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Should the UK leave the European Union?

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Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 » March 27th, 2019, 7:29 am

"What do you think of the show so far?" seems like a not-unreasonable question to ask the electorate.

Jklint
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Jklint » March 27th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 7:28 am
It's looking now as though a second referendum is actually a distinct possibility...
Perhaps it's important to remember that it would actually be a third referendum. The first one was in 1975, when the EC (as it was then called) was less of a political union than it is now. One reason for the second referendum in 2016 was that the situation changed. So one reason for a third referendum is that it has changed again. I don't think many people, three years ago, predicted that we would be in the position we're in now, 2 days before the original leave date.
No it hasn't really changed. It's just that the consequences of leaving have been further analyzed since the referendum and those who voted YES are far less confident now. Would the public even know what leaving would entail? They are much more likely to be informed by propaganda than actual fact. It shouldn't even have come to a referendum. If politicians and so-called experts have a hard time deciding of what value is public opinion?

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 » March 28th, 2019, 6:11 am

Jklint wrote:No it hasn't really changed. It's just that the consequences of leaving have been further analyzed since the referendum and those who voted YES are far less confident now....
Yes, true, the nature of the EU itself hasn't changed significantly in the 3 years since the second referendum on membership, but, as you say, the consequences of that vote have begun to unfold.
If politicians and so-called experts have a hard time deciding of what value is public opinion?
I think this is an illustration of the value of representative democracy over direct control by the public on specific issues. Very few of us are specialists in the subjects on which we're called to vote and, as you've said here, even the specialists have trouble on complex issues. That's why, when we vote for/against representatives rather than individual policies, we (ideally) assess the ability of those representatives to make judgements about policy issues. We expect, and hope, that they will use the judgement for which we have elected them.

But obviously this system of elected human representatives is also a long, long way from being perfect!

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Jklint » March 29th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 6:11 am
That's why, when we vote for/against representatives rather than individual policies, we (ideally) assess the ability of those representatives to make judgements about policy issues. We expect, and hope, that they will use the judgement for which we have elected them.
What's uber-surprising for me is how a single referendum can be denoted as the final decision on an issue so complex. Whenever plans are made on any egregiously difficult subject one would expect further refinements and amendments to follow. Even politics can sometimes be as theoretical as science never knowing for certain if the future will confirm the merits of a seemingly well thought out plan. Referendums, being mostly improvisations of public feeling, are rarely thought out subject to disinformation by opposing sides based on what seems most suitable to individuals or specific occupations.

But fate is fickle. Leaving may still turn out to be the right decision regardless of how it was determined. This, I imagine, will be less contingent on the eventual success or failure of the UK itself than on the possible decay and dismemberment of the EU. If the latter instead holds up and becomes more entrenched as a union then the UK will regret its efforts to leave with a near zero possibility of reentering.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 30th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Jklint wrote:
March 29th, 2019, 5:49 pm
But fate is fickle. Leaving may still turn out to be the right decision regardless of how it was determined.
I find it odd that so many people KNOW that it is bad or KNOW that it is good. What a complex set of complex processes. I see no concession by either side that there is anything good about the opposite position. And since the anti-brexit side posits itself as the one using reason against emotions or bad values, I suppose I find that aspect, just that aspect, more embarrassing for them.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Jklint » March 30th, 2019, 8:45 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 6:21 pm
Jklint wrote:
March 29th, 2019, 5:49 pm
But fate is fickle. Leaving may still turn out to be the right decision regardless of how it was determined.
I find it odd that so many people KNOW that it is bad or KNOW that it is good. What a complex set of complex processes. I see no concession by either side that there is anything good about the opposite position. And since the anti-brexit side posits itself as the one using reason against emotions or bad values, I suppose I find that aspect, just that aspect, more embarrassing for them.
That's just it. For or against, each side fails to see what the merits of the other side may be ending in a majority which isn't properly informed having the final say. Referendums may be acceptable as input - where more than one would be mandatory to average it out with new information resulting in an amended assessment - but never as a single deciding factor. The first conclusions drawn from any highly complex situation are usually the ones with the least authority but in this case given full credence to be acted upon. Whatever the merits of this decision will be, pro or con, will be decided not only by what happens in the UK but also in the EU.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Rederic » March 31st, 2019, 8:42 am

If a referendum were called next week on the restoration of capital punishment I'm sure that it would be a narrow vote in favour. Despite evidence that cp does not deter murder, people's need for revenge would overcome logic.

