UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Discuss the news, current events, politics, etc.

Who will you vote for in the 2015 UK Election?

Conservative
7
23%
Labour
3
10%
Lib Dem
3
10%
UKIP
2
6%
Green
11
35%
SNP
1
3%
Other
4
13%
 
Total votes : 31

Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby René » 15 March 2015, 19:57

People wrote:[FPTP isn't so bad.]

In the last election, about 1 million Scots returned 41 Labour MPs. This May, Scotland looks to return about 50 SNP MPs, with probably only slightly more voters.

Meanwhile, in the 2010 election almost a million people voted for UKIP, but they returned 0 MPs.

Now, I personally can't stand UKIP, but still that doesn't keep me from asking: how does it make sense?

How does it make sense that a party whose support is very concentrated in one particular geographic area gets 40-50 MPs when a party with about as many voters behind it who are more spread out across the country gets no representation in parliament at all?

Zdrastviy wrote:I actually voted in favour of AV which I think is just a more nuanced way to express your views than "1 man, vote."

AV sometimes produces results that are even more disproportional than FPTP.

Nam wrote:I could end up voting for something which will count for nothing; there are always parties that will never get in who you can rely on for a alternative to the main.

That's one of the reasons why we need proportional representation. FPTP is the reason the UK has only 3 parties with more than 1.5% representation in parliament. For comparison, the Netherlands, a much smaller country, has 11.

With PR, you could vote for these parties and they actually would have a chance of getting in - a good chance if a bunch of people elsewhere in Britain agreed that they should, no matter what constituency they happened to live in.

PR provides way more choice, way fewer "wasted votes", and consequently, less political apathy.

It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands has never had a turnout below 73% in a general election (since 1970 the turnout has almost invariably been between 75% and 85%), while the most recent general election in the UK was considered to have had a strong turnout at only 65.1%, up from 61.4% at the 2005 election and 59.4% in 2001.

Another effect this has is that the portion of the population that voted for the party that's in charge is often especially tiny. For example, in 2005, Labour gained a majority 355 seats (55.0%) out of 646 despite having only 35.2% of the vote. But with a turnout of only 61.4%, that means only 21.6% of the electorate actually voted for them, or less than 16% of the population (9.6 million people in a country of 60.4 million). In the Netherlands, you'll regularly see figures double that or higher.

GoPink! wrote:My mother has never voted because she doesn't feel that her vote is heard. However, if more people voted then there could be a dramatic change seen if more people were shown they could vote again.

With proportional representation, your vote is heard no matter where you happen to live and no matter what the people around you happen to vote for.

Zdrastviy wrote:
Fragile coalitions ensure that one party can't take the entire country down their particular ideological route, as is essentially happening in Canada and here despite the ruling parties only getting 39.6 and 36.1 percent of the popular vote, respectively.

I don't disagree that those are valid problems - but I don't think they stem entirely from the electoral system.

Where else would they stem from? With PR, how would a party that only has 30-40% support be able to unilaterally command the legislative and executive agenda for the entire country?

Zdrastviy wrote:I also don't think trading one set of problems for another is much of a solution. Is it really all that democratic for instance to have a government that is fairly representative - yet it is hampered by that representativeness from actually doing anything or governing effectively? Democratic governments don't only need to be held accountable by an electorate - they need to be capable of serving, of governing.

Since 2006, the British government has passed some 200 laws, or about 20-30 per year. For comparison, the Dutch government (a beacon of proportional representation) passed about 750 bills in the year 2011 alone, and more than 650 the year before that.

A few years ago in the Netherlands, on the 1st of January 2013, more laws went into effect on a single day (282) than in the entire past 10 years in the UK.

I really don't think the FPTP-derived governments of Britain are particularly effective in comparison to governments derived from proportional representation.

Zdrastviy wrote:Taking the electorate as a whole, it wants tax cuts, but higher welfare and military spending, it wants less immigration but a world-leading NHS and a major world city. There is no will of the people - just different people who will different things and expect the government to listen.
Zdrastviy wrote:The truth is not always in the middle, though. [...] ("the people" are not always right about what is important, unfortunately)

People are dumb, but if you're going to do democracy, you might as well do it right. FPTP isn't very democratic, but it's not meritocratic either. FPTP politicians clearly aren't always right about what is important either, unfortunately. So what's the benefit of holding on to it?

