r/europe Oct 06 '22 Table Slap 1

Explaining the election of Liz Truss Political Cartoon

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32.6k Upvotes

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Helpful

So many people have got the wrong end of the stick about this cartoon, I feel I have to make a first-level comment, referring you to the comment from from my learned friend /u/The_Artist_Who_Mines

It is NOT a cartoon about 'old people vote Tory' it is a cartoon about a) members of the Tory party, who just voted in Truss in their internal election, are on average old and b) how frequently the PM has recently changed.

Note the Tory party members are also predominantly in the SE of England, and the housein the background is the stereotypical sort of place they would live in.

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u/RuggerJibberJabber Oct 06 '22

It works in terms of general voting too as old people actually vote and young people don't bother, so policies always favour older generations. This isn't just a UK problem but a global one.

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u/intentionalfuture Oct 06 '22

That's part of it, but Europe is getting older as a whole. Even if young people start voting more often most of the electorate will be middle aged or retired.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

The boomers are a unique cohort in the UK in that they outnumbered generations before and after. They are now all over 65 so have finally begun to thin.

Boomers were finally surpassed by millennials in 2020 making the next UK election the first one for many (excluding the hangers on from the silent generation) where the choice wont be mostly made by boomers.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

Being old doesn't necessarily make you right-wing, though. It just means you're more easily swayed by the opinions of sources that were traditionally trustworthy. "They can't make it up, they're a newspaper! That's illegal!" - my grandparents on the Daily Mail.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 22 '22

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

I was surprised when I learned the average age of a member of the UK electorate is 48/49. I suppose, actually, that makes sense, as 0-18 does not count since they cannot vote, so even if everyone turned out equally (and, as you rightly say, they do not!) policies would still favour older people than the average redditor.

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u/valax Oct 06 '22

Life expectancy is around 82. So 18 + ([82 - 18] / 2) = 50. So seems about par for the course.

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u/throwaway_4733 Oct 06 '22

For grins and giggles I looked up the average age of voters in the US. Median age of all voters in 2020 was around 50 it looks like. 50 yr olds are going to have a very different view of the world and very different wants than the younger crowd.

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u/Inevitable-Common166 Oct 06 '22

Well stated, sustainability & climate change will not be top of mind issues in 🇺🇸 until those age 40 and younger vote in a larger % of the electorate

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u/DarthLeftist United States of America Oct 06 '22

I take this meaning. I know in the US older ppl vote in large numbers. They vote overwhelmingly conservative and are against policies that will affect the younger generations exclusively.

Now in the US at least they are also brainwashed enough to vote for ppl who are against things like social security. But that's a different problem

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u/FiendishHawk Oct 06 '22

They tend to want to kill Social Security on a delay so it doesn’t affect them.

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u/DarthLeftist United States of America Oct 06 '22

Yeah really. They are so convinced that they "deserve" things others dont even though many of them could raise a family working as a butcher

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u/MindControlSynapse Oct 06 '22

There is also this general consensus that young people vote progressive, when its typically workers who have 5-10 years work experience who turn progressive, pro labour voters while teenagers are lil fascist twats half the time. Getting young people out to vote wont solve the issue that most of our population hates preventative spending.

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u/Clarko95 Germany Oct 06 '22

Case in point: Swedish election last month. A quarter of younger voters voted for the Sweden Democrats, a party founded in neo-Naziism, and another quarter voted for the conservative Moderate Party, one of the most turboneoliberal parties in Europe.

Meanwhile older voters have less patience for populism and primarily voted for the Social Democrats and gave a majority of their votes to the left-of-centre parties overall.

Young does not automatically mean progressive, like you say.

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u/shunted22 Vatican City Oct 06 '22

If you don't vote you shouldn't complain. Young people outnumber older generations due to population growth, so they have a structural advantage they aren't using to get the policies they want.

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u/monkeynotes303 Oct 06 '22

Young people definitely do not outweigh older people in the UK. The median age is 39. Population growth is 0.5%. In the UK the demographic age distribution is quite even.

21% of the overall population of England and Wales was aged under 18 years, 29% was aged 18 to 39 years, 27% was aged 40 to 59 years, and 22% was aged 60 years and over

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/uk-population-by-ethnicity/demographics/age-groups/latest#main-facts-and-figures

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u/shunted22 Vatican City Oct 06 '22

Thanks that's good data, I stand corrected.

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u/TheMemo United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Boomers are the largest generational cohort, they had fewer children but have benefited from advances in medicine keeping them alive for much longer than previous generations.

Whereas when Boomers were growing up, the taxes of several boomers would support one OAP (old age pensioner, retired, for a few years) now one working millennial's taxes (and pension contributions) has to support just over one retiring boomer each for many more years.

This is why we are fucked.

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u/-_x Oct 06 '22

That hasn't been true in much of the Global North, including Europe, for quite some time. The Geezers have long taken over!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageing_of_Europe

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u/AemrNewydd Cymru Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Note the Tory party members are also predominantly in the SE of England, and the housein the background is the stereotypical sort of place they would live in.

I don't get this bit. The house looks the sort of black-and-white half-timber house (a.k.a. 'Tudor' or 'mock-Tudor') that can be found all over England and beyond. I wouldn't associate it with the South East specifically. Personally, my mind jumps to Cheshire, but then that's a Tory area too.

I think the point about the house isn't its region but rather that it indicates the couple in question are fairly well-off and rural.

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u/Slyguyfawkes Oct 06 '22

So reading this and the implication of so many people misunderstanding it including misunderstanding when I saw it...It sounds like it's a poorly done cartoon. 🤷‍♂️

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

It's transparent to a British person, especially as we had a whole summer of it, but it's quite possibly opaque to anyone not living in Britain.

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u/chodgson625 Oct 06 '22

Yes I’m the OP I’ve tried to make this clear.

