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Thread: Brexit - The End of the United Kingdom?

  1. #361
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    Fly's 4 options are all plausible but each poses problems.

    Opinion poll results will reflect the bias of the pollster's client so are likely to be volatile.

    Declared faith isn't directly matched to voting. And recent evidence (EG Abortion Referendum) suggests people are giving up faith in large number. If you're simply using Catholic as shorthand for Nationalist, why not count the Nat vote in an election or 2. They're still pretty frequent despite loss of Stormont...

  2. #362
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    So would it be within the Assembly, those returned to it in a GE or a vote taken within it at some stage, which would set this in motion ?

  3. #363
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    There will prob be a British General Election before Xmas this year. A clear rise for Nationalism and/or drop for Unionism and a 2 option border referendum becomes more likely.

    Stormont can't deliver anything while shut, obviously. But if/ when it reopens, a STV election will likely benefit Alliance more than Unionism or Nationalism...

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fly View Post
    The Northern Ireland Act 1998 simply states that “if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland”, the Secretary of State shall make an Order in Council enabling a border poll.
    I think that's actually a problematic phrase - for a referendum to be considered "likely" to pass, I would think there would have to be consistent indicators that the result would be a certain amount above the 50%+1 normally required for a democratic referendum to pass. Does this mean that if there's only a "reasonable possibility" of a referendum passing (polls showing tight preferences, an Assembly split between Unionists on one side and Nationalists and the Alliance on the other), the Secretary of State could decide not to hold a Referendum at all?

  5. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by samhaydenjr View Post
    the 50%+1 normally required for a democratic referendum to pass
    Problematic phrase alert

    Referenda often require a threshold higher than 50%+1, for good reasons. To ensure that the result will be widely accepted, hasn't been affected by force majeure/ freak weather etc., or can't immediately be contradicted by a poll or even an election.

    If we assume that the Unionist vote remains in at least gradual decline, what's the problem in waiting until pro-UI is clearly greater than say 55%?

    Does this mean that if there's only a "reasonable possibility" of a referendum passing (polls showing tight preferences, an Assembly split between Unionists on one side and Nationalists and the Alliance on the other), the Secretary of State could decide not to hold a Referendum at all?
    Yes, and such a decision would be recognised as rational, including by parties in the South. Whatever Sinn Fein gurn in response.

    That's even before you consider the possibility that a future Brit viceroy/ stooge might be even dimmer/ lazier/ more unwell? than the hapless Karen Bradley...

  6. #366
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    You can have 50% +1, 55%, 65%, 90%, but there will always be an element of North Ireland's population who will not accept unification under any circumstances. Among the many difficult conversations to have about unification is what to do about those people if a vote is won.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  7. #367
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    If that minority is 49% of the population of NI you delay unity. If it's 4.9% you can probably assume grudging acceptance.

  8. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Fly's 4 options are all plausible but each poses problems.

    Opinion poll results will reflect the bias of the pollster's client so are likely to be volatile.
    I think the point here is more about consistent majorities in polls and I assume this involves the results from different polling companies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Declared faith isn't directly matched to voting. And recent evidence (EG Abortion Referendum) suggests people are giving up faith in large number. The abortion referendum almost certainly indicates that. If you're simply using Catholic as shorthand for Nationalist, why not count the Nat vote in an election or 2. They're still pretty frequent despite loss of Stormont...
    I'm just using it because Catholic (and Protestant) are still the most useful umbrella terms for each respective cultural/tribal affiliation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Problematic phrase alert

    Referenda often require a threshold higher than 50%+1, for good reasons. To ensure that the result will be widely accepted, hasn't been affected by force majeure/ freak weather etc., or can't immediately be contradicted by a poll or even an election.

    If we assume that the Unionist vote remains in at least gradual decline, what's the problem in waiting until pro-UI is clearly greater than say 55%?
    Because that involves another problematic phrase; a 'Unionist veto'.
    Last edited by The Fly; 06/10/2019 at 10:34 PM.

  9. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fly View Post
    I think the point here is more about consistent majorities in polls and I assume this involves the results from different polling companies
    Two or three separate but simultaneous polls might give quite different levels of majority, depending on how the question is put. Such results wouldn't be consistent.