Even if FPTP once had these supposed benefits of which you speak, it plainly doesn't any more, since, not surprisingly, the UK's two giant parties have become so detested that as many as 1/3 of British voters now intend to vote for other parties, even despite the fact that many know their vote will likely be wasted and amount to little more than a protest vote. Imagine how many more people would vote for alternatives if they were give given a genuine choice, as PR guarantees they would have.

Zdrastviy wrote:Also, bear in mind when you say "ensure", you mean that they hold the country's governmental stability like a bargaining chip. What happens when you need to stray from the middle road? Governments - especially modern ones - are enormous in size and are presented with problems that are hugely complex even on their own terms, even before you take into account vying interest groups. Sometimes problems are extreme - or the only realistic solutions are. Coalitions present a massive incentive to ignore or patch over policy issues that are divisive - or even just unpopular [...]. Stray too far from the middle road and boom - down comes the government.

Actually, if you look at the history of coalitions in countries with proportional representation, you will find plenty of examples where divisive but important policy issues were not ignored or patched over but were reasonably compromised on. In some cases, that involved a mostly left-wing or right-wing coalition, made up of a couple of parties that could agree on what needed to be done even if all the other parties didn't.

Having a coalition of non-massive parties that proportionally represent the people who voted for them does not mean you can't have a left-wing or a right-wing government when it's needed. It just means that choice is made more by people rather than their geographic distribution.

GoPink! wrote:Despite what I said earlier towards Brenden's comment on FPTP, I think we do need a new voting system. Maybe SV, like used for the Mayoral Elections.

An election for a single mayor is very different from an election for a legislative body with many seats. Used in such cases, contingent-vote systems like the "supplementary vote" share some of the same pitfalls as first past the post and still unfairly overrepresent larger parties and those with wide support in small geographic areas.

I'm pretty sure each criticism I have made of FPTP in this post also applies to SV.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Salomé » 15 March 2015, 20:06

SNP. I'm typically a green voter in Scottish elections, but for the general I really am rooting for the SNP to have some serious power to wield come May. It really is an abysmal state of affairs we have in the parties, and as Brenden pointed out, the voting system as well. I can't get behind Labour at all. They're a joke in Scotland, and for good reason. I cannot stand the rhetoric they're spewing: "The only way to keep the Tories out is to vote Labour". It's incredibly arrogant and demeaning to the voters they're targeting it at -- chiefly the nearly 50% who intend to vote SNP might I add. Essentially saying "We know you hate us, but vote for us anyway because it's 1976 and what else do you have?". It certainly doesn't help either that the former leader of Scottish Labour left citing Westminster as treating Scottish labour like a "branch office", before she was promptly replace by the Blairite Jim Murphy who doesn't really seem to have a lot to say about anything. On the other main parties, The Lib Dems sold their soul and only bargaining chip they had with me back in 2010 don't have a hope in hell, and I'm fundamentally not a conservative. I don't believe in financial nor social (obviously) conservatism.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby c1ask0 » 15 March 2015, 21:35

Edward wrote:My prediction is that Labour will form a minority government propped up by the SNP and Lib Dems for a few months before finally supporting proportional representation (as FPTP now actually works against them in Scotland) and calling another election in November.

Another election in November? That would be exciting.

I do wonder, though, if all this speculation will amount to nothing. We could just end up with a single majority party. I think I would prefer that outcome, preferably with Labour but I would even take the Conservatives over some convoluted coalition.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby lews » 16 March 2015, 22:27

Either a Conservative majority or another coalition with the Conservatives and UKIP. Labour lacks the credibitlity, mainly due to there self destructive leadership. The liberals are seen as going back on their word. The Greens are a joke. Ukip is also a joke but a slightly scarier one.
On the front of voting systems, FPTP suits the two major parties so I highly doubt it will be going any time soon. However, I don't particularly want it to. Party Lists, Single Transferable Vote and the Alternative Vote are all good ideas but, like Zdrastviy, I find FPTP leads to more decisive governance. A single party in charge allows for the executive to set a course (rightly or wrongly) and stick to it.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Nickr » 16 March 2015, 22:28

UKIP, of course.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Josh » 16 March 2015, 22:59

Nickr wrote:UKIP, of course.