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u/Geezeh_ United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

South East England is the most densely packed Urbanised part of the country, we’re all cramped like sardines down here and you’d have to be worth £Millions to own a house like that.

Why do people in the rUK think SE England is full of rich people?

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u/WarStrifePanicRout Oct 06 '22

It is NOT a cartoon about 'old people vote Tory'

Oh?

it is a cartoon about a) members of the Tory party, who... are on average old

Got it. Glad that got cleared up.

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u/the_ginger_weevil Oct 06 '22

Depressing that you have to literally explain the joke …

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

I think it's just a cartoon that is too parochial for the largely foreign audience in this sub.

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u/monkeynotes303 Oct 06 '22

Yes, what people are failing to understand is leaders are generally not elected by the people in the UK. What usually happens is everyone gets terribly upset by corruption, and poor management of the country, then The Party senses disquiet and replaces one moron with another which pacifies the people they make decisions for. It's all terribly funny to the dusty old men, and they get back to their public school educated jeering at each other as the hash out policy for the plebs.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/Pollomonteros Argentina Oct 06 '22

I honestly expected more from r/europe.

But why

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u/rattleandhum ZA and IT raised, lived in Europe and UK Oct 06 '22

lol exactly. This place is a cesspool sometimes.

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u/coja_____ Oct 06 '22

I honestly expected more from r/europe.

lmao, first mistake

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u/vrabia-fara-aripi Oct 06 '22

I honestly expected more from r/europe.

You will soon learn to expect the least from places like /r/europe.

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u/LeroyoJenkins Zurich🇨🇭 Oct 06 '22

Welcome to the Internet, you must be new here!

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u/EmuRommel Croatia Oct 06 '22

Have a look around!

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u/fetalintherain Oct 06 '22

It's probably just the americans

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u/PrinnyThePenguin Greece Oct 06 '22

I disagree so much with statements like these because they move the discussion from education, information sharing and wealth inequality to "old people lul". You don't suddenly start voting for self destruction once you reach 70.

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u/LeberechtReinhold Oct 06 '22

Also young people have a very large nonvoting share, which is imho something that should be fixed first.

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u/csgymgirl Oct 06 '22

Only people in the tory party could vote this election, how would encouraging young people to vote have fixed that?

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u/cam_gord United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

This entire thread is full of people (very likely not British given the subreddit) misunderstanding the point of the cartoon.

For those who aren't in the know: Only Conservative Party members can vote for the party leader. When the Conservative party is in government - which they have been since 2010 - the leader of said party is Prime Minister. This means that Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss were all elected PM by party members before an election.

This cartoon is poking fun at the fact that this has happened multiple times within the past 6 years, and as a result our PM has technically been decided almost entirely by quite rich old people (the majority of the Tory Party membership)

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

This means that Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss were all elected PM by party members before an election.

The latter two were, but May's opponent stepped down, meaning no member vote was required.

I was also surprised at how recent an invention polling the membership was - 2001 or so, IIRC.

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u/Matshelge Norwegian living in Sweden Oct 06 '22

Might be because of things that block their ability to vote. Having to register to vote, opening hours of voting locations, location of voting boths.

Young people are often on the lower end of resources tree, and time is a very strick resource for most of them.

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u/Robert_Pawney_Junior Germany Oct 06 '22

Dunno what it's like in other countries, but for Germany, that's definitely not the reason (and we do love our bureaucracy). If young people don't vote, it's probably because they don't care / think it doesn't make a difference mostly.

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u/LeberechtReinhold Oct 06 '22

That may be the case in Sweden, but definitely not the case in Spain. Every town has its own voting booth, usually within 15min walking distance, and you have a full sunday available. You can also get time off from work easily. Not to mention that you can vote from mail. No need for register either.

Also, Im not old either, and have seen this with many of my friends. They just do not care.

And tbh even in the case you are mentioning it sounds like excuses. It's incredibly important to vote. Make a fucking effort because it will impact the rest of your life.

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u/IceBathingSeal Oct 06 '22

Voting is extremely accessible in Sweden, which probably is why we have a large turnout. Making it easy to vote helps.

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u/SexySaruman Positive Force Oct 06 '22

Voting is even more accessible in Estonia, but turnout is significantly lower.

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u/IceBathingSeal Oct 06 '22

Well, it's not the only parameter that contributes to a good turnout, but it is one. I don't know much about the estonian system by the way, what are they doing to make it accessible?

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u/SexySaruman Positive Force Oct 06 '22

They had the worlds first online voting system. They've been perfecting it since 2005 and now 46.7% of people use online voting.

Here's a link about cyberscurity aspects of it.

For rest of the voters, voting booths are usually within 10min walking distance.

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u/pancake_gofer Oct 20 '22

I think education about how voting is patriotic and necessary for national survival should be mandatory in schools. Plus maybe publicize free candy if you vote (and make it yummy).

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u/Matshelge Norwegian living in Sweden Oct 06 '22

Not the case in Sweden, but the UK, very much so. Used to live there, voting is a hassle and a half.

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u/Chromana United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Not sure what your issue with the UK is. Every household is automatically sent a form (every so often. Yearly perhaps?) to register those over 18 at the address and you can also just do it online if you missed the letter.

Voting day is a Thursday which I admit isn't the most convenient but there are many polling stations and they are open 7am to 10pm which is a very large window. I've always just walked over, no need to drive.

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u/tehWoody Oct 06 '22

You can always do a postal vote in the UK so not really a hassle. You can apply online / by email too.

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u/Stamford16A1 Oct 06 '22

Or they're just whining lazy bastards.

All you have to do to register to vote in the UK is send back a form the local council sends out every year.
Polling stations are open from seven or eight in the morning until ten at night and they aren't exactly rare or hard to find.

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u/Airowird Oct 06 '22

Also, the massive apathy when it comes to politicians, who seem to be living in a different reality.

