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Should the UK be federalised? watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think the UK should be federalised?
    Yes
    6
    50.00%
    No
    4
    33.33%
    Don't know
    2
    16.67%

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    In the wake of the "No" vote on Scottish independence there seems to be growing support for the idea of federalising the UK, especially given there will be a need to change our constitution and political system anyway. It would be a solution to several issues that are rather hot topics at this time such as whether or not to allow Scottish MPs to vote on matter that to not affect Scotland, and the Barnett formaula.
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    As a few figures to go with this:
    When asked "Should Scottish MPs be prevented from voting in the Commons on issues that only affect England, Wales and Northern Ireland?" the results from the whole of the UK were as follow:
    Yes: 58%
    No: 22%
    Don't know: 20%

    When asked "Should the Scottish Parliament be given more powers to raise income tax, borrow money, and decide how much to pay in some state benefits?" The results were:
    Yes: 40%
    No: 38%
    Don't know: 22%

    And when asked "Which of the following statements do you most agree with?" WRT the Barnett formaula, when restricted to just the English (who after all get the worst deal) comes out with:
    Formula should be abolished: 43%
    Formula should be reviewed by independent experts (which imo would lead to abolition): 32%
    Formula should continue: 4%
    None of the above: 3%
    Don't know: 1%


    The way I see it, we're just devolving power to Scotland, and then in turn we will do the same to Wales and Northern Ireland without devolving more power to "ourselves" (that being England). We end up with a relatively undemocratic system where people who are not affected by a policy, being in Scotland, Wales or NI, get to have a say on the policies enacted only in England while similar policies enacted in the outer regions are only determined by the politicians there.

    Extra devolved powers for Scotland will soon enough lead to extra devolved powers for Wales and Northern Ireland. This will then end up leaving some matters being debated in Westminster being purely English matters. Does it not sense just to go for federalisation now while we're already messing? Current constituencies can be left as they are, and
    can be used for the national Parliaments, while much larger constituencies are used for a central government, possibly even considering whole counties or regions (depending on how many people you want in total).
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    I'm in favour of it if there's genuine widespread interest in it - not just the Westminster elites.

    Moreover, a single English Parliament would be a disaster. We might as well just kill the Union now and save time.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Moreover, a single English Parliament would be a disaster. We might as well just kill the Union now and save time.
    Care to elaborate?

    People are quick to dismiss an English parliament as being disastrous for the union, but they never explain why.
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    There was an article in NewScientist last week that said giving more powers to 'local' communities (federal states would certainly be a step towards this) whilst giving more bureaucratic control to larger institutions like the EU is one of the best ways to optimise society's efficiency.
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    I think that a federal system works when you have a country the size of India or America. I don't think that we will get those same economies of scale with the UK; I think that it will make our political system much more inefficient than it already is.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    I'm in favour of it if there's genuine widespread interest in it - not just the Westminster elites.

    Moreover, a single English Parliament would be a disaster. We might as well just kill the Union now and save time.
    If you're saying that a single English Parliament would be a disaster surely you should also be calling for the power devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be returned to Westminster?#

    If it's based on England being bigger than the rest of the constituent parts of the Uk, depending on the course of argument, I can say that surely the UK as a whole shouldn't have a government as it would be disasterous, after all, other members of the EU are smaller than us. And let's take it even further, China shouldn't have a government, it's bigger than us too
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    I can only imagine the gap between London and the rest of the country, which is already frighteningly wide, would lead to an even bigger contrast.
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    No.

    Federalism is a recipe for local nationalism. Federalism is not always good (Wales has fallen back since devolution in health and education). Finally, I dont believe in creating an extra layer of beaurocracy.

    Far better to devolve powers to local city assemblies like London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    I can only imagine the gap between London and the rest of the country, which is already frighteningly wide, would lead to an even bigger contrast.
    I think the bigger issue would be a mini England-London effect whereby the resources of the East Midlands would just concentrate in Nottingham.

    Regional federalism would be great for big cities but for towns like Doncaster it would be the guillotine.
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    (Original post by A Mysterious Lord)
    Care to elaborate?

