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The UK General Election


Severian
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Doesn't the funding for research come mainly from industry in most cases? Or at least shouldn't it?

 

Do you think it should? Do you think industry would be willing to spend money to find out if the Higgs mechanism is correct, or what Dark Matter (or Dark Energy) are? Would they pay for the Planck satellite or the Diamond synchrotron? What about fission research?

 

When they get get the coffersback up I assume they would re invenst funds in the future.

 

Once they have money to spend I assume they would give tax breaks to the rich. After all, it is the rich who will vote for them.


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Here is the Lib dem's latest party political broadcast, if anyone is interested.

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maybe i'm out of touch with my nations politics here(i only pay attention when its time to vote) but since when was the US political system and NASA involved in the UK general election? offtopic much?

 

No, it was not off topic. Just not completely accurate.

 

If the conservatives get in, they plan on seriously cutting funding for fundamental science research. So British science would be screwed.

 

Is this actually a stated position of the Tories?

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President Obama’s FY2011 Budget has 21% funding increase for USGCRP climate science research [/Quote]

 

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/obama-usgcrp-fy2011-budget-increase/

 

 

Obama has called investment in science a driver of the American economic engine. His proposal includes a modest increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which apart from a one-time economic stimulus bonanza has experienced stagnant funding in recent years. And it would see strong increases for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy's Office of Science (see Table 1). Bush had started to double the collective budgets of these three agencies over 10 years, and Obama's request would keep that plan on track. [/Quote]

 

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100202/full/463594a.html

 

 

The new plan must now be approved by Congress. The White House faces fierce opposition from officials who represent areas with thousands of jobs tied to the Constellation programme.

 

It was not all bad news, however. The space station will now be funded until 2020, rather than being abandoned after 2015 to free up money for the moon shot. And NASA is to invest $7.8 billion over the next five years on new technology for human space exploration, such as orbiting fuel depots that could act as staging posts for future missions.

 

Science as a whole also fared well. Obama is seeking $61.6 billion for research in 2011, 5.6 per cent more than in 2010. Among the winners is clean-energy research, with $300 million requested for the new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, created to make investments in potentially game-changing energy technologies.[/Quote]

 

[From your link....]

 

CR; What is proposed and what actually is spent are two very different figures and I suspect, actual spending on hard science, especially Astrophysics Research and Development will be much less, that's however opinion. What is not opinion, is the PROPOSED, 2011 FY Budget (Year begins 10/01/2010) will likely not be even considered until after the elections in November, where it's possible a lamb duck Congress, will approve anything. If this scenario does happen, appropriations (the money to finance the budget) will determine the outcome, of what's fact.

 

The Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress could forego trying to approve a budget blueprint this year, a move that could avert a divisive spending battle but complicate efforts to close the record budget deficit. [/Quote]

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63C5E020100413

 

Back to the UK Parliament; I would think the Lib-Dem's, in particular the Labor Party, would do basically what I feel is happening hear diverting hard science spending to social spending, possibly even under the name of Science (swan flu research, global warming and alternative fuel research and the like) over that of their Conservative Party.

 

One comment on "continuing the Space Station funding through 2020", big deal, we will have no way of even getting OURSELVES there, or as said before our luggage. This makes absolutely NO SENSE to me...I may be the only one that feel that spent money on the ISS and the Constellation Rocket, at least 122B$, will not have been in vain, after this November elections. Just how it will be saved, I'm not sure....

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Is this actually a stated position of the Tories?

 

The shadow Science minister said, in an interview with the Evening Standard "Right now, our country is virtually bankrupt, so major science budget cuts are inevitable."

 

Science in the UK still hasn't recovered from the last Tory government. We certainly don't want a repeat performance:

 

The UK has dropped down the G7 in % of GDP spent on R&D. In 1986 the UK as a whole spent 2.17% of GDP on R&D. That put us in the middle of the G7, behind the USA (2.72%), Germany (2.63%) and Japan (2.55%), but ahead of France (2.15%), Canada (1.46%), Italy (1.11%). In 2007 the UK as a whole spent 1.81% of GDP on R&D, putting us behind the rest of G7 except for Italy (see table 7.3) . We were closer to the government’s target of 2.5% of GDP spent on R&D in 1986 than we are now.

 

In this letter to the Independent, 22 distinguished scientists explicitly voice their concern over the possibility of a Tory government decimating UK science.

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Wait... your opposition party actually appoints fake ministers? Did I read that right?

