Falklands - Was the referendum a bad idea

Discussion in 'Politics & The Economy' started by icstm, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. icstm

    icstm
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    Not sure if this was discussed elsewhere, or if the press have already commented on this, but.

    1) In the grand scheme of things why did we run a referendum?

    And

    2) given we ran a referendum why wouldn’t the Israelis use this approach for their occupied territories?

    1)
    * We and everyone around the world knew the outcome before a single ballot was cast
    * The Argentines were unlikely to use the outcome to change their view of the world
    * We did gain their agreement to approach this question, so it is no surprise that they do not use the answer

    2)
    You could argue that there is a difference in generations, ie the Falkland islanders have been there for 7 generations, the Israelis a much shorter period, so are less rooted
    But this is not a clean argument, it is one of different shades of grey
     
  2. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    more than anything it was jus a publicity stunt and i think most of the rest of the world will see it that way.What amazes me is that some islanders are outraged that 3 voted no
     
  3. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    The Falkland islanders aren't stealing neighbouring territories or persecuting their neighbours.

    I can see a similarity on one side, on the other not so much.
    Argentina say they will only pursue this politically, this was the Falklanders demonstrating their intents of self determination.

    Also as an aside, if you lose a war don't you generally lose sovereignty on any spoils?
     
  4. Squiffy

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    The Falklands and Israel / Palestine are not remotely similar.

    It is absurd to try and equate them.
     
  5. Jamezinho

    Jamezinho
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    The Falklands are not an occupied territory. They were settled without displacing an indigenous population. So the comparison with Israel doesn't stand up.

    Yes, I think the referendum was a good idea. The right to self determination in action and any modern, civilised country should accept and respect the outcome.
     
  6. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    We didn't.

    The Islanders run it. They did it, they paid for it as a way of establishing something. It all came as a result of their bellicose neighbours. It was all about whether they want to be part of Britain or not and how strong was the feeling? Most foreign observers expected the Islanders to vote in favour I don't think it was expected it would be so overwhelming. They did vote overwhelmingly yes. Since then they are now planning on going to the US with it to show them how they feel as the US tends to be neutral on the issue.
    Again we didn't run the referendum the Islanders did it. There is no reason why any other nation, or group of people can't do the same. The Gibraltarians also ran a referendum when they thought Blair was going to start handing them over to Spain. Again not done with UK government support.

    Gibraltar calls referendum | Mail Online

    And the two are supportive of each other:

    Gibraltar and the Falklands referendum:
    It's democracy. If opinion polls said a certain government was going to be elected would you bin the election as everyone knows the outcome? You also still need to know the strength of feeling.

    The Argentines have been bleating their case to everyone wh would listen and a lot that didn't care. This is the Islanders making their own case. They should have a say as they will be directly affected by any change. Stuff like this makes it hard for a government to sell its people down the river. Again look at Blair and Gibraltar. The Argentines want the territory and are refusing to consider the Islanders. This vote helps puts the Islanders views front and centre.

    ??? Who exactly? The Argentines? They asked that no South American countries act as observers to the vote (didn't work either).
    There is nothing to stop anyone calling a referendum other than money. After that it is down to the governments to choose whether to abide by it if it wasn't government sanctioned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  7. Wild Weasel

    Wild Weasel
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    Unless you're an Arab apparently.
     
  8. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    I have not seen many "outraged". A report I saw this morning seemed to welcome it as it gave it some legitimacy. It might have looked too good to be true if it was a 100% vote and 100% in favour (despite all the observers).

    There has been a few positives from it all:

    BBC News - Falklands referendum: Voters choose to remain UK territory

    From Argentina:

    Carolina Barros, editor of the Buenos Aires Herald, said the referendum result was "quite a blow and big news for any Argentine saying that the Malvinas islands belong to Argentina, or that the islanders living there are an implanted population".

    "I don't think it's going to change the mind of the government," she said. "It might change the mind of the Argentines.

    "Most of the Argentines think that the territory, the land, belongs to the Argentine map. But most of the Argentines, I think, think that the islanders are entitled to believe or feel themselves like the true inhabitants of the islands after almost nine generations."


    And views here:

    BBC News - Falkland Islands referendum: Your views

    Argentina will disregard the referendum - as far as they're concerned we're squatters, pirates and rogues.

    I hope it will raise awareness across the world to refute these claims.