    People are quick to dismiss an English parliament as being disastrous for the union, but they never explain why.
    England is much further right both socially and economically, additionally it has ten times the population of anywhere else. Wales and NI would also suffer from the slashed funding they'd receive since there subsidy junkies.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    England is much further right both socially and economically, additionally it has ten times the population of anywhere else. Wales and NI would also suffer from the slashed funding they'd receive since there subsidy junkies.
    Ummm.....
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    This is my solution:

    1. We get rid of MSPs. It's a waste of money electing 2 politicians for every constituency in Scotland, Wales and NI.

    2. Instead, we just elect MPs in the general election.

    3. On one day a week, all the MPs elected in Scottish constituencies will sit in Holyrood. All the Welsh and NIrish MPs will sit in their countries. The English MPs will sit in Westminster. This day will be used to debate laws which concern only an individual country. So if Scotland is going to be allowed to vary its coorporation tax independently, so too Englih MPs may debate changing tax in England - for example.

    4. That evening, all MPs travel to London. The next day all MPs from the four countries sit in Westminster and debate any issues which affect the whole UK and pass laws relating to any non-devolved powers.

    5. Politics is fair.


    I mean I'd prefer not having devolution at all - it seems to me to just be a way to keep nationalists happy - but seeing as we're stuck with it and seeing as we're stuck with giving more autonomy to Scotland, I think this is the only solution that is also fair to England. The West Lothian question is solved and rather than electing yet another group of politicians to just represent England, we in fact get rid of a bunch of unnecessary politicians. Each country can still have a first minister based on the largest party in each devolved nation, but when they sit in Westminster they will just be regular MPs.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I think the bigger issue would be a mini England-London effect whereby the resources of the East Midlands would just concentrate in Nottingham.

    Regional federalism would be great for big cities but for towns like Doncaster it would be the guillotine.
    Agreed. West Midlands would focus on Birmingham and it would prove to be detrimental to Rugby, Daventry, Coventry, Leamington, Warwick, Stratford etc.
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    (Original post by A Mysterious Lord)
    Care to elaborate?

    People are quick to dismiss an English parliament as being disastrous for the union, but they never explain why.
    I've said elsewhere, but sure:

    An English Parliament separate from the UK one would, in effect, govern the Union. It's a) too similar and b) too powerful - it controls 85% of the country, both demographically and economically, as well as a big heap of its geography.

    No federal democracy has survived with a constituent state being so huge.

    It's clear what could well happen: the UK government attempts to do something, and the English Parliament objects (say, cutting spending). The UK government would be powerless to stop it. Moreover, its sheer size has enormous knock-on effects on the other countries of the Union, but they are so tiny England barely feels any changes they make.

    It would, in essence, highlight how English the Union is, and accelerate us towards its dismemberment.

    The Union has always survived through Englishness being self-restrained and underhand.

    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    If you're saying that a single English Parliament would be a disaster surely you should also be calling for the power devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be returned to Westminster?#
    Assuming that our ultimate goal here is to ensure the Union survives, then no - they want more local powers within the Union, so they must get them. Without them, the recent referendum would have gone YES, easily.

    If it's based on England being bigger than the rest of the constituent parts of the Uk, depending on the course of argument, I can say that surely the UK as a whole shouldn't have a government as it would be disasterous, after all, other members of the EU are smaller than us. And let's take it even further, China shouldn't have a government, it's bigger than us too
    Erm, what?
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    (Original post by gladders)
    I've said elsewhere, but sure:

    An English Parliament separate from the UK one would, in effect, govern the Union. It's a) too similar and b) too powerful - it controls 85% of the country, both demographically and economically, as well as a big heap of its geography.

    No federal democracy has survived with a constituent state being so huge.
    There are ones with similarly large differences between the largest and smallest states, in Argentina you get Buenos Aries with a population well over 100 times the population of the smallest, and makes up a very large portion of the population. Brazil as well has this massive disparity, and Canada, and Malaysia, and Russia; and then most other federal democracies have a similar issues where, by your logic, a very small number of constituent states hold all the power.

    It's clear what could well happen: the UK government attempts to do something, and the English Parliament objects (say, cutting spending). The UK government would be powerless to stop it. Moreover, its sheer size has enormous knock-on effects on the other countries of the Union, but they are so tiny England barely feels any changes they make.
    I'm not quite sure if you understand how it works...


