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yogi bear up the cagire

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It's at times like this, just before a General Election that I regret my inaction during my years in France in keeping my right to vote in UK elections. In my defense I could say that there were other things occupying my mind and with the widening gap of house prices between Britain and France, the realisation that I would probably never return to live in England. Thus, issues in the UK seemed to become less and less relevant for me. As I have retained my British nationality I cannot vote in Parliamentary or Presidential elections here but can participate in local and European elections.
However when I reflect upon all my time voting in England - and that goes back to 1964 - just how useful was my vote? The answer is crystal clear.... .........in the present electoral system, it was a total waste of time. Not my fault that due to geographical misfortune I lived in constituences.........Southend West and Ashford (Kent)........where an Orangutan would have been elected as long long as he or she wore the right colour rosette. So, apart from, local elections I would feel somewhat justified in saying I have never had the vote.........or, at least, a vote that has counted.
This time, perhaps this time, things will change? Funny how I am able to equate my political roots with my footballing ones.......in reality they go back virtually as far as each other. Perhaps losing my heart to a small Third Division (South) football club in the late fifties led to my tendency to support the underdog and fight against prejudices and inequalities.
Are there other Shrimpers who feel, like me, that they have been disenfranchised by the present system and will vote next Thursday, knowing that it is out of duty and conviction rather than with the feeling that you are having a REAL say in the formation of the next government? If the latter was true perhaps I would have already sent off my postal vote for this election.
On the other hand are there many fortunate Shrimpers who have the luck of being in a really marginal consistency, where their vote really will count? Of course, even then, the choice that you have may not lead to your prefered party candidate being elected.........So, how many are going to consider voting tactically?.........not voting for the person you want but against the person you certainly don't want.
 

Tangled up in Blue

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Disenfranchised in Spain and the UK

Hopefully the result of Thursday's General Election will lead to a real change in the UK's antiquated electoral system this time unlike in 1974 -the last time there was a hung parliament- which led to two GE's in the same year.
As Marx said "History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."
BTW Yogi there is(as I imagine you're aware) now a 15 year rule(used to be 20)after which if you've spent that amount of time continously living abroad then you're no longer deemed to be eligible to vote in UK elections.This happened to me in 1997 which was the last UK election I was able to vote in after having voted previously in every UK election since 1970.
 
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yogi bear up the cagire

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Hopefully the result of Thursday's General Election will lead to a real change in the UK's antiquated electoral system this time unlike in 1974 -the last time there was a hung parliament- which led to two GE's in the same year.
As Marx said "History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."
BTW Yogi there is(as I imagine you're aware) now a 15 year rule(used to be 20)after which if you've spent that amount of time continously living abroad then you're no longer deemed to be eligible to vote in UK elections.This happened to me in 1997 which was the last UK election I was able to vote in after having voted previously in every UK election since 1970.

Thanks for the precision! I remember reading something a while back that led me to understand that I had lost my vote. Not that it makes much difference but I thought the fact I hadn't registered was the reason for being disenfranchised but bow to your superior knowledge concerning the 15 year rule. Regrettable though it is, I do understand the logic.......I am fast approaching twenty years absence from the UK and apart from the nostalgia of my past political activity the present events have little or no affect on me.
As I have mentioned elsewhere I find it easy to draw a parallel between my ancient political party and my football club. I hope I'm wrong but I have a nasty feeling that we are seeing the events of a couple of seasons ago being played out. A late surge towards the play-offs ........just not having enough momentum to carry us through. I just fear that people may get cold feet at the last minute and be taken in by 'smarmy', well packaged....
.......wolf in sheeps clothing...........Cameron. Caring, my a**e!
stop press............two latest polls .........one puts Lib Dems up one at 29% .....the other down two at 28%.............Tory's at 34% and 35%....
Labour both on 28%..........that's certainly hung parliament territory........ perhaps the electorate aren't so gullible!
 

Rob Noxious

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On the other hand are there many fortunate Shrimpers who have the luck of being in a really marginal consistency, where their vote really will count? Of course, even then, the choice that you have may not lead to your prefered party candidate being elected.........So, how many are going to consider voting tactically?.........not voting for the person you want but against the person you certainly don't want.

