Could a Scottish Secession Referendum Bring About Salutary Decentralization?

For all the usual association of independence movements with violence and "separatism," the fact is that secessionist movements in liberal democracies usually pursue their aims peacefully, through the democratic process, and central governments resolve not to use military force to prevent secession authorized by a democratic vote (imagine that!). Such is the case in Scotland, … Continue reading Could a Scottish Secession Referendum Bring About Salutary Decentralization?

How to Solve the Scottish Referendum Question Controversy

Scotland's upcoming independence referendum has been in the news in Britain. The Scottish government wants to hold the referendum in 2014, but UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Westminster holds ultimate control over the wording and timing of any legally binding referendum and wants to hold the referendum sooner. Another point of contention … Continue reading How to Solve the Scottish Referendum Question Controversy

Is There Such a Thing as a “Libertarian” Electoral System?

In a few hours, polls open in the United Kingdom for local and devolved elections and for a referendum on moving to a new electoral system, Instant Runoff Voting, which Brits and Aussies insist on calling, undescriptively, "alternative vote" (AV). This referendum came about as a demand of the Liberal Democrats, who held the balance … Continue reading Is There Such a Thing as a “Libertarian” Electoral System?

Nick Clegg Wants to Restore Brits’ Freedom

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has opened up a public website on which British citizens can give their ideas for curbing government and restoring freedom. Given the social democratic tilt of the Lib Dems since the 1980s, this initiative seems promising. Here's a sample of what Brits are saying about … Continue reading Nick Clegg Wants to Restore Brits’ Freedom

More (intentional?) British humor

The NY Times is reporting that British Prime Minister David Cameron is forecasting "decades of austerity" because of the swelling deficit in the UK. What caught my eye about this story is the location of his speech, a town called Milton Keynes.  Does some scheduler in the new Tory government have a sense of humor … Continue reading More (intentional?) British humor