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Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton
Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, money market fund, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, zero-sum game, éminence grise
Proportional systems meet fairness criteria more completely, as every vote carries equal weight, but decision-making is slower and the building of parliamentary majorities inherently more difficult. In today’s Britain these questions have suddenly become very relevant. The first-past-the-post voting system is palpably unfair. Governments can have substantial parliamentary majorities that are vastly disproportionate to their vote – like the Labour government of 2005–10, which had a parliamentary majority of over sixty with only 36 per cent of the popular vote. The Conservatives won a quarter of a million more votes in England but had fewer seats, while the Liberal Democrats won 21 per cent of the vote but somewhat less than 10 per cent of the parliamentary seats. Now the battle is set to be joined over which voting system should replace first past the post. In effect, it will be a battle for the future of the state. Most Conservatives want to retain the old system, with fewer but equally sized constituencies, which will diminish Labour’s urban advantage in representing smaller city-centre seats where fewer votes are needed to elect an MP.
It most fairly enfranchises every citizen but also sets up a political dynamic that is based on argument, real interests and public negotiation. Every vote, not just those in marginal constituencies, is equally significant. So there are no constituencies where it is purposeless to vote because the result is a foregone conclusion. Consequently, no single party will be able to form a government, which will force bargaining between parties to form coalitions rather than the ‘strong government’ beloved of advocates of first past the post. We enter a world in which the government overtly reflects evolving and changing shades of opinion, and where argument and reason play a greater role than the whips’ office. It is fair politics for grown-ups. But democracy is still based on the national demos. International law is made by states; it is not yet legitimised by the involvement of an international citizenry. The march of globalisation requires an accompanying fairness process for its better governance if it is to be legitimate and well governed.
Shareholder value maximisation has endangered a great British corporate asset. There needs to be change. Unfortunately, British politics has never been good at squaring up to vested interest groups and challenging the sometimes absurd assumptions on which they build their arguments in the wider public interest. Nor is it good at long-term planning for the future. Most politicians in any democracy find it hard to think beyond the next election. But in Britain the first-past-the-post electoral system, winner-takes-all politics and the centralisation of the state make steady, proportional, long-term policy-making even less likely. The struggle to manage the present exhausts most British politicians, leaving no energy for them to worry about the future. One of the great advantages of the old paradigm ‘leave it to the markets’ was that politicians were not required to take a view of the future, nor try to build it.
22 Days in May: The birth of the Lib Dem - Conservative coalition by Laws, David
But in return, we want your support for a referendum on a reformed first-past-the-post system.’ George Osborne frowned and looked interested. ‘What do you mean by a reformed first-past-the-post system?’ Chris Huhne explained. George thought for two seconds, smiled weakly, and then said: ‘Oh! You mean AV don’t you! No. That won’t work for us. Good try though!’ Danny said that this was key to securing the support of Lib Dem MPs, and that it could help usher in a new and more co-operative politics and a fairer voting system. William Hague frowned, looked rather serious and leaned back. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘you must accept that this is very difficult indeed for my party, as you already know. The Conservatives are opposed as a party to both the Alternative Vote and proportional representation. And calling AV “reformed first-past-the-post” won’t change our people’s minds!
George Osborne paused and then said: ‘Look, this is a subject of a lot of discussion in our party. Electoral reform is tough for us, but on the rest of the political reform agenda we are very open to your ideas. But I agree that this is the trickiest issue.’ William Hague now intervened: ‘We have to start by recognising a big difference between our parties on this. It is a very difficult issue for Conservatives, most of whom support first-past-the-post. There isn’t any support for proportional representation in the Conservative Party. You need to understand that.’ Chris Huhne responded robustly: ‘We understand how this is difficult for you. But our party has been strung along before on PR – not least by Tony Blair in 1997. We don’t want to repeat that experience. We don’t want to repeat the whole Jenkins experience, of a review which leads nowhere.
This is because we would be offering the Conservatives something which would be likely to offset any loss of seats that AV might deliver. In addition, from a Conservative perspective, a coalition with the Lib Dems might improve their chances of picking up Lib Dem second preference votes. I suggested before our meeting on 9 May that this proposal should now be seriously tabled. Danny Alexander had half-jokingly suggested that we should seek to ‘sell’ AV to the Conservative team as just an ‘enhanced’ first-past-the-post system. Chris Huhne added that the Conservatives used an AV type system to elect their own leaders. Now, in the actual talks, Danny set out just how important electoral reform is to the Lib Dems. He said: ‘The bottom line is that we need a bankable commitment to change. Our MPs will expect that, if we are going to have a coalition. And they are mighty suspicious of “reviews” – we’ve been there before.’
Corbyn by Richard Seymour
anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise
Many an erring pundit has been christened a ‘melt’ and invited to ‘eat your tweet’ or, better still, ‘delete your account’. At some point, however, this has to give way to a more sober appraisal of the dilemmas facing Labour. The problem is not just that Labour must now find a way to turn its advantage into electoral victory, which raises a question about where to find the necessary voters in a first-past-the-post system, and how. Even if a fresh election is called soon and Labour does win, it will be in the position of having to try to implement a radical programme in an economy where there is very little investment. It will have to persuade corporations to invest, in spite of the higher taxes, regulations, and workers’ rights they will face. It will have to convince the City and businesses that paying toward an upgraded infrastructure is better for them than hoarding capital in the form of low-risk securities or in offshore tax havens.
There is no reason to believe that any of his lacklustre rivals would be doing any better than Corbyn presently is. Why might this be, and why have the pundits been so easily impressed by the claims of Labour’s right-wing? Thinking through the electoral arithmetic on the Blairites’ own terms, it was never obvious that the electoral bloc comprising people who think the same way as they do is even close to 25 per cent. The reason this hasn’t been a problem in the past is that elections in Britain’s first-past-the-post system are usually decided by a few hundred thousand ‘median’ voters based in marginal constituencies. As long as Labour could take the votes of the Left for granted, they could focus on serenading the ‘aspirational’ voters of Nuneaton. Even the erosion of ‘heartland’ votes didn’t register, so long as this erosion was happening to mountainous, seemingly unassailable majorities. What happens, however, when left-leaning electors defect in sufficient numbers and sufficient geographic concentration to pose serious questions about Labour’s medium-term survival?
Certainly, once they were in place, the Tories evinced no appetite for rolling them back, despite a brief, testerical campaign against ‘socialism’ in the elections of 1950 and 1951. No doubt this was in part because, despite exploiting real popular discontent with rationing and linking such policies to ‘socialism’, the Conservatives only gained office in 1951 due to the irregularities of the first-past-the-post system. Labour had in fact won slightly more votes than the Conservatives, and the Tories’ polling suggested to them that they needed to accept existing social democratic policies if they were to win support among skilled workers.29 As such, the Conservatives held on to governmental power, once obtained, by preserving rather than rolling back Labour’s reforms. However, whereas Labour took advantage of its strength to implement sweeping reforms, the Conservatives would have resisted them as far as possible, and it is difficult to believe that anything like the National Health Service could have emerged from a government led by Winston Churchill.
Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason by William Davies
active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Colonization of Mars, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, credit crunch, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, Filter Bubble, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gig economy, housing crisis, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, post-industrial society, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Turing machine, Uber for X, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Faces in crowds can be recognized by smart cameras, which have been put to work in a pilot surveillance project by security services in Chongqing, China. In April 2018, police in Nanchang used facial recognition technology to identify a crime suspect from a crowd of 60,000 people at a pop concert. Modern political campaigners understand that public opinion and sentiment can often best be swayed through small-scale and seemingly marginal interventions, rather than big formal announcements or information. Electoral systems which employ “first past the post,” such as the United States and Britain, have a particular vulnerability to viral campaign tactics and crowd surges, as it is only ever a small number of people in pivotal regions that need persuading in order to sway the overall outcome. A focus on small-scale but influential triggers is also a feature of “nudge” techniques, through which policymakers seek to influence our decision making in areas such as nutrition and personal finance by subtly redesigning how choices are presented to us.