I'm one of the lucky ones, Yogi. I've voted tactically since '97 with good effect. Andrew George (the Lib Dem MP for the St. Ives constituency) is probably more of a socialist than any of these New Labour charlatans, so I've not had any misgivings. Nice bloke, too - and he sticks up for this area, being 'born and bred' down here - so I've enjoyed backing a winner for a change.
 
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Tangled up in Blue

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. I just fear that people may get cold feet at the last minute and be taken in by 'smarmy', well packaged....
.......wolf in sheeps clothing...........Cameron. Caring, my a**e!
stop press............two latest polls .........one puts Lib Dems up one at 29% .....the other down two at 28%.............Tory's at 34% and 35%....
Labour both on 28%..........that's certainly hung parliament territory........ perhaps the electorate aren't so gullible!

As long as the Lib Dems can poll more than 25% nationally then they'll start to break the mould and win seats .Interestingly the Tories have stuck at just over 30%+ since the beginning of the campaign, which would of course mean a hung parliament with Labour as the party with most seats, despite(possibly)finishing third in the popular vote nationally.
Looks like the anti-Tory vote is holding up well.:clap:
 
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Tangled up in Blue

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I'm one of the lucky ones, Yogi. I've voted tactically since '97 with good effect. Andrew George (the Lib Dem MP for the St. Ives constituency) is probably more of a socialist than any of these New Labour charlatans, so I've not had any misgivings. Nice bloke, too - and he sticks up for this area, being 'born and bred' down here - so I've enjoyed backing a winner for a change.

There's no doubt(IMO)that since '97 the Lib Dems have been far to the left of Labour in most policy areas with the honourable exception of a sprinkling of hard left Old Labour MP's in and around the UK's big cities and/or in Northern constituencies.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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I feel disenfranchised because no party comes close to representing my views.

I've voted tactically (ie against Labour) in every general election I've been eligible to vote in, and despite helping to prevent the Labour candidate get in more often than not, it hasn't been sufficient to prevent them gathering a huge parliamentary majority and steam-rollering over the democratic process.
 

Tangled up in Blue

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I feel disenfranchised because no party comes close to representing my views.

I've voted tactically (ie against Labour) in every general election I've been eligible to vote in, and despite helping to prevent the Labour candidate get in more often than not, it hasn't been sufficient to prevent them gathering a huge parliamentary majority and steam-rollering over the democratic process.

Then I imagine you would be in favour of changing to PR rather than the first past the post system?
 

Yorkshire Blue

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Then I imagine you would be in favour of changing to PR rather than the first past the post system?

I'm certainly open-minded to electoral reform (and if we're about to become a genuine three-party system this becomes ever more pressing) but I've yet to find a system that would be a substantial upgrade. As much as FPTP is flawed, it's infinitely preferable to any system incorporating party lists.

A far greater priority to me is to reform the Lords to make it an effective, informed check on the government. Labour have completely botched it by removing the independent part but failing to replace it with anything but party appointees. The second chamber doesn't need to be elected - we have the first chamber for that - it needs to be able to offer an independent second opinion on the work of the Commons. I'd favour a second chamber organised on a loosely syndicalist basis, so that its members don't represent a geographical area, but rather an economic (or religious or academic) interest. It would then be up to those bodies that have been granted seats to choose who represents them.
 

yogi bear up the cagire

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There's no doubt(IMO)that since '97 the Lib Dems have been far to the left of Labour in most policy areas with the honourable exception of a sprinkling of hard left Old Labour MP's in and around the UK's big cities and/or in Northern constituencies.

Listen here!...........When I started my first job in a small advertising agency down the Grays Inn Road I remember proudly displaying on my jacket lapel, two badges, one proclaiming 'Smith Out' and the other 'Wilson is a Tory' (Quite prophetic really). I suppose that was the 'Young Liberals' who, at that time were further left (perhaps more radical) than most things around. Don't know what the National Union of Agricultural Workers, who occupied most of the building, thought about it.......never had a remark.
 

yogi bear up the cagire

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I'm certainly open-minded to electoral reform (and if we're about to become a genuine three-party system this becomes ever more pressing) but I've yet to find a system that would be a substantial upgrade. As much as FPTP is flawed, it's infinitely preferable to any system incorporating party lists.

