Tag Archives: House of Commons

What UK Prime Minister David Cameron will do, and an extra thing that he should do

CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22
CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22

Here’s an article from the radically leftist UK Independent, which is furious with the Conservative Party victory in Thursday’s national elections.

In it, they explain what Cameron intends to do:

David Cameron will use the Conservative Party’s first majority in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years to “deliver” on a radical agenda to cut welfare, shrink the size of the state and re-define Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Conservative insiders said Mr Cameron would move to the right to consolidate support among his backbench MPs after five years of compromise with the Liberal Democrats.

Among Mr Cameron’s first legislative priorities will be to enshrine an EU referendum into law, bring in the so-called ‘snoopers charter’ to give police greater powers to monitor internet communications and give English MPs a veto over legislation only affecting England.  The Tories also intend to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act within their first 100 days. All proposals had been previously blocked by the Lib Dems.

I always think of the UK as the biggest dupes when it comes to global warming, especially after the Climategate e-mails came out showing that that there was a concerted effort to falsify data and persecute global warming skeptics. But, like Canada’s Conservative Party, the UK Conservative Party is taking a stand against the pseudo-science.

Look:

As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation. These are likely to form a key part of the spending review. The review has been made more difficult by Mr Cameron’s late and unexpected election pledge to find an extra £8bn for the NHS. This has yet to be funded and if the Tories stick to their other tax and spending commitments could require further cuts. Most senior Tories had expected to be negotiating another coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats, giving them the flexibility to raise taxes to fund their additional spending commitments. As it is they are now bound to implement legislation binding the Government not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT rates for the next five years.

Quangos are “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations”. Abolishing or merging these will put a serious dent in government over-spending – and overreach.

The Democratic Unionist Party factor

Cameron would do well to add the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to his coalition. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan says that “On immigration, on constitutional reform, on defence, on Europe, on rural issues, on education, on law and order, the DUP is, well, conservative.”The Conservatives need 323 seats to govern. They have 331 by themselves, and 8 more would help them in case there are any rebellions from within their own ranks. If he can get the lone UKIP member on board, that would help too, giving him a majority of 340.

More about the DUP:

The DUP bills itself as “right-wing in the sense of being strong on the constitution”, but “to the left on social policy”. The party’s members show a strong leaning towards the Conservatives, Professor Jonathan Tonge notes, backing them by a ratio of seven to one over Labour. The DUP also back the Conservatives on areas like Europe, with Nigel Dodds insisting that any coalition they are involved in would need to offer an EU referendum.

[…]The DUP, which has close links to the Dr Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, has frequently sparked controversy for how it discusses homosexuality. This has led to David Cameron facing tough questions earlier this month during a Q&A when one audience member wanted him to vow not to go into coalition with the DUP because of its views on LGBT rights, something he refused to rule out.

[…]The DUP also oppose the right of women to an abortion, with Jim Wells saying it should be ruled out for rape victims. The party has also called for a parliamentary debate on resinstating the death penalty.

It sounds like they are even further right than Cameron, which is good, because Cameron is what Americans would call a RINO.

Give Scotland enough rope to hang itself

But the most important thing for Cameron to do is to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy.

This is even something that the SNP leader wants:

Nicola Sturgeon was forced to admit in the second Scottish leaders’ debate that her MPs would be prepared to vote next year for full fiscal autonomy, which according to experts would make Scotland £7.6 billion worse off.

[…]In March, she suggested it might not happen straightaway as she faced claims it would cost almost 140,000 jobs and leave Scotland with a higher deficit than Spain.

[…]It would mean Scotland opting out of the Barnett Formula which currently sets Scotland’s public spending block grant, and gives Scots around £1,200 extra per head.

[…]In March, Ms Sturgeon dismissed warnings from the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that her general election demand for full fiscal autonomy would create a multi-billion pound financial black hole in Scotland’s finances.

