On Presidentialism

While writing and thinking about the democratic legitimacy of the Referendum, I discovered the work of Juan J Linz. On, my article, Dictators & Plebiscites, I had been pointed at Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe a review by Fukiyama of Linz & Stepan’s revised work on Autocracy, which was also referenced by Qvortrup, Here is a mirror, on this site. The Fukiyama piece is very short and more of a plug than a review. I found the Linz paper, and here are further notes on Presidentialism and Parliaments. Continue reading “On Presidentialism”

On the fitness of Keith Vaz

Over the summer of 2019, Keith Vaz reused his medical condition to have decisions of Labour’ NEC Disputes Committee reviewed. It’s not the first time and raises the question of whether you can be partially sick. Obviously in employment, one can be recommended ‘light duties’ or employers can be made to make “reasonable adjustments” in the case of disability. How should these be applied to MPs? Here are my notes and links on the Vaz cas. …  Continue reading “On the fitness of Keith Vaz”

FOI

I need to write an FOI request, I have Heather Brooke’s book and checked the ICO FOI page. Heather is probably best known in this country as the journalist who used the FOI Act to break the MPs expenses story. She later wrote a book about how to use the Act, called “Your Right to Know, A Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act”, available from Pluto here, otherwise google it! The book contains some template letters which I propose to use. See below/overleaf … Continue reading “FOI”

Hayes & Harlington 1983

Wikipedia’s article on the 1983 election asks for citations where the SDP/Liberal vote allowed Tories to win seats on a plurality. Interestingly their page on Hayes & Harlington shows this and although it’s a seat where an SDP defector tried to hold the seat, the Tory vote is virtually unchanged and yet they won it in 1983. Labour, where a “campaigning comrade” of mine, I grew up in the area, stood for Labour only got ~375 votes more than the incumbent SDP candidate.  Continue reading “Hayes & Harlington 1983”

The Socialist International

One of the issues raised while considering Venezuela, is the suggestion that since Jose Guaido’s party, Voluntad Popular is a member of the Socialist International, Labour Party member’s should be supporting him and his party; interestingly the Labour Party is no longer a full member of the SI, having downgraded its membership in favour of the Progressive Alliance, which sort of means something else in the UK.

I’d like to find out why and still love the badge.

I was pointed at The Slow Death of the Socialist International which deals with the history of the SI and describes the split which occurred in 2012. In the words of Jack Black, long story short, the European social democrats became unhappy with a number of recent affiliates, questioning their commitment to democracy and social democracy or socialism and lost the General Secretary election in 2012. The author seems unimpressed with where both organisations have ended up. I can see why.