I would be shocked to hear anything else from you :D Image
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Nickr » 17 March 2015, 00:54

Josh wrote:
Nickr wrote:UKIP, of course.

I would be shocked to hear anything else from you :D Image


It would be a bit dim of me not to vote for the party I'm a member of I suppose.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Ciniselli » 17 March 2015, 16:06

Just to clarify, I was not intending to argue in favour of retaining FPTP - I don't believe in it either. A couple of people seem to think I was, so sorry for not being clearer. I think majoritarian systems like AV are the best of bad options.

I would explain this further, but I intend to reply to Rene when I have the time/energy to do it justice. Just thought I'd make that clear.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Marmaduke » 21 March 2015, 12:24

Ciniselli wrote:I absolutely loathe the coalition, and I don't understand why Labour has so painfully failed to clean up based on the govt's dismal performance. I've never been convinced that austerity was based on sound economics and I think the govt has gone out of its way to cause a remarkable amount of harm for precious little gain.


What is unsound about the economics of it? The country is spending more than it can afford and it needs to cut back.

Currently, following New Labour maxing out all the credit cards prior to a global financial collapse, the UK Public Sector Net Debt is over 80% of GDP. We haven't owed this much money since WW2 and we were paying towards the defence of the freedom of all humanity. Granted, the books were in a far shitter state post the war, but they've not been this shit since.

In 1997, The Conservatives handed over a balanced book. We owed money, but we were paying it back and paying for everything we needed to at home without borrowing more money. The UK was in a very strong position.

The reigns were handed over and times were good. New Labour settled in and then after a little while "Fuck it" Tony Blair and Gordon Brown decided "let's spend some money" They didn't need to, but my god it made them look good. They had the Government equivalent of a big shiny watch - an apple watch for the sake of a contemporary reference, the gold one that costs more money that could ever seem acceptable - and everyone thought they were really cool and successful.

Because of this, the Government was running at a yearly deficit in excess of £165 billion in the run up to the recession. It was so overspent that it had to borrow £165 billion a year just to pay it's bills. For completely unnecessary and reckless reason, they essentially ran the countries finances motivated by wholly political popularity. And if that doesn't sound a shit enough state of affairs, when we look at how the Government actually borrows money, you'll appreciate just was a catastrophically shit state of affairs the books were in when Dave and Cleggy took the reigns in 2010.

The only sources of income that the UK Government has are taxation and the issue and sale of gilt-edged securities, or gilts for short. They're government bonds sold on behalf of the treasury. They are fixed-interest, fixed-term investments.For example, you give the government a billion pounds for 15 years and they give you a fixed interest payment every six months until the maturity date when the full value is repaid. 100% of the time. They are called gilts in reference to their security as an investment; they're golden. The government has never failed to pay one. They are issued when taxation does not raise enough money to pay the bills. They are authorised by the treasury and issued and sold by the debt management office. The proceeds from the sales of these gilts is then spent by the government much like a bank loan and their value is added to the national debt. Unlike a bank loan, you cannot seek an extension or renegotiate your rates and payments. They must be repaid, generally within 15 years.

The National Debt is such that the interest on these debts alone costs about £45 billion a year. With the books so far in deficit, the only way we can pay our debts is to issue more gilts. The deficit has forced the government into a position that is all but identical to a Ponzi scheme. Were the country a business, it would've been declared bankrupt and liquidated years ago. Everyone in charge would be in prison. The only thing stopping the pyramid collapsing is the fact that the Government - unlike a private company - has the option to just issue more money to itself through the Bank of England. This is the quantitive easing program, and we've pretty much played that card as much as we can now before we end up like Greece and in a far shitter state of affairs that you can imagine.

The Government must - MUST - bring the deficit to balance in order to have a hope of stopping the pyramid getting unmanageably large. There is only so long we can defy economic gravity.