A far greater priority to me is to reform the Lords to make it an effective, informed check on the government. Labour have completely botched it by removing the independent part but failing to replace it with anything but party appointees. The second chamber doesn't need to be elected - we have the first chamber for that - it needs to be able to offer an independent second opinion on the work of the Commons. I'd favour a second chamber organised on a loosely syndicalist basis, so that its members don't represent a geographical area, but rather an economic (or religious or academic) interest. It would then be up to those bodies that have been granted seats to choose who represents them.

I'm not up to scratch on these things but I would imagine that the Lib Dems would be open to a review of the electoral system with perhaps a referendum being offered to the people, on the findings. Of course, the one party that is vehemently opposed to any reform are the Conservatives. They have been content playing the game of tweedledee' and tweedledum'
with the electorate for nearly a century..........they have no interest in changing things, especially now, as they believe that it is their turn....... and almost their right, to govern. The unwelcome rise of the Lib Dems threatens to spoil their game and they must find that extremely irritating and annoying........... Wasn't it Cameron who wanted the TV debates?
The Lords is an interesting one, although, for me, it wouldn't be the priority. Wasn't a huge amount of time and energy spent, a few years ago,
on discussing its reform? Can't remember whether this review was handled by polititians?............If it was, then an independent review may be a better solution.
 
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yogi bear up the cagire

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As long as the Lib Dems can poll more than 25% nationally then they'll start to break the mould and win seats .Interestingly the Tories have stuck at just over 30%+ since the beginning of the campaign, which would of course mean a hung parliament with Labour as the party with most seats, despite(possibly)finishing third in the popular vote nationally.
Looks like the anti-Tory vote is holding up well.:clap:

Interesting and perhaps worrying signs coming from Labour and for Labour. Calls from two leading spokesmen, Ed Balls and Peter Hain (he was a leading Young Liberal back in the sixties!) to vote tactically in order to keep Cameron out. This is backed up by the Mirror calling for the same and, from what I've heard, indicating constituencies where this should be done.
This sounds like a bit of desperation creeping in and would indicate that the results they are getting back from the constituencies, particularly the marginals, are showing the Tories moving ahead and the Lib Dems slipping back a bit.........not good news for 'the anti-tory alliance' but not altogether bad news for the Lib Dems.
If I were a Lib Dem strategist, I would, secretly, be quite happy about the way things are going. I would be thinking that, for us, a Tory government with a very small majority could be the best scenario. In a very short time, this new government, due to the measures it would be obliged to take, would quickly become VERY unpopular. The Lib Dems are already positioning themselves as the alternative to Labour. A few years down the line after a couple of 'Orpington like' bye-election defeats, they may be obliged to go to the country early. Thus, confronted with the choice of an unpopular Conservative Party and still with a memory of a fatigued Labour Party, bereft of ideas................who would the people turn to???......................
 

Tangled up in Blue

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Interesting and perhaps worrying signs coming from Labour and for Labour. Calls from two leading spokesmen, Ed Balls and Peter Hain (he was a leading Young Liberal back in the sixties!) to vote tactically in order to keep Cameron out. This is backed up by the Mirror calling for the same and, from what I've heard, indicating constituencies where this should be done.
This sounds like a bit of desperation creeping in and would indicate that the results they are getting back from the constituencies, particularly the marginals, are showing the Tories moving ahead and the Lib Dems slipping back a bit.........not good news for 'the anti-tory alliance' but not altogether bad news for the Lib Dems.
If I were a Lib Dem strategist, I would, secretly, be quite happy about the way things are going. I would be thinking that, for us, a Tory government with a very small majority could be the best scenario. In a very short time, this new government, due to the measures it would be obliged to take, would quickly become VERY unpopular. The Lib Dems are already positioning themselves as the alternative to Labour. A few years down the line after a couple of 'Orpington like' bye-election defeats, they may be obliged to go to the country early. Thus, confronted with the choice of an unpopular Conservative Party and still with a memory of a fatigued Labour Party, bereft of ideas................who would the people turn to???......................

:nope:A Tory Government is never the best scenario for anyone especially the Lib Dems, as they'll never agree to electoral reform,while Labour will.
 

Crabby Shrimper

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:nope:A Tory Government is never the best scenario for anyone especially the Lib Dems, as they'll never agree to electoral reform,while Labour will.

