Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

6
May

Why You Shouldn’t Have Voted No

   Posted by: Scott Lovegrove Tags: ,

A number of things to point out before I get going on this post:

  • This isn’t a “this is why you should have voted yes” post;
  • It’s not a “this No campaign claim is a lie” post;
  • Disclosure: I vote YES! I would do so again.
  • I thought about writing this post a couple of days ago, I wish I had.

The results are in, all the data is being collated so you can see exactly how your constituency voted in the AV (Alternative Vote) Referendum. Both sides campaigned hard to secure your vote, with both sides effectively lying to the public to get them on board, but for that, there are plenty of websites that discuss those. There were valid reasons on both sides (I’m told…) but equally, there were lots of stupid, idiotic, crazy reasons that people were giving for voting no. And that is what this post is about. Those reasons and why you shouldn’t have voted no if you used one of them.

“Nick Clegg is for AV therefore I’m voting No” (or any variation)

There are so many tweets flying around with people saying “good, I’m glad AV lost because Nick Clegg let us all down.” Hell, I even saw one person say that they were for AV, but because Nick Clegg wanted it, they were glad it lost. This is madness. This decision was never about one person. This wasn’t even about one party. This was about changing the way the voting and the politics are done in this country. Anyone who voted No for this reason is an ass because whether they realise it or not, this referendum was a once in a generation thing.

“I’m not a ‘second place’ person”

This was one by someone on my facebook feed who put: “to be honest, I am not a second place person. When I applied for uni, I made 1 choice- no backup. When I apply for jobs, I apply for 1, and assume I’ll get it. I don’t like the way things are, but if I want to vote- I want my first choice to be the one that counts.”

So many things wrong with that status. For a start, if you only wanted to vote for one candidate, and didn’t want your vote going to any other candidate (in the event of your first choice losing) then you didn’t have to put anyone else. This would have worked no differently from the current system. It’s just a basic lack of understanding about what AV is and how it works. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean this person should have voted Yes, but it’s a bit of a dumb reason to vote No.

“I don’t really understand AV”

If you don’t understand it, either don’t vote, or vote and spoil your ballot card. If you don’t understand what the referendum is about, then you should either take the time to read both sides to see which way you actually stand on it and make an informed decision. Voting No (or even Yes) when you don’t understand it helps no-one. Ignorance is no excuse!

“It’s not good for my party” (whoever their party is)

As mentioned in the Nick Clegg reason, this referendum wasn’t about party policies or individual parties themselves. This was about having a chance to change an old, outdated voting system in this country.

“I don’t really care, just thought I’d vote No”

Like the not understanding reason, this is just stupid. If you don’t care then why did you choose No? Just to make a selection? If you really didn’t care, why did you just not vote?

“AV isn’t good for the big businesses”

Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, again, this is about changing the politics. Any knock on affects (if there even would be any) would be adapted to by the companies, this shouldn’t have affected your choice on which way to vote.

These are the main bullshit reasons I’ve heard. What others have you heard? Bearing in mind I’m not talking about reasons to have voted either way.

SL

7
May

The Times, They Are A-Changing

   Posted by: Scott Lovegrove

Hi, I’m Scott, I’m 27, and I’ve never voted; but all that will change. Tomorrow (or today, depending on when I’ve managed to get this post up) marks arguably the most unpredictable General Election in the UK. There have been lots of interesting points in the election build up: the first time the main party leaders have taken part in a live televised debate (ala US Presidential Election debates); the media seems to have been less influential than previous with the advocation of social networking; this election doesn’t appear to be simply a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats firmly in the race; there’s a real possibility of a hung election (the first since 1974); it’s the first election I’ve actually cared about.

I think it’s safe to say that there is a pretty high probability that Gordon Brown won’t be in office come Friday morning, which means one of two outcomes (three really but one is one that I cannot see happening): The Conservatives have one the overall majority and David Cameron will have become the UK Prime Minister; None of the parties won an overall majority and we go to a hung parliament. The third option which I’ve dismissed is, despite 3 very good debates by party leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats take office.

Now, one of the big things that Cameron has been talking about (seemingly at every single opportunity) is that this country needs a change, Labour have been in power for 13 years, we need a change, change, change, change. Quite honestly, it’s become a bit monotonous.

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Cameron wants a change for the country (there’s that word again), as he thinks this is what’s best for the country. But it seems that he wants a change for the country on his terms. And his main term is that the change has to involve him coming to power (By the way, as I’m typing this, Newsnight is on BBC2 and Cameron just said change six times in about 30 seconds). It was very interesting how much Cameron was using this word before the first TV debate, and then after Nick Clegg’s huge success after that debate, how little it was used, speaks volumes (“We need a change, a younger person as Prime Minster, just not Clegg” not an actual quote by the way). So it seems that a change which would be good for the country is only good if Cameron says it is, which means a hung debate is something he does not want and so has been vilifying it throughout the campaign. So a change not necessarily a good thing then, Mr Cameron?

So why would this be? A hung parliament would be a big change for UK politics and arguably a good thing. The ability to maybe overhaul the current parliamentary system is no bad thing. This is how I see a change working, personally. But I can understand why Cameron et al wouldn’t want this. Why would they? The system currently works, for them; for the politicians. Maybe this is a cynical view, I don’t know, but it’s certainly how it looks. Someone said to me (note: he was a tory supporter) that if it does go to a hung parliament, then it just won’t work and we will have another election within 12 months “guaranteed.” And that was his main point for not having a hung parliament, “it won’t work, so why try.” Well I think with the situation that UK politics finds itself in that surely it’s got to be worth a try. Call me naiive if you want, but it has to be worth a try.

Speaking for myself I just don’t like the idea of one party having control of the country when they might have only got the third highest number of votes, or to put it more easily, I don’t want a situation where over half the country doesn’t want a particular party running the country and yet there they are, running the country.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Cameron isn’t the only one doing this, but quite frankly, he’s the only one I can be bothered to write about.

SL

Whilst writing this, I was listening to Bob DylanThe Times They Are A-Changing