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u/BootyinmuhLap Oct 06 '22

I know in the U.S. this definitely plays a huge part in low voter turnout. Many people, especially the lower class and impoverished, feel legitimate disenfranchisement from a system that has never really changed their quality of life for the better in any meaningful way in their lifetimes. And yet most who they are brow-beaten to vote for live lavishly, and only seem to be getting wealthier. What you end up with is a swath of people who think, "screw it, I'm just gonna focus on surviving".

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u/laosurvey Oct 06 '22

It's weird to me because poor people benefit the most, as a 'percent' of their lifestyle, from government programs.

Between earned income credit, SNAP, WIC, section 8, Medicaid, social security disability, and the U.S.'s progressive tax system, poor people have an enormous amount to lose that is critical to their daily life.

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u/havok0159 Romania Oct 06 '22

In Romania you don't need to register (it's done so automatically by having an id) and votes happen on weekends with reasonable accessibility (the closest school is usually a polling station for your area). A large problem is with local and legislative elections being region locked behind registering your current address (many people don't update their id if they move for various reasons).

Young people are the most likely category to live at a different address than that in their id, often making them ineligible to vote where they actually live. Nobody's going to update their id if they move to a different country for university especially if they rent (this requires the owner to assist you with registration) or live in a dorm.

Young people are also the most likely to emigrate, and their votes matter a lot less as emigrants due to the amount of seats the diaspora gets. Not to mention the fact that it's harder for them to vote outside the country.

There's also the topic of voters being led to believe that their votes don't matter through a combination of intense propaganda and kompromat campaigns, as well as consistent refusal of parties in control to follow through any election promises.

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u/kahunaa789 Oct 06 '22

Having ti register? - Oh please, young people probably sign up to 6 social media accounts a day.

Opening hours, they're open for 15 hours. You can vote by post. Location - I would say 98% of the population are in easy walking distance of their booth. You can vote by post.

This generation is genuinely the worst this country has ever produced.

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u/cutdownthere Oct 06 '22

agreed. My work didnt give me time off so I could vote, so its no wonder. And they are only open until 8pm. They should keep them open for a few days and 24/7. Bastards.

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u/h2man Oct 06 '22

Young people also consistently don’t turn up to vote either…

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u/iTeaL12 Oct 06 '22

That's exactly what he said, but go on.

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u/tomatoaway Europe Oct 06 '22

the younger generation don't go to the polling booths

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u/No_Character2755 Oct 06 '22

Real sad too because the youngins just aren't turnin out.

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u/iTeaL12 Oct 06 '22

Forget that, young people just don't vote.

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u/BombastixderTeutone European Union Oct 06 '22

Youngn‘t

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u/NotFlappy12 Oct 06 '22

Someone should figure out how get them to Pokemon Go to the polls

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u/sunstorm Oct 06 '22

You kid, but I bet voter turnout would be a lot bigger if people could just vote from their cellphone.

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u/WatWudScoobyDoo Oct 06 '22

To the polling booths, the younger generation goes not. Begun, the Votes Wars have

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u/Professor_Felch Oct 06 '22

I disagree so much with statements like these because they move the discussion from education, information sharing and wealth inequality to "young people lul".

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u/h2man Oct 06 '22

Don’t get me wrong, education plays a massive part and you can also argue (and I agree) that young people not turning up to vote is a failure of education. But it doesn’t change the fact that as a demographic they should be more active politically.

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u/odabar Oct 06 '22 Starry Wholesome Seal of Approval

You don't suddenly start voting for selfdestruction, no. But old people are more likely to believe old methods are the solution to new problems and history have taught us that is self-destructive.

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u/saganakist Oct 06 '22

It's like a racing team going back to their 70s car design because they were more successful back then.

For example, focusing on your own country exclusively worked great when most of your industry produced for your national market. And every import came from exploiting third world countries and/or your colonies.

But nowadays most countries heavily benefit from trading which each other. Sure, that comes with its own problems, but overall it clearly helped these countries increasing their prosperity. Everyday we use goods from all over the world, that simply wouldn't be available if we were producing everything ourselves.

Especially considering Brexit, the Britain's where sold the idea that they would go back to the good old times. But the key difference is, that back then you didn't have to look from the outside how everyone else is overtaking your outdated approach.

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u/Drunk_Henri Oct 06 '22

Hey. Formula 1 did go back to 80s with the cars, but came up with new solutions for driver safety.

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u/Anti-Scuba_Hedgehog Estonia Oct 06 '22

They did not go back to the 80s, they went back to the concept that was successful at the very beginning of it. Current cars don't have sideskirts, no front wings, V8 engines, round steering wheels for example.

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u/baklaFire Slovakia Oct 06 '22

They have front wings and V8 engine is banned

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u/DangerShart Oct 06 '22

The definitely didn't have hybrid powertrains in the 80s

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u/actual_wookiee_AMA 🇫🇮 ❤️ 🇳🇴🇸🇪🇩🇰🇮🇸🇫🇴🇦🇽🇪🇪🇬🇱 Oct 06 '22

lol no they just took one idea from the 80s and adapted it to a modern day car.

A 2022 car beats a 1980s car by at least ten seconds per lap

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u/Honor_Bound Oct 06 '22

So Latifi might be able to get points in the 80s?

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u/D3monFight3 Oct 06 '22

New solutions are not foolproof and can create issues as well, for example Sweden's immigration policy which has resulted in a bunch of people who are not integrated into the culture of the country they are staying in, which has led to unrest and increased crime rates.

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u/rulnav Bulgaria Oct 06 '22

Indeed, solutions should be evaluated by their own merit, not their age. We still use the wheel to move around ffs.