    Assuming that our ultimate goal here is to ensure the Union survives, then no - they want more local powers within the Union, so they must get them. Without them, the recent referendum would have gone YES, easily.
    So we should discriminate against the majority?



    Erm, what?
    Well, since England is too big to have its own government, then clearly most nations are
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    There are ones with similarly large differences between the largest and smallest states, in Argentina you get Buenos Aries with a population well over 100 times the population of the smallest, and makes up a very large portion of the population. Brazil as well has this massive disparity, and Canada, and Malaysia, and Russia; and then most other federal democracies have a similar issues where, by your logic, a very small number of constituent states hold all the power.
    But in none of those countries does one of those states constitute an overwhelming portion of the Union. The other States, if it came to it, could easily outvote the largest, and even the largest needs some allies in order to overcome the others. England by itself it unstoppable within our Union, and it's quite a unique arrangement in a democracy.

    I'm not quite sure if you understand how it works...
    I understand it quite well, thanks.

    So we should discriminate against the majority?
    No, we shouldn't; but we should always be mindful that we are not working in a vacuum, and that the goal is preservation of the Union to the benefit of all the constituent nations, not simply benefiting England at the cost of the others, or vice versa, and expecting the Union to stand despite the drastic change in balance of power.

    Well, since England is too big to have its own government, then clearly most nations are
    But they aren't enormous countries within unions. England can have its own government, but first a) it would be virtually indistinguishable from the Union government and b) would almost certainly end up causing the Union to end.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    I can only imagine the gap between London and the rest of the country, which is already frighteningly wide, would lead to an even bigger contrast.
    But at the same time it would greatly facilitate England declaring its independence from London, and I genuinely believe an English Parliament would quickly come to consist of visceral opposition to the London oligarchy, with a South-East faction on the back foot against a coalition of provincials.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    But at the same time it would greatly facilitate England declaring its independence from London, and I genuinely believe an English Parliament would quickly come to consist of visceral opposition to the London oligarchy, with a South-East faction on the back foot against a coalition of provincials.
    Really doubt that. They haven't managed it in alliance with the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish - I doubt they'd be any more successful by themselves. An English Parliament would barely decentralise power.

    It's also difficult to discern a scenario in which a UK Parliament and an English one could coexist without enormous confusion about the two. Historically and constitutionally, the Union Parliament is really the old English one with Scots, Welsh, and NI MPs tacked on. An English Parliament would constitute torn loyalties among the English - an almost clone.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    But in none of those countries does one of those states constitute an overwhelming portion of the Union. The other States, if it came to it, could easily outvote the largest, and even the largest needs some allies in order to overcome the others. England by itself it unstoppable within our Union, and it's quite a unique arrangement in a democracy.
    No more so than the current system, so how is it that a system that is at least slightly more democratic is not a better system?



    No, we shouldn't; but we should always be mindful that we are not working in a vacuum, and that the goal is preservation of the Union to the benefit of all the constituent nations, not simply benefiting England at the cost of the others, or vice versa, and expecting the Union to stand despite the drastic change in balance of power.
    In which case you surely should be supporting either the devolution of power to England, whether it be to regions (which failed first time round in all but London, in the North East when they finally held a referendum it was a resounding no, and the other 7 regions eventually canceled).


    But they aren't enormous countries within unions. England can have its own government, but first a) it would be virtually indistinguishable from the Union government and b) would almost certainly end up causing the Union to end.
    And if you really take offense to the idea of the whole of England having it's won government, then why not regional governments? You wouldn't have this issue that offends you so, and the majority wouldn't be being, for want of a better term, discriminated against.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I think the bigger issue would be a mini England-London effect whereby the resources of the East Midlands would just concentrate in Nottingham.

    Regional federalism would be great for big cities but for towns like Doncaster it would be the guillotine.
    Except, to me, it actually seems better. Surely, what you would be getting now is all that is congregating in London, and then some out to the likes of Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham etc. What you would have then is some of that being sucked into London instead going to the aforementioned cities, and then more going to the smaller towns and cities.
 
 
 
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