Democrapy

03Jun09

There are elections tomorrow. I have received several leaflets through the letterbox. I decided to sit down this evening and read through them to decide who should benefit from my valuable vote.

First I made sure I knew which elections were actually happening tomorrow. This was not easy. The leaflets were no help. Fortunately my polling cards were more useful. It turned out that I can vote in three elections tomorrow – the District Council, the County Council and the European Gravy Train.

Then I tried to match the candidates on the leaflets to their specific elections. This was difficult. Some of the leaflets were not clear about the specific poll in which their candidate would be engaged. Other leaflets covered all the elections without naming the candidates.

Finally I read the leaflets to understand exactly what each candidate stood for. This was hopeless. Only one candidate actually explained what he would do if elected. The rest just mentioned vague ideas or more specifically criticised their competitors.

As a last resort I used the BBC and Timesonline to work out which candidates were standing in which election. Then I looked at the websites for the relevant people and parties.

Because Obama used technology so well, many of the candidates had websites, blogs and twitter feeds. The similarity to Obama then ended. Most of the blogs were facile, the websites were scrappy and the twitter feeds were banal.

I read today that the ballot paper for the European election in London will be three feet long (90 cm). The parties are listed in alphabetical order. Ones near the top of the paper often get the most votes (watch out for the BNP… and expect UKIP to be disappointed). I don’t know why I cherish democracy.

Next time I will start my own political party. It will be called “AAH!”.



5 Responses to “Democrapy”

  1. 1 Jerry Darnell

    You’d get my vote Alex (even if the name of the party leaves a little to be desired).

  2. I think the reason you cherish democracy is that it’s still the least worst option. A few of years ago i decided that rather than just supporting the party that (as far as i could tell) seemed to most closely represent my views, i would actually require my candidate to tell me what their policies were and refrain from simply rubbishing the opposition. I have subsequently withheld my vote until we get a candidate who deserves it.
    I’m all for a system of mandatory voting with the option of “none of the above”. And if no candidate polls more than “none of the above” then the seat is re-run with the original candidate list barred. This has turned into a long comment, sorry about that, maybe i’ll turn it into a blog…

    • 3 Graham

      I’m with Drew on this one, I find that politics is more about scoring points against your opponent rather than doing the job of running the country/council, my vote is valuable and I’m not wasting it on a bunch of talkers. I’d like to see the house moved away from the historical surroundings currently used and drop all the stupid customs, men in tights we can do without.

  3. 4 Andrew

    Well said Drew and Graham. A new and variable location … make the most of the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament buildings – then there would be an excuse for third and fourth homes allowance.:oP

  4. 5 Bernard

    Our candudates still call to our houses, be they local, european or general elections.I have also been in a pub and had the Taoiseach (prime minister) buy me a few drinks. We can also access our politicians directly through weekly meetings they hold in various locations. This closeness and availablity ensures that the politicans know what we the people want and if they fail to deliver then they will not be returned to power as has happened this weekend.


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