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Uncanny - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
Apparently, there's going to be a General Election quite soon. I've just been looking at the BBC's summaries of the three main partys' manifestos. Labour are full of slick promises they can't deliver on, the Conservatives are doing their usual barking let's pretend it's 1950 and hope all the badness goes away thing, and the Lib. Dems. are full of high minded rhetoric that's completely impractical.

Gotta love politics. Once every five years I get to have a negligable say in which bunch of power-crazed lunatics get to screw things up for the next five. And the shaved monkeys get more of a say than I do, because there's more of them. There may be a difference between this and living in an actual monarchy or dictatorship, but it's very hard to see what it is in practice. Mostly I think it's that bribery doesn't work quite as well, which I suppose is something to be grateful for.
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From: sheffers Date: April 1st, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's harder for the government to just arbitrarily lock you in jail for months or even years on end with no evidence and no tri.....oh, wait a minute....
inskauldrak From: inskauldrak Date: April 1st, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Once every five years I get to have a negligable say..."

People died for the vote.

As for "power-crazed"

My MP and others have defied the 'party line' before now on the basis of principle and representing the wishes of their constituents regardless of what might happen. Funnily enough and despite all the horror-story propaganda, they're still our MPs.

More to the point, they get out and do actual work for their constiuents, as do our councillors and they are accountable.

And some of us bother to help them knock on doors, not just in election run-ups but in-between, simply helping ask people if they have any problems that need dealing with.

And slick promises?

Well there's a lot left to be desired in some of the presentation. But let's see:

Minimum Wage - done, rising

Devolution - promised referenda happened, huge benefits reaped

Unemployment - lowest since the early 70s and still it's a priority to reduce it further

Plus, 2 of the BIGGEST (and I'm not a 'new labour apologist' type as you know) changes are:

1. difference is in the whole attitude of Governement - people should not just be thrown on the scrapheap if they loose their job or get ill.

2. Sort out the economy so not only are there more jobs, but far less of every pound of tax you pay goes to services government bank loans and actually goes into paying for services.

*whew* semi-rant over, sorry...
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: April 1st, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know people died for the vote. That's why I wish it meant more than it does.

Ever noticed how when the economy does well, it's the government, but when it does badly it's world conditions?

And I'm sure there are many decent and principled MPs. They just aren't the ones running the show.

Which is not to say that New Labour has not done some good in the last five years. But they've also thrown away lives and countless millions of pounds on a rather pointless war. BUt I'll give you the minimum wage. But how many promises did they break?

Not that I really want to get at you for still believing in a cause. Really I'm incredibly jealous that you still have your idealism intact. Mine died long ago. Too much Private Eye at a formative age, I'm afraid,
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From: timeplease Date: April 2nd, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I have always had entirely useless local MPs. When I lived in Cambridge it was Anne Campbell, who was a Parliamentary Private Secretary and hence couldn't put a toe out of line for fear of losing her job. Now I'm in Haringey [horrible name] it's David Lammy, who (guess!) is also a PPS and also can't do anything for his constituents that might possibly not be 100% in line with Labour party policy.

ksta From: ksta Date: April 2nd, 2005 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
scary that the tories get ppl to vote for them that way, isn't it?
liriselei From: liriselei Date: April 2nd, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Once every five years I get to have a negligible say in which bunch of power-crazed lunatics get to screw things up for the next five. And the shaved monkeys get more of a say than I do, because there's more of them.

one vote alone may be negligible, but they do add up.
there may be more of the shaved monkeys, but what proportion of those more can be bothered to vote ?

we may not live in a genuine democracy (as i'm sure oxfordgirl will rant about again at some later point) but it would be a waste not to use what little power is thrown to us.

if none of the three main parties appeal to you - i vote Green not because i think they have any chance whatsoever of getting elected in this election, but because they are the one party whose principles i agree with and because i figure that eventually their slowly increasing support might reach the point where they do have a viable chance at national (rather than just local and European) election. they already have people in the Scottish Parliament and the House of Lords, it's just the House of Commons they've not yet managed to get into. also because the more votes they get the more the main parties are likely to take note of their policies.
the_whybird From: the_whybird Date: April 3rd, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gotta love politics. Once every five years I get to have a negligable say in which bunch of power-crazed lunatics get to screw things up for the next five.

As liriselei says, the negligable says do add up.
Besides which, a vote for any party - any party at all - is a vote against the BNP and similar scum, which is reason enough to vote in and of itself.
owdbetts From: owdbetts Date: April 3rd, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said.

Groups with a ‘cause’—even a fucked up one, as long as their supporters believe in it—tend to do very well in mobilising their supporters to actually vote.

If you've got 90% of BNP supporters voting, and 20% of everyone else, in say, a local bye-election, that gives them a tremendous advantage.
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