We cannot just keep issuing gilts. We can't fight this fire with a flamethrower. We can't keep printing money or we devalue ourselves to the point where people will realise that it's not gold edging on the gilts, it's golden foil and they'll invest elsewhere. We'll default and Angela Merkel will bum us to death.

In our - us of the forum - lifetimes, we have only really meaningfully known the heady decadence of New Labour. The Conservatives find themselves in the unenviable position of having to increase taxation and cut public spending. The two things that fly in the face of what people have grown used to.

Taxes are about as low as we can have them. We have to remember that taxation is the only solid factor in the Government's equation. It's all it really has holding the floodgates closed. It must raise a minimum amount and any further taxation of high earners or corporations seriously risks pushing those individuals and corporations abroad and losing that revenue altogether as opposed to increasing it. That is too risky a knife edge to dance on for too long.

Public spending must be cut, and cut harshly. We cannot spend these hundreds of billions that we don't have. We cannot sit on this debt slowly paying it off over the next two decades. we'd lose hundreds of billions, high hundreds, in interest alone.We cannot slowly deal with the problem of essentially living in a pyramid scheme. We have to robustly get a grip on it and deconstruct it as quickly as possible before it collapses on top of us.

That is why Labour provide no substantive opposition on the subject. It's why Ed Balls had to try and score points from publicly stating that Labour wouldn't change the budgetary measures proposed by George Osbourne. Because we're set on the course now. We have to see it out or we'll end up hitting an iceberg and sinking.

It sucks. It sucks donkey dick. I know this, I'm a government employee. These cuts have made my work miserable and have a real likelihood of costing me my job as more cuts come in. I hate the cuts. But I do appreciate their necessity.

Such is the political landscape of the UK. Some band of twats comes along and spends all the money, and the Conservatives then come as the necessary evil that restores balance. People hate them for it and then some other group of pricks comes along and spends too much money and so the wheel rolls on.

Stick with the Tories, take the shitty medicine and have someone shit in 2020. Have the Greens and spend all the money making the countryside ugly as fuck with a shit-ton more wind farms and solar arrays. Give it all away to India so they can pay for a Space Program. Do it safe in the knowledge that the Conservatives will be there in 2025 when you're crying in the mud wondering where it all went wrong.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Ciniselli » 21 March 2015, 15:10

... following New Labour maxing out all the credit cards prior to a global financial collapse, the UK Public Sector Net Debt is over 80% of GDP. We haven't owed this much money since WW2 and we were paying towards the defence of the freedom of all humanity. Granted, the books were in a far shitter state post the war, but they've not been this shit since.


the Government was running at a yearly deficit in excess of £165 billion in the run up to the recession. It was so overspent that it had to borrow £165 billion a year just to pay it's bills.


Some band of twats comes along and spends all the money, and the Conservatives then come as the necessary evil that restores balance. People hate them for it and then some other group of pricks comes along and spends too much money and so the wheel rolls on.


On deficit: I am no fan of New Labour, but their spending (just like most of their policies) were not particularly atypical and pretty much continued trends set by their predecessors.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablo ... data#img-1

Notice that the deficit patterns of 2002-2007 more or less exactly mirror those of 1991-6. I do not wish to make a "well, they did it too!" sort of argument here, but it is worth mentioning that at no point before 2008 were the Labour government's finances at all unusual compared to those of its predecessors.

On borrowing: again, not atypical. This table for instance shows debt as % of GDP for all OECD member states between 2000 and 2010 (if you would prefer a monetary value, you can change it to USD via the menu on the left). Compare the UK to economies of comparable size like France or Germany, it looks fairly average. Not an exceptional case of borrowing at all.

The reason our debt situation is so serious now is not because of long-term profligacy, it's because of the gigantic bail-out which happened after the crash. After that happens, both debt and deficit skyrocketed. It's also, arguably, a result of debt timing rather than just having debt per se - i.e. borrowing in times of growth rather than recession (although more on this below).

Was this avoidable? Probably not. Even if we had been running budget surpluses, the cost was so immense that it's pretty much impossible to imagine it being paid for without gigantic sums of borrowing. If we had been in surplus - we would have a smaller debt for sure. I'm not so convinced it would be so significantly smaller that we would not be faced with much the same problem as we are now.

