What do you stand for, politically?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Joll, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Joll

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    What political values and principles are most important to you?

    Personally, I'm not a fan of tribal politics, and see more sense in a centrist approach - with sensible, moderate (mainstream?) policies, regardless of whether they are traditionally left or right-wing (whilst also utilising the ability to think radically and outside the box, when such solutions are needed).

    Government which is pro-business, in addition to having a social conscience. Basically, enabling people to do well across the board - and giving them opportunities rather than handouts.

    This is probably a bit (very) simplistic but - Inclusivity, Opportunity and Responsibility are themes which appeal most to me, and which I think give the most balanced approach.

    Anyone else? :smile:
     
    #1 Joll, Oct 20, 2010
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  2. dandelion

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    opportunities rather than handouts. Now surely that depends on how revenue is being generated. For example, suppose half of all government income comes from taxes on industry. It spends that on services for people, including social security networks. Is that a 'handout'? I would say it is, because it is handing out resources to everyone. Are you saying we should abolish 'handouts', and stop taxing businesses all together? What does 'handout' mean? Isnt it just giving every citizen their fair share of whatever government rakes in?

    Pro business? what sort of policies are pro business? Id agree with Jason hike VAT and mimimise income taxes, transfer as much of the tax burden as possible onto taxes on spending rather than income, but you cannot ignore business profits as a source of revenue. There seems to be a looming crisis with big businesses transferring offshore so as to avoid taxation. The banks squeal they will move every time anyone starts to speak about taxes but it is not just them. Something has to be done to ensure activity taking place within the uK delivers a proportionate share of tax revenue. There used to be this thing called 'stamp duty' which was a transaction tax. Seems we need a bit more of that. The entire domestic banking sector needs some kind of regulation. Statutory limits on mortgage loans at 75% of value might be useful. Make banks share some of the loss if property prices fall.

    I would not disagree for one second that the benefits system we have now gives a major disincentive to work for the poorest. But this also reflects the dismal pay rates at the bottom end. Ask the ex chief of Halifax bank if he would consider taking a job now at minimum wage and guess what he would say. So its hardly just the poorest who turn up their noses at these wage rates. The benefits system has become a disinsentive to work because its bare minimum standards have come to be higher than the jobs are paying. The solution would seem to be a significant hike in minimum wage. The result might just be a lot of disapointed foreigners going home again because british people would take the jobs.

    Political values: stop lying to people. Say what you mean. Right now politicians are vying with each other to claim they had intended to make these cuts going on now and never had any irresposible plans to spend spend spend. But before the election they were all saying the opposite. Crisis, what crisis? Conservatives denying they ever agreed with labours policies 3 years ago. This is normal and utterly destroys any possible public confidence in the system.
     
  3. houtx48

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    ahh it's time for facequeen and her alter ego to show up.
     
  4. Joll

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    Yep, pointless bollocks innit? If you said something previously (like Harriet Harman backing Iraq, or Labour's position on putting financial stimuli ahead of dealing with the deficit) then stick to it, and don't try denying it.

    Also, if you agree, agree - if you disagree, say so (or state where you'd do it better). That's what I meant by tribal politics. Ok...you have to oppose if you're the opposition, but make it where you truly think changes need to be made - not just disagreement out of principle.

    I'll get back to the rest of your post later. :) Except to say, I'd classify handouts as ones where the money doesn't really achieve much purpose. Hand-ups are better, in that they help ppl to help themselves - ie: training to get back into the job market, etc. (Obviously some 'handouts' need to be made, to people who are unable to manage by themselves, due to severe ill health, etc).
     
    #4 Joll, Oct 20, 2010
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  5. Joll

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    Post your own views in advance, then. :biggrin1:
     
  6. dandelion

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    someone today questioning danny alexander asked him what exactly people were supposed to do, since housing benefit was capped and cut price social housing was being abolished, if they could not afford market rents. he dodged the question. The reason we have handouts is because if you make it impossible for people to live inside the system, then they live outside it. Thats why drug addicts become criminals. If you now cant afford anywhere to live, dont be surprised if there is a crime boom. At least you get a roof and meals in gaol. If they catch you. Ah, but theyre closing prisons too. That should be interesting. We shall have even more of the police refusing to arrest someone because they do not want them in prison. This happens now.
     