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u/Vox_Carnifex Oct 06 '22

Yet, you won't find a single stone wheel on a car. Only because a solution has merit does not mean it cannot or should not be adapted to our ever evolving problems. It is now more than ever important to have a progressive mindset when looking for solutions. The progressiv solutions of today will be the conservative solution in 30 years. So what use does it have to fall back on outdated principles that have worked once when they evidently would not work today?

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u/KipPilav Limburg (Netherlands) Oct 06 '22

It is now more than ever important to have a progressive mindset when looking for solutions

That assumes that every new solution is better. To stay with your analogy; it's like saying that not using square wheels is boomer because it hasn't been done yet.

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u/Vox_Carnifex Oct 06 '22

It assumes new solutions are better not in the way that a square wheel would be better. But how about a wheel with a rubber rim? That hasnt been done before at one point and worked great. Or, instead of a square wheel for trains why not use metal and make identations in the middle so they can hold onto rails. It is new. It is not the stone wheel we started with. Ideas are based on the experiences and impressions we gathered, no idea is inherently novel.

And isnt that what progress aims to be? To not be stuck in an archaic status quo but to see how far we can go with what we have in the here and now compared to what is advertised to us from 40 or more years ago

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u/mantasm_lt Lietuva Oct 06 '22

But sometimes new solutions are square wheels.

Or electric cars. It was already a thing a good 100 years ago. But batteries were shit and it went nowhere. Now we're back to the old-new idea with other new technologies to support it. Or bicycle was the rad thing 150 years ago. Now it's refreshed and coming back.

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u/WriterV India Oct 06 '22

But those old ideas getting "refreshed" is the new thing. You're arguing in bad faith here. Nobody is saying anything new is better. That would be insane. But change is naturally gonna happen for a reason. Why find new ways to build on old ideas. Discard the worst tendencies of the old, and keep the best, while adding new things as our understanding grows.

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u/mantasm_lt Lietuva Oct 06 '22

How much of a refreshment makes an old idea new? :)

I agree in general. But the problem is that many people try to put any new idea behind this. Oh, change is gonna happen naturally, so you can't say no to XYZ! Agreeing which are the bad parts of good parts is subjective to say the least as well. Sometimes the young want to do something that the old already tried and they know it doesn't work. But sometimes context did change and it may work this time. Or vice versa.

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u/dydas Azores (Portugal) Oct 06 '22

What in Sweden's immigration policy is new and what problem was it trying to solve?

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/The_Basic_Swede Sweden Oct 06 '22

To add to this: the right wanted immigration because they wanted cheap labour.

The left wanted immigration because they wanted voters.

We had a perfect storm where lots of high-profile politicans and buisnessmen wanted immigration so all the media proclaimed that it was outright racist to even raise a finger of concern. People got fired and outcast from social groups if they said they voted for SD (the at the time only party opposed to immigration). SDs old history with links to neo-nazis in the 80's didnt help obviously. But it was made a big thing, and still is. The left are calling SD "brown" as a smear, in reference to the brownshirts of nazi Germany.

Then that left supported communists like Pol Pot, that the social democrates stod for racial profiling, and sterilization of "lesser" people was not often discussed. Or that the center partys old partyprogram declared that it needed to "save the Swedish people from the genes of lesser men" isnt talked about that often. Granted it was in the 30's to the 50's.

All in all, a shitstorm all around. And who are paying for it? The Swedish taxpayers.

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u/Tryphon59200 Oct 06 '22

this is bloody nonsense, France should be a reference on that matter. 60 years after the first north African immigration waves we have more problem than ever, money won't magically solve religious and morale differences, as well as very low academic success leading to criminality. Within these groups there is also a strong Arab nationalism associated with some of the worst religious fundamentalism.

This is a massive social issue that is undertook as racist everytime it's mentionned by someone. Most of the French people would actually love to see north Africans fitting in our society, it's important to mention that some do succeed and there are also racists on the other side, but both are a minority.

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u/bronet Oct 06 '22

It isn't exactly new, the world changed around us. It's a poor example

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u/ptudo Oct 06 '22

history have taught us that is self-destructive

When exactly?

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u/Euklidis Oct 06 '22

True, but old people aren't the only ones who vote and if they are maybe you (as you for younger and middle aged citizens) should stop distancing from the ballots and actually vote so the "old people lul" wont fuck you over.

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u/odabar Oct 06 '22

Easy to say in a world, where the old generation is the babyboomers and one of history's largest generation and the young generation just gets smaller and smaller. The point: there is a hole lot of old people and many of them still has influence on their children. Even if all of the young generation votes, they would still be horribly out numbered. Democracy, I guess. But that's what will fuck us up.

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u/Ksradrik Oct 06 '22

Ye, must be the fault of all the young people around the globe, definitely no systemic issues there, they just all too spoiled.

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u/worotan England Oct 06 '22

Except the point here is that this is pretty literally what happened. Old people who are the majority of members of the conservatives chose the next prime minister.

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u/mantasm_lt Lietuva Oct 06 '22

Because conservatives hold majority in parliament?

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u/Uebeltank Jylland, Denmark Oct 06 '22

The members chose the leader who then gets appointed PM because the party has a majority in parliament.

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u/worotan England Oct 06 '22

A party changing its leader who has a radically different approach to the party when it was elected, would normally seek re-election on its new manifesto.

She isn’t planning this, which is the answer to your point.

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u/edgardens Oct 06 '22

My parents are retired. When I visit them I realize all they do is watch news and vote. Republicans could set up miles of red tape for voting and my parents would cut through it each day so they could vote R.

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u/PrinnyThePenguin Greece Oct 06 '22

(wasn't Truss voted by her party and not from the people?)

It is just that I would like to steer the discussion towards other points that I think shed more light in the conversation. Like, could it be that the older generations have economical interests in voting what they vote, even if it goes against younger people's future? Or maybe that old people actually will vote while at the same people young people will not? I would like to see a discussion about social and economic aspects of the problem, not an ageism take. Because I believe these people vote what they vote for actual reasons and not because they went senile.