(Furthermore, it is a little misleading to say "it hasn't been this bad since the war." Technically, this is true. Practically, however, you are comparing a mountain to a molehill)

So, anyway, even if the above is all totally correct (which it might not be) - the upshot is the same. We still have a large debt/deficit, and it still needs paying. Why not austerity?

The problem with austerity as a proposed solution, at least within the context of the UK coalition, is that it's much easier to settle debts when you are experiencing growth than it is when the economy is stagnating. And when growth isn't coming in any significant degree from the private sector, sucking money out of the economy is not a particularly helpful course of action because it damages consumer spending. It has not been successful, and will not ultimately be enough to pay it off if the economy remains static. Doing so has not much more than dented the deficit, while we are actually borrowing more, and the economy has continued to stagnate.

The alternative is for the government to invest in the economy and secure growth. This was essentially how the stagnation of the 1930s was escaped - by an enormous and sustained programme of government investment (otherwise known as "World War 2"). This has major downsides. Most significantly, it means higher tax rates - which in the long run have diminishing returns. It also potentially means higher borrowing, but I would argue that whatever policy we choose seems to end up commit us to high borrowing, and that there is a case to be made for doing so while interest rates are low, as they were a few years ago (I am not sure if they are now). Done with an aim to invest in the economy rather than cripple it in favour of debtors, I think that has a higher chance of securing growth - and growth is a much, much better scenario for settling deficits than the one we are currently in.

(I will now write a reply to Rene.)
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Ciniselli » 21 March 2015, 17:54

AV sometimes produces results that are even more disproportional than FPTP.


I don't think they're comparable, as AV doesn't really function on a "one man, one vote" basis. AV systems rely on candidates being ranked, and while you can get someone coming in who only a minority chose as their first preference, you get someone with enough degrees support from a majority of people. I think that's more pragmatic, personally, and much fairer than FPTP.

Where else would they stem from? With PR, how would a party that only has 30-40% support be able to unilaterally command the legislative and executive agenda for the entire country?


It wouldn't, but that doesn't mean the problem comes from the electoral system.

The problem you are describing has lots of causes. First among them is the fact that the UK is a state where pretty much all power is concentrated into one legislative body - and that that is where both the legislature and the executive sits. There are no other institutions worth contesting in the UK, and nothing which can check the authority of Parliament. If you get a majority there and are able to keep it disciplined, you can do whatever the piss you want. Compare this, for instance, to federal systems where powers are divided and winning in one branch does not necessarily let you hold sway over the others.

If you want to understand the dangers of introducing PR systems into incredibly centralised parliaments like the UK's, look no further than the French Fourth Republic - where you had some 24 governments rise and fall in just 12 years, before the whole thing came crashing down in a coup. In systems like ours, governments are wholly reliant on majorities in parliament - that's why govt defeats are exceptionally rare and are usually big news when they happen.

The "winner takes all" problem is also just as much a product of the party system as the electoral system. Parties do not always emerge as natural crystallizations of political groups - they're as much a product of historical contingency. Over the last two centuries, the Republicans and Democrats in the states have frequently changed sides over being the progressive and conservative faction in America. They didn't really originate as unified political factions, and even to this day there is considerable variation within them. Likewise, the Conservative party in the UK is a national institution in the way Labour isn't - it is easily one of the most successful election-winning machines in human history, and over its lifespan has frequently changed its programme hosted numerous different factions. It's easy to bemoan the hegemony of one or two parties, but they're not necessarily ideological groups. They can be weird and diverse amalgamations of tradition, culture and very, very loosely allied factions.

In short - PR may well end the "winner takes all" problem, but that doesn't mean FPTP caused it. And in a system like the UK's it also introduces a number of dangers and far more serious problems than it solves.


Since 2006, the British government has passed some 200 laws, or about 20-30 per year. For comparison, the Dutch government (a beacon of proportional representation) passed about 750 bills in the year 2011 alone, and more than 650 the year before that.

A few years ago in the Netherlands, on the 1st of January 2013, more laws went into effect on a single day (282) than in the entire past 10 years in the UK.