A/B testing, 199 Acorn, 152 ad hominem attacks, 27, 124, 195 addiction, 83, 105, 116–17, 172–3, 186–7, 225 advertising, 14, 139–41, 143, 148, 178, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 aerial bombing, 19, 125, 135, 138, 143, 180 Affectiva, 188 affective computing, 12, 141, 188 Agent Orange, 205 Alabama, United States, 154 alcoholism, 100, 115, 117 algorithms, 150, 169, 185, 188–9 Alsace, 90 alt-right, 15, 22, 50, 131, 174, 196, 209 alternative facts, 3 Amazon, 150, 173, 175, 185, 186, 187, 192, 199, 201 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 24 American Civil War (1861–5), 105, 142 American Pain Relief Society, 107 anaesthetics, 104, 142 Anderson, Benedict, 87 Anthropocene, 206, 213, 215, 216 antibiotics, 205 antitrust laws, 220 Appalachia, 90, 100 Apple, 156, 185, 187 Arab Spring (2011), 123 Arendt, Hannah, xiv, 19, 23, 26, 53, 219 Aristotle, 35, 95–6 arrogance, 39, 47, 50 artificial intelligence (AI), 12–13, 140–41, 183, 216–17 artificial video footage, 15 Ashby, Ross, 181 asymmetrical war, 146 atheism, 34, 35, 209 attention economy, 21 austerity, 100–101, 225 Australia, 103 Australian, 192 Austria, 14, 60, 128, 153–75 Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), 153–4, 159 authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 108, 114, 118–19, 211–12 autocracy, 16, 20, 202 Babis, Andrej, 26 Bacon, Francis, 34, 35, 95, 97 Bank of England, 32, 33, 55, 64 Banks, Aaron, 26 Bannon, Steve, 21, 22, 60–61 Bayh–Dole Act (1980), 152 Beck Depression Inventory, 107 Berlusconi, Silvio, 202 Bernays, Edward, 14–15, 16, 143 “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (Freud), 110 Bezos, Jeff, 150, 173 Big Data, 185–93, 198–201 Big Government, 65 Big Science, 180 Bilbao, Spain, 84 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 127 Birmingham, West Midlands, 85 Black Lives Matter, 10, 225 Blackpool, Lancashire, 100 blind peer reviewing, 48, 139, 195 Blitz (1940–41), 119, 143, 180 blue sky research, 133 body politic, 92–119 Bologna, Italy, 96 bookkeeping, 47, 49, 54 Booth, Charles, 74 Boston, Massachusetts, 48 Boyle, Robert, 48–50, 51–2 BP oil spill (2010), 89 brainwashing, 178 Breitbart, 22, 174 Brexit (2016–), xiv, 23 and education, 85 and elites, 33, 50, 61 and inequality, 61, 77 and NHS, 93 and opinion polling, 80–81 as self-harm, 44, 146 and statistics, 61 Unite for Europe march, 23 Vote Leave, 50, 93 British Futures, 65 Brooks, Rosa, 216 bullying, 113 Bureau of Labor, 74 Bush, George Herbert Walker, 77 Bush, George Walker, 77, 136 cadaverous research, 96, 98 call-out culture, 195 Calvinism, 35 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 85 University, 84, 151 Cambridge Analytica, 175, 191, 196, 199 Cameron, David, 33, 73, 100 cancer, 105 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty), 74 capital punishment, 92, 118 car accidents, 112–13 cargo-cult science, 50 Carney, Mark, 33 cartography, 59 Case, Anne, 99–100, 102, 115 Catholicism, 34 Cato Institute, 158 Cavendish, William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, 34 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 3, 136, 151, 199 Center for Policy Studies, 164 chappe system, 129, 182 Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 34, 68, 73 Charlottesville attack (2017), 20 Chelsea, London, 100 Chevillet, Mark, 176 Chicago School, 160 China, 13, 15, 103, 145, 207 chloroform, 104 cholera, 130 Chongqing, China, 13 chronic pain, 102, 105, 106, 109 see also pain Churchill, Winston, 138 citizen science, 215, 216 civil rights movements, 21, 194 civilians, 43, 143, 204 von Clausewitz, Carl, 128–35, 141–7, 152 and defeat, 144–6 and emotion, 141–6, 197 and great leaders, 146–7, 156, 180–81 and intelligence, 134–5, 180–81 and Napoleon, 128–30, 133, 146–7 and soldiers, number of, 133–4 war, definition of, 130, 141, 193 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 Climate Mobilization, 213–14 climate-gate (2009), 195 Clinton, Hillary, 27, 63, 77, 99, 197, 214 Clinton, William “Bill,” 77 coal mining, 90 cognitive behavioral therapy, 107 Cold War, 132, 133, 135–6, 137, 180, 182–4, 185, 223 and disruption, 204–5 intelligence agencies, 183 McCarthyism (1947–56), 137 nuclear weapons, 135, 180 scenting, 135–6 Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), 180, 182, 200 space race, 137 and telepathy, 177–8 colonialism, 59–61, 224 commercial intelligence, 152 conscription, 127 Conservative Party, 80, 154, 160, 163, 166 Constitution of Liberty, The (Hayek), 160 consumer culture, 90, 104, 139 contraceptive pill, 94 Conway, Kellyanne, 3, 5 coordination, 148 Corbyn, Jeremy, 5, 6, 65, 80, 81, 197, 221 corporal punishment, 92 creative class, 84, 151 Cromwell, Oliver, 57, 59, 73 crop failures, 56 Crutzen, Paul, 206 culture war, xvii Cummings, Dominic, 50 currency, 166, 168 cutting, 115 cyber warfare, xii, 42, 43, 123, 126, 200, 212 Czech Republic, 103 Daily Mail, ix Damasio, Antonio, 208 Darwin, Charles, 8, 140, 142, 157, 171, 174, 179 Dash, 187 data, 49, 55, 57–8, 135, 151, 185–93, 198–201 Dawkins, Richard, 207, 209 death, 37, 44–5, 66–7, 91–101 and authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 211, 224 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 and Descartes, 37, 91 and Hobbes, 44–5, 67, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224, 226 life expectancy, 62, 68–71, 72, 92, 100–101, 115, 224 suicide, 100, 101, 115 and Thiel, 149, 151 death penalty, 92, 118 Deaton, Angus, 99–100, 102, 115 DeepMind, 218 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 176, 178 Delingpole, James, 22 demagogues, 11, 145, 146, 207 Democratic Party, 77, 79, 85 Denmark, 34, 151 depression, 103, 107 derivatives, 168, 172 Descartes, René, xiii, 36–9, 57, 147 and body, 36–8, 91, 96–7, 98, 104 and doubt, 36–8, 39, 46, 52 and dualism, 36–8, 39, 86, 94, 131, 139–40, 179, 186, 223 and nature, 37, 38, 86, 203 and pain, 104, 105 Descartes’ Error (Damasio), 208 Devonshire, Earl of, see Cavendish, William digital divide, 184 direct democracy, 202 disempowerment, 20, 22, 106, 113–19 disruption, 18, 20, 146, 147, 151, 171, 175 dog whistle politics, 200 Donors Trust, 165 Dorling, Danny, 100 Downs Survey (1655), 57, 59, 73 doxing, 195 drone warfare, 43, 194 drug abuse, 43, 100, 105, 115–16, 131, 172–3 Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, 74 Dugan, Regina, 176–7 Dunkirk evacuation (1940), 119 e-democracy, 184 Echo, 187 ecocide, 205 Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (Mises), 154, 166 economics, 59, 153–75 Economist, 85, 99 education, 85, 90–91 electroencephalography (EEG), 140 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 embodied knowledge, 162 emotion and advertising, 14 artificial intelligence, 12–13, 140–41 and crowd-based politics, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 21, 23–7 Darwin’s analysis, 8, 140 Descartes on, 94, 131 and experts, 53, 60, 64, 66, 90 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Hobbes on, 39, 41 James’ analysis, 140 and markets, 168, 175 moral, 21 and nationalism, 71, 210 pain, 102–19 sentiment analysis, xiii, 12–13, 140, 188 and war, 124–6, 142 empathy, 5, 12, 65, 102, 104, 109, 112, 118, 177, 179, 197 engagement, 7, 219 England Bank of England founded (1694), 55 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 civil servants, 54 Civil War (1642–51), 33–4, 45, 53 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 hospitals, 57 Irish War (1649–53), 59 national debt, 55 Parliament, 54, 55 plagues, 67–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 Royal Society, 48–52, 56, 68, 86, 208, 218 tax collection, 54 Treasury, 54 see also United Kingdom English Defense League, ix entrepreneurship, 149, 156, 162 environment, 21, 26, 50, 61, 86, 165, 204–7, 213–16 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 flying insects, decline of, 205, 215 Environmental Protection Agency, 23 ether, 104 European Commission, 60 European Space Agency, 175 European Union (EU), xiv, 22, 60 Brexit (2016–), see under Brexit and elites, 60, 145, 202 euro, 60, 78 Greek bailout (2015), 31 immigration, 60 and nationalism, 60, 145, 146 quantitative easing, 31 refugee crisis (2015–), 60, 225 Unite for Europe march (2017), 23 Exeter, Devon, 85 experts and crowd-based politics, 5, 6, 23, 25, 27 Hayek on, 162–4, 170 and representative democracy, 7 and statistics, 62–91 and technocracy, 53–61, 78, 87, 89, 90 trust in, 25–33, 63–4, 66, 74–5, 77–9, 170, 202 violence of, 59–61 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The (Darwin), 8, 140 Exxon, 165 Facebook, xvi, 15, 201 advertising, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 data mining, 49, 185, 189, 190, 191, 192, 198, 219 and dog whistle politics, 200 and emotional artificial intelligence, 140 as engagement machine, 219 and fake news, 199 and haptics, 176, 182 and oligarchy, 174 and psychological profiling, 124 and Russia, 199 and sentiment analysis, 188 and telepathy, 176–8, 181, 185, 186 and Thiel, 149, 150 and unity, 197–8 weaponization of, 18 facial recognition, 13, 188–9 failed states, 42 fake news, 8, 15, 199 Farage, Nigel, 65 fascism, 154, 203, 209 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 137 Federal Reserve, 33 feeling, definition of, xii feminism, 66, 194 Fifth Amendment, 44 fight or flight, 111, 114 Financial Times, 15 first past the post, 13 First World War, see World War I Fitbit, 187 fixed currency exchange rates, 166 Florida, Richard, 84 flu, 67, 191 flying insects, 205, 215 France censuses, 66, 73 conscription introduced (1793), 127 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92 Hobbes in (1640–51), 33–4, 41–2 Le Bon’s crowd psychology, 8–12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25, 38 life expectancy, 101 Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), see Napoleonic Wars Paris climate accord (2015), 205, 207 Paris Commune (1871), 8 Prussian War (1870–71), 8, 142 Revolution (1789–99), xv, 71, 126–9, 141, 142, 144, 204 statistics agency established (1800), 72 unemployment, 83 Franklin, Benjamin, 66 free markets, 26, 79, 84, 88, 154–75 free speech, 22, 113, 194, 208, 209, 224 free will, 16 Freud, Sigmund, 9, 14, 44, 107, 109–10, 111, 112, 114, 139 Friedman, Milton, 160, 163, 166 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92, 101–2 full spectrum warfare, 43 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 140 futurists, 168 Galen, 95–6 Galilei, Galileo, 35 gambling, 116–17 game theory, 132 gaming, 193–4 Gandhi, Mohandas, 224 gate control theory, 106 Gates, Sylvester James “Jim,” 24 Gavotti, Giulio, 143 geek humor, 193 Gehry, Frank, 84 Geller, Uri, 178 geometry, 35, 49, 57, 59, 203 Gerasimov, Valery, 123, 125, 126, 130 Germany, 34, 72, 137, 205, 215 gig economy, 173 global financial crisis (2007–9), 5, 29–32, 53, 218 austerity, 100–101 bailouts, 29–32, 40, 42 and gross domestic product (GDP), 76 as “heart attack,” 57 and Obama administration, 158 and quantitative easing, 31–2, 222 and securitization of loans, 218–19 and statistics, 53, 65 and suicide, 101 and unemployment, 82 globalization, 21, 78, 84, 145, 146 Gonzales, Alberto, 136 Google, xvi, 174, 182, 185, 186, 191, 192 DeepMind, 218 Maps, 182 Transparency Project, 198 Government Accountability Office, 29 Graunt, John, 67–9, 73, 75, 79–80, 81, 85, 89, 127, 167 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 great leaders, 146–8 Great Recession (2007–13), 76, 82, 101 Greece, 5, 31, 101 Greenpeace, 10 Grenfell Tower fire (2017), 10 Grillo, Beppe, 26 gross domestic product (GDP), 62, 65, 71, 75–9, 82, 87, 138 guerrillas, 128, 146, 194, 196 Haldane, Andrew, 32 haptics, 176, 182 Harvey, William, 34, 35, 38, 57, 96, 97 hate speech, 42 von Hayek, Friedrich, 159–73, 219 health, 92–119, 224 hedge funds, 173, 174 hedonism, 70, 224 helicopter money, 222 Heritage Foundation, 164, 214 heroin, 105, 117 heroism and disruption, 18, 146 and genius, 218 and Hobbes, 44, 151 and Napoleonic Wars, 87, 127, 142 and nationalism, 87, 119, 210 and pain, 212 and protection, 202–3 and technocracy, 101 and technology, 127 Heyer, Heather, 20 Hiroshima atomic bombing (1945), 206 Hobbes, Thomas, xiii, xvi, 33–6, 38–45, 67, 147 on arrogance, 39, 47, 50, 125 and body, 96, 98–9 and Boyle, 49, 50, 51 on civil society, 42, 119 and death, 44–5, 67, 69–70, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 on equality, 89 on fear, 40–45, 52, 67, 125 France, exile in (1640–51), 33–4, 41 on geometry, 35, 38, 49, 56, 57 and heroism, 44, 151 on language, 38–9 natural philosophy, 35–6 and nature, 38, 50 and Petty, 56, 57, 58 on promises, 39–42, 45, 148, 217–18 and Royal Society, 49, 50, 51 on senses, 38, 49, 147 and sovereign/state, 40–45, 46, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 73, 126, 166, 217, 220 on “state of nature,” 40, 133, 206, 217 war and peace, separation of, 40–45, 54, 60, 73, 125–6, 131, 201, 212 Hobsbawm, Eric, 87, 147 Hochschild, Arlie Russell, 221 holistic remedies, 95, 97 Holland, see under Netherlands homeopathy, 95 Homer, xiv Hungary, 20, 60, 87, 146 hysteria, 139 IBM, 179 identity politics, 208, 209 Iglesias Turrión, Pablo, 5 imagined communities, 87 immigration, 60, 63, 65, 79, 87, 145 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224 in-jokes, 193 individual autonomy, 16 Industrial Revolution, 133, 206 inequality, 59, 61, 62, 76, 77, 83, 85, 88–90 inflation, 62, 76, 78, 82 infographics, 75 information theory, 147 information war, 43, 196 insurance, 59 intellectual property, 150 intelligence, 132–9 intensity, 79–83 International Association for the Study of Pain, 106 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 64, 78 Internet, 184–201, 219 IP addresses, 193 Iraq War (2003–11), 74, 132 Ireland, 57, 73 Irish Republican Army (IRA), 43 “Is This How You Feel?