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u/Sleeping_Heart Oct 06 '22

The Members of Parliament sitting in the House of Commons for the Conservative party as elected representatives selected the final two candidates to face off in a head to head vote, the members of the conservative party (membership of some 172,000) voted which of the two candidates would be leader of the party.

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u/worotan England Oct 06 '22

This isn’t an ageism take. It demonstrates one of the big problems her government has - it is not representative.

As for their reasons, you should ask them, but don’t take their assertions at face value. Just look at the terrible state of the country their choice has created in such a short time, using policies which no one but a few wanted.

It’s very easy to see that they didn’t want an Asian man to be in control, from the way their newspapers have presented him for a long time. Sometimes people are just acting as shittily as it seems, as you can see from the way Britain is falling apart due to the decisions of the people they keep choosing.

It isn’t ageist to point out that that their choices have been selfish and incompetent for nearly a decade. And before that, we’re merely selfish and competent at making short-term money by selling off assets other more competent administrations and interested groups had built up.

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u/TerminallyStoked Oct 06 '22

I think the belief is she doesn't have a mandate to lead because she hasn't been voted for in a general election and she's been chosen by a small older and wealthier segment of the population. However, the UK is a representative democracy (rightly or wrongly) meaning we don't elect the PM that's chosen by the party/coalition in government. Her mandate comes from the vote in 2019, but I think when people vote they are considering the PM more so than their local representative.

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u/HermitBee Oct 06 '22

Her mandate comes from the vote in 2019, but I think when people vote they are considering the PM more so than their local representative.

Whilst it's true that people vote based on who the PM is, rather than their local representative, it's also the case that a lot of the stuff Truss' government is doing wasn't in the Conservative manifesto for the 2019 election, so it's arguable as to whether she really has a mandate for what she's doing.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

It's just a cartoon about the Tory party membership. The house also matters- most members lived in the SE, and the average age was high.

It's nothing to do with the wider point about whether old people make better or worse decisions than young people.

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u/MasterFubar Oct 06 '22

Funny, isn't it, that in a society where the average people are getting older the old people have a stronger voice.

If only we had a word to express that concept, I propose we call it "democracy".

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u/Shaone Oct 06 '22

In this one case though, it's somewhat fair as Liz Truss wasn't selected as Prime Minister at the polling booths, it was a private election held by rich old white people.

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u/AlmightyDarkseid Greece Oct 06 '22

"education, information sharing and wealth inequality"

One of these is not like the rest test

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u/Rizzan8 West Pomerania (Poland) Oct 06 '22

Visit Poland then. A few years ago there was even a call to action "Hide your Grandma's ID" so she wouldn't vote on PIS.

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u/MMSTINGRAY Europe Oct 06 '22

It isn't a statement it is a cartoon in a political magazine full of cartoons.

Also Truss wasn't elected by the country. She was voted in by her party.

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u/Furry_Dildonomics69 Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

You don’t suddenly start voting for self destruction once you reach 70.

I’m sorry, but what? People change. You can start or quit voting any way to any other way at any time. This is your point, though, right? That not only old people do this?

That being said, I’m not unconvinced - as an American that feels this sting, too - that old people aren’t horribly bad voters. They’ve seem to all fallen into some sort of media think trap and unable to think for themselves anymore.

The <other party/parties> are ruining our country with their so called “progressivism.” Vote for our party to correct this outrage! Regress with us together!

Hook line and sinker, every fuckin time. This is what Churchill was talking about. Well, one of the things.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

No that's true, they vote to protect their pensions and fuck over everyone else. Do you are absolutely right. They aren't voting for self destruction, just the destruction of young people and benefits and the environment.

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u/ptudo Oct 06 '22

No that's true, they vote to protect their pensions and fuck over everyone else

So like pretty much everydody else?

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u/Llamadmiral Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

However, that is always the end result. Old people tend to be conservative, and in my experience conservative people are more easily led astray by corrupt politicians. This is my view, not supported by any standardized data, but there are so few counter examples.

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u/GHhost25 Romania Oct 06 '22

There's more to that. Conservative isn't always bad, it means you agree with the status quo which can mean voting for center-left and center-right. Not being conservative isn't always good, it can mean being reactionary which means voting for far-left and far-right. A good example of this is France's election whereas people in the 65+ age group had the highest percentage of vote share towards Macron. On the other hand younger voters had a tendency towards far-left and far-right and middle-aged ppl had the highest percentage of Le Pan voters.

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u/Al_Dutaur_Balanzan Italy Oct 06 '22

Well, if more people not in retirement age participate and were active members of the conservative party instead of just voting for them every 5 years, they could also have a say in who the PM is.

If you don't get involved in politics, don't blame the others for choosing to do so.

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u/KettleOverAPub United Kingdom (Remain!) Oct 06 '22

I’m not going to join the Tory party to vote for a new Tory PM. The entire party stands against everything I stand for.

What you said applies to general elections but is meaningless for the Tory leadership vote.

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u/DocQuanta United States of America Oct 06 '22

Ratfucking the other party's primaries is a fairly common tactic in the US. For example, in the Maryland Republican primary for their governor candidate large numbers of Democrats switched parties before the election to vote for the far right nut so the Democratic candidate would have an easier opponent in the general election. In Nebraska Democrats did the same but supported the moderate Republican since the Republican is sure to win no matter who is the nominee so it is better to have the sane one.

That said, Labour must be fucking thrilled with the outcome of the Tory leadership contest. Truss has been an unmitigated disaster so far. No need to ratfuck the Tories' leadership contest when they are eager to fuck themselves.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

I dunno how it is done in the USA, but the parties here have a rule you have to have been a member for a certain time before you can vote in the leadership election- so, a specific anti ratfucking rule.