    I'm just using it because Catholic (and Protestant) are still the most useful umbrella terms for each respective cultural/tribal affiliation
    Disagree. Nationalist and Unionist have always been better; even they are less comprehensive than they were when more than 20% vote Alliance etc.; and as I mentioned above it's obvious that large sections of the population- young and old- are simply uninterested in religion, let alone following it tribally...

    Because that involves another problematic phrase; a 'Unionist veto'
    It doesn't really. There will always be a disaffected minority of (ex) Unionists, as I suggested. If it falls below a critical mass it can be ignored/ sidelined. If it's close to 50%-1 you need to work with it, not just repeat ancient slogans.
    Last edited by Gather round; 08/10/2019 at 2:15 PM.

  10. #370
    First Team The Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Two or three separate but simultaneous polls might give quite different levels of majority, depending on how the question is put. Such results wouldn't be consistent.
    Consistency comes with time; from separate polling conducted over months, or up to a year or more. I doubt a referendum will be called from the kind of snapshot in time that you've described there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Disagree. Nationalist and Unionist have always been better; even they are less comprehensive than they were when more than 20% vote Alliance etc.; and as I mentioned above it's obvious that large sections of the population- young and old- are simply uninterested in religion, let alone following it tribally...
    I'm referring to their overarching use as cultural markers, as opposed to the specific religious aspect. We could be splitting hairs at this point, so if you want to go with Nationalist and Unionist then fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    It doesn't really. There will always be a disaffected minority of (ex) Unionists, as I suggested. If it falls below a critical mass it can be ignored/ sidelined. If it's close to 50%-1 you need to work with it, not just repeat ancient slogans.
    It does in effect, regardless of the supposed merits of a higher threshold.
    Last edited by The Fly; 08/10/2019 at 10:59 PM.

  11. #371
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    Morning Fly, fair points. Just briefly,

    1 Your 'consistency comes with time' and my 'let's wait until every poll shows at least 55%' aren't too far apart?

    2 Apart from the Nat and Uni designations, I try to avoid discussing 'cultural markers'. My culture is basically what it was when I was a teenager- 70s dad rock, football/ cricket and the occasional high-falutin' doc on BBC 4. Nothing to do with languages barely anyone I know can speak, or noxious fumes from a New Lodge bonfire...

    3 Unionists and Nationalists will continue to assume they have a veto as long as a) there are enough of both groups to get an audience and b) that audience is hidebound by your #2

  12. #372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Morning Fly, fair points. Just briefly,

    1 Your 'consistency comes with time' and my 'let's wait until every poll shows at least 55%' aren't too far apart?
    How many miles are we talking about here?

    Seriously though, I get the logic of what you're advocating and it's perhaps sensible in a more normal society. But applied to NI, where two national identities and constitutional positions are in conflict and competition, it provides one side with an effective veto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    2 Apart from the Nat and Uni designations, I try to avoid discussing 'cultural markers'. My culture is basically what it was when I was a teenager- 70s dad rock, football/ cricket and the occasional high-falutin' doc on BBC 4.
    I thought 'dad rock' began in the 80s?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Nothing to do with languages barely anyone I know can speak, or noxious fumes from a New Lodge bonfire...
    It's not on to equate Irish with an accent and a conflagration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    3 Unionists and Nationalists will continue to assume they have a veto as long as a) there are enough of both groups to get an audience and b) that audience is hidebound by your #2
    In other words, why can't everyone just be embrace abstraction and Northern Irishness.
    Last edited by The Fly; 10/10/2019 at 2:36 PM.

  13. #373
    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Well well well, what are the odds of the deal getting through, and if not who will be the ones to scupper it?

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    Doesn't seem like Labour are making positive noises, and with the DUP also deadset against it (seemingly)...

    If BoJo is actually serious about this deal - not at all a sure thing - he presumably has a plan to buy the DUP off, or is hoping to get Corbyn to decide enough is enough on the Brexit issue. I guess we'll see. Not hopeful. Still think the most likely outcome is rejection by Parliament, an extension to hold an election, a Tory/Brexit Party majority and then a no deal exit.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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