I think that something like this happened during the EU referendum. Some people's lives were so badly affected by austerity that they felt the need to strike out against authority. The EU, for years, had had a very bad press and the propaganda worked.
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 3rd, 2019, 6:20 am

Rederic wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 8:42 am
If a referendum were called next week on the restoration of capital punishment I'm sure that it would be a narrow vote in favour. Despite evidence that cp does not deter murder, people's need for revenge would overcome logic.
Though that's only one reason people want the death penalty, others want revenge, eye for an eye. I think it galls some people that the state keeps someone alive, at high expense, who killed someone else. (note: I am against the death penalty). And this means then, that what we have is not so democratic. IOW the people want the wrong things, is the core of the argument. Further those opposed to the death penalty have arguments that must, in part be based on emotion-laden values. We cannot use logic alone to determine something like capital punishment.
I think that something like this happened during the EU referendum. Some people's lives were so badly affected by austerity that they felt the need to strike out against authority. The EU, for years, had had a very bad press and the propaganda worked.
I think this is probably right. It could be despite this that the decision was a good one though reached via the wrong reasons by most of those who voted for it.

In most elections politicians spend a lot of time trying to get people to vote for themselves or against other based on poor reasoning and emotions. Ever representative democracy is primarily based on messing around with the public's emotions.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 » April 5th, 2019, 10:00 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I find it odd that so many people KNOW that it is bad or KNOW that it is good. What a complex set of complex processes. I see no concession by either side that there is anything good about the opposite position. And since the anti-brexit side posits itself as the one using reason against emotions or bad values, I suppose I find that aspect, just that aspect, more embarrassing for them.
Once people have decided which side of an argument on which to come down, it's generally very, very difficult to admit that there are any merits to the other side, because it is usually seen as a sign of lack of courage in one's convictions or weakness in one's arguments.

Remember, for example, the reaction before the 2016 referendum when Jeremy Corbyn was asked the extent to which he supported UK membership of the EU, and he said he gave the EU 7 or 71/2 out of 10?

If you don't think that every idea in the world is either wonderful or terrible, with nothing in between, you're an indecisive fence-sitter. As philosophers we can afford that. For politicians it's very costly.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 12th, 2019, 1:57 am

Steve3007 wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 10:00 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I find it odd that so many people KNOW that it is bad or KNOW that it is good. What a complex set of complex processes. I see no concession by either side that there is anything good about the opposite position. And since the anti-brexit side posits itself as the one using reason against emotions or bad values, I suppose I find that aspect, just that aspect, more embarrassing for them.
Once people have decided which side of an argument on which to come down, it's generally very, very difficult to admit that there are any merits to the other side, because it is usually seen as a sign of lack of courage in one's convictions or weakness in one's arguments.

Remember, for example, the reaction before the 2016 referendum when Jeremy Corbyn was asked the extent to which he supported UK membership of the EU, and he said he gave the EU 7 or 71/2 out of 10?

If you don't think that every idea in the world is either wonderful or terrible, with nothing in between, you're an indecisive fence-sitter. As philosophers we can afford that. For politicians it's very costly.
Good points. Odd, though, since many people have issues they are not sure about. Perhaps less than they are will to notice, but I am sure a good interviewer could find and reveal them. You'd think we would grant politicians the same leeway. I notice the same issue, often, even on philosophy forums. There are fewer concessions than there should be. I would love to see more often statements like 'Hm, I still think you are wrong, but that's an interesting point. Let me come back to it when I have figured out the problem with it, if I can.'

But I also don't want to let the politicians off the hook, because not allowing for nuance alienates people. WE can blame racism or whatever, but I think a lot of creation of radical distrust is precisely because politicians lie by omission as a rule. And people are right to notice this. NOw what they do with this correct observation, well, that can be very problematic. But blaming the people lied to is a self-serving distraction - though, of course, partly correct.

