anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)
1. At the moment, I think that a Lib Dem-Tory agreement is a real possibility. I would have thought that the Lib Dem rank and file would rise up in rebellion against any such thing, but the Guardian seems to be of the opinion that Lib Dem MPs would in fact defect if Clegg considered backing Brown. English politics confuses me.

2. My idea of a happy ending would be a rainbow coalition. This is possible. Labour (258) and SDLP (3), plus Lib Dems (57), plus some combination of SNP (6), Plaid Cymru (3), Greens (1), and Alliance (1) would get over the 326 needed. Alex Salmond has ruled out backing the Tories, and is planning to/already talking to Gordon Brown. Alliance I'm sure would follow the Lib Dems, and surely Caroline Lucas would extract what she could and then back Labour? At which point Plaid Cymru wouldn't actually be needed, although I'm sure they'd still be welcome.

I'm not sure how long that could actually last, but we'd get electoral reform.

3. Someone asked me what I'd prefer: the above rainbow coalition, or a Falkirk win tomorrow. I'm ashamed to say I did actually need to pause and think about it.

4. This is the second 'big' election in a row where there's been a fight at the Glasgow count (yay stereotypes?). In 2007, if I recall correctly, which I may well not, it was some kind of Solidarity-Labour-Socialists affair. This time it involved the BNP. And while I know that violence at election counts is obviously wrong, the BNP were apparently being quite provocative: for the Glasgow East announcement, the other candidates weren't happy about standing on the platform with the BNP, but the BNP candidate insisted on following them around as they tried to avoid him. Also, there were several Muslim candidates standing for both Labour and the SNP, and allegedly some BNP supporters made some remarks.

My source at the count would also like people to be aware that while the media seemed to blame the fight on the Socialists, plenty of people from other parties piled in as well. And if we do have to have a punch-up at the count, at least this time it was aimed at the BNP, rather than another Judea-related incident.

5. One thing I'm genuinely worried about is Cameron's plan to reform the size of constituencies. It's hard not to see it as targeting the Labour/LD support in Scotland. Also, while the Tories are wittering on about how Gordon Brown has no 'moral authority' or whatever to govern, could they please pause and notice that in Scotland they have 1 seat and only 17% of the vote?

6. I did vote SNP in the end, for all the difference it made. And while I may be biased, I think that if I could pick one UK politician to lead my party through a situation like this, I think I'd pick Alex Salmond. He has his flaws, but sometimes you just need a canny politician.

ETA: Initially I forgot to mention this, but it's more important that any of the above. Much of the voting chaos last night seems to have been caused by simple disorganisation. However, in Sheffield, election officials made the decision to discriminate against students in favour of 'residents'. There are some key quotes at the bottom of this page, while more info can be found on Facebook. Contrary to what is now being claimed in some media reports, students generally DID bring their polling cards and DID arrive in plenty of time - only to be left standing in the rain for three hours while said 'residents' were ushered in and out in under 20 minutes. My brother's a student in Sheffield (although he forgot to register at all, the muppet), and knows several people who were unable to vote, despite queuing for long periods of time.
anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)
I'm not one of those people who believes that the only important thing is that everyone vote. In fact, if you're feeling like voting Conservative I'd honestly prefer that you stay home and put your feet up.

The Tories have a long history of homophobia, racism and sexism. Whatever promises they're currently making on gay rights, please remember that over 70 of their policies were apparently written by a woman who believes that homosexuality is caused by demons and can be cured through prayer. Oh, and that a woman's role is to joyfully submit to her husband. The majority of what Labour's done which I most disagree with - the war in Iraq, renewing Trident, the anti-terror laws - the Tories have backed. And their idea of a cap on immigration is both stupid and unworkable.

I have many problems with Labour. I do appreciate much of what they've done - gay rights, devolution, Sure Start centres, a better NHS (and yes, it is better now than in 1997. Just ask anyone who works in it.). I like their ideas on voting reform. My job brings me into lots of contact with people on or below the poverty line, and I have no doubt that if the last 13 years had been Tory, not Labour, they would be far worse off. But against that is the war, Trident, etc.

I'm not convinced by the Lib Dems. The 'Clegg bounce' hasn't (according to polls) had much of an impact in Scotland, and I can't help but think it's because we've had experience of them in government. And they weren't terrible, but there was nothing very new or shiny either. Also, their party is extremely white/male/straight. Not that there's anything wrong with white straight men, but given that they're supposedly the party of change, they look very similar to what we've always had. Finally, during this campaign they've sent me 23 leaflets. I would like to point out that a) if the 20th didn't convince me, the 21st isn't going to work any magic, and b) you're supposed to care about the enviroment, so stop sending piles of junk mail.

In all other elections but general elections I vote SNP. I agree with (almost) all of their polices, I like the leadership, I think they've done a good job in Holyrood. David Cameron seems to have spent much of the last few days whining about the possibility of a hung parliament - the SNP have spent the last three years with a majority of 1 seat, and still gotten a fair bit done. But. They're not going to win. There's a tiny chance of them taking my seat from Labour - which could then contribute to the Tories getting in.

So, in the end, I think I'm going to be voting against the Tories. That depresses me, and the only bright spot is the prospect of electoral reform. Please may the next election be a little fairer.
anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)
My flist has exploded with happiness, as has pretty much everyone else I know. It is just all absolutely brilliant. I hope so much that this will mean a better future for the whole world.

It's bizarre that I'm now off to Glenrothes to campaign in the by-election there (a UK Parliament seat - the last MP sadly died in August) to try and take the seat from Labour. One of the things that amazes me most about the American elections is the sheer scale and drama of it - and how quickly it all happens! (The results coming in, I mean. No waiting around in school halls for a returning officer to get a move on!) Everything's so much bigger and seems so much more exciting.

It makes Scottish politics seem tiny. But that's actually okay, because there's something nice about that too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope. - Barack Obama.


anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)

September 2010

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