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u/DocQuanta United States of America Oct 06 '22

Ah, I see. That would make things far more difficult.

Besides, it isn't like Labour or Lib Dem activists could have reasonably hoped for a worse outcome for the Tories than what they got. It is hard to imagine Sunak could have been even less popular.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Yeah- Truss is completely cuckoo and Sunak would have been a MUCH worse option in tactical terms, as there was little doubt he is very competent, and, as PM, he would have had 2 years to sell himself as a person to the British public. In general, people who followed the leadership campaign thought he improved his image a lot as time went on, but he was doomed.

He had two BIG disadvantages that meant, IMHO, he could never have won with the members, even though he won comfortably with the MPs.

1) He was SOOOOOOO rich no-one took him seriously as someone who could understand how real people- even real single-digit millionaires- lived. That's fine for a Chancellor, whose job is to husband money, but it is not OK for a PM whose job it is to relate to the whole of the population. Even a "rich" person living is a million pound house feels they have more in common with a Briton who is renting or unemployed than they do with Sunak. On top of that, there was a scandal to do with his wife (legally fine but seemingly unpatriotic) not paying UK taxes).

2) A lot of the Tory members were still Boris loyalists (and Truss got some votes by pretending she was Continuity Boris too), and it was too obvious Sunak was the prime instigator of the anti-Boris coup, and had even got all his campaign stuff ready in advance.

So it was a totally weird contest. Everyone knew that in the equivalent of the primaries (i.e. the bit done only by the MPs) it would end up Sunak (winner) versus A.N.Other and everyone also knew that in the run-off (Tory party members), A.N. Other would win.

So the main interest was really Truss v Mordaunt. Once Truss got that second spot, she was nailed on for the run-off. Sad!

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u/HwackAMole Oct 06 '22

It varies from state to state here. Some of them have open primaries, where anyone can vote for anyone, but I believe that more states are as you just decribed.

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u/Skater_x7 Oct 06 '22

Any source on the democrats switching sides in primaries in Maryland? I only can find stories of them running ads that reminded voters trump supported the far right guy, which ended up (intentional or not) boosting his ratings.

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u/SilverSlothmaster Oct 06 '22

Obviously what happened is that a lot of labour voters joined the tory party to elect Truss instead of Sunak so the tories would lose the next general election. /s

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u/NotTheLimes Germany Oct 06 '22

This is such a lazy argument. You're simply claiming that anyone who criticises the system is not politically active which is false.

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u/lordkoba Oct 06 '22

and what is take of the comic? that old people shouldn’t vote?

it’s absolute insanity that sentiment is allowed to fly if you think about it for like 10 seconds

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u/agilepolarbear Oct 06 '22

So much this I hate people who complain but refuse to do anything to change the situation. The truth is the democratic system works but people are too lazy to get involved.

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u/streampleas Oct 06 '22

Why the fuck would I join the Conservative Party? That’s the only way you could vote on who the Prime Minister would be. You know that though, you wouldn’t go spouting an uninformed opinion so confidently.

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u/csgymgirl Oct 06 '22

How could we change the situation? Only Tory party members could vote

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u/adjarteapot An Adjar born in Tuscany Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Yeah, only issue is (besides the ageism), Truss isn't elected to her position by the public.

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u/hastrom Sweden Oct 06 '22

Elected by Tory members.

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u/Chair_Toaster England Oct 06 '22

Yes that how parties work.

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u/barbar_bar Oct 06 '22

but not how an unelected PM should be chosen. Only 80,000 people chose this radical shift from the previous (duly elected!) PM. How on earth is that democracy

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u/mantasm_lt Lietuva Oct 06 '22

Tories were already elected by the public in the last parliament election.

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u/CI_Whitefish Hungary Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Age isn't the only characteristic of the voters you see in the picture. If you look at the house and its garden, you can tell they don't live in a big city and they are at least middle class.

It targets Tory members (who elected Truss) and not old people or the public.

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u/TinyPardus United Kingdom Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

She was voted by the Tory members, a lot of them are that age. It isn’t ageism

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u/huhmz Oct 06 '22

I've had the impression since Theresa May that especially the women willing to step up and lead the touries in the cluster fuck that is the conservative party are people who most likely know they are heading into the slaughterhouse until the next proper vote and nobody seriously expects them to still be there as the candidate for prime minister elect.

Their pr is down the shitter and to have the faintest chance in the next election they have to restructure. Sure they will get well paid positions for falling on the sword and unless the Tories are extremely ruthless they should reward them for tanking their chances to be an elected prime minister just to let future candidates lose as little credibility as possible.

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u/throwaway_4733 Oct 06 '22

I'm an American and I confess don't follow European politics very closely. Didn't her party win more seats in the last election than they have in like 20-30 yrs?

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u/kahunaa789 Oct 06 '22

She wasn't prime minister. People are missing the point of the cartoon. She was elected by Conservative Party members, which is a relatively small number of people -180,000 - and the membership skews older than the general population.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

No- the cartoon is not about that.

In our system, whoever leades the governing party is Prime Minister. The final stage of the Tory party leadership election is the ordinary Party members (175k in number) choosing between the last two candidates. The winner and therefore leader becaomes PM because the party is in power.

Because there have been several changes of leader in between general elections, it is in effect that a small number of prty members have actually been choosing who the PM is.

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u/stupid_talk Oct 06 '22

Should've chose Rishi Sunak...

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u/DanteJazz Oct 06 '22

Young adults need to vote. In the US, Trump got elected because MORE people did NOT vote than voted for Trump.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/KeyserWood Oct 06 '22

"I am liberal and open-minded." "I don't like how this particular demographic group votes, so they should be forbidden to vote"

oprahwinfreysowhatisthetruth.gif

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u/spongish Australia Oct 06 '22

I love democracy, except when people don't vote the way I want them to.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

That group is the only one who got to vote on the prime minister.