That's interesting - not what I would have expected. I do not know very much about the Dutch system, so I won't pretend to. The cursory reading I have done has not given me much confidence to go around making arguments about it. I would make an educated guess, though, that this is a result of institutional set-ups that are specifically designed to stop failures in the PR-elected legislature from damaging the executive. I read somewhere, for instance, that members of parliament cannot become ministers, which makes a huge difference and is the basis of the UK system.

I'd also be interested to know how the Dutch executive is effected by being in permanent coalition. Wikipedia tells me no party has had a majority since 1900 - which makes for over a century of acclimatization to carrying out government under a coalition.

Actually, if you look at the history of coalitions in countries with proportional representation, you will find plenty of examples where divisive but important policy issues were not ignored or patched over but were reasonably compromised on. In some cases, that involved a mostly left-wing or right-wing coalition, made up of a couple of parties that could agree on what needed to be done even if all the other parties didn't.


I don't doubt that some people have managed it, I just think being systemically in coalition provides incentives against it. I also think you're in danger of assuming that compromises are necessarily good policy decisions. Governments have to make extreme decisions all the time, especially with gigantic and complex topics like economic reform: I think you could make a pretty strong case, for instance, that it was necessary for Britain to lose its mining and industrial base in the 1980s. This was not a moderate decision - it is probably the most extreme policy decision any government has taken in the UK in living memory. That does not, however, necessarily mean that it was wrong. It is hard enough for governments to make decisions based on the available evidence, never mind the squabbling of political interest groups trying to drag them towards the centre.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Severelius » 21 March 2015, 18:05

Really, just like last election where I ended up just not voting at all because by the time came to do so I had the attitude of "to hell with this whole thing" right now I'm firmly in the 'I have no earthly clue' camp.

Way I see it, I have 3 options:

1) Vote my ideals. If I did this, odds are according to any measurable standard I'd end up voting for the Greens. Which I'm not sure about. I like them but they give me the feeling of a party that's surged up a bit too quickly for itself and is now being treated like a big party when internally they're not quite ready for that leap into the spotlight, so it all feels a touch slapped together.

2) Vote tactically. If I did this, I'd end up voting Liberal Democrat because looking purely at statistics in my constituency they're always the 2nd place contender to the incumbent Tory, and just maybe if UKIP are popular enough down here (which is tragically likely) they just might leech enough votes away from the Tory for someone else to finally win this bloody seat for once. But it's highly doubtful, so that'd probably get me nowhere. Plus I'm not exactly the biggest Lib Dem fan. I know that they've helped either stop or just lessen a lot of Tory policies that if they'd gotten a straight majority we would have all had to put up with it, but I can't help but feel like the Lib Dems are such a damaged brand that unless they put Nick Clegg in an ejector seat and fire him into a low-ceilinged tunnel they're not going to get anywhere because his personal image as a remotely trust-worthy left-winger has been irreperably tainted by 5 years of seeing David Cameron talking bollocks at the dispatch box with Cleggy sat just behind him like a loyal dog.

3) Vote logically. If I did this, I'd end up voting Labour. Really, my Constituency is always going to be Tory so using this approach I'd be voting less for that and more for my own comfort in the overall picture and realistically the only party that's big enough to possibly knock the Tories off their perch is Labour. That said of the three so far I feel like they're the ones I'm least okay with, and as much as the guy can sound halfway like he knows what he's talking about I don't quite know if I'm up to 5 years of Prime Minister Ed Miliband.

Of the three approaches, the first and second seem to be where I'm most likely to go. I suppose in the grand scheme of it a Lib Dem or Green vote will both be equally meaningless so it'll probably come down to how I'm feeling come election day.

Honestly if we come out of this with really any combination of coalition that doesn't involve the Tories or UKIP I'll count it as some kind of a victory.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby René » 21 March 2015, 18:27

Ciniselli wrote:I would explain this further, but I intend to reply to Rene when I have the time/energy to do it justice. Just thought I'd make that clear.
Ciniselli wrote:[...]