  7. Drifterwood

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    I'm a planetist (planetariist???, planetarian humanist???), my good old friend Hhuquequeque helped me to realise this.

    Actually, TBH, many people have helped me, but I would like to say that several people from this site have helped me to understand my politics.
     
    #7 Drifterwood, Oct 20, 2010
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  8. TopDudeFtl

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    I'm old fashioned...I stand for women!
     
  9. Drifterwood

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    Glad to hear though that you sit through the national anthem boredom. :cool:
     
  10. maxcok

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    What do you stand for, politically?

    Economic justice, social equality, and protecting the environment. Too simple?
     
    #10 maxcok, Oct 20, 2010
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  11. SilverTrain

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    What I stand for politically is "doing the right thing." Obviously that is a subjective and fact-dependent notion. But every year brings new issues, crises, needs, etc. The approaches to solution will vary. I am not grounded in a definite, rooted ideology (except for, perhaps, Taoism).

    What concerns me the most about politics is how awful all the politicians are. In particular their practically universal devotion to placating what they have determined is a crucial segment of their constituency, as opposed to doing the right thing or doing what is in the best interests of the bulk of their constituency. There is a special place in heaven for elected officials who keep their heads down, do their job, and ignore all the political posturing of their opponents, the media, or the myriad interest groups who may be attacking them at any moment. Making the tough decisions, instead of evading them is another way to get me to cherish you.

    I'm sure there are some political actors out there who fit this mold. Probably, they are mainly local officials well out of the limelight. But there are definitely not nearly enough of these fine people. On either side of whatever partisan aisles may exist.
     
  12. Joll

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    Nope. Exactly what I was after. :smile:
    And I'm in agreement on those issues - all important.

    I agree. I think politics is about more than just looking out for your own, or your country's interests. It's also about acting responsibly and realising our actions impact many other ppl too (especially taking globalisation into account). That's partly why I agree with intervening in disasters and providing aid in difficult situations where needed (and if possible). Maybe these are universal ideals that are taken as a given tho, I dunno?

    What's your view on intervention in places like Zimbabwe (or Iraq?) if they're not directly threatening you, but it seems morally important?

    I think working out, and stating, where you stand is a good aim (altho not politically expedient?), so you can be judged on ur opinions and beliefs, rather than just opportunistic reactions to current events.

    The last point you made is interesting, resolving issues rather than just pacifying them?
     
  13. SilverTrain

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    The simple solution is to just be totally isolationist. Let others sort their own laundry. That could lead to moral dilemmas, obviously.

    Ultimately, I'd be leaning heavily on the isolationist side of things, with a case-by-case determination as to whether a given situation called for extraordinary action/intervention.
     
  14. Joll

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    Yeh, I understand what you mean. And..wot a shit for ignoring the question. :tongue:

    Maybe I didn't explain myself properly with the handouts thing. I'm obviously in favour of helping people where they have no choice - unemployment, illness, helping ppl resolve issues, etc. I just meant I think it's more effective if they're a means to helping ppl back onto the ladder (and providing opportunities to help them reintegrate with society) rather than just handing out money, with no assistance to get ppl back on their feet, and no incentive to better their situation (if it's possible to do so).

    That's kinda what I like about this site. Does give an opportunity to refine your views on things. Hear other ppl's take, and learn from their knowledge/expertise (if applicable) in certain areas. Also, to get shot down occasionally, for talking bollocks - which does help you to review which of your ideas will fly or not, lol.
     