 

Anyway I guess if the country really is bankrupt that would make sense, but I don't know enough about your financial situation to comment. It does sound more like spin than reality, I don't disagree with the notion of stopping spending on "R&D" when the budget is out of balance, but in our case cutting that kind of spending won't really help because the numbers are just plain dwarfed by social and defense budgets.

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No, it was not off topic. Just not completely accurate.

 

 

 

Is this actually a stated position of the Tories?

 

 

NASA funding will not influence, and is not influenced by the UK election so it is off topic.

 

 

Their started policy is to cut taxation and expenditure. Since they have said that they will (to some extent) protect expenditure on education and health, all other projects are at risk.

Cutting back on science was also their policy before, and they are great supporters of "tradition".

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Wait... your opposition party actually appoints fake ministers? Did I read that right?

 

The shadow cabinate? Yeah, e.g. if there's a problem with the transport network, it's the shadow minister for trandport's job to pretend that if his party was in charge he'd have been able to fix the problem perfectly without raising taxes. the leader of the opposition is essentially shadow prime-minister.

 

Dunno if your country uses the term, but the cabinate is the highest ministers, all appointed by the PM (cabinate ministers don't even need to be elected MPs iirc, nor all from the same party: e.g., gordon brown could appoint a conservative MP to the cabinate).

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NASA funding will not influence, and is not influenced by the UK election so it is off topic.

 

Comparisons with US politics began with the opening post, and an open call for opinions from American observers was invited by the original poster in message #17. Other comparisons with US politics were offered by bascule in post #4, Mr. Skeptic in post #5, Phi for All in posts 8 & 11, jryan in post #9, and myself in #31, and nobody seems to have a problem with any of those posts. Please direct any further replies on this matter through private message or the Reported Post tool. Thanks.

 

 

 

The shadow cabinate? Yeah, e.g. if there's a problem with the transport network, it's the shadow minister for trandport's job to pretend that if his party was in charge he'd have been able to fix the problem perfectly without raising taxes. the leader of the opposition is essentially shadow prime-minister.

 

Pretty interesting.

 

Over here when the other party comes to power there's always a rousing debate over who will be chosen for what cabinet positions. There was some talk back when Obama came in about how much time it cost the administration before it could get to dealing with the economic crisis. Perhaps a "shadow" approach might shorten that time.

 

But of course if the shadow positions are really focused on spin-doctoring then those folks might not really be qualified for the actual positions. Or are people sensitive to that, and complain when an opposition party appoints someone inappropriate to the role, like a lawyer pretending to be a scientist, etc?

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But of course if the shadow positions are really focused on spin-doctoring then those folks might not really be qualified for the actual positions. Or are people sensitive to that, and complain when an opposition party appoints someone inappropriate to the role, like a lawyer pretending to be a scientist, etc?

 

Not really. Gordon Brown, for example, was chancellor for the exchequer (basically minister for the economy) with only a PhD in history.

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Science in the UK still hasn't recovered from the last Tory government. We certainly don't want a repeat performance: [/Quote]

 

Severian; Anything classified Science R&D, that involves domestic interest (potential profit) is pursued by every involved Industry in that field. Investors and the Companies themselves (from profits), invest a great deal more than your percentages from any government, the probable leaders being in the UK and US today. Add to this their interest in Education and their contribution to any institution, with a great deal being paid to higher education.

 

Primary interest in Government spending for "said" science R&D, has been limited to what could be "Defense", or more recently projects to large for private industry alone. Then consider, if you would, the 'Social Programs' (Social Justice) from the 60's through the early 80's, that have been expanded in all of Europe and North American, some to this year, and you have crossed the point of diminishing returns.

 

To summarize and IMO, if you want to promote R&D in all Science endeavors, you need to politically promote what will maintain what's left and increase the influence of Capitalism and the private sector, letting Government going back to Governing.

 

Not really. Gordon Brown, for example, was chancellor for the exchequer (basically minister for the economy) with only a PhD in history. [/Quote]

 

Dak; I'm personally not a fan of Mr. Brown, but fear he and his party, are being judged for things, they had little or no control over, errors made here in the US. I was particularly appreciative of Tony Blair (Labor Party), but didn't follow his domestic policy. If you list your complaints against Brown, however, I believe they would not be far from those of Mr. Blair and believe your grievance. Side note; I was unaware of Brown's interest and education in History, which is interesting. Most US Presidents, including Obama have had some history in the study of History, some of the best, were our best Presidents.

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Maggie was a chemist but it didn't stop her government knackering science; for example the closure of the Warren Spring laboratory; and education.

