helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Finally election day. The past month seems to have taken forever. By the way, is the UK unique in referring to our most senior politicians by their first names? In formal news reports it's all "Mr" Brown/Cameron/Clegg, but in headlines, less formal news reports and blogs, it's Gordon/Dave/Nick all the way.

I have already outed myself as a Liberal Democrat and in case anyone reading this is uncertain which way to vote, you could do worse than reading djm4's Why I'm a Liberal Democrat posts over at Dreamwidth.

If you're planning to vote Labour, you might want to read sashajwolf's post Ten reasons why, if you’re considering voting Labour, you should think again.

I don't think I know anyone who is planning to vote Conservative, but in case I do: watch hiddenpaw's video about "Big Society", and then read this article in yesterday's Independent. Apparently since the Conservatives took over Hammersmith & Fulham council, they've gone round slashing services for those in most need. It's frightening.

There's also The fourth debate: You ask the questions to the leaders of the three main parties. We all know, by now, that Gordon Brown has lost the plot, but I'm quite alarmed by how badly.

For example:
Given that so many governments are or have been run quite successfully as coalitions – including Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and Japan – are the papers right to assume that you three are not intelligent enough to manage a coalition?

Brown: I believe Britain would be best served by a majority Labour government, and that is what I'm fighting for.
That is not an answer to that question!
Do you support the addition of 'None of these candidates' as an option on future ballot papers for people who want to register a protest vote? If not, would you prefer voters to spoil their ballot papers instead of staying away from the polling stations?

Brown: I want people to vote Labour. Anything else is a vote for the Tories.
*smacks forehead*

David Cameron has some reasonable answers, and a couple of absolute clangers. e.g.
Why have I heard nothing about what any of you intend to do about the ever encroaching erosion of our civil liberties though cameras, ID schemes and intrusive and unnecessary and often unsafe data bases?

Cameron: I don't accept that. We've been campaigning hard on these issues – not just during this election campaign but throughout the past four years. For example, we fought tooth and nail against the Government's plans for 42 days pre-charge detention. And if you look at our manifesto, there's a whole section on civil liberties, setting out our plans to scale back Labour's database state. Scrapping ID cards, getting rid of the National Identity Register, abolishing Contactpoint – it's all there. The way this government has trampled on our historic freedoms is totally wrong and we would do things very differently.
You know, I don't think accusing your voters of lying is a good idea. Which is what comes across when you answer "Why have I heard nothing about...?" with "I don't accept that"!

Nick Clegg's answer to that question made me want to give him a standing ovation:
Clegg: I'm sorry you haven't heard about our plans; it's a shame this topic didn't come up in the leaders debates. Our plan is for a Freedom Bill to roll back all the endless draconian laws Labour (and the Conservatives before them) have put in place to trample on our traditional British freedoms.

That would include scrapping ID cards and plans to store fingerprints in your passport; it would include regulation of CCTV, the ending of the "ContactPoint" database to keep information about all our children, and the reinstatement of our right to protest; it would bring an end to storing innocent people's DNA on a police database, it would restore the right to jury trial – and much more. There's a whole list on our website at freedom.libdems.org.uk.

I'm pretty anxious for the future of this country. The percentages in opinion polls vary so wildly depending on the newspaper you're reading them in that it's impossible to be certain of anything. If you believe The Sun, then Dave is already measuring up for the new blue curtains in Downing Street - but other papers/polls are predicting much more of a hung Parliament. I'm generally in favour of a coalition - I think it'll be a good thing for the country because the buggers will have to work together in order to get anything done. As one of the papers pointed out (can't remember if it was The Times, The Independent or the Evening Standard), a hung Parliament doesn't have to mean that the economy gets screwed. Germany has had a coalition government for years, yet has one of the most stable economies in the world.

Also, the higher the LibDem vote, the higher the probability of a referendum next year on constitutional reform. Which can only be a good thing.

Who else is planning on staying up all night to watch the election coverage? Can we get together on irc or something? I'll be on #soc.bi on irc.freenode.net as astra as usual, but can get myself anywhere else.
Tags: election 2010, politics, uk

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