  15. Joll

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    I was talking mainly about the broad principle rather than specific policies. Encouraging business and not totally clamping down and promoting the state first (as old Labour used to do) - but also, not putting business and capitalism before the needs of people, as Thatcherism tended to do. Just finding a balance (whatever that is) between the two considerations.

    Lowering corporation tax to make the UK more attractive to foreign investors, protecting the city from too many onerous regulations - while at the same time, providing enough regulation to protect workers, and protect against abuses such as the sub-prime hoo-hah, and the excesses that caused the credit crisis.

    Maybe most govs try to balance the two anyway - but Labour/Tories do seem to traditionally swing too heavily one way, which leaves the opposite end of society compromised.

    Your Halifax example is a good one. Does the head of Halifax really appreciate what it's like to be one of his own workers, and earn their wages? My bro used to work at Barclays, and some bigwig popped in to explain they were now the leading bank in the UK - and how profits had soared, etc (but only because they dumped a load of workers, paid the lowest wage possible, and made ppl survive on a skeleton staff, whilst doing jobs which would normally have taken 3 ppl to do them because may centres were shut down, and the work put onto exiting centres with no increase in workforce). Gits.
     
    #15 Joll, Oct 20, 2010
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  16. Joll

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    I guess that's pretty sensible. Altho, what happens when you end up constantly sending aid to places (such as Africa), where the situation needs to change before the problems precipitating the poverty/famine can be resolved? Unless you intervene at some point, the aid doesn't really fix things.

    I know that's not really a military issue (and not really in the same vein as Zimbabwe or Iraq) - but I'm not sure these things are fixable by aid and NGOs alone...and not sure they can be ignored either.
     
  17. Jason

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    BIG question!

    * Morality in government. There will always be individuals who behave badly, but collectively the government should seek to act properly.

    * Less government. Very much in favour of a much smaller state with less tax and less intrusion. Libertarianism.

    * Democracy. Governments should seek to reflect the (settled) will of people - even when this will conflicts with what the government thinks is sensible.

    * Sound economics - which in the end means centre-right because these are the economics that work. Without a sound economic framework a government is impotent and anything else it might want to do is just a dream.

    * Freedom of religion.

    * Freedom of judiciary.

    I was very unhappy with the dying days of the UK Labour government. IMO we had a government that was acting without morality. It became increasingly clear that the government - PM and cabinet - had lied to parliament and the people of the UK in order to take us into an illegal war. The David Kelly affair (whether he was driven to suicide or murdered) is an example of what can happen to an individual when morality is lost. The mess in Iraq demonstrates a wider problem. I was unhappy with the creep of intrusive policies under Labour and the constant rise in tax. I was unhappy at Labour's betrayal of the people of the UK in breaking their manifesto promise to hold a referendum on Lisbon. I was unhappy about a set of economic policies which left the UK among the most vulnerable of nations when the economic crisis hit. Labour didn't actually infringe my freedom of religion (though they didn't suport it either) and they weren't actually caught out fiddling the judicial process. But all told I found Labour to be morally unfit for government and I am so thrilled they are out of power.

    The Con-Lib coalition so far is ticking the right boxes. I know it is early days, but so far I am more pleased than I would have thought possible to have a coalition in power. I think right now I've got what I want.
     
  18. piercedjobbie

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    There are several very interesting comments here that I will think about. Aside from that there are some definitive precepts that I have from a political standpoint.
    1. I want the United Sates to survive - emphasis on United - a house divided cannot stand
    2. While I harbor slight isolationist thoughts my main thought is " the best foreign policy is a sound domestic policy - first stated by Gladstone.
    3. The U.S. must develop manufacturing if we are to help the populace gain an acceptable lifestyle
    4. There will always be - among states and the general population - some win/lose scenarios in terms of policy - we must recognize and accept these PROVIDED the policy takes the U.S. forward - not status quo or backward.
    5. The general population needs to learn that a balanced home budget is important and necessary - not political but a message sent.
    6. Politicians should be taken off of their gravy train retirement and put onto Social Security just like the rest of the people. This is not Animal Farm and they are not more equal.
    7. There should be strict term limits to avoid the "in-bred corruption" that epitomizes the DC area.
    8. All unspent campaign funds should be applied to the national debt - no exceptions
    9. All Senate and House votes must be by ballot with no unrecorded by senator or congressperson accepted.
    10. Gerry-mandering should be ruled illegal - politicians are voted in and paid to legislate not to connive ways to stay elected - if you're elected do the job and do not "mess around" at the expense of your constituents.
    11. Politicians must think of country first, state second, and ethics/moral third - yes it is asking a lot from thieves. Please note that party is not mentioned....