Daniel Hannan thinks this would be a great idea:

Commentators struggle to explain the rise of the SNP: why, seven months after rejecting separation, should Scots turn to the separatist party? Those commentators miss the point. The SNP knows fine well (as Scots say) that opinion has not moved on the independence issue. Nicola Sturgeon had to keep promising that there’d be no re-run of the vote.

No, the SNP is better understood as Scotland’s version of Greece’s Syriza or Spain’s Podemos – a far-Left, populist insurgency. Like those parties, it has a touching belief in its ability to conjure wealth through alchemy.

[…]There is a very weak link in Scotland between taxation, representation and expenditure. Because of the Barnett Formula, Scottish politicians get to spend money that has been raised through taxation elsewhere. This incentivises their constituents to vote for high-spending parties. Over time, that tendency has become self-reinforcing to the extent that the very act of calling for fiscal restraint is seen as alien, un-Scottish.

Not all Scots are on the Left, obviously. There are some free-marketeers in the land of Adam Smith. But the prevailing assumption among Holyrood politicians and pundits is that higher spending is a defining national characteristic. They don’t use those words, of course. They say, “We’re a compassionate, fair-minded people”. But it’s what they mean.

What can be done about it? Well, the SNP demands full fiscal autonomy, and David Cameron should hurry to meet that demand. Partly because linking taxation to expenditure north of the border might allow a revival, over time, of Right-of-Centre politics in Scotland. Partly because the measure will also be popular with English taxpayers. Partly, too, because, without such a reform, separatism will revive. And partly because greater autonomy for Scotland could bring about a new, devolved settlement for the entire United Kingdom, something that is long overdue. Mainly, though, because most Scots say they want it, and the SNP has won an unarguable mandate. What are we waiting for?

The Scottish electorate – by and large – make Greek socialists like Tsipras / Syriza appear fiscally prudent. They need to find out how economics works the hard way. Let them make their own decisions, and maybe when they are picking leaves off of trees to feed themselves in a few years, they will come to their senses and be ready to deal. It’s very important for people who are led by their feelings and who pursue dreams against reality to crash and burn, so that they understand the value of practical people who have worked hard, saved and played by the rules.

The Scots are voting for slogans like “stop austerity” without any idea of how difficult working and saving really is for taxpayers, of which there are precious few in Scotland. Let them face the consequences of their own folly, and then come back to the negotiating table with a weaker hand, just as Greece is doing now. Maybe if Cameron does this in the UK, it will inspire Harper to do the same with Quebec in Canada. Just give Quebec full fiscal autonomy and then cut off the equalization payments that allow them to live far beyond their means. Make them grow up.

One thing is for sure. The UK electorate (aside from Scotland and Wales) has impressed me. This is the beginning of a period of liberty, prosperity and security for the UK, and I for one am envious that they are getting a head start on it, while we have to wait another year and a half before we join them by electing a Republican president, and holding the House and Senate.

Margaret Thatcher explains conservatism in the House of Commons

These are from Luanne, she’s been posting Margaret Thatcher clips all week on Facebook.

Margaret Thatcher on socialism:

Margaret Thatcher on public works:

Margaret Thatcher on wealth inequalities:

If you are not already my friend on Facebook, then please friend me. Facebook is the place where you can get to know me more as a person. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper wins a majority

Stephen Harper Wins Majority
Stephen Harper Wins Majority

You can see the latest Canadian election results here on the Sun News Network.

The Conservatives won 167 seats in the House of Commons. They needed 155 for a majority of the 308 seats.

From the Vancouver Sun.

Excerpt:

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has emerged from the election campaign as a much more powerful prime minister and will lead a majority government with four years to change the country.

At a rally of his supporters here, Conservatives cheered and celebrated Monday as the results rolled in from throughout the country, confirming that Canadians, in large numbers, had given Harper the trust he had sought in the five-week campaign.

As the evening wore on, Harper’s party was coming within striking distance of reaching the benchmark threshold — 155 seats — they needed for a majority. When the Tories crossed that threshold, a great cheer erupted in the hall here in Calgary where supporters had gathered to celebrate and listen to Harper’s speech.