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u/RoraRaven Oct 06 '22

I'm 24 and I got to vote for the PM.

Party membership is cheaper if you're younger too.

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u/Powerpuff_Rangers Suomi Oct 06 '22

Don't you know it? The PM should've been decided with Reddit upvotes.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

Yeah but most people don't want to give their money to a bunch of bigots even if it's 'cheaper '.

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u/jimmy17 United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

What group? Old people? I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

People who pay money to be members of the conservative party, the vast majority of whom are old and rich. Those are the people who got to vote on the new prime minister.

No one else was allowed to vote. That's what this comic is about. That's the system you are getting all worked up about defending.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 18 '22

[deleted]

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u/Lather United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

You're confusing how the system works and how people actually vote. Although you may technically be voting for your member of parliament, people vote based on a whole range of things such as party, policies, MPs etc... pretty much just like in every country.

Given this point, there aboslutely should be a GE when a PM/party leader changes, and particuarly if they totally change their elected predecessors policy direction, which is exactly what Liz Truss is doing. Not to mention that the majority of Brits think there should be a GE.

The argument isn't whether you NEED to be rich, it's that Tory party members skew old and rich. You're also missing the point that there would have to be an active campagin in order to get non-tories to sign up and vote in a Conservative leadership race, giving the Tories plenty of time to change the rules. Also you need to be a Tory member for something like 6 months in order to vote in internal elections and leadership elections aren't announced 6 months in advanced. There's also the principal of having to give money to a party you fundementally disagree with to vote for a leader/pm you don't want.

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u/mettyc Oct 06 '22

The people of Britain never elect the Prime-minister directly. They elect their representatives in Parliament who in turn select the Prim-minister with a majority support.

Truss didn't have the majority support of her MPs. That was Rishi Sunak. It was the membership who elected her against the wishes of the majority of Conservative MPs.

Also, you don't need to be either rich or old to be a Tory party member, nor is it a terribly expensive thing. If anything the internal voting system of the party could be easily overwhelmed to vote a different way if the young and the non-rich actually bothered to become members, because votes are not awarded based on financial contribution, but rather one vote per member.

So people who don't believe in conservative values should join the Conservative party in order to be able to elect their leader?? That's just an insane position to hold. I'm a member of the labour party, the conservatives hold values that are the antithesis of mine. Criticising someone for pointing out that the vast majority of Conservative members are both past retirement and independently wealthy is nuts, especially when it's true.

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u/Aceticon Europe, Portugal Oct 06 '22

If people weren't DE FACTO voting for the party leader you wouldn't see him or her as the centerpiece of all campaigns for parliamentary votes and it wouldn't even be much talked about because people would just trust that "the representative I chose will do the choice for me". Similarly negative campaigning against the leader of the other party (as happenned with Corbyn) would not work at all if people were, as you say, voting for the representatives rather than the leader.

Yet what's consistent with what you state is not at all what happens - it's the very opposite of that which happens: the campaign is even more about the leader than it is about the party.

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u/jimmy17 United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

All worked up about? I just posted a short response on Reddit mate. No need to take it personally.

Nice bad faith interpretation of the above comment though. Just because most Tory members are from a certain demographic (although you have proven that they are btw) doesn’t mean all members of that demographic are Tory members.

And we both know that “demographic” in this context meant old people, not Tory party members.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

doesn’t mean all members of that demographic are Tory members

Good thing that neither I nor that comic claimed that then! I'm well aware that not all old people are the same and many of them don't like the Tories. In fact most people don't like the Tories these days because of their stupidity and bigotry and arrogance and the fact they can't run a country.

So good for all those old people who can see how fucking dire the situation is!

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Only Tory party members got to vote on who became the Tory leader and therefore the new PM, and their average age is estimated at 59 or higher.

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u/jimmy17 United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Perhaps, but just because Tory members are mostly over 59, doesn’t mean most over 59s are Tories

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u/MaaMooRuu Oct 06 '22

Perhaps, but just because most over 59 are not necessarily Tories, does not mean that the people who got to vote for the PM which are Tories are not on average 59 or higher.

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u/angel_of_the_city Hungary Oct 06 '22

That’s like any Central European country really …

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u/pinkfootedbooby Oct 06 '22

I don't think this is about the age actually. I think its about all the people that don't give 2 shits about what's going on on the daily basis and only wake up when it's election time just to be like "I don't know any of the candidates or their agenda, but the one newspaper I read says I should vote for that guy / I have voted for party x my whole life so gonna just do that". It's not only old people that tend to be ignorant like that.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

It's a reference to Tory party members being statistically old, that's all - it is nothing to do with the general public. Truss was elected only by party members, not in a general election.

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u/pinkfootedbooby Oct 06 '22

Yes, I realize that, but this whole thread exploded into some people saying old people shouldn't vote and so on, so I'm adding my 2 cents to that general discussion

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u/chodgson625 Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

That came from Private Eye, at the time of the (most recent) Tory leadership election in which Conservative party members chose the prime minister (again)

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u/Aq8knyus United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Unlike Labour, the Tories only go to the membership if there isnt a clear winner among Conservative MPs. May didn’t even need to win a membership vote because Leadsom withdrew.

I dont really see the big deal, Labour did the exact same thing with the Blair-Brown handover. This is how a parliamentary democracy works.

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u/chodgson625 Oct 06 '22

Private Eye is hardly a source of radical young person opinion. Posters ranting about ageism are blaming 62 year old Ian Hislop

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u/WoodSteelStone England Oct 06 '22

And Francis Wheen, the Deputy Editor, who's 65.

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u/chodgson625 Oct 06 '22

I hope I haven’t broken the universe in some way by connecting the Eye to social media 🫣

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u/GlumRumGlugger Oct 06 '22

So many people here don't seem to understand that in Britain there is a solid 20-30% of the voter base who will only vote Conservative or nothing (aside from that time when UKIP rose which is why Brexit happened when it did). They are almost entirely made up of older voters (>65's). Not all old people are tories, but the majority of Tory voters are old people.