    However, the rest of the world is not aware, so it will raise our profile and add to our credibility and isolate Argentina's viewpoint that the Falkland Islands don't exist.


    And this:

    The three people who voted 'no' were presumably not amongst the crowds of voters, although it's not clear whether they voted 'no' in favour of Argentina, or because they favoured independence for the islands.

    What really stung here was a recent comment by the Argentine foreign minister that the islanders' wishes didn't count because they were what he termed an "implanted" population. Though Argentina may not change its mind today, many islanders hope they've shown that their wishes do need to be heard in any debate over their future - and do count.
     
  9. icstm

    icstm
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    To the wider world, most will see no distinction between the islanders and mainland Britains (they see us as an island of Europe anyway :)

    Yes the Argentines have been bleating their case, but if I was trying to oppose it I would have taken a different course of action (mainly of doing nothing and view it as we view the French mouthing off about are food or sporting ability (even when we beat them at rugby)

    at first glance, I could say "very true", but then they would agrue they might be loosing, but they are yet to loose.

    I completely agree
     
  10. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    I think even the most geographically challenged will notice they are 6k away from us and if they don't then if anything they need the publicity to make clear their case.
    All the same, it was their decision to do it.
     
  11. kav

    kav
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    To call it a publicity stunt is an insult IMO. They felt strongly enough to create a referendum on the topic. They had 90% turnout which admittedly is probably easy to do with a voting population of ~2,000, however they could just as easily not have shown up so clearly they wanted their opinion to be heard, instead of just being the little one stuck in the middle while the two big boys shout back and forth over their shoulders.
     
  12. NewMan

    NewMan
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    Hand-wringing liberal types need to find a way to belittle the result. How else could they maintain their martyr-like liberal guilt over the evils of a past Empire when the pesky locals want to remain British?
     
  13. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Did you have someone in particular in mind? :)
     
  14. icstm

    icstm
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    Hopefully not me. I entirely like the fact that we have an island in the South Atlantic and the fact that the people there like their link to the UK is great.

    But that does not change the reasons that I feel this was not a good idea either to help their cause, or as I suggest (and am willing to be corrected on) could be, illused (as I explain), by other countries around the world on their claims of territory.
     
  15. NewMan

    NewMan
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    Me, no, never! :D

    Definitely not you. :smashin:
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Don't have time to answer most of your points but I can put some meat on this one. Over the last few years Argentina has been running a very successful diplomatic campaign against us - an order of magnitude better than anything else done since the Falklands war. Working as an integral part of Mercosur (consisting of the major South American countries of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela whilst having a number of associate members including Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) they have successfully generated an anti stance on Britain's position of the Falklands.

    In practise this means the lines of communications for Government sustainment to the Falklands are longer and more expensive. For example Royal Navy ships being refused entry into South American ports - the most publicised event was HMS Clyde being turned away from Brazil and so she went to Chile to refuel/restock instead. But now Chile is part of Mercosur... Of course the Royal Navy (or rather Royal Fleet Auxiliary) has tankers - but we only have five of which only two are double hulled (and meet legal restrictions) and all are heavily engaged on operations. Can one be sent South? Yes if necessary (notwithstanding small ships like Clyde don't resupply at sea easily in typical South Atlantic sea states) - but it will cost financially, operationally and politically (for example withdrawal of the Gulf tanker even temporarily would breach our standing NATO and EU commitments).

    And that is where Argentina is being so successful at the moment - slow isolation of the British position potentially causing discomfort and unnecessary expense. And this is one of the reasons why the referendum was held - namely to help the Britain and the Islanders get back on the diplomatic initiative. Has it worked? Who knows at this juncture? It is aimed at third party Governments rather than individuals from the Falklands, Argentina or Britain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  17. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    This is what i feared, the pressure being such that eventually we shall have to give in and on terms not at all to our liking.We cannot afford to make enemies of a whole continent let alone one country and if the US decides to jump one their side then we will really be up the creek.Given our attitude towards the EU I wonder how much sympathy we would find there?
    Its ironic that before the war when hardly anyone knew that the Falklands existed, the then Tory government was seriously considering a lease back arrangement covering a 100 yea period whereby sovereignty would be handed over but a British admin could stay on there for that period.Since then ,of course, no Government would dare even suggest it .I wonder how long it will be before we shall have to swallow humble pie?
     
