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Some thoughts about Elections and Referendums

(36 Posts)
willa45 Sun 17-Mar-19 14:52:55

Food for thought:
Trump's victory in the US, Venezuela's Maduro, Brexit , Catalonian referendum....all have interesting things in common.
- Resulted from unscheduled or scheduled elections or
calls for 'special' referendums
- Elections/referendums resulted in surprising outcomes
and by very close margins.
- Unexpected results divided the country and raised
controversy (rigged process?) Just to illustrate....People of
a country must choose between a cardboard box with
(mystery) contents unknown vs. a vault full of gold ingots. When polls all favor the gold, controversy arises when Mystery box wins the an inexplicably contested election!
- Results are always very close Mystery box wins by a scant
2% margin!

So, can these processes be deliberately manipulated?

In the US, Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 election. Venezuelan elections have been conducted with blatant irregularities. Referendum are always called upon under unusual circumstances. Can they too be a convenient tool to manipulate the electorate?

Rabble rouser Carl Puigdemont initiated a referendum arbitrarily to further his own agenda for Catalonian independence. Spanish government had to quash Puigdemont's referendum in order to avert a Constitutional crisis.

So what's going on in the world today? Is it deliberate interference, mere coincidence or that the conspiracy theorists are multiplying?

jura2 Sun 17-Mar-19 15:08:53

short answer: YES

paddyann Sun 17-Mar-19 15:14:47

deliberate interference .Ruth Davidson knew the reults of the postal votes in Scottish Inedpendence referendum just minutes after the polls closed??? She was investigated so they said but nothing done .It would seem the votes were opened early so the Unionists could maipolate the figures .

willa45 Mon 18-Mar-19 13:46:51

Jura, Paddyanne.....too bad we haven't had more responses. A larger number might reveal similarities and patterns that would negate mere coincidences or paranoia. I agree that knowing electoral results ahead of time, is a huge red flag.

In Venezuela, it was voter intimidation.....Maduro's armed guards would brandish assault rifles and stand over voters while they filled their ballots. There were many other irregularities (destroyed ballots, bribery, forgeries) that were indicative of voter fraud.
In the US, it may have been overconfidence which is almost the same as knowing results ahead of time. There were repeated assurances that victory, was as good as a 'done deal'. The language and demeanor often surpassed what most would consider the usual hope and optimism.
It also appears that Russia had a hand in a relentlessly damaging campaign against the other presidential candidate. In subsequent investigations, much of it deliberately planted, was blatantly misleading or downright false.

It appears that elections/referendums may have become the 'weapon of choice' for those who aim to weaken a nation's sovereignty or destroy Democracy altogether!

yggdrasil Mon 18-Mar-19 16:09:55

"It also appears that Russia had a hand in a relentlessly damaging campaign against the other presidential candidate. In subsequent investigations, much of it deliberately planted, was blatantly misleading or downright false. "

Also here in the Brexit campaign. Russia gains a lot by breaking up the EU.

GabriellaG54 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:18:20

Talk is cheap.
If you were there
If you were part of any supposed or suggested wrongdoing
If you personally know the people allegedly involved and were party to their plans...your words might carry some weight.
Until then, it's all hot air. grin

RosieLeah Mon 18-Mar-19 16:25:13

One of the purposes of the EU is to keep more countries under a central control (one extremely good reason to leave). The Tories didn't want a 'Leave' result, so you would think that the results of our referendum would be tampered with. Obviously they weren't. I would have thought that European countries would actually be weaker as members of the EU, and this would suit Russia better. But I have to admit I don't understand all this political manoeuvring.( Don't want to nit-pick, but I think the plural of referendum is referenda.)

GillT57 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:30:14

Rosieleah to the contrary, Europe is stronger against Russia when it is united and it is therefore in Russia's favour to break up the EU.

RosieLeah Mon 18-Mar-19 16:34:13

Gill, perhaps if there is a European army, it might be, but at present, I think this is another case of European leaders being complacent. Heaven help us if the Americans are given the task of training such an army!

GillT57 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:41:11

The European Army is not certain though, and if it does happen, wouldn't we be better being part of it rather than on the outside? Agree about the Americans though, especially with their current terrifying Commander in Chief!

GillT57 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:44:41

Back the the original question; could be that there is a rise on right wing politics, a rise in corruption and interference, but it also could be that thanks to social media, we, the public, are better informed and more aware of suspicious election results. Remember Idi Amin in Uganda with his 105% returns? He had such little regard for the electorate that he didn't even pretend. Nothing new about corruption, but still frightening times I think with the ugly rise of fascism.