 

I realise the Mr Brown and Mr Blair were to some extent victims of external circumstances. The economy didn't fail because of anything our PM did and the war in Iraq was inevitable, given Mr Bush's determination to start one. Blair's decision to make sure he was on what he expected to be the winning side might have been the least bad option in the circumstances.

 

My problem with the Blair/ Brown government is that they were elected on false pretences. They claimed to be Left wing.

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Jon Stewart just opened his show with a hilarious look at the UK election comparing it with American debates and television coverage. The ep is still airing but maybe we can link a vid after it's over.


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Ok, the April 21 ep, with the opening look at the UK election, is here:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-april-21-2010-fred-pearce

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Jon Stewart just opened his show with a hilarious look at the UK election comparing it with American debates and television coverage. The ep is still airing but maybe we can link a vid after it's over.


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Ok, the April 21 ep, with the opening look at the UK election, is here:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-april-21-2010-fred-pearce

I watched that this morning, based on your recommendation. Roflcopters, that was one of the funniest bits I've ever seen them do!
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That clip was pretty funny :D

 

All I know is that in the coming election, I'm not voting Labour. That's about as far as I've gotten. We don't really seem to have much choice between any of the three major parties, and my concern is this is just going to encourage the growth of rather nasty parties like the BNP and UKIP.

 

What I want is a Government which keeps health, education and transport public. (By transport, I really mean infrastructure, not necessarily the operators of services on that infrastructure). I would like these things to be run in an efficient manner which doesn't waste public money. And I would like much more investment (again in an efficient manner and with proper oversight) into education.

 

What I do not want is a Government which starts to intrude into the private lives of people in this country. For example I do not want: identity cards (but more specifically the national identity register); ContactPoint; many of the other massive (and useless) IT projects the government has put out there; massive expansion of police powers to stop and search, the Digital Economy Bill and so forth.

 

I think that what I want is not too dissimilar from what most people want. I just wish someone would do it :)

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http://freedom.libdems.org.uk/the-freedom-bill/19-the-childrens-database/

 

can't find their opinion on the DigEco bill, but they seem to want to scrap the other's you mention.

 

personally, those are the bits that concern me the most: at the risk of Goodwining this thread, some of Labour's plans indicate a nazi-level of authoritarianism coming up at some point in the future if we're not careful...

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I think there are two additional factors which will come into play in this election.

 

Firstly, there has been a lot of emphasis in the press on share of the vote. The press now seem to regard a large share of the vote as a mandate from the people even if it is not transferred into seats. So the Lib Dems would become more influential with an increase in the percentage of people who vote for them. Therefore no vote for the Lib Dems is "wasted", even if it is in a seat they can't win, since it will increase their percentage and therefore influence.

 

Secondly, I think a lot of people will vote for them simply in order to bring in PR. For example, imagine someone who would normally vote green. Even if they don't particularly like Lid Dem policies in general, it is advantageous to them to vote Lib Dem simply because a Lib Dem dominated government will introduce PR. We would never see a Green Party MP with first-past-the-post, so voting Lib Dem now is the only way to get a Green Party MP five years down the line through an election with PR.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any thoughts on the election results?

 

The headlines seem to indicate that the conservatives won the largest number of seats but not enough for a majority. I'm kinda curious exactly what that means. Does that mean they cannot "form a government"? (Not sure exactly what that term means, either.)

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afaict:

 

if the conservatives had got a majority, then the labour PM would have to resign, and the conservative majority would form a government (e.g., pick a PM, etc).

 

without a majority, Labour, being the ones currently in, can have a go at either forming an alliance (which itself has a majority) in order to form a government, elsewize argue that they'll be able to form a minority government (which i think means that the lack of majority isn't so severe that they'll loose votes: they'll always be able to yoink a few rebel MPs from other parties, or ally with smaller parties on an issue-by-issue basis).

 

failing that I think the biggest party (conservatives) get a chance to do all of that.

 

Failing that, I think the queen can pick a minority government, but if not or if that doesn't work, I think there has to be another election strait away.

 

dissapointed by the lib-dem performance... the flaws with our 'democratic' system seem to stop us choosing to fix them. again. :mad:

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well, abnormal.

 

usually it's a strait-forward labour v. conservative, one-of-them-will-win election. This one looks set to not give a majority, and everyone thought lib-dem might do well (srsly, wtf happened there?). still, everyone's wondering how it'll pan out and which coalition or whatever will rule, wether GB will be kicked out, wether lib-dem will be able to winkle any reforms for their support, etc.

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