The Conservatives success came as the NDP made historic gains at the expense of the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois, which saw their popular vote drop as they lost seats.

In recent days on the hustings, Harper had portrayed the election as having historic consequences for the country. In addition, his own personal future was at stake.

It was clear that with a majority victory, Harper will be regarded by historians as a political success story who united the political right in Canada.

He will have a four-year mandate to implement significant change in areas ranging from tax policy, to the criminal justice system, to foreign affairs.

Here’s the reaction to the Harper victory from businesses and investors.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won for a third time the leadership of Canada, in a stunning vote which changed the country’s political landscape.

As the ballot counting wore on over six times zones and more than 5,000 miles from Atlantic to Pacific, Harper won his great aim, a majority government after two minorities in 2006 and 2008. The television networks declared his majority victory well before 11 p.m. ET. The Conservatives may have won 160 to 165 seats when 155 are needed for a majority in the 308-seat House of Commons.

While a Conservative victory again was always considered quite possible, the countrys political landscape was altered in three stunning ways:

The New Democratic Party, a rump group of social democrats in the 41st Parliament with 36 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons, surged into becoming the chief opposition party in the 42nd Parliament with about 105 to 108 seats.

The former chief opposition party, the historically great Liberal Party of Canada, the government of the country for more than 100 years of Canada’s 144 years since Confederation of separate British colonies into one nation, sunk to a very poor third with perhaps 30 seats. Michael Ignatieff, who became Liberal leader exactly two years earlier to the date, was looking to lose his Toronto-area seat.

The Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party from the French-speaking province of Quebec, was wiped out by the surging NDP, from 47 of Quebec’s 75 seats to perhaps two seats.

While the social democrats in the new Democratic party hold a powerful position in the House of Commons, the Conservatives with their majority will enforce a program which by and large is what foreign and domestic business and investors prefer.

The Conservatives will bring back a budget which was lost in the last Parliament when the election intervened 36 days ago, and will continue with a further tax cut for corporations, but a reduction in spending it said would bring back balance during 2014, erasing the federal budget deficit the Conservatives created after 11 years of Liberal government-created surpluses.

Prime Minister Harper campaigned for a majority saying his Conservatives were the prudent economic managers while the others were “tax and spend” parties. He will keep the same course. Economists have said that they see no significant changes in deficit reduction or in monetary policy under the Conservatives.

Well done, Canada! Congratulations!

Conservative Party of Canada wins two seats in by-elections

Congratulations to our conservative neighbors to the North!

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives pulled off an amazing political upset in federal by-elections Monday night, stealing a rural Quebec stronghold seat from the Bloc Quebecois.

The Conservatives also reclaimed a traditionally Tory seat in Nova Scotia, ultimately winning two of the four by-elections held Monday.

The results suggest the minority Conservative government’s political fortunes are undimmed by the recession and far stronger than expected in Quebec.

Let’s compare results:

Montmagny – L’Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup (Quebec)

2008:

  • Bloc Quebecois 20,494
  • Conservative 13,640
  • Liberal 6,835
  • New Democrat 2,428

2009:

  • Conservative 12,162
  • Bloc Quebecois 10,737
  • Liberal 3,768
  • New Democrat 1,363

Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley (Nova Scotia)

2008:

  • Independent 27,303
  • New Democrat 4,874
  • Conservative 3,493
  • Liberal 3,344

2009:

  • Conservative 11,167
  • New Democrat 6,267
  • Liberal 5,193

So, now the Conservatives have 145 of 308 ridings. Closer and closer to a majority.

Aside: why is it so freezing these days?

But I also note that October 2009 was our 3rd coldest in 115 years. Canadian readers: please keep the cold up there, we don’t want any of that down here. But if you could have Stephen Harper visit Washington more often, and perhaps give the ACORN lawyer some advice on how to run a country without bankrupting it, that would be OK with us.

Australia: same deal. We want John Howard to visit us. But keep your record cold October to yourself.