., Roger, 24, 25 Piketty, Thomas, 74 Pinker, Stephen, 207 plagues, 56, 67–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 95 pleasure principle, 70, 109, 110, 224 pneumonia, 37, 67 Podemos, 5, 202 Poland, 20, 34, 60 Polanyi, Michael, 163 political anatomy, 57 Political Arithmetick (Petty), 58, 59 political correctness, 20, 27, 145 Popper, Karl, 163, 171 populism xvii, 211–12, 214, 220, 225–6 and central banks, 33 and crowd-based politics, 12 and democracy, 202 and elites/experts, 26, 33, 50, 152, 197, 210, 215 and empathy, 118 and health, 99, 101–2, 224–5 and immediate action, 216 in Kansas (1880s), 220 and markets, 167 and private companies, 174 and promises, 221 and resentment, 145 and statistics, 90 and unemployment, 88 and war, 148, 212 Porter, Michael, 84 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 111–14, 117, 209 post-truth, 167, 224 Potsdam Conference (1945), 138 power vs. violence, 19, 219 predictive policing, 151 presidential election, US (2016), xiv and climate change, 214 and data, 190 and education, 85 and free trade, 79 and health, 92, 99 and immigration, 79, 145 and inequality, 76–7 and Internet, 190, 197, 199 “Make America Great Again,” 76, 145 and opinion polling, 65, 80 and promises, 221 and relative deprivation, 88 and Russia, 199 and statistics, 63 and Yellen, 33 prisoners of war, 43 promises, 25, 31, 39–42, 45–7, 51, 52, 217–18, 221–2 Propaganda (Bernays), 14–15 propaganda, 8, 14–16, 83, 124–5, 141, 142, 143 property rights, 158, 167 Protestantism, 34, 35, 45, 215 Prussia (1525–1947), 8, 127–30, 133–4, 135, 142 psychiatry, 107, 139 psychoanalysis, 107, 139 Psychology of Crowds, The (Le Bon), 9–12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25 psychosomatic, 103 public-spending cuts, 100–101 punishment, 90, 92–3, 94, 95, 108 Purdue, 105 Putin, Vladimir, 145, 183 al-Qaeda, 136 quality of life, 74, 104 quantitative easing, 31–2, 222 quants, 190 radical statistics, 74 RAND Corporation, 183 RBS, 29 Reagan, Ronald, 15, 77, 154, 160, 163, 166 real-time knowledge, xvi, 112, 131, 134, 153, 154, 165–70 Reason Foundation, 158 Red Vienna, 154, 155 Rees-Mogg, Jacob, 33, 61 refugee crisis (2015–), 60, 225 relative deprivation, 88 representative democracy, 7, 12, 14–15, 25–8, 61, 202 Republican Party, 77, 79, 85, 154, 160, 163, 166, 172 research and development (R&D), 133 Research Triangle, North Carolina, 84 resentment, 5, 226 of elites/experts, 32, 52, 61, 86, 88–9, 161, 186, 201 and nationalism/populism, 5, 144–6, 148, 197, 198 and pain, 94 Ridley, Matt, 209 right to remain silent, 44 Road to Serfdom, The (Hayek), 160, 166 Robinson, Tommy, ix Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 52 Royal Exchange, 67 Royal Society, 48–52, 56, 68, 86, 133, 137, 186, 208, 218 Rumsfeld, Donald, 132 Russian Empire (1721–1917), 128, 133 Russian Federation (1991–) and artificial intelligence, 183 Gerasimov Doctrine, 43, 123, 125, 126 and information war, 196 life expectancy, 100, 115 and national humiliation, 145 Skripal poisoning (2018), 43 and social media, 15, 18, 199 troll farms, 199 Russian Revolution (1917), 155 Russian SFSR (1917–91), 132, 133, 135–8, 155, 177, 180, 182–3 safe spaces, 22, 208 Sands, Robert “Bobby,” 43 Saxony, 90 scarlet fever, 67 Scarry, Elaine, 102–3 scenting, 135, 180 Schneier, Bruce, 185 Schumpeter, Joseph, 156–7, 162 Scientific Revolution, 48–52, 62, 66, 95, 204, 207, 218 scientist, coining of term, 133 SCL, 175 Scotland, 64, 85, 172 search engines, xvi Second World War, see World War II securitization of loans, 218 seismology, 135 self-employment, 82 self-esteem, 88–90, 175, 212 self-harm, 44, 114–15, 117, 146, 225 self-help, 107 self-interest, 26, 41, 44, 61, 114, 141, 146 Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), 180, 182, 200 sentiment analysis, xiii, 12–13, 140, 188 September 11 attacks (2001), 17, 18 shell shock, 109–10 Shrecker, Ted, 226 Silicon Fen, Cambridgeshire, 84 Silicon Valley, California, xvi, 219 and data, 55, 151, 185–93, 199–201 and disruption, 149–51, 175, 226 and entrepreneurship, 149–51 and fascism, 203 and immortality, 149, 183–4, 224, 226 and monopolies, 174, 220 and singularity, 183–4 and telepathy, 176–8, 181, 185, 186, 221 and weaponization, 18, 219 singularity, 184 Siri, 187 Skripal poisoning (2018), 43 slavery, 59, 224 smallpox, 67 smart cities, 190, 199 smartphone addiction, 112, 186–7 snowflakes, 22, 113 social indicators, 74 social justice warriors (SJWs), 131 social media and crowd psychology, 6 emotional artificial intelligence, 12–13, 140–41 and engagement, 7 filter bubbles, 66 and propaganda, 15, 18, 81, 124 and PTSD, 113 and sentiment analysis, 12 trolls, 18, 20–22, 27, 40, 123, 146, 148, 194–8, 199, 209 weaponization of, 18, 19, 22, 194–5 socialism, 8, 20, 154–6, 158, 160 calculation debate, 154–6, 158, 160 Socialism (Mises), 160 Society for Freedom in Science, 163 South Africa, 103 sovereignty, 34, 53 Soviet Russia (1917–91), 132, 133, 135–8, 177, 180, 182–3 Spain, 5, 34, 84, 128, 202 speed of knowledge, xvi, 112, 124, 131, 134, 136, 153, 154, 165–70 Spicer, Sean, 3, 5 spy planes, 136, 152 Stalin, Joseph, 138 Stanford University, 179 statactivism, 74 statistics, 62–91, 161, 186 status, 88–90 Stoermer, Eugene, 206 strong man leaders, 16 suicide, 100, 101, 115 suicide bombing, 44, 146 superbugs, 205 surveillance, 185–93, 219 Sweden, 34 Switzerland, 164 Sydenham, Thomas, 96 Syriza, 5 tacit knowledge, 162 talking cure, 107 taxation, 158 Tea Party, 32, 50, 61, 221 technocracy, 53–8, 59, 60, 61, 78, 87, 89, 90, 211 teenage girls, 113, 114 telepathy, 39, 176–9, 181, 185, 186 terrorism, 17–18, 151, 185 Charlottesville attack (2017), 20 emergency powers, 42 JFK Airport terror scare (2016), x, xiii, 41 Oxford Circus terror scare (2017), ix–x, xiii, 41 September 11 attacks (2001), 17, 18 suicide bombing, 44, 146 vehicle-ramming attacks, 17 war on terror, 131, 136, 196 Thames Valley, England, 85 Thatcher, Margaret, 154, 160, 163, 166 Thiel, Peter, 26, 149–51, 153, 156, 174, 190 Thirty Years War (1618–48), 34, 45, 53, 126 Tokyo, Japan, x torture, 92–3 total wars, 129, 142–3 Treaty of Westphalia (1648), 34, 53 trends, xvi, 168 trigger warnings, 22, 113 trolls, 18, 20–22, 27, 40, 123, 146, 148, 194–8, 199, 209 Trump, Donald, xiv and Bannon, 21, 60–61 and climate change, 207 and education, 85 election campaign (2016), see under presidential election, US and free trade, 79 and health, 92, 99 and immigration, 145 inauguration (2017), 3–5, 6, 9, 10 and inequality, 76–7 “Make America Great Again,” 76, 145 and March for Science (2017), 23, 24, 210 and media, 27 and opinion polling, 65, 80 and Paris climate accord, 207 and promises, 221 and relative deprivation, 88 and statistics, 63 and Yellen, 33 Tsipras, Alexis, 5 Turing, Alan, 181, 183 Twitter and Corbyn’s rallies, 6 and JFK Airport terror scare (2016), x and Oxford Circus terror scare (2017), ix–x and Russia, 18 and sentiment analysis, 188 and trends, xvi and trolls, 194, 195 Uber, 49, 185, 186, 187, 188, 191, 192 UK Independence Party, 65, 92, 202 underemployment, 82 unemployment, 61, 62, 72, 78, 81–3, 87, 88, 203 United Kingdom austerity, 100 Bank of England, 32, 33, 64 Blitz (1940–41), 119, 143, 180 Brexit (2016–), see under Brexit Cameron government (2010–16), 33, 73, 100 Center for Policy Studies, 164 Civil Service, 33 climate-gate (2009), 195 Corbyn’s rallies, 5, 6 Dunkirk evacuation (1940), 119 education, 85 financial crisis (2007–9), 29–32, 100 first past the post, 13 general election (2015), 80, 81 general election (2017), 6, 65, 80, 81, 221 Grenfell Tower fire (2017), 10 gross domestic product (GDP), 77, 79 immigration, 63, 65 Irish hunger strike (1981), 43 life expectancy, 100 National Audit Office (NAO), 29 National Health Service (NHS), 30, 93 Office for National Statistics, 63, 133 and opiates, 105 Oxford Circus terror scare (2017), ix–x, xiii, 41 and pain, 102, 105 Palantir, 151 Potsdam Conference (1945), 138 quantitative easing, 31–2 Royal Society, 138 Scottish independence referendum (2014), 64 Skripal poisoning (2018), 43 Society for Freedom in Science, 163 Thatcher government (1979–90), 154, 160, 163, 166 and torture, 92 Treasury, 61, 64 unemployment, 83 Unite for Europe march (2017), 23 World War II (1939–45), 114, 119, 138, 143, 180 see also England United Nations, 72, 222 United States Bayh–Dole Act (1980), 152 Black Lives Matter, 10, 225 BP oil spill (2010), 89 Bush Jr. administration (2001–9), 77, 136 Bush Sr administration (1989–93), 77 Bureau of Labor, 74 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 3, 136, 151, 199 Charlottesville attack (2017), 20 Civil War (1861–5), 105, 142 and climate change, 207, 214 Clinton administration (1993–2001), 77 Cold War, see Cold War Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 176, 178 Defense Intelligence Agency, 177 drug abuse, 43, 100, 105, 115–16, 131, 172–3 education, 85 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 137 Federal Reserve, 33 Fifth Amendment (1789), 44 financial crisis (2007–9), 31–2, 82, 158 first past the post, 13 Government Accountability Office, 29 gross domestic product (GDP), 75–7, 82 health, 92, 99–100, 101, 103, 105, 107, 115–16, 158, 172–3 Heritage Foundation, 164, 214 Iraq War (2003–11), 74, 132 JFK Airport terror scare (2016), x, xiii, 41 Kansas populists (1880s), 220 libertarianism, 15, 151, 154, 158, 164, 173 life expectancy, 100, 101 March For Our Lives (2018), 21 March for Science (2017), 23–5, 27, 28, 210 McCarthyism (1947–56), 137 Million-Man March (1995), 4 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 23, 175 National Defense Research Committee, 180 National Park Service, 4 National Security Agency (NSA), 152 Obama administration (2009–17), 3, 24, 76, 77, 79, 158 Occupy Wall Street (2011), 5, 10, 61 and opiates, 105, 172–3 and pain, 103, 105, 107, 172–3 Palantir, 151, 152, 175, 190 Paris climate accord (2015), 205, 207 Parkland attack (2018), 21 Patriot Act (2001), 137 Pentagon, 130, 132, 135, 136, 214, 216 presidential election (2016), see under presidential election, US psychiatry, 107, 111 quantitative easing, 31–2 Reagan administration (1981–9), 15, 77, 154, 160, 163, 166 Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns” speech (2002), 132 Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), 180, 182, 200 September 11 attacks (2001), 17, 18 Tea Party, 32, 50, 61, 221 and torture, 93 Trump administration (2017–), see under Trump, Donald unemployment, 83 Vietnam War (1955–75), 111, 130, 136, 138, 143, 205 World War I (1914–18), 137 World War II (1939–45), 137, 180 universal basic income, 221 universities, 151–2, 164, 169–70 University of Cambridge, 84, 151 University of Chicago, 160 University of East Anglia, 195 University of Oxford, 56, 151 University of Vienna, 160 University of Washington, 188 unknown knowns, 132, 133, 136, 138, 141, 192, 212 unknown unknowns, 132, 133, 138 “Use of Knowledge in Society, The” (Hayek), 161 V2 flying bomb, 137 vaccines, 23, 95 de Vauban, Sébastien Le Prestre, Marquis de Vauban, 73 vehicle-ramming attacks, 17 Vesalius, Andreas, 96 Vienna, Austria, 153–5, 159 Vietnam War (1955–75), 111, 130, 136, 138, 143, 205 violence vs. power, 19, 219 viral marketing, 12 virtual reality, 183 virtue signaling, 194 voice recognition, 187 Vote Leave, 50, 93 Wainright, Joel, 214 Wales, 77, 90 Wall Street, New York, 33, 190 War College, Berlin, 128 “War Economy” (Neurath), 153–4 war on drugs, 43, 131 war on terror, 131, 136, 196 Watts, Jay, 115 weaponization, 18–20, 22, 26, 75, 118, 123, 194, 219, 223 weapons of mass destruction, 132 wearable technology, 173 weather control, 204 “What Is An Emotion?”
