de Arbeid; Party for Labour); CDA (Christen Democratisch Appel; Christian-Democratic Appeal) and PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, Party for the Freedom).

    VVD is also a Liberal-Democratic party, but with a much more right-wing signature. They mostly represent entrepeneurs, are of the opinion that the gouvernment should refrain from interfering and favour tax-cuts. Until recently, this was the most right-winged serious party, which means a lot of people with right-winged ideals also joined. Geert Wilders was a member of VVD untill 2005, when he was kicked out and later formed PVV. They are currently the largest party in the House of Reps with 31 of 150 seats and the leading party in the gouvernment coalition.

    PvdA is a traditional Labour party as they have them everywhere across Europe. They have a pretty hard time because the traditional labourer is a dying breed here. PvdA is not a hard-core socialist party anymore, though - they have shifted closer to the center of the political spectrum here. Currently, apparently a lot of immigrants vote for PvdA and further draw from the fact that they have an important political figurehead as their leader; former Amsterdam mayor Cohen. PvdA drew in second in last election with 30 of 150 seats and are the largest opposition party.

    CDA traditionally holds the center of the political spectrum, though they have made a shift to the right in the past 10 years or so. They have Christian roots, but definitely don't rule with a hand on the Bible. Since the second world war, CDA - or at least one of its predecessors - made part of all gouvernments except two in the 1990's. They claim to stand for family values and stability. They have 21 of the seats and form the gouvernment coalition with VVD. For those who notice that this falls short of majority; please see PVV.

    PVV is the brainchild of Geert Wilders, the famed islamophobe. So far, only two points are crystal clear in their program; they're anti-Islam and stand firm on criminality. Ow, and they're pro-Israel. It's interesting to note that it is one of only two non-democratic parties in that they don't accept members (the other party, SGP, is democratic in that sense, but doesn't allow female members). Otherwise, this party might well be described as fascist. They currently hold 24 seats and are not part of the gouvernment coalition. Neither did they join the opposition; they vowed to vote with the gouvernment in all but a few issues, all involving Islam in one way or another.

    The other parties represented in the house of representatives are: Socialist party SP; green party GroenLinks; animal party (yes, sorry) PvdD; Christian party ChristenUnie; Calvinist party SGP; and aforementioned D66. Though they vary in size, combined they still take 44 of the 150 seats.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I've honestly never voted and I've got no major desire to vote either.
    A great part of this is the fact that pretty much all the parties lack a level of integrity with regard to their pre-election promises. Heck the last UK election advertisements were starting to go the way of the US ones, not bothering to lie to us about what they would do but slagging off the competition with cheap shots and jabs.

    I already know that most people don't even look at the content of a parties projected plans, but instead vote mainly one two key factors:
    1) Will this government increase the tax for my social group more or less than the others - if its less I'll vote for them

    2) We've always voted "XYZ" so that is what we vote.

    So it seems that the whole point of being able to choose the leading party based on their suitability* for the job is inherently flawed at all levels of the system. Even when in power the last UK party showed that they held public opinion in low regard with regard to the policies that they followed.
    I understand that they will have their own agenders and that the public is never given full access to the info they do; but the fact that the separation from people and the ruling parties is growing larger and larger it seems to me to be more and more fruitless to vote when you have little actual influence on what really will happen

    * and after the official revelation of just how many had their fingers in the till I'm going to say most of them aren't suitable at all

    ** If I ever do get round to voting I'm voting Monster Raving Lunies party - they've never lied to us thus far at least!
     
  5. Tabris

    Tabris 11.11.11

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    I am a member of, and was active in the local board, the Norwegian Green Party. In Norway we have many parties, which makes people complain about inefficiency. They have a point, but I would rather have that than only being able to vote for two major parties. It feels more democratic with more parties.
     
  6. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    @Overread

    I understand you completely when you say that people have been voting for XYZ so that's what they'll keep doing because most people in my country have been doing that even if they nag about their own party when it comes to power.That's why we've been ruled by two parties for about 30 years.

    From what I saw last night on wikipedia before I make this thread and I was surprised,is that actually in Greece there are dozens of leftist-communist parties,even more than the democratic-centre ones or the Green parties and heck,more than all other ones.The communists have been fractured in lots of small parties that have mostly similar names and/or ideology.

    That's not what I care about though.Most of you know that I lean on the other side of the ideology.But since the last parliamentary elections and during the prefectural elections that we had a few months ago I was completely lost in as to what to vote.

    The part I've been voting is this and this is what it stands for in a few words as wikipedia says:

    The Popular Orthodox Rally or The People's Orthodox Rally (Greek: Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός, Laïkós Orthódoxos Synagermós), often abbreviated to ΛΑ.Ο.Σ (LAOS) as a pun on the Greek word for people, is a Greek right-wing populist and Christian[4]political party.