I think you may have missed the basis of Yogi's points. IF the Liberals got in now, they'd make themselves unelectable for a long period as, let's face it, the next government will be a very unpopular one. Would the Liberals sacrifice one term in office for a good chance of several terms starting a few years later? I'd say probably so
 

osymandus

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I think you may have missed the basis of Yogi's points. IF the Liberals got in now, they'd make themselves unelectable for a long period as, let's face it, the next government will be a very unpopular one. Would the Liberals sacrifice one term in office for a good chance of several terms starting a few years later? I'd say probably so

It does make Dave "smiley" Cameron's rushing about the all teh more amusing if he does win. You would have though they all would be clambering over themselves for a coalition ;) .

Still the Tories can join with the UDP !!!
 

yogi bear up the cagire

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I think you may have missed the basis of Yogi's points. IF the Liberals got in now, they'd make themselves unelectable for a long period as, let's face it, the next government will be a very unpopular one. Would the Liberals sacrifice one term in office for a good chance of several terms starting a few years later? I'd say probably so

Indeed, many have spoken of a 'poisoned chalice' as regards to winning this General Election. I doubt whether even the most optimistic of Lib Dems would have believed that we were ever close to the possibility of winning this time, even with the surge of support following Clegg's TV performances. I wouldn't be surprised if, behind the scenes, Lib Dems tactitions would be very happy to make progress in the popular vote....
.....e.g 25% to 28% and a small advance in seats 80 - 100, which is about as much as one could expect under this electoral system. I would imagine that, secretly, they would be highly relieved if they weren't obliged to enter into some agreement with the Tories, thus leading to the possibility of contamination through giving them support in governing.
IIRC Liberals tend to fare far better in opposition when there is an unpopular Tory government. They would then set about the task of trying to replace the Labour Party (Perhaps something that Barnablue would not be too happy about!) and presenting themselves as the real opposition to the Tories..........one that I feel they always been more comfortable with.
Then they would wait for the next election to really make advances.
Well, that's all conjecture...............I imagine that there are people that believe we will move into our new stadium as we get promoted to the Championship again! ;)
 

yogi bear up the cagire

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Indeed, many have spoken of a 'poisoned chalice' as regards to winning this General Election. I doubt whether even the most optimistic of Lib Dems would have believed that we were ever close to the possibility of winning this time, even with the surge of support following Clegg's TV performances. I wouldn't be surprised if, behind the scenes, Lib Dems tactitions would be very happy to make progress in the popular vote....
.....e.g 25% to 28% and a small advance in seats 80 - 100, which is about as much as one could expect under this electoral system. I would imagine that, secretly, they would be highly relieved if they weren't obliged to enter into some agreement with the Tories, thus leading to the possibility of contamination through giving them support in governing.
IIRC Liberals tend to fare far better in opposition when there is an unpopular Tory government. They would then set about the task of trying to replace the Labour Party (Perhaps something that Barnablue would not be too happy about!) and presenting themselves as the real opposition to the Tories..........one that I feel they always been more comfortable with.
Then they would wait for the next election to really make advances.
Well, that's all conjecture...............I imagine that there are people that believe we will move into our new stadium as we get promoted to the Championship again! ;)

Well, I wouldn't appear to be completely alone with my theories.............
http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5970393/an-economic-coalition-makes-political-sense.thtml
 

Yorkshire Blue

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:nope:A Tory Government is never the best scenario for anyone especially the Lib Dems, as they'll never agree to electoral reform,while Labour will.

Exactly.

I could never see a Tory government agreeing to the Great Reform Act, the Second Reform Act or Female Suffrage....
 

yogi bear up the cagire

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:nope:A Tory Government is never the best scenario for anyone especially the Lib Dems, as they'll never agree to electoral reform,while Labour will.

Don't get me wrong............I will feel a particular kind of nausea to see Cameron's grinning mug all over the media on Friday or Saturday. (One of the main reasons I left teaching and England was 'Maggie Thatcher milk snatcher'. It will however be tempered with a great sense of relief, as long as the Lib Dems are not drawn into some kind of agreement to support him in government.
In fact the idea of some kind of electoral pact with either party is fraught with difficulties, especially for the minor participant. If it did come about they would have to be extremely careful about what they signed up to. IIRC the deal that David Steel made to keep Callaghan in power for another year in 1977, didn't do us any favours. I suppose one could say that there is a difference in entering some kind of a coalition in order to form a govenment as opposed to keeping the fag-end of an administration in power for another year.
 
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