Programming in Haskell by Graham Hutton
Using the higher-order functions map and composition, this conversion can be implemented as follows: encode :: String -> [Bit] encode = concat . map (make8 . int2bin . ord) For example: > encode "abc" [1,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0] To decode a list of bits produced using encode, we first define a function chop8 that chops such a list up into eight-bit binary numbers: chop8 :: [Bit] -> [[Bit]] chop8 =  chop8 bits = take 8 bits : chop8 (drop 8 bits) It is now easy to define a function that decodes a list of bits as a string of characters by chopping the list up, and converting each resulting binary number into a Unicode number and then a character: decode :: [Bit] -> String decode = map (chr . bin2int) . chop8 For example: > decode [1,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0] "abc" Finally, we define a function transmit that simulates the transmission of a string of characters as a list of bits, using a perfect communication channel that we model using the identity function: transmit :: String -> String transmit = decode . channel . encode channel :: [Bit] -> [Bit] channel = id For example: > transmit "higher-order functions are easy" "higher-order functions are easy" 7.7Voting algorithms For our second extended programming example, we consider two different algorithms for deciding the winner in an election: the simple first past the post system, and the more refined alternative vote system. First past the post In this system, each person has one vote, and the candidate with the largest number of votes is declared the winner. For example, if we define votes :: [String] votes = ["Red", "Blue", "Green", "Blue", "Blue", "Red"] then candidate "Green" has one vote, "Red" has two votes, while "Blue" has three votes and is hence the winner. Rather than making our implementation specific to candidate names represented as strings, we exploit the class system of Haskell to define our functions in a more general manner.
This function could be defined using recursion, but a simpler definition is possible using higher-order functions by selecting all elements from the list that are equal to the target value, and taking the length of the resulting list: count :: Eq a => a -> [a] -> Int count x = length . filter (== x) For example: > count "Red" votes 2 In turn, the higher-order function filter can also be used to define a function that removes duplicate values from a list: rmdups :: Eq a => [a] -> [a] rmdups =  rmdups (x:xs) = x : filter (/= x) (rmdups xs) For example: > rmdups votes ["Red", "Blue", "Green"] The functions count and rmdups can then be combined using a list comprehension to define a function that returns the result of a first-past-the-post election in increasing order of the number of votes received: result :: Ord a => [a] -> [(Int,a)] result vs = sort [(count v vs, v) | v <- rmdups vs] For example: > result votes [(1,"Green"), (2,"Red"), (3,"Blue")] The sorting function sort :: Ord a => [a] -> [a] used above is provided in the library Data.List. Note that because pairs are ordered lexicographically, candidates with the same number of votes are returned in order of the candidate name by result.
Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism by Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Cass Sunstein, centre right, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, declining real wages, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, open borders, open economy, post-industrial society, post-materialism, precariat, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, statistical model, stem cell, War on Poverty, white flight, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
UKIP in the 2015 and 2017 UK General Elections The electoral fortunes of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in recent British general elections provides another illustration of the decisive impact of vote threshold hurdles in preventing support for minor parties from translating into seats. The case of Brexit is discussed in detail in Chapter 11, but first we will summarize some key aspects of the Plurality electoral system and why it proved critical for UKIP. The Single Member Plurality electoral system (known also as first-past-the-post) is used for elections to the House of Commons. There are 650 constituencies, voters cast a ballot for one candidate in their constituency, and the candidate winning the largest share (a simple plurality) wins the seat. During the post-war era, the electoral system usually produced a stable two-party system in which the Labour and Conservative parties rotated in office, winning an absolute majority of the seats in parliament, even with much less than a majority of the total votes.
This allowed UKIP to make substantial gains in the subsequent 2004 European elections held under these rules, since 16 percent of the national vote translated into a delegation of 15 percent of UK Members returned to the European Parliament. This gave UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, a public platform and media visibility on their core anti-Brussels message. As Figure 11.2 shows, this strong performance was again repeated in the 2009 European Parliamentary elections – but not at the 2005 and 2010 general elections, which continued to be held under the first-past-the-post system. Their best performance, in terms of their share of the vote, came in the 2014 European elections, where UKIP broke through with more than a quarter of the vote and one-third of the seats. This surge in the vote, the gain of two Eurosceptic Conservative MPs who switched parties to join them, and the popularity of UKIP in the opinion polls during a mid-term period of government unpopularity, was critical in influencing Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union, if the Conservatives were returned to government in the next general election.
Compared with systems of Proportional Representation, Majoritarian elections characterized by high electoral thresholds are expected to create disproportional results with greater mechanical and psychological hurdles for minor parties, and hence to prevent many Authoritarian-Populist parties from gaining parliamentary seats. To classify the electoral laws during these years, we use data from the Varieties of Democracy project.57 Electoral systems in the European countries under comparison are classified into three major families, each including a number of sub-categories: majoritarian formula (including first-past-the-post, second ballot, the block vote, single non-transferable vote, and alternative voting systems); mixed systems (incorporating both majoritarian and proportional formula); and proportional formula (including party lists as well as the single transferable vote systems).58 The results of the comparison in Figure 9.3 confirm the importance of the electoral system. Authoritarian-Populist parties won on average 6.8 percent of the vote but only 0.2 percent of seats under Majoritarian- Plurality systems.
The politics of London: governing an ungovernable city by Tony Travers
The creation of the GLA followed a year behind the Scottish and Welsh reforms: if Margaret Thatcher had not abolished the GLC, there would almost certainly have been no London reform as part of the devolution process. Yet commentators have generally included the creation of the GLA within the wider constitutional picture. The fact that the 2000 London election was fought on the basis of proportional representation (as opposed to the first-past-the-post system used for all other local government elections in Britain) further stressed a link to the PR-based Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. Nevertheless the GLA is fully included within the scope of legislation passed by the Blair administration to ‘modernize’ local government. Thus, an executive/scrutiny split within councils, the ‘best value’ regime, the imposition of Standards Committees and a number of other reforms enacted during 1999 and 2000 apply to the GLA just as much as to other councils.
Fourteen members were to be elected for constituencies, plus another eleven who would be London-wide members. Electors would have two votes each. The first vote would be cast within a constituency using the firstpast-the-post system. The second vote would be for a political party or independent candidate. For the London-wide vote, parties (or independents) would list the names of candidates to be elected, in order, on the ballot paper. Constituency members would be elected in the usual first-past-the-post way (that is, the candidate with the largest number of votes, whether over 50 per cent or not, would win). All the second (that is, London-wide) votes cast would be counted, with winning candidates drawn from the list of parties (or independent groups) so that the overall number of assembly members would match the proportion cast for each party. Thus, a party that polled 40 per cent of the votes in the London-wide vote would be entitled to ten seats overall.
Susan Kramer also did well, though more for garnering second preference votes (which were of no use unless she had come first or second) than any other candidate. By contrast, Frank Dobson’s result was a huge embarrassment for him and, in particular, for the Prime Minister – a candidate manoeuvred into place by a carefullyconstructed electoral college came third (though only just), with less than half of the Conservative’s votes. Fourteen members of the Assembly were elected on a constituency basis, using the ‘first-past-the-post’ system. The remaining eleven were elected on a London-wide basis using the ‘de Hondt’ formula for allocating seats under proportional representation. Under this system, Labour and the Conservatives obtained nine seats each, the Liberal Democrats four and the Greens three, giving the London Assembly, like the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament, a distinctly un-British, even ‘European’ multiparty look.
The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth-Century History by David Edgerton
active measures, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, Donald Davies, double helix, endogenous growth, Etonian, European colonialism, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, full employment, imperial preference, James Dyson, knowledge economy, labour mobility, land reform, land value tax, manufacturing employment, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, packet switching, Philip Mirowski, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, trade liberalization, union organizing, very high income, wages for housework, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor
The New Party and the Independent Labour Party (ILP) split from Labour in 1931 and 1932. A small National Labour Party existed as part of the National coalition, 1931–45, and the new Liberal Nationals, also formed in 1931, were more successful than the original Liberals for many years. The nature of politics was determined by the elite, but also by the electoral system. At the beginning of the century the first-past-the-post electoral system operated differently from its later incarnations. This was because not all seats were contested by all the big parties. Before 1918 many candidates were unopposed, notably but not only in Ireland. Candidates did not stand where there was no hope of winning. Liberals abstaining in favour of Labour allowed the Labour Party to exist before 1918 as the fourth party in parliament.
Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (of the red telephone box and Battersea power station) and engineered by Oscar Faber (of modernist flour mills of the 1930s), it was disguised to look like the old one. Much remained the same in the political system too. Labour had retained the House of Lords, only limiting its powers. It had abolished university seats and other forms of plural voting but retained the first-past-the-post system. After 1950 the pace of change was glacial. In 1958 life peerages were introduced, for men and women, who were now allowed into the Lords for the first time. From the 1964 Labour government onwards, except in some odd cases, no new hereditary peerages were created. The Lords continued otherwise unreformed until 1999. As far as the House of Commons was concerned the changes were minimal.
The share of wages in national income went up. Differentials narrowed. Through indirect means – supporting trade unions, the tax and benefit systems, a certain amount of redistribution was effected. THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM Although the basic structures of the early twentieth-century political system remained, their outward appearance, and the effects they generated, was very different. The first-past-the-post electoral system now entrenched two class-based parties covering nearly the whole United Kingdom. The Conservative and Labour Parties were now roughly equally matched. Labour, in opposition, had 47 per cent of the seats in 1951 and 44 per cent in 1955. Other parties were driven out of the House of Commons. In 1964 only the Conservative Parties, Labour and a handful of Liberals had seats. In 1966, apart from Gerry Fitt, sitting for Republican Labour in Northern Ireland, and twelve Liberals, all MPs belonged to the Labour Party or the Conservative Parties.
Rebooting Democracy: A Citizen's Guide to Reinventing Politics by Manuel Arriaga
It is also possible for the more powerful parties to “break” proportional representation by splitting the territory into a larger number of constituencies, each of them electing just a handful of seats. As the number of seats in each constituency decreases, so do the smaller parties’ chances of securing any representation at all. This “trick” makes so-called “proportional representation” systems produce results that resemble those of first-past-the-post elections—thus cementing the power of the large, entrenched parties at the expense of non-establishment voices. Campaigning like the French Another issue central to electoral reform is that of campaign and party finance. The promiscuity between private funds and political parties is a well-known issue in almost every country. When discussing why vast sums of private money and electoral politics do not belong together, we can start by making two simple observations: 1.
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, lifelogging, low skilled workers, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the built environment, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
But evidence from around the world shows that political gender quotas don’t lead to the monstrous regiment of incompetent women.28 In fact, in line with the LSE study on workplace quotas, studies on political quotas have found that if anything, they ‘increase the competence of the political class in general’. This being the case, gender quotas are nothing more than a corrective to a hidden male bias, and it is the current system that is anti-democratic. The form of quota that is available to a country depends on the electoral system it operates. In the UK, each of the country’s 650 constituencies has a single MP. This MP is voted in using ‘first past the post’ (FPTP), which means that the candidate with the most votes gets returned to Parliament. Since there is only one candidate per constituency, in a FPTP system all-women shortlists are really the only practicable corrective to male bias. In Sweden, a party list is used. In this system, each constituency is represented by a group of MPs allocated under proportional representation (PR). Every party draws up a list of candidates per constituency, with candidates set down in order of preference.
Australia gender pay gap gendered poverty Gillard ministries (2010–13) homelessness leisure time maternity. leave medical research military murders paternity. leave political representation precarious work school textbooks sexual assault/harassment taxation time-use surveys unpaid work Australia Institute Austria autism auto-plastics factories Autoblog autoimmune diseases automotive plastics workplaces Ayrton, Hertha Azerbaijan babies’ cries baby bottles Baker, Colin Baku, Azerbaijan Ball, James Bangladesh Bank of England banknotes Barbican, London Barcelona, Catalonia beauticians de Beauvoir, Simone Beer, Anna Beijing, China Belgium Berkman Center for Internet and Society Besant, Annie BI Norwegian Business School bicarbonate of soda Big Data bile acid composition biomarkers biomass fuels biomechanics Birka warrior Birmingham, West Midlands bisphenol A (BPA) ‘bitch’ bladder ‘Blank Space’ (Swift) blind recruitment blood pressure Bloom, Rachel Bloomberg News Bock, Laszlo body fat body sway Bodyform Boesel, Whitney Erin Boler, Tania Bolivia Boosey, Leslie Boserup, Ester Bosnia Boston Consulting Group Botswana Bouattia, Malia Boulanger, Béatrice Bourdieu, Pierre Bovasso, Dawn Boxing Day tsunami (2004) boyd, danah brain ischaemia Brazil breasts cancer feeding and lifting techniques pumps reduction surgery and seat belts and tactile situation awareness system (TSAS) and uniforms Bretherton, Joanne Brexit Bricks, New Orleans brilliance bias Brin, Sergey British Electoral Survey British Journal of Pharmacology British Medical Journal British Medical Research Council British National Corpus (BNC) Broadly Brophy, Jim and Margaret Buick Bulgaria Burgon, Richard Bush, Stephen Buvinic, Mayra BuzzFeed Cabinet caesarean sections Cairns, Alex California, United States Callanan, Martin Callou, Ada Calma, Justine calorie burning Cambridge Analytica Cameron, David Campbell Soup Canada banknotes chemical exposure childcare crime homelessness medical research professor evaluations sexual assault/harassment toilets unpaid work Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Canadian Institutes of Health cancer canon formation Cape Town, South A.ica carcinogens cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices (CRT-Ds) cardiovascular system care work and agriculture elderly people and employment gross domestic product (GDP) occupational health and paternity leave time-use surveys and transport and zoning Carnegie Mellon University carpenters cars access to crashes driving tests motion sickness navigation systems Castillejo, Clare catcalling Cavalli, Francesco cave paintings CCTV Ceccato, Vania cell studies Center for American Progress Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) Center for Talent Innovation Central Asia Centre of Better Births, Liverpool Women’s Hospital chemicals Chiaro Chicago, Illinois chief executive officers (CEO) child benefit child marriage childbirth childcare and agriculture cost of and employment and gross domestic product (GDP) and paternity leave time-use surveys and zoning children’s television China cholera Chopin, Frédéric Chou, Tracy chromosomes chronic illness/pain Chronic Pain Policy Coalition chulhas Cikara, Mina circadian rhythms Citadel classical music clean stoves cleaning climate change Clinton, Hillary clitoridectomies Clue coal mining coastguards Collett Beverly colon cancer Columbia University competence vs warmth composers Composers’ Guild of Great Britain computer science confirmation bias confounding factors Congo, Democratic Republic of the Connecticut, United States Conservative Party construction work contraception contractions cooking cookstoves Corbusier, Le Cornell University coronary stents Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) corrective rape cosmetology Cosmopolitan Cotton, Dany Coyle, Diane crash test dummies Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Crewe, Emma Crick, Francis Crime Prevention and Community Safety crime crime scene investigators Croatia crochet Crockety, Molly CurrMIT CVs (curriculum vitaes) Czech Republic daddy quotas Daly, Caroline Louisa Data2x Davis-Blake, Alison Davis, Wendy Davison, Peter defibrillators deforestation Delhi, India dementia Democratic Party Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic United Party dengue fever Denmark dental devices Department for Work and Pensions depression diabetes diarrhoea diet diethylstilbestrol (DES) disabled people disasters Ditum, Sarah diversity-valuing behavior DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Do Babies Matter (Goulden, Mason, and Wolfinger) Doctor Who domestic violence Donison, Christopher Doss, Cheryl ‘draw a scientist’ driving dry sex Dyas-Elliott, Roger dysmenorrhea E3 Eagle, Angela early childhood education (ECE) Ebola economics Economist, The Edexcel education Edwards, Katherine Einstein, Albert elderly people Eliot, George Elks lodges Elvie emoji employment gender pay gap occupational health parental leave precarious work sexual assault/harassment and unpaid work ‘End of Theory, The’ (Anderson) endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) Endocrine Society endometriosis endovascular occlusion devices England national football English language ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) Enlightenment entrepreneurs epilepsy Equal Times Equality Act (2010) erectile dysfunction Estonian language Ethiopia EuroNCAP European Parliament European Union academia bisphenol A (BPA) chronic illnesses crash test dummies employment gap endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) gender-inflected languages life expectancy medical research parental leave precarious work sexual harassment taxation transport planning Evernote EverydaySexism evolution exercise extension services Facebook facial wrinkle correction fall-detection devices Fallout Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) farming Fawcett Society Fawlty Towers female Viagra feminism Feminist Frequency films Financial crash (2008) Finland Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís Finnish language firefighters first past the post (FPTP) First World War (1914–18) Fiske, Susan Fitbit 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The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck
The defeat of the miners’ strike obliterated any possibility of resistance by the trade-union leaders and the rank and file. The triumph of finance capital was now complete. The decline of large parts of the country continued apace, and in turn, the country became increasingly restive. How would the people react? After eighteen years of Conservative rule, they voted Labour and Tony Blair into office with a huge parliamentary majority, achieved by virtue of an antiquated and blatantly unrepresentative first-past-the-post system: 13.5 million, against 9.6 million for the Conservatives and 5.2 million for the Liberal Democrats. Blair had fought a slick campaign that made few promises, but traditional Labour supporters nodded their heads in appreciation and thought him wise. The key was to return Labour to power after the locust years. Many assumed that once in office Labour would return to some form of moderate social democracy, a little bit of Roy Hattersley, perhaps.
The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent
The role of underlying worldviews is characteristic of politics in the United States and Europe, and of all countries that are governed primarily by consent rather than by force and terror. In Great Britain, for instance, laissez-faire capitalism, associated with Adam Smith’s invisible hand, prevailed for much of the nineteenth century, but after World War II it was superseded by Keynesian economics. American politics is structured to sustain prevailing worldviews. Its characteristics of winner takes all, first past the post, single-member districts have encouraged a two-party system. Third-party candidates are often dismissed as “spoilers.” Moreover, in deciding on whom to nominate in party primaries, voters and party bigwigs have generally taken electability into account, and in the general election, candidates have generally tried to capture the center and to stay away from being branded as an “extremist.” American political history is littered with candidates who proved too extreme for the prevailing consensus of one or the other major parties—think of Fred Harris or Jesse Jackson among Democrats and Tom Tancredo or Pat Robertson among Republicans.
Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State by Paul Tucker
Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, conceptual framework, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, short selling, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stochastic process, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game
And the same underlying incentives and constraints have a powerful influence on the structure of the administrative state and how it is overseen. Two First-Past-the-Post (Plurality) Systems: The UK versus the US While profoundly different in other respects, the US and UK lie at one end of the spectrum of electoral systems. Their legislative assemblies comprise single-member-district representatives elected on a plurality of votes and with the public having no legal obligation to vote. Often termed majoritarian, a common shorthand for modern representative democracy, in neither country does government in fact require a majority of the popular vote, let alone of those entitled to vote. A UK versus US comparison illustrates, however, how things can differ even across first-past-the-post (plurality) systems. In the UK, the election (or reelection) prospects of individual candidates typically depend heavily on the popularity of their party, and in particular their party leaders, as voters know they are very likely to be choosing a single-party executive government that will be able to legislate its program.
