Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blair's To Lose

Followers of the sage Mondale or the less mall-centric among my American chums are probably aware that Britain is currently in the throes of a general election, with voting set for May 5th. As the above title suggests, Tony Blair and the Labour Party entered the campaign with a commanding lead in house seats ifs not the opinion polls and the election is in essence a referendum on Blair's leadership: from his presiding over a strong and vibrant economy (hooray) to his ill-considered support for George Bush's blundering distraction from fighting Al Qadea by invading Iraq (boo). So far the election has been a snooze fest: seemingly very little discussion of foreign policy or Europe and much harrumphing about immigration and the National Health Service from all concerned.

Many Americans have glanced at British politics and whistfully observed that we seem to have a multi-party system rather than a duoploly on power. Alas, while the make up of the House of Commons reflects a fairly broad range of regional and national parties, since the late 1920s (not including wartime or emergency coalition governments) power has flip-flopped between the Conservative and Labour parties.

As a Labour Party man (despite getting kicked out of the Wymondham branch for "lazyness"- I was in high school! What did they want?) since early political conciousness set in I was concerned in the abstract with this situation but none too troubled by it as long as my mob was half of the duopoly. Besides, coming off the back of the Thatcher/Major years a decade ago I felt the niceities of electoral reform were a luxury that had to wait until the horrible Tories were vanquished.

Now it seems I'm going to have to change my tune. Apparently the Labour Party and I have drifted so far apart that I'm now a Liberal Democrat Party ideologue! This shock came my way courtesy of a great little website that allows you to answer a set of belief and policy questions and then compares your responses with the platforms of the major parties. My results are below:

Who Should You Vote For?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour -24
Conservative -43
Liberal Democrat 68
UK Independence Party 0
Green 52

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

"The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership."

If you want to see how you would line up at the British ballot box take the test at Who Should You Vote For?

Now the reason this has converted me to electoral reform is that the party most akin to my beliefs is currently running at about 21% in the polls (compared to around 40% for Labour and 32% for the Conservatives) but will not get 21% of the seats in Parliament. Not fair! Still, at least the Lib Dems are not as hard done by as the perennial nearly-men of the silly (and very real) Official Monster Raving Loony Party


jamie said...

my results were very similar, though i came up neutral vis a vis the Labour Party. and i'm certainly with you that at least 1 legislative body should be distributed along the overall percentage of votes gained by each party. not that i'm in any danger of influencing UK elections.

weasel said...

It is time for a benign invasion of Bermuda! All like minded souls to the new mid-atlantic nation state of Ameritain!

Mondale said...

As predicted, Lib-Dem. I voted that way in 1992 and 2001. Went labour in 1997 very much as part of the national mood to crush, destroy and multilate the Tories for ever more.
There, you have my entire General election voting record.
Maestra went Green (no, She actually voted green in the quiz.)

mockneymotormouth said...

i popped out as a Green - i think mainly due to my strong (actually its vehement but that wasnt an option) disagreement with the Iraq invasion and continued occupation.

but i vote labour.