Thanks for your detailed response — like you, I will be giving my response the time and energy it deserves, and I expect to post it in the next few days. Edit: Looks like I'm going to be busy with a big work assignment all week, but I should have time to write my answer soon after!

After that, I will be making a post in response to the arguments that have been made about individual political parties. (I was originally going to combine all of these into my first post in this thread along with the voting-system arguments, but I realised that it would get far too long. Fortunately there's still 47 days to go until polling day, so I won't feel too rushed. :P)
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Kitschy » 25 March 2015, 09:13

I have no idea what's going on in this thread lol.

The conservative party in the USA is terrifying (for the most part). The Democrats are generally a little less extreme, but they're also somewhat...unreliable...
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Eirik » 27 March 2015, 00:14

My vote is for the Green party. I lived in Brighton when we elected Caroline, and I hope she keeps her seat since she's been a fantastic MP, whether you agree with her views or not.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Ciniselli » 27 March 2015, 14:49

Anyone watch the Cameron v Milliband show last night? What were your thoughts?
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Marmaduke » 27 March 2015, 14:53

Ciniselli wrote:Anyone watch the Cameron v Milliband show last night? What were your thoughts?

I was really surprised at both how badly Cameron did and how likeable Ed Miliband made himself come across.

Cameron is better than he was last night, Paxman walked all over the pair of them. Miliband came up a bit too much for Paxman's approach and came off childish at times, but I think he was still the clear winner.

Paxman, just in general, was way too aggressive and detracted from the point of the whole thing.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Ciniselli » 27 March 2015, 16:00

I really like Paxman. I think his aggressiveness is necessary. Particularly at a time when the Opposition is so ineffective, it's good to have a journalist who asks politicians nightmare questions.

I have honestly never thought Cameron was PM material. Even when he became leader of the opposition all that time ago. He has always struck me as a greasy teflon-man who looks, walks and talks like a living mannekin. Likewise, I was really surprised by Ed Miliband who I have never thought highly of. He was waaaay too defensive on some of the questions but he gave as good as he got. Particularly when he pointed out that people underestimate him - which is pretty hard to argue with.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Jacketh » 27 March 2015, 17:47

I think it was Miliband's tactic from the start to come out swinging at Paxman, which, takes balls to be honest. That lead to Paxman becoming far too aggressive though in my opinion - 'people see you as North London nerd' - No need for it, really.

Mlliband come across better on the Q&A for me, too. Cameron spent ages discussing the questions and particularly the ones that were easy for him - 'will you have a old persons minister' - like, really? That and no question about the NHS? He got quite an easy ride. Miliband had to face so many questions about his character and the previous government, which did make it harder for him.

Oh, he also had to face the incredible bias of Kay Burley. Who annoyed me more than anyone else on display. She basically said nothing to Cameron. I dunno if it is because she is a Tory herself or had a producer screaming down her ear.

I'm not exactly a Miliband fan, far from it. I won't even vote Labour. But the whole thing looked to me like a stick up for ol' Ed, and he came out of it pretty well.
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Re: UK Election - Who are you voting for?

Unread postby Severelius » 27 March 2015, 21:50

I'm watching the Battle for Number 10 now. I'm on Miliband's audience Q&A and I'm already getting annoyed with Kay Burley. She seems to either be really passive-aggressive ("Ooh, the first round of applause" in a sarcastic tone) or just aggressive ("If you're a socialist does that mean you're anti-wealth creation?").

It might be my inherent anti-Tory bias here but I don't recall her randomly blurting out blunt confronational questions when David Cameron was doing his Q&A bit.

As for Cameron's bit, I think it was a bit... crap. The audience questions were pretty much softballs all around, I think that one woman who outright confronted him about broken promises on the NHS and why anyone should trust him again got a bit of heckling from other members of the audience, and nothing of any substance was said in the answers. The most I got was that he thought Miliband's best quality was that he agreed with him one time. Which is pathetic.

Cameron's Paxman interview was pretty good, though. Kind of nice to see him spinning his wheels desperately trying to take any route he could to generic positive messaging when confronted with questions he didn't want to answer, like the zero-hours contracts.

Still got the rest of Miliband's Q&A and his interview to go, so I'll probably have more to say about that.
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