Some states are unitary, others federal, with the latter exhibiting large variations in the division of power between the center and the provinces. Representative democracy’s most basic institution, the system of voting, also comes in different shapes. Democracies are typically made up of districts (or constituencies as they are known in the UK), with elections to choose either a single candidate or multiple candidates to represent each district. Some have a first-past-the-post (plurality) decision rule; others have proportional elections, which can involve voting for party lists rather than individual candidates. In some countries, the whole state-structure package, including the electoral system, is formally enshrined in a written constitution or “basic law,” of greater or lesser length and prescription, subject to higher or lower hurdles for amendment, and whose meaning emerges and evolves through practice and interpretation.
Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017 by Ian Kershaw
airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, centre right, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, illegal immigration, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour market flexibility, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, young professional
It had emerged from the war victorious, if exhausted and nearly bankrupted, with its political, economic and social institutions intact. The war had produced unprecedented levels of national solidarity, temporarily at least overriding deep class divisions, and there was national pride in the victory over Nazism. The monarchy enjoyed great popularity. The British parliamentary democracy had almost total backing from the population. The ‘first past the post’ electoral system, unlike the proportional representation systems of most countries in Western Europe, strongly militated against small parties and tended to produce stable governments with sizeable majorities. Clear election winners emerged even though, in fact, the electorate was almost evenly split between Conservative and Labour. At five general elections between 1950 and 1964 the Conservative vote ranged between 43.4 and 49.7 per cent of votes cast, Labour’s vote between 43.9 and 48.8 per cent.
Pressure built within the leading echelons of the Labour Party, especially among supporters of Gordon Brown, for Blair to step down. And sure enough in June 2007 the most successful leader in Labour’s electoral history resigned as Prime Minister, leaving Parliament soon afterwards. The Iraq War had lastingly sullied his reputation. His notable achievements as Prime Minister were as a consequence widely overlooked or played down. Gerhard Schröder did not have the luxury of the large majority that the British ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system presented to Blair in 1997. The Social Democrats won the German election the following year, though with only slightly more of the popular vote than the Christian Union parties. The government Schröder was able to form, in coalition with the Greens (who were backed by a mere 6.7. per cent of the electorate), nonetheless embarked on an ambitious programme of social reforms.
But opposition to immigration was a potent factor in the increased support for nationalist parties also in much of Northern and Western Europe. UKIP won 26.6 per cent of the British vote, the largest proportion of any party, at the 2014 election to the European Parliament. (UKIP had far less success in the British general election the following year, winning only a single seat in parliament on the first-past-the-post electoral system though still gaining 12.6 per cent of the vote.) The Front National was backed by around a third of the French electorate. Alternative für Deutschland (founded only in 2012 and turning from initial Euroscepticism to an anti-migrant party) saw its support rise to more than 20 per cent of the electorate in a number of state elections during 2016. In the Netherlands the Party for Freedom led by Geert Wilders, who sought to have the Koran banned in the country and campaigned against what he called the ‘Islamization of the Netherlands’, became for a time the most popular party in the country during the migration crisis.
A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, lateral thinking, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce
The same was true of all the piecemeal changes to the constitution introduced in Tony Blair’s first term. A bewildering array of voting arrangements were now in place. Elections to the House of Commons and local councils remained unchanged, operating under the first past the post system (the former in single-member constituencies, the latter in multi-member wards), but elsewhere various systems were in use: the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the London Assembly employed one system, the mayor of London (and mayors of any other cities who might follow) another, and the European Parliament yet another. There was little apparent logic in any of this jigsaw. In places it was progressive – the mix of first past the post and top-up lists in Scotland, Wales and London took a decisive step towards proportional representation – but elsewhere there were signs of Labour’s centralising tendency.
Whether someone like Critchley could be regarded as typical of the stay-at-home Tories was a matter of some dispute, though the anti-Europe parties’ comparatively poor showing suggested that he might well have been; it seemed unlikely that the absentees were distressed by the lack of right-wing policies. The debate over who those missing supporters were, and how to win them back, was to preoccupy the Conservative Party for the next decade. For now, Labour had the luxury of simply ignoring the details. Thanks to the vagaries of the first-past-the-post system, the party had a majority of 179 seats in the Commons, more than 63 per cent of the MPs, and – taking into account boundary changes – had gained 145 seats. In parliamentary terms, it dwarfed even the 1945 landslide of Clement Attlee (though he had won a shade under half the popular vote), a moment that had largely passed into the realm of fable. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats actually polled fewer votes than in 1992, but more than doubled their number of MPs, a fact which simply revealed the extent of the anti-Tory tactical voting at work.
The Knowledge Economy by Roberto Mangabeira Unger
additive manufacturing, balance sheet recession, business cycle, collective bargaining, commoditize, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, global value chain, information asymmetry, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, means of production, Paul Samuelson, savings glut, secular stagnation, side project, total factor productivity, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators
In the economy the fecundity of a method of competitive, market-based selection depends on the richness of the material from which competitive selection selects. So, too, the experimentalist culture of a high-energy democracy finds inspiration in a great wealth of contending interests and identities. These clashing perspectives need to win a political voice: hence the preference in most (but not all) circumstances for proportional representation and multiple rounds of balloting rather than first-past-the-post electoral regimes and conclusive decision on a single ballot. For the same reason, the state must have many parts, so that a tendency of interest or opinion that fails to find expression in one part may secure it in another. The danger that the manifestation of conflict not only in politics but in the state will lead to paralysis of coherent initiative is addressed by the second principle, of rapid resolution of impasse.
How Democracy Ends by David Runciman
barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Internet of things, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, Yogi Berra
It requires a victory to change their minds. The most persistent conspiracy theorists are the people who feel they can never win under the rules of democratic politics. A recent survey of UK voters showed that conspiracy theories are most prevalent among those who feel permanently disenfranchised.24 If you support a party that has no chance of winning power – especially under a two-party, first-past-the-post system – democracy does appear biased against you. It will be worse if you support no party at all. An old anarchist slogan says that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in. It is not just anarchists who think like that. Anyone who has lost faith in the possibility of political change is likely to believe voting is not worth the bother; anyone who stops voting is likely to find that the system ignores them because their views don’t count.
How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature by George Monbiot
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, dematerialisation, demographic transition, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, land reform, land value tax, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, peak oil, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, urban sprawl, wealth creators, World Values Survey
This is a system in which all major parties are complicit, which offers no obvious exit from a model that privileges neoliberal economics over other aspirations.13 It treats the natural world, civic life, equality, public health and effective public services as dispensable luxuries, and the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor as non-negotiable. Its lack of a codified constitution permits numberless abuses of power. It has failed to reform the House of Lords, royal prerogative, campaign finance and first-past-the-post voting (another triumph for the no brigade).14 It is dominated by a media owned by tax exiles, who, instructing their editors from their distant chateaux, play the patriotism card at every opportunity. The concerns of swing voters in marginal constituencies outweigh those of the majority; the concerns of corporations with no lasting stake in the country outweigh everything. Broken, corrupt, dysfunctional, retentive: you want to be part of this?
The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Mason
active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, planetary scale, post-oil, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, structural adjustment programs, systematic trading, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War
Naturally, the portion of national income that went to workers fell dramatically, and whole areas of Britain were taken over by Third World conditions. But the one thing that did not happen was that for which Mrs Thatcher was given credit: real wages per hour did not drop. In fact, and in sharp contrast to the US experience, they rose considerably.7 It is now clear that Mrs Thatcher’s impressive electoral successes in 1983 and 1987 (Britain’s ‘first past the post’ electoral system notwithstanding) was due to two factors. First, many of the 4.5 million jobless people were too glum and disgruntled to bother to vote. Secondly, the workers who did hang on to their jobs saw their real wages rise. In addition, Mrs Thatcher gave them bonuses that roped them into a speculative mood, in tune with the financial frenzy in Wall Street and the City of London. The bonuses came in two forms: selling the workers (at very low prices) the council houses in which they had been living, and offering them shares in newly privatized companies (like British Telecom, British Gas and the Trustee Savings Bank (TSB)) at far below the estimated market price.8 Both of these moves encouraged the still-working segments of the working class to consent to an economy that put all its eggs into the basket of speculation – either on house prices or on share prices.
Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World by Paul Collier
Ayatollah Khomeini, Boris Johnson, charter city, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, first-past-the-post, full employment, game design, George Akerlof, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, mass immigration, moral hazard, open borders, risk/return, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, white flight, zero-sum game
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do political opportunists. The space left by the mainstream political parties rapidly came to be occupied by a gallery of grotesques: racists, xenophobes, and psychopaths found themselves with an audience of decent, ordinary citizens who were increasingly alarmed by the silence of the mainstream parties. To date, the only thing that has kept extremist parties at bay has been first-past-the-post voting systems. In the United States and Britain, where such voting systems make it hard for third parties to survive, extremist parties have not gained traction. But in virtually all societies with more inclusive voting systems, single-issue anti-immigrant parties now attract a remarkably high share of the vote. Far from forcing sane debate on immigration policy by the mainstream parties, the emergence of extremists has further frightened them away from the issue.
The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine M. Gehl, Michael E. Porter
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, future of work, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, pension reform, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, zero-sum game
The reality of American elections becomes clear: staying in the race might well mean handing a victory to the greater of two evils—the very candidate you were working so hard to defeat in the first place. You ran for office because you spotted an opportunity to act in the public interest—to deliver solutions ignored by the current players. Your startup campaign was poised to fill a gap in the marketplace. But in American elections, plurality voting—the dominant, first-past-the-post, winner-take-all voting system—creates the spoiler phenomenon and dissuades would-be elected officials like you from running altogether. Frustrated and amazed by this truly un-American abuse of the free market, you do what any good, civic-minded citizen would do: you pursue legal action, believing you have a promising antitrust case. But you are quickly flummoxed yet again. Ever so conveniently, and unlike in most industries, antitrust regulation doesn’t apply to politics—and no independent regulator is coming to the rescue.7 Welcome to the politics industry, where party primaries and plurality voting combine to punish the public interest.
The Lost Decade: 2010–2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain by Polly Toynbee, David Walker
banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, call centre, car-free, centre right, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Attenborough, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy transition, Etonian, first-past-the-post, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Dyson, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, moral panic, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, smart meter, Uber for X, urban renewal, working-age population
As for the border, the futile search for ‘alternative arrangements’ to customs checks may soon become a search for arrangements that recognise the de facto unification of the island of Ireland, with its customs border in the Irish Sea – but would residents in the north still get their UK bonus? The government and constitution of the UK are decrepit, in need of thorough spring-cleaning. The decanting of MPs and peers when the decaying Palace of Westminster is renewed could be a prompt. It’s time to correct the corruptions of lobbying and peerages, but most pressing is electoral reform for the House of Commons, now that first-past-the-post is so demonstrably incapable of representing a fragmenting country. Brexit exposed the unfitness of electoral law in the age of social media, hostile foreign intervention and unwarranted use of private data. Some Reasons to Be Cheerful In the bowels of the Tate is Richard Caton Woodville’s watercolour of General Wolfe heroically scaling the Heights of Abraham to take Quebec City; it was much viewed when the Brexiter generation was at school and world maps on classroom walls still showed great daubs of empire red.
Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour management system, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
As anyone who has chaired a meeting of a club or committee knows, decision costs rise exponentially if one needs consensus in large groups. Decisions taken under a majority voting rule (50 percent plus one) often used in democratic countries thus deviate very far from an ideal democratic procedure, since they can disenfranchise nearly half the population. Indeed, under plurality (or what is sometimes known as first-past-the-post) voting, decisions can be taken on behalf of the whole community by a minority of voters. (The United States and the United Kingdom, both of which have such voting systems, elected Bill Clinton in 1992 with 43 percent of the vote, and Tony Blair with 42 percent in 2001.)5 FIGURE 22. Political Participation vs. Cost of Decision Making SOURCE: James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent It is evident that rules like majority voting are not adopted on the basis of any deep principle of justice but rather as an expedient that reduces decision costs and allows large communities to make a decision of some sort.
(There is another important check, a free media, which is not part of the formal political system.) In all other respects, however, the system concentrates rather than diffuses power. A pure Westminster system has only a single all-powerful legislative chamber, no separate presidency, no written constitution and therefore no judicial review, and no federalism or constitutionally mandated devolution of powers to localities. It has a plurality, or first-past-the-post, voting system, which tends to produce a two-party system and strong parliamentary majorities even when the majority party wins only a plurality of the vote.8 Critical to the functioning of this system is party discipline; the leadership of the Conservative or Labour Party can force its members of Parliament to vote according to their wishes because they can deny recalcitrant MPs the ability to run for office in the next election.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population
'So,' says Taylor, I think Labour's strategy was; 'How do we appeal to the aspirational working classi" Does that mean that they took for granted whatever it is we mean by the 'non-aspirational working class'? Well, maybe partly took for granted, maybe partly those people are in constituencies that Labour are going to win anyway. So, whether you might consider that to be callous, but in a first-past-the-post [electoral] system you don't focus your energies on people who are in constituencies where they don't make a huge difference. And partly those people are also less likely, or least likely, to turn out. But what did New Labour mean by aspiration? 'If you look at the disCOursearound aspiration, it's a very restricted notion of what it is,' says influential Labour backbencher and former advisor to Tony Blair, Jon Cruddas.
The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar
Many in the precariat do not expect, or even want, to spend years with one employer, and thus are unlikely to be keen on costly action to obtain minor improvements in working conditions in their current workplace. Be that as it may, it is the thinning of the democratic crust of society that should be of primary concern, epitomised above all by the commodification of party politics. THE GAME OF PLUTOCRATS Democracy is usually understood as a competition of political values and ideas, with informed debate preceding voting. Whatever the electoral system – ‘first-past-the-post’, as in Britain or the USA, or some form of proportional representation related to share of the vote – the health of democracy depends on the scope for debate based on truthful information. Yet political campaigns are increasingly narrowing that scope, using the power of modern communications technology to manipulate public opinion with simplistic, emotive and often untruthful messages and images.
Brexit, No Exit: Why in the End Britain Won't Leave Europe by Denis MacShane
3D printing, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Gini coefficient, greed is good, illegal immigration, James Dyson, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reshoring, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Thales and the olive presses, trade liberalization, transaction costs, women in the workforce
If it cannot achieve this, its future is bleak and Brexit is the first major symptom of that worrying future for a Europe that can celebrate its past but not shape a future. AFTERWORD 24 HOW THE UK STAYS IN EUROPE In 1992 there was a narrow majority in a Danish referendum to reject the Maastricht Treaty. The Danes, like the British, are a proud, longstanding European democracy. Their election system is based on proportional representation, unlike Britain’s first-past-the post system. There has been no majority one-party government in Denmark since 1909. The government insisted that while it accepted the clear expression of the will of the Danish people in the plebiscite, it invited the nation to reflect on whether that was the final and only word, following which Denmark’s future lay in being isolated from its European partners. But they were careful not to rush forward simply to reject the result and insist on a second referendum.
The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey
What it has not done is change the social composition of the party—about three quarters of Labour party members are middle class, about 60 per cent are graduates, and almost 40 per cent live in London and the South East.15 The decline of corporatism has also had a narrowing effect on politics. Corporatism, for all its faults, provided many millions of people with a second way to influence public policy through their union branches or business or professional associations. Moreover, in Britain, thanks to the first past the post system, most constituencies never change hands. This means a limited sense of political agency in national politics for the people stuck in the rotten boroughs, while local government politics, at least outside big cities, is often barely visible to most people (thanks in part to the sad decline of good local newspapers). Surveys regularly reveal that 70 to 80 per cent of the population do not feel they can have any impact on politics.
Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie
4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
The Lib Dems wanted to talk to me because they were unsure whether they could translate this new school of campaigning into the British political system. What was so interesting for them about the project I had worked on with the LPC—setting up the same kind of voter-targeting system used by the Obama campaign—was that it was the first of its kind and scale outside the United States. And Canada, like Britain, uses the same first-past-the-post “Westminster model” electoral system and has a diverse array of political parties. In this conversation, the staffers realized that half of the localization work would have already been done if they imported the Canadian version of the technology. At the end of the meeting, they were almost giddy after learning about what the system could do. After leaving, I ran back to school to catch the tail end of a lecture on the rules of statutory interpretation and thought that was the end of it.
The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee, David Walker
banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, call centre, central bank independence, congestion charging, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Etonian, failed state, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, market bubble, mass immigration, millennium bug, moral panic, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Right to Buy, shareholder value, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, working-age population, Y2K
This is not a book about politicians, nor about what they thought they were doing – that book would contain some sorry chapters indeed. In May 2011 there was a sharp reminder of Labour’s reactionary tendency, when many frontbenchers of 1997–2010 showed their true colours. John Reid joined David Blunkett and others unashamedly on a Tory platform, to inveigh against the reform of voting to the House of Commons – although they had been members of the Cabinet when Labour, to its credit, abolished first-past-the-post elections in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and contests for the Greater London Authority. In spring 2010 we witnessed Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon touting their services as lobbyists and gobbling up corporate positions, former defence secretary Hoon joining AgustaWestland, the helicopter manufacturer, blatantly exposing the revolving door between the Ministry of Defence and the firms from which it procures equipment.
The Skeptical Economist: Revealing the Ethics Inside Economics by Jonathan Aldred
airport security, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Diane Coyle, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, framing effect, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, new economy, Pareto efficiency, pension reform, positional goods, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, school choice, spectrum auction, Thomas Bayes, trade liberalization, ultimatum game
For example, in discussing auctions of radio spectrum, which he helped design, Paul Klemperer warns that even sophisticated government and business decision makers struggle to understand some aspects of auction theory. Auction design that overemphasizes auction theory at the expense of messy political realities has gone badly wrong in practice. See Klemperer (2006). 4 Although some economists seem dismissive, I would propose social choice theory. This shows, among other things, the desirable ethical principles that different voting rules (first-past-the-post, proportional representation etc.) satisfy; and the combinations of desirable ethical principles that no voting rule satisfies (including rules we may not yet have invented). But again, social choice theory inhabits a kind of closed system. For a relatively accessible introduction to the beautiful world of social choice theory, see Sen (1999). 5 Mackenzie et al (2007). The idea of performativity originated in linguistic philosophy with Austin (1962). 6 Just one example of the weakness of a simplistic fact/value distinction; in this book I have used this distinction uncritically for no reason other than the need for brevity.
How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck
What is more, it is beginning to make its leading representatives to leave behind institutionalism pure and simple and move forward (or in fact back?) to a political economy perspective on democracy that deserves its name. Democracy and capitalism is now the subject, if not of choice then of necessity. Gone are the good times, or so it seems, when Glasperlen issues as harmless and comfortable as first-past-the-post vs. proportional representation, Westminster vs. veto point, consociational vs. majoritarian democracy, parliamentary vs. presidential rule, unitary vs. federal government, mono-cameralism vs. bicameralism etc., etc. could rule supreme in the discipline’s official journals. Back to the basics! – so I read the message of Merkel’s remarkable essay2 in which he challenges nothing less than the foundational assumption of post-war political science that capitalism and democracy are birds of a feather: that just as capitalism needs as well as supports democracy, democracy needs as well as supports capitalism, the two flocking together in everlasting pre-established harmony.
Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation by Brendan Simms
anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Corn Laws, credit crunch, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, imperial preference, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, oil shock, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, South Sea Bubble, trade route, éminence grise
In order to make this strategy work, the prime minister needs the prospect of withdrawal to be credible, and, judging by his rhetoric, the mood of his party8 and the general drift of British public opinion, he is not bluffing.9 Moreover, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has put somebody at the helm of the main opposition party whose recorded views on the European Union are more negative than any of his predecessors before the 1950s. A ‘Brexit’ in 2016 is therefore perfectly possible.10 At the same time, the British Question is being posed in a different way by the campaign for Scottish independence.11 The long period of Tory government under Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s opened a divide between the more conservative English and the supposedly more socialist Scots (much magnified by the first-past-the-post electoral system). It was papered over but never closed by the Blair government’s devolution of powers to the Scottish Assembly in the late 1990s. In October 2012 the ruling Scottish National Party in Edinburgh under Alex Salmond secured a highly advantageous deal for a referendum on independence two years later. Scottish independence would have encouraged separatism in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism Through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen, David Soskice
Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, implied volatility, income inequality, industrial cluster, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, means of production, mittelstand, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, passive investing, precariat, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban decay, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game
Within these subnational communities—rural Gemeinde, as well as small and larger towns with their formal or informal guild structures, sometimes defined confessionally, linguistically, and/or ethnically—local decision-making involved consensus-based negotiation and bargaining so that different group interests (except those without possessions) could be effectively represented. This allowed the solution of collective action problems and the safe creation of cospecific assets within local and regional economic networks. In these countries a nominally majoritarian first-past-the-post electoral system worked adequately as a representative system at the national level through much of the nineteenth century. Constituencies were represented in national politics by local notables elected by plurality and often unopposed. With economic interests generally geographically defined, these provided for their more or less proportional representation. And, with dominant local and regional economic networks, the national level was in any case less important in regulating economic activities.
Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States by Francis Fukuyama
Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crony capitalism, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, land reform, land tenure, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game
See Javier Corrales, Presidents without Parties: The Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002). 31. Seymour Martin Lipset, American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword (New York: Norton, 1995). 32. New Zealand ceased to have a pure Westminster system when its electoral system was changed from single member ﬁrst-past-the-post to mixed member proportional in 1994. 33. Though even in those instances, judiciaries that are too independent of public opinion have become highly controversial in the United States and other developed democracies that take basic judicial independence for granted. 34. Stein et al., The Politics of Policies. 220 Institutional Factors in Latin America’s Development 35. American presidents have taken on special powers during wartime, such as Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War and Franklin D.
Three Years in Hell: The Brexit Chronicles by Fintan O'Toole
airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, full employment, income inequality, l'esprit de l'escalier, labour mobility, late capitalism, open borders, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, technoutopianism, zero-sum game
And it helped, too, that the European Union really is in a terrible state, that the passing of the generation of European leaders who experienced the Second World War has left a vacuum where visionary leadership ought to be. Painting the EU as a failed project is grossly simplistic, but there is enough truth in this crude portrait for people to recognise the likeness. It helped, finally and most ironically of all, that the same Conservative Party whose internal disputes created this historic moment, is governing with the very limited legitimacy that 35 per cent of the vote confers. Britain’s unreformed first-past-the-post electoral system has left huge parts of the population feeling democratically irrelevant and unrepresented. However much one might be repelled by UKIP, it is obvious that when four million people vote for a party and it gets just a single MP, Westminster itself becomes Them for many voters. But if the Them side of the nationalist equation is strong, the Us side is dangerously weak. This is a revolution that has scarcely spoken its own name.