    It started off as a pure right-wing patriotic party,the kind of party which the leftists called "far right" but...through the years there's been a lot of controversy that had me troubled.And again,from wikipedia here is some of the controversy:

    Position on homosexuality

    According to Ios Press, Karatzaferis had related through his television broadcast in 2002 his conviction that "1/3 of Greek congressmen are passive homosexuals with Albanian Stallions."[28] Later on, Popular Orthodox Rally saw criticism both internally and from its voters over an apparent reversal of its stance with regards to homosexuality. Along with voting for the "European Parliament resolution on homophobia in Europe," Karatzaferis has himself met with homosexual activists and given interviews to homosexual magazines in which he said that "two adults should be able to freely live together and their relationship include certain legal recognition" and that "homophobia must be fought."[29]

    Karatzaferis has claimed that the only internal disagreement came from the leftist Efthimios Droulias, though it is believed that such positions are partly responsible for the exodus of nationalists and conservatives from the party. Another controversy erupted when singer, trash TV star and LAOS candidate Efi Sarri stated "I want all the young sexy girls and boys, foreigners, and homosexuals with me. Specifically for my gay friends, I will try to guarantee safeguards of their property, when one of the two dies, through the achievement of civil marriages or some contract." According to sources with Eleftheros Kosmos, the telephone centers of Teleasty and LAOS were flooded with thousands of indignant callers.[30]

    During the 2007 and 2009 elections, Vaitsis Apostolatos, a sex-therapist and TV personality who has repeatedly expressed his tolerance and open-mindedness vis-a-vis homosexuality was elected as a LAOS MP for Piraeus.

    LAOS continues to support a "legal recognition" for homosexual couples but not in the form of "marriage"[citation needed]. When the mayor of the Greek island of Tilos presided over the first homosexual civil marriages the party released a statement deploring "the cruel reality that we are living in the society of "homos" and stated that the way things were going "the next step is the prohibition of heterosexual marriage for being racist and a tool for the subjugation of one sex to the other."


    It made me and many others wonder "what the heck is going on?" And A LOT of people got upset or just got troubled when the President of the party was announcing that he would include a variety of TV personas(like the one mentioned above)which were not considered as very serious or responsible persons to vote for.
    Thing is,the president also made me wonder what the heck is going on when he said,that he also has a portrait of Che Geuvara in his office.

    BUT....the main points are these and I totally agree with them:

    The main points of the Popular Orthodox Rally platform are as follows:

    No accession of Turkey to the European Union
    The formation of a realistic immigration policy based on the number of foreign immigrants Greece can welcome.
    Opposition to the European Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty
    No recognition of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as Republic of Macedonia or under any nomenclature that includes the term "Macedonia".
    Drastic tax cuts for both individuals and small businesses


    And for now at least,they do well as the 4th biggest party in Greece and as a functioning opposition.But I am still troubled.

    The other choice I was thinking about was far more....to the right and far more...."foreign" on some aspects.You see,the whole situation here the political and economic one,has people going from one side to the other.The Centrist parties are nothing more than "blah blah blah" and one of the same.People want solutions and people want radical solutions.So they are pushed to the sides according to their own political and ideological beliefs.So there's the Communist left,the radical communist-leftist left....and there's the far right:

    Golden Dawn (Greek: Χρυσή Αυγή, Chrysi Avyi) is a Greek Nationalist political organization led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos in Greece. Golden Dawn opposes illegal immigration, Marxism, globalization, neoliberalism and multiculturalism, and it's ideology has its roots in the ancient spartan society of Lycurgus and Leonidas. Chrysi Avyi is also the name of a newspaper and a magazine published by the organization.

    That was and is the other alternative.However I am very skeptical about it for some reasons.
    First of all,what makes me think about voting them is that these guys don't take bull**** and don't just stand there talking and promising.They act,they do,they care.They are the true activists of the patriotic right.
    When the people of Saint Panteleimon area in Athens had problems with illegal and legal immigrants,these guys showed up and came to protect the area.When the leftists,anarchists,gypsies and illegal immigrants were smashing and looting Greece 2 years ago,these guys were protecting some areas.
    Who marches in support of national rights and demonstrates about national issues?These guys first and foremost and other patriots as well.

    HOWEVER....and here's the thing that has been troubling me.This party unfortunately has a lot of elements of German national socialism and many of its members are more or less lovers of ancient greece mostly rather than Orthodox Christianity.
    For example wikipedia says:

    Golden Dawn described itself as a "Popular Nationalist Movement" and "uncompromising Nationalists."[2] Michaloliakos described Golden Dawn as opposing the "so-called Enlightenment" and the Industrial Revolution, while supporting National Socialism.[2][3] According to the party's charter, "only Aryans in blood and Greeks in descent can be candidate members of Golden Dawn".[3] The charter also puts the leader in total control of the party, and formalizes the use of the Roman salute for party members.[3] At first, the party embraced neo-Pagan beliefs, believing them to be intermingled with National Socialism in accordance to Nazi occultism, describing Marxism and liberalism as "the ideological carriers of Judeo-Christianity.[4] Later, however, the party underwent ideological changes, tolerating Eastern Orthodox Christianity.[5]

    The party's symbol is a red flag bearing a black meander pattern with white trim. Other symbols adopted by Chrysi Avyi members are the national emblem of Greece, the labrys and the Celtic cross.


