Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Dangers Of Ignoring 80% Of Voters

Both the president and the leader of the Brit Tories announced policies that ignore the views of over 80% their respective electorates. This has to be bad news for Republicans and Tories.

The president:

President Bush and a group of senators yesterday reached general agreement on an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for many illegal aliens.

Mr. Bush in brief remarks to the press said there was agreement to get "a bill that does not grant automatic amnesty to people, but a bill that says, somebody who is working here on a legal basis has the right to get in line to become a citizen." But senators, speaking afterward, said Mr. Bush was far more specific in the meeting.

The polls suggest the president is riding for a fall (my emphasis):
Americans agree (85%) that illegal immigration is a “serious” problem, and over half (55%) say it is “very serious.” Completely halting illegal immigration (68%) and the reduction of the number of illegal immigrants now present in the United States to near zero (67% agree), according to a RoperASW poll of 1,012 Americans.
Granting US citizenship to illegal immigrants does solve the problem of their illegality, but it's unlikely this is the solution 85% of Americans are thinking of.

Meanwhile, the new Tory leader had
this to say:
David Cameron threw down the gauntlet to Eurosceptic Tory MPs yesterday by declaring that anyone who advocated withdrawal from the European Union would not serve on his front bench.

On the eve of the launch of a pressure group promoting withdrawal, the Tory leader effectively warned backbenchers not to get involved if they valued their careers.
This is odd, since here's what the Brits thought when last polled (I've summarized the questions):
Pull out of the EU24%
Stay in the EU but only if it slims down to a free trade area35%
Stay in the EU as it is now, but only if the UK can veto further integration21%
Work for closer political union within the EU10%
Don't know10%

The first 3 categories either want to withdraw unconditionally, or to withdraw if the EU refuses to accept changes that the other big members will never agree. Together they add to 80% of the population, so alienating them hardly seems a winning ticket.