  18. Wild Weasel

    Wild Weasel
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    Never
     
  19. Jamezinho

    Jamezinho
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    We should expect support from the EU given that a couple of other member states have similar overseas territories that could be in a similar position to the Falklands.
     
  20. NewMan

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    If by "we" you're referring to your moronic Argentine compatriots, and not the people of Great Britain, then yes, humble pie is in order. Your little mates were an aggressing force against British Sovereign Territory - and they lost. Get over it and move on.

    I see you as the worse type of liberal, one who would suggest setting up an elaborate, guilt-ridden signing-over ceremony on top of the graves of the sailors who gave their lives defending the islands from your beloved invading army of genocidal colonials.
     
  21. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    you just dont get it do you:rolleyes:
     
  22. NewMan

    NewMan
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    Get what? That you're totally neutral on the matter of the Falklands? Yeah, I get it... We all understand how neutral you are. :thumbsup:
     
  23. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Sorry LGS, you are the one that doesn't get it. Is there one sensible person on this forum that sympathises with your continual bleating that one day we must let the Falklands be assimilated into Argentina and the Islanders will get over it within a few generations?
     
  24. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    I say we start making Sovereignty demands on Argentina, if we bleat on long enough surely the UN will give us it?

    When's their next GE btw? Surely she'll be out next time around.
     
  25. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    no i am suggesting one day we may be forced into doing so and i would hate the humiliation that would entail.I dare say our politicians would find some way of putting a positive spin on it, but undoubtedly it will be humiliating just as Suez was
     
  26. sidicks

    sidicks
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    Who is going to force us??
    :confused:
     
  27. Trollslayer

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    Maybe given the way the Argentine government has treated them, maybe they just wanted to wind them up a bit more.
    Given the tens of thousands of anti personel mines the Argies scattered around I don't blame them.
     
  28. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    As much as la gran siete gets grief for his views on the Falklands - and they are certainly not views I share - I would careful not to totally discount his views. Sovereignty of the Falklands is something that clearly a lot of people - British/Argentine/Falklander - feel very strongly about and this issue clearly isn't going to 'go away'. No British Government could hand over the Falkland Islands whilst the war is a living memory nor, one would hope, against the wishes of the Falkland Islanders.

    But with Brazil as a rising superpower - and relations with Argentina probably higher on the priority than those with the UK - we must not discount diplomatic and economic pressures that may be brought to bear in the future (both direct, e.g. sustaining UK/Mercosur relations, and indirect, e.g. UK/UK Allies wishing to have strong Mercosur connections). In the meantime we could see growing costs in sustaining the Falklands and some significant logistical challenges being imposed on the tourism, fishing and oil industries if what amounts to a South American economic blockade emerges.

    On top of this we don't even know if the UK will even exist from 2014 (Scottish independence) and we seem hell bent as a nation to "escape" from the EU and 'go it alone' worldwide where, presumably, we will be even more dependant on trade from Mercosur.

    Now before I get jumped on, I am not saying LGS is right - merely that dismissal of his views outright is misguided. I also suspect he might put them a little more politely and tactfully if his every post wasn't hammered down by multiple posters. A few threads ago Dave made an excellent post about this sub-forum being dominated by a few bullies - he was spot on IMHO and perhaps a little more toleration is required for alternate views or else this sub-forum will die. And that is from all of us, myself included.
     
  29. EarthRod

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    The problems the current Argentinian government is facing at home is being swept under the carpet by using the Falkland Islands as a distraction - all carefully orchestrated.

    Kirchner is doing a good diplomatic and political job on this and causing problems for the British government. Somewhat countered by the recent poll outcome which was a good move.

    However, LGS is quite right in that we must not be complacent about the successful diplomatic manoeuvring by Argentina and should take care regarding US policy and the other South American countries jumping on the bandwagon.

    Foreign opinion against the UK could slowly mount and make it diplomatically impossible to continue our current hold on the islands.

    A contingency plan offering some sort of compromise has probably already been drafted by the UK government and maybe under constant review depending on the changing situation.

    Time will tell. No good relying solely on the military presence on the islands - that could be, in the long run, too costly to maintain.
     
  30. BISHI

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    It also depends on how much oil is there, how long it lasts, whether it will attract more UK citizens to move there and work and how the Falkland islanders invest the windfall coming their way.
     

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