The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan
"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus
New parties will also have to navigate the complexities of electoral systems. In some countries, such as Germany, small parties need to get above a threshold vote in order to be allowed to take up seats in the Bundestag, and this can dissuade voters from voting for new, smaller parties. This is referred to as “Duverger’s Law,” named after the French sociologist Maurice Duverger, who observed that “first-past-the-post” electoral systems tend to foster two-party systems, whereas double-ballot-majority systems and proportional-representation systems tend to foster multiparty landscapes. Much of the evidence on the formation of new parties comes from Western democratic countries. Parties are less consequential in one-party systems or in nations where individuals and their families and close supporters rule.
The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 by Mary Fulbrook
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, joint-stock company, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, Sinatra Doctrine, union organizing, unorthodox policies
The traditional penumbra of SPD youth, sporting and special interest groups was forbidden, depriving the SPD of one of its main organizational means of gaining and sustaining support. 6 Other studies, such as that by Rainer Schulze of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have shown how British support of these employers' organizations allowed them to secure advantages in influencing the policies of, and placing individuals within, emerging right-wing political parties.7 Page 140 There were also more politically neutral difficulties: the British, for example, set great store by the attempt to separate 'politics' from 'administration', politicians from civil servants, which in German traditions of local government had been conflated (as in the office which combined the functions of chief executive and mayor). There were also attempts in the British zone to replace the proportional representation voting system with the British system of 'first past the post', resulting in the hybrid compromise found in the later voting system of the Federal Republic (which combines both, as discussed further in Chapter Seven). Unforeseen problems were encountered with some of the aspects of democracy in post-Nazi Germany in practice. The Americans were somewhat taken aback when in one town a former Nazi mayor was re-elected, by democratic majority vote, as the new mayor.
The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb, Kingfisher Editors
Headlines cried out, “Don’t Worry, We Are Still in the Fight,” yet column after column reported failures and missed chances. There was one hope left, though: Bannister. Now more than ever his countrymen rallied around him. A few days before the Daily Mirror columnist, Tom Phillips, had compared Bannister to a great racehorse trainer who “rarely bothered about picking minor honors here and there. If he wished to win a classic race, he got his horse perfectly fit for that day and nearly every time his horse was first past the post.” Phillips concluded: “I believe Bannister will win and teach some of our other athletes, and the officials and coaches, a lesson in strategy and tactics.” If confidence could be drawn from the amount of column space guaranteeing his victory, Bannister was a sure thing. Most sportswriters considered him their favorite. But his legs hurt. He hadn’t slept soundly in days. He was plagued by worries, both real and otherwise.
European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain
3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar
This “deliberative polling” enhances understanding of the issues and encourages people to weigh the trade-offs that public policy involves.772 Similarly, AmericaSpeaks aims to “engage citizens in the public decisions that impact their lives” through methods such as 21st Century Town Hall Meetings. An elaboration of this approach is to set up citizens’ assemblies made up of a representative sample of the population that come together to deliberate on important issues. Canada is a pioneer. In 2004, the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform convened a policy jury to look at alternatives to the first-past-the-post electoral system.773 In 2007, a similar grouping considered alternative electoral systems in Ontario. Three of that province’s Local Health Integration Networks have also referred their budget priorities to a policy jury for advice and refinement. At the very least, both European countries and the EU should explore greater use of deliberative democracy on a consultative basis. If it works well, citizens’ assemblies, chosen by lot, might ultimately replace the upper house of parliament.
India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population
This fragmentation of the party system has had major political consequences. From independence until 1989, the national government was formed by the Congress Party (with the exception of the Janata Coalition from 1977 to 1979). It regularly got around 40 per cent of the votes and 60 per cent or more of seats, giving it an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha. (This discrepancy between votes and seats is made possible by India’s ‘first past the post’ electoral system.) Significantly, the Congress also controlled the Rajya Sabha. Moreover, from 1971 to 1989, and particularly for much of the time that Indira Gandhi was prime minister, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) acquired great power over other institutions. From 1989, these centralizing forces have been reversed. The trend has been for the Congress to lose its share of votes as well as seats, and for the BJP to gain at its expense.
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch
agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales of Miletus, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam, zero-sum game
The system used to elect members of the legislatures of most countries in the British political tradition is that each district (or ‘constituency’) in the country is entitled to one seat in the legislature, and that seat goes to the candidate with the largest number of votes in that district. This is called the plurality voting system (‘plurality’ meaning ‘largest number of votes’) – often called the ‘first-past-the-post’ system, because there is no prize for any runner-up, and no second round of voting (both of which feature in other electoral systems for the sake of increasing the proportionality of the outcomes). Plurality voting typically ‘over-represents’ the two largest parties, compared with the proportion of votes they receive. Moreover, it is not guaranteed to avoid the population paradox, and is even capable of bringing one party to power when another has received far more votes in total.
Bali & Lombok Travel Guide by Lonely Planet
BULL RACES The Negara region is famous for bull races, known as mekepung, which culminate in the Bupati Cup in Negara on the Sunday before 17 August, Indonesia's Independence Day. The racing animals are actually the normally docile water buffalo, which charge down a 2km stretch of road or beach pulling tiny chariots. Gaily clad riders stand or kneel on top of the chariots forcing the bullocks on. The winner is not necessarily first past the post – style also plays a part and points are awarded for the most elegant runner. There is much wagering on the results. Important races take place during the dry season on some Sundays from July to October. Races and practices are held at several sites around Perancak on the coast and elsewhere on Sunday mornings, including Delod Berawan and Mertasari. Actually finding these events can be somewhat like seeking the Holy Grail: if you're in Negara on a bull-race Sunday, people will gladly direct you, but trying to obtain info remotely is often frustrating.
Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann
4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional
At the 2004 elections to the European Parliament, the BNP won 800,000 votes, 4.9 per cent of the total. This despite the fact that the more moderate UK Independence Party (UKIP), also sceptical of immigration, secured 16.1 per cent. This was an early political bellwether of the rise in anti-immigration sentiment that had been building since 1997. Many scoffed that European elections were protest votes with low turnouts, hence poor indicators of what might happen in a high-participation, first-past-the-post national election. It’s certainly true that supply factors – campaign resources and a local infrastructure of volunteers – are critical for winning national elections. While campaigning is also important in elections to the European Parliament, the electoral units aren’t local while seats in the European Parliament are allocated on the basis of the popular vote. This neatly converts votes into seats, benefiting populist and single-issue parties whose support is spread relatively evenly across the country.
Lonely Planet London City Guide by Tom Masters, Steve Fallon, Vesna Maric
Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Clapham omnibus, congestion charging, dark matter, discovery of the americas, double helix, East Village, financial independence, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, Nelson Mandela, place-making, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, young professional
Critics point out, though, that despite the veneer of ecofriendly, liberal policies, the party remains utterly that of the establishment, with Cameron and much of his cabinet a product of Eton and Oxbridge. The only other major political party in the UK is the Liberal Democrats, who currently hold just 63 seats. Led by the young Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems are the established third party that always loses out to the first-past-the-post electoral system. While many see them as a credible alternative to the Tory–Labour double act (who have held power between them since 1922!), the reality of British electoral number crunching means that it’s extremely difficult for a third party to make a national impact. Despite this the Lib Dems wield much power in local government throughout the country. The House of Lords has a little power but these days it’s largely limited to delaying legislation – even then, it’s only a question of time before it goes to the Queen for royal assent, which is a formality as the Queen has never refused to sign a bill and there is no constitutional precedent for her to do so.
The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze
anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, credit crunch, failed state, fear of failure, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, imperial preference, labour mobility, liberal world order, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, price stability, reserve currency, Right to Buy, the payments system, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, zero-sum game
Faced with the ‘degradation of this Parliament’ Ramsay MacDonald, who had lost his seat, despaired altogether of human nature.34 Lloyd George and his Tory partners had, it seemed, found a way to turn democracy into a vehicle for reaction. Lloyd George, the staunch opponent of the Boer War, stood accused of pandering to the basest instincts of nationalism. The sense of having been cheated was only amplified by the arbitrariness of Westminster’s first-past-the-post constituency system. Although Asquithians, Liberals and Labour gained more than one-third of the electorate, they won only one-eighth of the seats.35 But though this rankled, the vagaries of the Westminster system were predictable and they did not make the system inherently conservative. In 1906 it had given the Lib-Lab coalition a landslide. During the reform debates of 1917, it was the Conservatives who had pushed for proportional representation, wanting to protect themselves against what they took to be the inevitable working-class majority under a universal franchise.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker
3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K
The world’s citizens are squarely behind the movement: large majorities in almost every surveyed country favor abolition.110 Zero is an attractive number because it expands the nuclear taboo from using the weapons to possessing them. It also removes any incentive for a nation to obtain nuclear weapons to protect itself against an enemy’s nuclear weapons. But getting to zero will not be easy, even with a carefully phased sequence of negotiation, reduction, and verification.111 Some strategists warn that we shouldn’t even try to get to zero, because in a crisis the former nuclear powers might rush to rearm, and the first past the post might launch a pre-emptive strike out of fear that its enemy would do so first.112 According to this argument, the world would be better off if the nuclear grandfathers kept a few around as a deterrent. In either case, the world is very far from zero, or even “a few.” Until that blessed day comes, there are incremental steps that could bring the day closer while making the world safer. The most obvious is to whittle down the size of the arsenal.
State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook
anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, global pandemic, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional
While the moderate parties – the Faulkner Unionists, the Alliance, the SDLP and Northern Ireland’s Labour Party – competed against one another for votes, the loyalist UUUC parties agreed to pool their resources and run one candidate in each constituency on the simple slogan ‘Dublin is Just a Sunningdale Away’. In some constituencies, the power-sharing candidates won more votes combined than their rejectionist opponent, but in a first-past-the-post system, that was no consolation. For when the votes were counted, the UUUC had swept the board, winning all but one of Northern Ireland’s twelve Westminster seats. Only in West Belfast, where the SDLP’s Gerry Fitt won a narow victory on the back of the heavy nationalist vote, was there a glimmer of light for the moderates. Everywhere else, the voices of consensus were blown away.46 The Assembly and the Executive soldiered bravely on, but as the Permanent Secretary at the Northern Ireland Office reported to London a few days later, ‘Mr Faulkner was somewhat shaken and somewhat fearful.’
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Nations would be tempted to cheat by retaining a few nukes on the side just in case their adversaries did so. A rogue state might support nuclear terrorists once it was sure that it would never be a target of retaliation. And in a world that lacked nuclear weapons but retained the knowledge of how to build them—and that genie certainly can’t be put back in the bottle—a crisis could set off a scramble to rearm, in which the first past the post might be tempted to strike preemptively before its adversary got the upper hand. Some experts on nuclear strategy, including Schelling, John Deutch, and Harold Brown, are skeptical that a nuclear-free world is attainable or even desirable, though others are working out timetables and safeguards designed to answer their objections.217 With all these uncertainties, no one should predict that nuclear weapons will go the way of poison gas anytime soon.