    What do you make of that?From one hand I think of them as a solution,an alternative because they have the balls to stand up and fight for problems,for real problems that the people have and I mean the Greek people,but on the other hand I don't know if I should support them with my vote because....I certainly wouldn't want to see "neo-paganism" or "ancient Greece loving" becoming more "important" in their ideology than Orthodox Christianity.Plus,some of them can be real racists,not in the sense of "kick out the illegal immigrants or those who are bad" but in the sense of "kick all foreigners out".And I am not a racist.I do want Greece to live peacefully with A FEW good immigrants and foreigners,but I can't stand the whole "kick them all out" thing.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    For some reason, I imagine them doing this in brown shirts? Black pants? No?

    I really can't say anything about either of these parties; they both seem to have veered from the path of reasonability, diligence and vision - in my mind's eye at least. Drastic tax cuts? There's hardly a system of taxation in place, it's leaking on all sides. Athens can use every last cent that's coming in - and these people want tax cuts? Interesting... Athens needs money to keep its borders shut and the usual way of getting such revenue is by taxation.
     
  8. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Hahaha I know what you were thinking,brown shirts SA and all that.Good thinking,but no.Actually no.They're more...well they act like more patriots.Activist patriots.When others just shut up,they just go out and dare to demonstrate just like all the leftists demonstrate(and the commies do that A LOT).But that's the whole thing...if the State provided the people with REAL safety,then people wouldn't have to turn to others to help them.

    Tax cuts is a long promise of all populist parties.And to tell you the truth everybody wants it.Who doesn't?But the problem is that Athens CAN make money WITHOUT draining the people out of every single cent they have.People are becoming more and more angry and every day they become MORE and MORE defiant!No matter if you are leftist,right-wing,conservative,centre,liberal etc.

    There's damn oil in the Aegean and Ionian Sea and the government does nothing to exploit it.We produce a lot of good fruits and A LOT of vegetables yet we import far more stuff than we produce.The slogan of the people these days is "Bring back the stolen".Meaning "you politicians,pay the debts with the money you plundered while ruling".

    In these times,most people are looking for an alternative solution to the New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Momement parties which are held responsible for all the corruption and the predicament of the country since they've been ruling us for about 30 years.

    So..............I think this isn't just about Greece or Spain or Portugal or Romania or France.I think this is about most of Europe.England,Ireland,Netherlands,Belgium,Denmark,Germany,Italy etc.
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I think that most European contries struggle with their new identity in a rapidly changing and coagulating world and I think that is reflected in their parties. I also think that traditional parties have a hard time in times of crisis. Since 2009, the world is tubling from one crisis into the next. New ideas and parties will emerge - most of them will equally die out and fade into history again, untill a new equilibrium is found. That is the nature of a liberal democracy.
     
  10. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    Unless liberal democracy itself fades into history, eh?
     
  11. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Hehehe...I wonder...how is it that monarchies or nationalist and in some cases...just some...communist regimes contribute much better to a country's progress...rather than liberal democracies and centrist governments?Ironic isn't it?Democracy itself being a party of demagogues and people with empty words.How long can each country endure the corruption of fake socialist or fake centrist governments before they turn to other parties?Communist,nationalist,ecologist or royalist?
     
  12. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    It's not so much just the corruption that breaks democracy - its the fact that it only thinks in the short term mindset. Monarchy and dictactorships are always able to think longer term and plan long term because the ruling powers remain in power (idealy) for decades at a time. This can bring a level of stability to a country under such rulership - whereas with democracy and a totally voted in method you get short term thinking - a few years at best, before its all minds toward the votes alone (during which time good, but unpopular with the masses ideas, won't be put into practice). You also get the blame pushing factor where if a problem developes the parties try to simply keep it ticking over and let the next party deal and take blame for it (cough cough - Tony Blare - cough - war Iraq)

    In short both are open to problems - single ruling parties can be terribly bad for a country if the ruling powers are greatly distanced from the general population and also stark raving mad - whereas a good single ruler can do considerable good for the nation as a whole.

    Personally I'm of the opinion that you need to have both in effect within a country - both a long standing ruling party with a strong advisory board which is voted in. Thus letting you at least have some chance for long term choices to be made without internal party bickering in fighting over it (even with civil servants you've got their own internal power struggles overarching things).