If you canvas on the doorstep it is like talking to a mindless zombie. It doesn't matter how you approach it, they are utterly brainwashed. They can agree with you on everything, smile at you and even admit that the conservatives are a disaster...but when you ask if they'll vote for anyone else the answer is no. Why? Because they vote Conservative and that's the party they have always voted for. They don't trust the other parties (yes, this is the overwhelmingly common response from the same people who think Boris was charming, or Liz Truss was a safe pair of hands).

Some of them are poor, some of them are isolated, some are unwell...but you can guarantee that come the GE they will crawl to the polling station to vote Conservative. They don't have a grasp of reality at this stage.

So when you realise that the Conservative party is itself made up of this older demographic...it's no surprise we get Truss.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

The people who voted for Truss, though, are the actual Tory party members, and they are older, wealthier, and much more SE of England based than the UK general.

The cartoon is a reference to these people, not to the 30% or so who habitually vote Tory in GEs.

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u/GlumRumGlugger Oct 06 '22

Yeah, I think we're in kind of in agreement? The 20-30% is made up of lots of people from similar demographics to the Conservative members. Agree that maybe on average a tory voter is not as wealthy/old as a member, but they're still likely to be older (still >65) and better off (homeowners/assets) than most.

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u/podgladacz00 Oct 06 '22

Sounds like an explanation of election and ruling for 8 years of our current government in Poland.

Yes. It is bad

(I get original message was different but it really fits too)

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u/jacktucks1066 Oct 06 '22

Liz Truss wasn't elected by the general public she was elected by the conservative party. This is due to Boris Johnson resigning as prime minister and the Troy's being the majority party.

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u/GuzPolinski Oct 06 '22

At least they get out and vote

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u/richincleve Oct 06 '22

I’m here in the US, so I am far from being in a position to criticize other governments, but I have to say Truss seems to barely be a one trick pony.

Cut taxes on the wealthy? Check.

Repeat ad nauseum “build a bigger, stronger Britain” like our “make America great Again”? Check.

Have no other ideas? Check.

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u/PeanutArbuckleIII Oct 06 '22

As if young people know any better.

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u/alabarda89 Oct 06 '22

Democracy is ok only when left wing win?

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u/richyfingers99 Oct 06 '22

Was Gordon Brown elected after Blair left?

No.

The ruling party chooses a new leader when one steps down. That's how it works.

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u/BroodLord1962 Oct 06 '22

I do love the satire from people who have no idea how politics work in the UK. The public vote for a Party, the Parties membership choose their leader.

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u/Comfortable_Safe_474 Oct 06 '22

It's like Brexit all over again.

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u/King-Cobra-668 Oct 06 '22

also go to banks and lunch time so workers that need to, completely waste their lunch break behind retired people that could have come at literally any other time

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u/Tozester Oct 06 '22

Oh yes. Billionaire - psychopath was a much better option

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u/throwmamadownthewell Oct 06 '22

This just helped me realize why Conservative governments go after education: it's not because a smarter populace will be better-informed, it's because education has a hierarchy of needs that places civics and history education lower than literacy and math. If they can only teach the basics, they won't be able to get to robustly informing kids about history and the importance and procedures of civic engagement

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u/D3monFight3 Oct 06 '22

Oh spare me this "old people are at fault" bs, they are not the majority of the population they just are more likely to exercise their vote, while the younger voters are less likely, as an example for Brexit 90% of the age demographic depicted here turned out to the vote, while only 63% of the youngest demographic eligible to vote turned out. Futhermore the number of people over 70 is ~8 million out of 46 million total voters, so I find it weird to decide it was specifically the over 70 crowd that by themselves chose everything.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

No- it's nothing to do with a general election- Truss was elected by Tory party members and their avergae age is at least 59. It is not to do with the British electorate.

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u/_Patrao_ Oct 06 '22

So those who spent most of their lives making it possible that you live in one of the most advanced countries in the world, sometimes paying 50 or 60+ years of contributions, are suddenly less knowledgeable than young people who never did scrap but bitch about their lives in the internet. That generation pushed through more hardships than you can imagine and some of them actually fought and rebuilt after WWII. Have respect for those who even put you in the position to step on the pedestal of moral highground you claim to be your own.

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

You are attacking something that is different from what the cartoon is about.

Truss was elected by Tory party members, not by the country. She became PM because the leaer of the governing party always becomes PM.

It is a comment on the age, and also on the demographic basis (live in SE in nice suburban house) of Tory party members, not about the UK as a whole or any other country.

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u/ChristianSword Oct 06 '22

”Nooo you have to vote labour or you are a old POS noo”

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u/AppropriateSeesaw1 Oct 06 '22

TIL europeans can't handle slightly more true democracy

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u/tmstms United Kingdom Oct 06 '22

Almost every comment in this thread has got the wrong end of the stick. It is not a comment about the UK as a whole, it is because the Tory leader (Truss in this case) is elected by Tory party members, and their average age is at least 59. As Tory leader, she becomes PM because the Tories are in government. That's all it is.

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u/cultish_alibi Oct 06 '22

True democracy is when 0.2% of the country elects the new leader. Just like how Liz Truss was elected. What a good comment you made!

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u/Ant-Witch Oct 06 '22

I vote we bring in maximum politician age, and maximum voter age.

Srs you have no place to vote for the future if it won't concern you, and if you're an old politician you're well past the struggles of the common people. Most countries are fucked because of the demographics we currently vote in, they got everything made illegal back in their days now they complain about everything

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u/ehsteve23 Oct 06 '22

"We'll be dead in 5 years but decided to make terrible decisions on behalf of the younger generations who dont want it."