It's pretty much a basic skill in relationships - friendships, marriages..- to acknowledge complexity, not being sure, not knowing. It has incredible power to reduce conflicts to manageable levels. And it even feels good to do it. We are often afraid that we then have to give up. But we don't. I have many times said essentially 'That's a good point, but right now I am so pissed off I just think it is your fault.' IOW I am in the middle of a process. Some of my thinky mind notices she, in the case, just made sense in a way I don't like but sense. But I am not there emotionally. One can also acknowledge that yes, going out would be nice because of X, but I want to relax because of Y. And so on.

In a sense this problem is bigger than all the problems that we make issues around, like Brexit. It should be the first priority...noticing this, and discussing how to fix it, in relationships and also on the political level.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 12th, 2019, 2:11 am

Jklint wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 8:45 pm
That's just it. For or against, each side fails to see what the merits of the other side may be ending in a majority which isn't properly informed having the final say. Referendums may be acceptable as input - where more than one would be mandatory to average it out with new information resulting in an amended assessment - but never as a single deciding factor. The first conclusions drawn from any highly complex situation are usually the ones with the least authority but in this case given full credence to be acted upon. Whatever the merits of this decision will be, pro or con, will be decided not only by what happens in the UK but also in the EU.
I see the same thing happen via representative democracy, iow when politicians follow party lines, special interests, corporate 'requests'. I see not the slightest freedom from binary thinking as a rule there either.

As an US cit, living in Europe, I am wary of the centralization of government. I see these behemoth governments as unweildy and in fact, in the long run, much easier to control via lobbying and other corporate legal and illegal manipulation. More degrees of separation, less accountability. It's a tricky situation since there are other behemoths out there and this gives the EU more clout for its members. On the other hand it allows for the problem of only seeing one side of things to happen internationally. Europe will move and decide as a block, more and more. That looks nice, at least to some, because of how Brussels has acted so far, but in the longer term I think it is very problematic. This is not me raising the debate yet again, but rather saying that ironically a centralized government is more like a referendum than separate EU nations. Admittedly those making the referendums will be politicians who presumably are better educated and have access to more information, but with my experience in the US, they are much more easily bought. And have a much, much, much easier time going to war as a nation.

Now states rights is almost a code for racism, but a more complicated organism in the US, even just around the issue of going to war, would have improved the last few decades worldwide immensely. It would be much harder to create the illusion of consensus amongst politicians or the United States. Now Washington, and just a tiny bit of it, can go to war, then ask for money to support the troops and look like 'we' decided. And it's actually worse than this. The President has his own (specifically allotted ) army (a very large well armed set of units) and it does engage internationally, and not rarely.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Mark1955 » May 15th, 2019, 11:57 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
April 12th, 2019, 2:11 am
there are other behemoths out there and this gives the EU more clout for its members.
Does it though, when did the EU get something becaue of it's 'clout' and if it did should it. Trade is about co-operation not bullying, becaseu that's what 'clout' ammounts to. Lots of very small nations have very good trade relationships with very big nations. One I'm aware of through family connections is NZ/China. NZ didn't get that through 'clout' they got it because they can supply things China wants at a good price. The US and China both have 'clout' and look where that's getting them using it.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by aveenire » May 21st, 2019, 10:07 pm

others can take precedence. In the UK, regional identifies can, in my experience, often take precedence. Especially for people from Yorkshire!

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 » May 26th, 2019, 9:40 am

Especially for people from Yorkshire!
In my direct, personal experience this is very true.

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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 » May 26th, 2019, 9:47 am

Mark1955 wrote:...The US and China both have 'clout' and look where that's getting them using it.
At this stage it seems to be difficult to tell for sure where it's getting them. So once that question is answered, I suppose we'll have some evidence to help us try to answer the question of whether size and "clout" are advantages in trade negotiations. Obviously Trump very publicly, plainly and clearly thinks that they are. And he is convinced that since the US has the largest economy in the world it's a simple matter of the number of chips he holds in the great global poker game that the US will (as he puts it) "win" the various trade wars he's fighting. As I said, whether he's right we'll probably find out quite soon. But I think his keenness on Brexit is easily understood in these terms. Divide and conquer.

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