    There are more - I've got to clear my head because when I think about the ways the politicians have screwed up the U.S. I get a little upset...to say the least.

    We have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We should expect and accept no less.
     
  19. dandelion

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    You think it threatened? I think the size of the US is the biggest thing going for it. Spanning a continent seems about the right size for an independant political entity these days. When you mention Gladstones domestic policy, was he perhaps at least partly including australia, canada, india and so forth in what he counted as 'domestic'? Quite a big entity, Britain at that time.
    It seems to be going the opposite way. No different in the UK etc. Jobs moving to foreign parts.
    This seems to be contrary to modern economic theory, at least as it understood by politicians who can never bring themselves to pass on bad news.
    I was going to say they are paid relatively modestly in the Uk, comparing them to heads of businesses, and it is true. But on the other hand MPs also pay themselves in the top 5% (maybe 1%?) or so of earners, and this is not justified considering they main perk of the job (power) and the state of those they are supposed to represent.

    I have never agreed with this, maybe because the UK does not have this concept and has a number of examples of good politicians who have made a career of it. The test for holding office should be winning an election and nothing else. Rules need to be about fair play in that election. Nothing wrong with you giving all your friends jobs, just so long as you clearly stated that was your policy.

    The UK needs stricter limits on election expenses, but they are much stricter than those in the US.
    Ought to go without saying. At the moment there is an interesting argument over whether constituencies should be arranged according to the number of people living there or according to the number of people who admit to living there by registering to vote. It ought to be according to the real number.

    I worry about the US putting its own interests first.
     
  20. dandelion

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    then riddle me this one: Tax every family in the country £1000 more each. Spend it on something which returns value to those people: health, environment, education, whatever. Now they have less available income. what do they do? they decide they cannot spend so much on housing and do not offer so much when next they move house. They reduce their annual housing expenditure by £1000. So now every family in the country is paying £1000 less each year on housing. They are all still occupying the same houses. They are getting extra state benefits. Who has lost?

    The one good thing about the kind of system we have where governments deny the right of people to dispute them is that sometimes governments do act against what people believe to be right for them and instead to what really is right. But granted, usually the opposite. For example, one enormous good was joining the EU.

    Well I agree it was an illegal war and a bad thing. However I also believe it was entered into with good intentions and equally important that the conservatives would very likely have done the same. You are again trying to make a political point out of a general one applying to all politicians. The UK has a general policy from all governments to go along slavishly with the US. In this particular case it seems Blair honestly believed it was for the good of the Iraqi people to get rid of Sadam. They didnt mind getting rid of Sadam (most of them) but little or no thought was given to what they wanted to happen next. Rapidly they started shooting at the invaders.

    Tut Tut- cameron did exactly the same and he is still in office!

    The policies which received universal cross party support (well a few liberals disagreed). I agree that controls on the financial sector were woefully lax and this has not been fixed. This lack includes inadequate control on what they do as well as insufficient taxation/control of their arbitrarily big profits.

    Iraq is an excellent example of what happens when you intervene to rid people of tyrants, which is what is usually the problem. They hate you for it unless you very quickly stop behaving like a tyrant yourself, and that may not be possible.

    Time we learnt the UK cannot compete on low wages and increased minimum wage to a level UK people are willing to take the jobs. All we do by having a low mimimum wage is encourage foreigners to come here and do jobs we refuse.
     
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