RosieLeah Mon 18-Mar-19 16:48:43

If it were necessary to defend ourselves against Russia, I agree that it would be much better for British forces to unite with the rest of Europe. After all, we are not enemies of Europe, we just don't want to be under their control. This is why I don't understand all this concern about loss of security. It's in the interests of all European countries to pass on information about criminals and terrorists. Why should our leaving the EU make any difference to that? We will still be part of Europe, just not the EU. Honestly, some people seem to think we are going to drift away into the Atlantic when we leave the EU!

willa45 Mon 18-Mar-19 21:04:15

Agree about the Americans though, especially with their current terrifying Commander in Chief!

Hands down it's the Russians who are the masters of manipulation and infiltration. By exploiting Democracy's weaknesses they have done more damage to the West than people realize and without actually declaring war. Indeed it was the Russians who handed us our new and 'terrifying' commander in chief on a silver platter.

Americans may be meddlesome to a fault, but it is not our aim to be occupiers. In a perfect world we just want to keep Democracy safe. Alas, Democracy's biggest weakness has proven to be the electoral process.

willa45 Mon 18-Mar-19 21:13:52

Rosie Leah......agree! The correct plural (Latin) is spell checker however informed me (with glaring red underline) that sadly, I was mistaken. Unable to debate the spell checker, I just let it have its way. grin

varian Thu 21-Mar-19 10:45:03

This caller broke into tears as she revealed that her mum and friends no longer speak to her because she voted Remain.

Jules lives in one of the most deprived areas of Sheffield, where the majority of people backed Brexit - and still do.

She told James O'Brien how she was shut out by her friends after voting to remain in the European Union.

If you are in any doubt about the way people in deprived areas have been brainwashed by the right wing tabloids, then please listen to this lady who worked until recently in a newsagents shop in a poor part of Sheffield.

lemongrove Thu 21-Mar-19 10:51:43

What about the leave voters in pleasant leafy areas then?
Your view of voters is very skewed varian and producing
Anecdotes of people who say they have been badly treated by family members is neither here nor there.
There will be some anecdotes of people who voted to leave being badly treated no doubt, also by family members,
All idiots IMHO.

varian Thu 21-Mar-19 11:01:56

Analyses of the influences on voting in the referendum showed that newspaper readership was a most significant factor. Those in "pleasant leafy areas" who voted leave were likely to be readers of The Telegraph, Daily Mail or Express.

GillT57 Thu 21-Mar-19 13:20:27

I listened t to your link * Varian*. How very sad it is and how frightening. I just hope D Cameron doesnt sleep at night and realises the monster he has unleashed and legitimised. The same Cameron who is a great pal of Rebecca Brooks of course.

lemongrove Thu 21-Mar-19 13:38:46

Oh, they were, were they varian ? Is that from a link somewhere or your imagination?
I don’t read any of those.
Articles, anecdotes, etc can be twisted to suit any purpose.

varian Thu 21-Mar-19 14:17:24

The survey of a 30,000-strong online panel found that only 41 per cent of those who said they do not read a newspaper voted Leave (versus 52 per cent of the general population).

Press Gazette analaysis has found that overall, national press coverage was strongly weighted in favour of Leave in the month leading up to the referendum.

Four national newspaper titles were found to be strongly biased in favour of Leave through their choice of front-page stories: the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Sun.

Data from the British Election Study found that some 70 per cent of Sun and Daily Express readers voted Leave in the referendum, followed by 66 per cent of Daily Mail readers, 55 per cent of Daily Telegraph readers and 44 per cent of Daily Mirror readers.

A report by NatCen, called Understanding the Leave Vote, said: “The balance of pro- and anti- Leave positions of the newspapers was important given how many people read them, particularly the popular press. It is interesting to note that, when it came to the EU Referendum vote, people were more likely to follow the position of the newspaper they read than the political party they identify with.”

andycameron69 Thu 21-Mar-19 17:23:50

I know I voted for total Brexit leave end of.

I am sure of that

no deceitful remain deal as put by Treason Mayhem


OUT is OUT, I get it...


no bother marching or petitions, it is in law, we leave WTO and no horrid EU deal despite all the fear and sill scaremongering..
GB is great, party

next week



best wishes

GillT57 Thu 21-Mar-19 17:35:03

Andyc while I admire your constancy, despite disagreeing with almost everything you say, could you please stop using the term "liar"? I am no fan of TM but it is an ugly word (and not permitted in the HoC by the way). Thank you

andycameron69 Thu 21-Mar-19 18:35:35

well that matters nothing to me.

traitor too

since when do people
stop free speech I wonder?

oh and I am not in the House...

loving the freedom of speech and this site. such a great place to be welcomed..


mcem Thu 21-Mar-19 19:15:50

varian stand by to have your post dismissed as more anecdotes (which some seem to think is a synonym for lies).
Mustn't let the facts get in the way of a load of tosh good story!

andycameron69 Thu 21-Mar-19 19:21:47

what a dream , so many lovely interestingly long posts.....grin