» Friday, May 21, 2004


Asked if the Prime Minister supported Pakistan’s bid to rejoin the Commonwealth, the PMS said that a decision would be taken by all the members of the Commonwealth. She said later that the Government believed that Pakistan had fulfilled the conditions set by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to rejoin the Commonwealth, but the decision would be taken by the CMAG.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. How many other democracies have military presidents.

    Comment by MA Kaiserimam — 24 May 2004 on 2:03 am | Link
  2. Depends on your interpretation of "democracy"… Israel?!?! USA?! Let’s face it; the word "democracy" has well and truly lost its meaning. The UK is far enough away from being a real democracy as it is; democracy in the US is a joke, and as for Pakistan; that’s almost as bad as saying Afghanistan is democratic.

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 24 May 2004 on 5:49 am | Link
  3. In a democracy, you get what you ask for. If you don’t like it, vote differently. You want change? Vote for agents of change.

    Don’t vote Labor or Tory and complain about a two-party system.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 24 May 2004 on 10:37 am | Link
  4. I think that there is a gentleman agreement in between about a dozen of most developed countries (democracies) that no developing country should get any help to become a democracy. This is why almost all countries (except two or three) who came to their (socalled) independence after second world war are no democracies. If any one tried to be a democracy the other democracies crushed them. Is there any one democratic country willong to stop providing "aid" or dealing with undemocrtic countries???

    Comment by Kaiserimam — 13 Sep 2004 on 12:34 am | Link
  5. I agree with you on the two part system Gregory – to a point. But it does become a bit of a vicious cycle. Because there is a perception that to vote for your first choice is a waste; and that it is more important to stop the one big party you really hate getting in, the big two get more votes and reinforce the initial perception.

    Comment by Lodjer — 13 Sep 2004 on 12:45 pm | Link
  6. If everyone voted for the party they actually thought best fit what they wanted, parliament would be so fragmented that coalitions would be required just for anything to get done, and the policies which came out of government would actually much more closely match our wishes and desires.

    The fact we all run around thinking "a single party must end up with total control" is the same thing that leads all these parties to run around pretending that they need all those bloody voters just to be effective – and become lowest-common-denominator button pushers as a result, spinning a story in as many ways as possible so as to cover as much of the spectrum of opinion with their actions as is humanly possible.

    We create the problem. We are the first thing in politics that neeed to be changed – not politics, not the politicians, us. We are the problem, we are the solution. We just need to get off our butts and start voting the way we feel, rather than trying to beat paid statisticians at their own game or do what the paper told us to.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 13 Sep 2004 on 4:08 pm | Link
  7. I couldn’t agree more – but, case in point, recent London Mayor elections:

    I wanted to vote Green Party, you stand there with paper in hand, and think "right, one vote, do I give it to Ken, keep Norris out, and get some of what I want: or do i vote Green, walk home with my head held high, and run the risk of getting nothing I want. I voted Ken, given how close it was, was it not the right move (for me)?

    I agree entirely with what you say, coalitions get results when their mix of policies is right, and fall when they don’t. As we are, its all just spin, personality, and shifts every decade or so.

    We are, as you say, the problem. And we should be the solution too, but how do we do it? far from reversing the trend are we not headed more and more toward a US style situation; where the slickest ad campaign, the biggest election budget, and the least honorable dirt digging wins the day?

    Could a reform of party funding help?

    Comment by Lodjer — 13 Sep 2004 on 4:25 pm | Link
  8. Reform of party funding will definitely help. To prove it, you need look only at how hard those most guilty of needing reform fight not to have it reformed.

    Campaign finance reform has been the big "elect me and I’ll fix it" speech fixture in U.S. campaigns for as long as I’ve been alive and able to read. Every single senator ever elected in Wisconsin during my life has claimed to want it and failed to do it; likewise, every President. As the UK corrupts its own system, it too will find it has no stomach for the modifications needed to protect it.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 13 Sep 2004 on 10:49 pm | Link

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